War Sailor 2023 / A time-hopping globe-trotting epic that finally sheds light on the reluctant heroes of a world war


Originally released as a film, War Sailor tells the oft-forgotten tale of the Norwegian merchant sailors who were required by law to take part in the battle against Axis forces. Reluctantly but bravely, they rose to the challenge and became part of a valiant effort that unfortunately went under the radar because of their civilian status.

The extended three-part series on Netflix gives these war sailors their due by telling their story in rich detail and epic proportions. It goes even deeper to explore the aftermath of war and its harrowing toll on survivors. The storytelling is grand, but it’s important to note that War Sailor is less interested in heroics than it is in humanity—it has the characters questioning the purpose of fighting a war they know little about and dives deep into their lives post-war, where even then peace still seems elusive.

It’s a sprawling story so the pacing can get sluggish, but if you don’t mind the occasional overlong take, then War Sailor pays off immensely.

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