How the U.S. Military Manufactures Consent Using Movies


Have you noticed the number of movies over the last five years that are overwhelmingly pro-military?

They all kind of feel the same. Maybe it’s the Navy taking out aliens in the ocean, or the Air Force sparring with Iron Man, or the Army in Godzilla. But the feel is nearly identical.

The military is always super organized, the people take care of each other while kicking ass, and most of all—it just feels like a great career choice.

Ever notice the massive number of miniorities—especially Hispanics—being shown in these scenes? It’s almost like the military is using blockbuster movies as direct marketing push to attract its favored demographics.

Only this isn’t some sort of conspiracy, it’s a fact. Many of today’s biggest movies are essentially massive commercials for the Military that target minorities and the poor.

Meet the Military marketing team for movies

Both the U.S. Military and the CIA have movie groups. It’s not all bad, you understand. I’m sure a good portion of it, at least for the Military, is just aimed at having some accuracy in scenes.

But there are darker sides as well: overt propaganda that glamorizes torture, like in Zero Dark Thirty, and overt marketing to the disenfranchised to get them to join.

The cycle

If I were cynical, I’d say this is the knight’s move:

  1. Corporations are rising to power, above all else

  2. They need resources overseas, as ours are limited

  3. To get resources overseas, they need access to those countries

  4. Wars or military actions (or whatever their euphemism) are ways to do this

  5. Using their “individual” influence, they can push officials towards war

  6. Those wars need people, so the military markets to minorities and the poor through popular films

  7. Simultaneously, corporations are destroying low-wage jobs, and trying to eliminate the need for human workers altogether through automation

So you essentially have corporations influencing our government, which results in their ability to go overseas and harvest other peoples’ resources, which they will dump into profits while trying to eliminate jobs or lower wages, so that the only good options for more and more Americans will be serving in the military that enables those profits.

Well played.

Again, it’s not as if all corporations are doing this. Most aren’t. And it’s not as if the people working at the corporations who are doing it even know that it’s happening. Most don’t. And it’s also not as if those same corporations aren’t also doing great things. Most are.

So it’s muddy business trying to figure out who the good guys and bad guys are in this. The short answer is most everyone, including us happless souls who are just watching, are both the good and bad guys. We’re the good guys because we’re the victims. And we’re the bad guys because we’re not doing anything about it.

Only one thing is clear: we should be paying more attention.


  1. Note that it’s illegal for the Military to target young people in many places, such as high schools, college campuses, etc. This is because it’s considered unethical to hit people when they’re full of doubt and fill their heads with a narrative they won’t be able to resist. Well, this is precisely what they’re doing with these movie marketing campaigns.

  2. I served in the Army for a number of years after high school, so I’m keenly aware of what it’s like to be this 16-19 year-old watching movies like this. This stuff is powerful.

  3. Keep in mind that I’m not saying all military service is bad. First, it’s necessary in our world. Second, there are many causes that the military are part of that are absolutely noble. Third, I served myself and am proud to have done so. This shouldn’t stop us from criticizing our military when we think it’s right. That’s the American thing to do.





  8. Why the Navy Produced Battleship

Related posts: