Top 10 Special Forces Units From Movies

Written by Sadie Perkins In real life, special forces are the secretive groups of elite soldiers that carry out the most dangerous missions, these are their best portrayals in movies. WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Special Forces Units from Movies! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be the United States Navy SEALs, as seen in "Lone Survivor" and "Zero Dark Thirty", or DELTA Force from "Black Hawk Down"? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to Andrew A. Dennison for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Special+Forces+Units+From+Movies

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Sometimes, you need to call in the specialists to get things done. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Special Forces units from movies.

For this list, we’re looking at real big screen Special Forces units. So individuals, regular force units, or fictional sci-fi groups won’t be included.

#10: U.S. Navy SEALs
“Tears of the Sun” (2003)

One of the United States’ most famous special forces units, the Navy SEALs are frequently tasked with high risk operations, like the search and rescue mission Bruce Willis leads in Tears of the Sun. Navigating difficult jungle terrain and needing to stay beneath enemy radar, the SEAL team is capable of both completing the rescue as well as remaining calm and rational when exchanging gunfire with rebel forces. The ability to make quick decisions based on the situation at hand, regardless of the original plan, is one of the qualities that makes the Navy SEALs such an effective fighting force here.

#9: SWAT
“S.W.A.T.” (2003)

A section of law enforcement that borders on the military, the Special Weapons And Tactics team in S.W.A.T specializes in crimes that go beyond your standard hit and runs. Faced with a drug lord and violent confrontations with thugs, the SWAT team handles intense firefights and hostile situations that the regular LAPD is less equipped to deal with. Working long and demanding hours and unwilling to quit until the mission is completed, the LA SWAT team is built solidly enough to withstand extreme pressure from both the thugs trying to pick them off, and the betrayal that comes from within their own ranks.

#8: U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance Sniper Team [aka FORECON]
“Shooter” (2007)

Typically sent behind enemy lines to perform covert special operations, the Force Recon Sniper Team contains some of the best snipers on the planet. In Shooter, Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger, played by Mark Wahlberg, uses the finely honed skills he gained from his time within the FORECON Team to calculate his shots with laser accuracy, going so far as to even take into consideration the rotation of the earth. Able to act either as part of a team or alone if needed, the snipers within FORECON are lethal and effective, using careful calculations and advanced field knowledge to complete their mission, or in Swagger’s case, to clear their name.

#7: British Special Air Service [aka SAS]
“Bravo Two Zero” (1999)

Americans might have the flashiest names, but they're not the only player in the Special Forces game; the UK’s Special Air Service holds its own when it comes to covert ops behind enemy lines just as well. Charged with unconventional missions, like the locating of Iraqi Scud missiles in Bravo Two Zero, members of the SAS are trained to blend into challenging desert surroundings while eliminating insurgent forces as quickly and efficiently as possible. When faced with hostile situations such as firefights and even capture, the team led by Andy McNab calls upon the intense training the SAS is prepared with in order to keep the upper hand.

#6: U.S. Navy SEALs
“Act of Valor” (2012)

Demonstrating their adaptive ability to engage in combat regardless of location or situation, the SEAL team in Act of Valor moves from Costa Rica to Somalia to the U.S Mexican border, to a myriad of American cities tracking their target. As the “SEAL” itself stands for Sea, Air, and Land, the team led by Lieutenant Rorke navigates intensive marine, aerial, and land-based combat situations with the same steely organization we’ve come to expect from some of America’s finest. The tight-knit brotherhood within the Bandito Platoon lets Rorke and the rest of the SEALs keep their mission and each other as top priority, regardless of the sacrifices it demands.

#5: U. S. Army Special Forces [aka The Green Berets]
“Predator” (1987)

Though they’re facing a sci-fi adversary in the film, the Green Berets are a force that scares the regular criminals of the world just as badly. Responsible for undertaking high-risk missions like the rescue of hostages from guerrilla territory, teams like the one headed by Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer utilize camouflage, extensive weapons knowledge, and steely strength of will to navigate hostile territory even while being hunted. Using resourcefulness and problem solving, Schaefer’s team constructs a variety of traps for the creature stalking them, proving that the Berets’ skill in battle is a threat to more than just humans.

#4: Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais [aka BOPE]
“Elite Squad” (2007)

Similar to the American S.W.A.T teams, the BOPE units in Brazil are specialists in urban warfare and restricted combat zones, with access to more militaristic weaponry than the regular police force. Spending most of their time dealing with drug-related crimes in the slums of the inner city, Captain Roberto Nascimento’s team is hardened and stoic, forced through intensive physical and mental training to prove themselves and earn a place on the BOPE team. Faced with the corruption and temptation that riddle the police forces of Brazil, members of the BOPE squad are tried and tested, pushed to their limits to ensure that they are the one special forces unit the public can count on.

#3: Navy SEALs [aka SEAL Team 10]
“Lone Survivor” (2013)

Specializing in Middle Eastern Operations, SEAL Team 10 was tasked with assassinating Taliban leader Ahmad Shah during Operation Red Wings. Showing the same SEAL ability to retain humanity without compromising the focus of their mission as seen in a previous entry, the team in this war thriller decides to allow unarmed civilians to go free, though they realize the risk of alerting Taliban forces to their position. Forced to trek through rocky and difficult terrain while exchanging gunfire with insurgents, SEAL Team 10 not only relies on their formidable physical stamina, but also on the mental perseverance the doomed mission demands from them - showing once again that it takes more than facing the impossible to phase the SEALs.

#2: 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta [aka Delta Force]
“Black Hawk Down” (2002)

It’s often in the face of the greatest adversary that the bravest shine brightest. During the Battle of Mogadishu and following the crash of Black Hawk Super-Six One, an assembly of America’s elite Army Rangers works desperately to rescue the wounded crewmembers of the helicopter. Delta Force, specializing in counterterrorism and - in this film - sniper support, fights the clock and the odds against them, while waiting for reinforcements and a chance to initiate a rescue. It’s the tenacity and discipline of Delta Force in the face of tragedy that set them apart, along with their determination to put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.

#1: United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group [aka SEAL Team Six and DEVGRU]
“Zero Dark Thirty” (2012)

Responsible for carrying out arguably the most famous Special Forces operation of all time, SEAL Team Six claims the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden. After an almost ten year manhunt for the Al-Qaeda leader, DEVGRU teams assisted by the CIA SAD Division were sent in to raid a compound suspected to be housing bin Laden. As the U.S Navy’s primary counter terrorism response unit and operating under the highest level of secrecy, with the White House or Department of Defense often declining to comment on the unit’s activities, the DEVGRU operatives were able to both breach the Al-Qaeda compound and complete the mission with relative smoothness, ending a tiny chapter in the global book of terrorism.

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