Medieval movies have always been a popular genre for movie lovers who want to be transported to a different time. These movies offer a glimpse into a world of knights, castles, and epic battles. Here are the top 10 medieval movies that you should watch.
Medieval movies have always been popular among movie enthusiasts. These movies provide a glimpse into the historical era of knights, castles, and battles. There are several movies that have been made on this theme, but only a few have managed to capture the essence of the medieval period. In this article, we will discuss some of the best medieval movies that are a must-watch for anyone interested in this genre.
From epic battles to intricate costumes, medieval movies are known for their attention to detail. These movies transport the audience to a different time and place, where they can experience the thrill of adventure and the excitement of battle. The best medieval movies not only entertain but also educate the audience about the customs and traditions of the medieval period. In this article, we will explore some of the most captivating medieval movies that have stood the test of time and continue to be popular among movie enthusiasts.
List of Best Medieval Movies
- Andrei Rublev
- Henry V
- Northern Crusades
- The Last Duel
- Seven Samurai
- The Return of Martin Guerre
- Richard III
- The King
- El Cid
- How To Train Your Dragon
- Knight’s Tale
- Catherine Called Birdy
- Romeo and Juliet
- The Warriors End
- The Princess Bride
Andrei Rublev (1966)
This movie tells the story of a medieval Russian icon painter and his journey through a tumultuous period of Russian history. The film is a masterpiece of cinematography and storytelling, and it is a must-watch for anyone interested in medieval history.
Set in medieval Russia, “Andrei Rublev” portrays the life and struggles of the eponymous painter during a tumultuous period of political and social upheaval. The film delves into themes of artistic expression, faith, and the human condition. A fan of medieval movies should watch this masterpiece for its profound exploration of medieval life, stunning cinematography, and ability to transport viewers to a bygone era with its immersive storytelling.
2. Henry V (1989)
This movie follows the story of King Henry V of England and his campaign to conquer France. The film is a stirring portrayal of medieval warfare and the politics of the time. It is a great movie for history buffs and fans of action movies alike.
“Henry V” is a cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, recounting the events of the famous Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years’ War. It showcases the rise of King Henry V and his leadership in rallying the English troops against the French. Fans of medieval movies will appreciate this film for its rich dialogue, epic battle scenes, and charismatic portrayal of a legendary historical figure.
3. Northern Crusades (1972)
This movie is set in the 13th century and tells the story of the Crusades in the Baltic region. The film is a gripping portrayal of the brutal realities of medieval warfare and the religious fervor that drove the Crusaders.
This historical documentary sheds light on the Northern Crusades, a series of military campaigns conducted by the Christian Teutonic Knights against the Baltic pagans during the medieval era. It explores the clash of cultures, religious fervor, and the complex motivations behind these Crusades. Fans of medieval movies will find this documentary fascinating for its in-depth examination of a lesser-known aspect of medieval history and its attention to historical accuracy.
4. The Last Duel (2021)
This movie is based on a true story and tells the tale of a medieval duel between two knights. The film is a thrilling portrayal of medieval chivalry and the honour code of the knights.
Based on real events, “The Last Duel” takes place in medieval France and tells the gripping story of a knight who challenges his friend to a duel to settle a dispute. The film explores themes of honour, justice, and the roles of women in medieval society. Fans of medieval movies should watch this thought-provoking and visually stunning film for its captivating narrative, intense performances, and its exploration of medieval chivalry and societal norms.
5. Seven Samurai (1954)
This movie is set in medieval Japan and tells the story of a group of samurai who are hired to protect a village from bandits. The film is a masterpiece of storytelling and cinematography, and it is a must-watch for anyone interested in Japanese history.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa, “Seven Samurai” is set in 16th-century Japan and follows a group of samurai who defend a village from bandits. This epic film blends action, drama, and historical context, depicting the struggles of the samurai class and the resilience of the common people. A fan of medieval movies will be enthralled by the masterful storytelling, iconic characters, and immersive portrayal of feudal Japan.
6. Elizabeth (1998)
This historical drama focuses on the early years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign in 16th-century England. The film delves into the political intrigue, religious conflicts, and personal struggles faced by the young queen as she establishes her authority and navigates a treacherous court.
