Highest-rated war movie of all time now free to stream – 45 years after Oscars win

Apocalypse Now is hard to find – but this service has its Final Cut remaster included

Apocalypse Now
(Image credit: StudioCanal)

Ask any cinephile to list the most influential and iconic war movies of all time, and we'd put money on the idea that every single one of them would name Apocalypse Now on their roster. 

It's in the very top tier when it comes to significant movies, an opus from Francis Ford Coppola that blew minds when it first came out in 1979 – and has continued to do so ever since. 

Best of all, in 2021 it got a full restoration and edit overseen by Ford Coppola himself, to create Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, the definitive version of the film. That cut has a coveted 100% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a rarity in the extreme.

The only issue is that it's pretty hard to find the movie streaming. Well, here's the hot gossip, though – you can actually watch it for free right now, through the lesser-known streaming platform StudioCanal Presents

Rather than a fully-fledged app of its own, StudioCanal Presents is a channel that you can pay for through either Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV+, and it has a pretty impressive roster of vintage and modern movies to offer up. 

This means it can't necessarily stand alone as one of the best streaming services, but can very much augment either of those bigger options. Its library tends to lean more towards the arthouse end of things, so it's ideal for someone who is into Mubi or other more niche offerings.

Best of all, though, it offers a free trial, so you can sign up for a week of free access before deciding whether to keep going – that's more than enough time to enjoy even a really long movie like Apocalypse Now. Just search for the Final Cut version on either service and you should see the option to start your free trial. 

In case the movie does need some introduction or context, though, it's an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's famous novella Heart of Darkness. Martin Sheen plays a young special forces captain ordered to travel into the depths of Vietnam during the war to find and kill a colonel who's gone rogue. 

Full of disturbing sequences and shocking moments, it's a transgressive look at war, colonialism, masculinity and derangement, and features a brief but stunning performance from Marlon Brando as that terrifying colonel, Kurtz. 

It's also renowned for its visual flair, from stunning helicopter sequences to its flickering, dark night-time finale. The new restoration also looks astonishing, especially on a top-class TV – like any of those we've included in our list of the best OLED TVs

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.