With lavish costumes, stunning cinematography, and a powerful performance by Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth brings the Tudor era to life. Fans of medieval movies should watch Elizabeth for its gripping storytelling, rich historical setting, and its exploration of power dynamics and personal sacrifice in a medieval-inspired context.
7. 300 (2006)
This movie is set in ancient Greece and tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae. The film is a visually stunning portrayal of ancient warfare and the heroism of the Spartan warriors.
300 transports viewers to ancient Greece during the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas and his small army of Spartan warriors face off against the massive Persian forces. This visually stunning film combines historical events with stylized action, showcasing the legendary bravery and resilience of the Spartans. Fans of medieval movies will be drawn to the film’s epic battles, heroic characters, and its ability to capture the spirit of ancient warfare in a visually spectacular manner.
8. Gladiator (2000)
This movie is set in ancient Rome and tells the story of a gladiator who seeks revenge against the emperor who killed his family. The film is a thrilling portrayal of ancient Roman society and the brutal world of gladiatorial combat.
Set in ancient Rome, Gladiator follows the story of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a general betrayed by the new Emperor and forced into slavery. Seeking revenge, Maximus rises through the ranks of gladiators, captivating the masses with his fighting prowess. Fans of medieval movies will appreciate the grandeur of the Roman Empire, the intense combat scenes, and the exploration of themes such as loyalty, sacrifice, and the triumph of the human spirit.
9. Macbeth (1948)
This movie is based on the Shakespearean play and tells the story of the Scottish king who is consumed by ambition and driven to madness. The film is a haunting portrayal of medieval Scotland and the dark forces that drove Macbeth to his downfall.
Based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth tells the haunting tale of a Scottish nobleman consumed by ambition and driven to commit regicide in order to seize the throne. The film showcases the treacherous journey of Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, as they descend into madness and guilt. Set in a medieval Scottish setting, the movie captures the dark atmosphere and moral dilemmas of the original play. Macbeth is a must-watch for medieval movie enthusiasts who appreciate complex characters, tragic narratives, and the timeless brilliance of Shakespeare’s works.
10. The Return of Martin Guerre (1982)
This 1982 French film tells the story of a man who returns to his village after being away for years, only for his identity to be called into question. The film’s structure is built around the mystery of Martin’s true identity, with each scene adding to the intrigue and suspense. It’s a masterclass in how to structure a mystery plot.
The Return of Martin Guerre is a historical drama with elements of mystery and romance. It is set in a medieval French village and explores the themes of identity, loyalty, and betrayal. It is a great example of a medieval movie that manages to balance historical accuracy with entertainment value. The film’s themes are timeless and resonate with audiences today.
11. Richard III (1995)
This film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play features a complex plot filled with political intrigue and betrayal. The film’s structure is built around the rise and fall of Richard III, with each scene revealing more about his character and motivations. It’s a great example of how to structure a character study.
Richard III is a must-watch for anyone who is interested in medieval history or Shakespearean plays. The movie is a faithful adaptation of the play and features some of the best performances by actors like Ian McKellen and Annette Bening. The movie also features stunning cinematography and a haunting score that perfectly captures the mood of the story.
12. Excalibur (1981)
This 1981 film tells the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the round table. The film’s structure is built around the quest for the holy grail, with each scene adding to the sense of adventure and wonder. It’s a great example of how to structure a fantasy epic.
The film is known for its stunning visuals, elaborate costumes, and dramatic storytelling. The movie is a perfect blend of action, adventure, romance, and magic. The movie also features performances from notable actors such as Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, and Gabriel Byrne.
13. The King (2019)
The King is a historical drama movie that tells the story of King Henry V and his ascension to the throne of England. The movie follows the young king as he navigates the treacherous political landscape of medieval Europe and leads his army into battle against the French.
The King stars Timothée Chalamet as King Henry V, Joel Edgerton as Falstaff, and Robert Pattinson as the Dauphin of France. The movie was directed by David Michôd and co-written by Michôd and Edgerton. The King is a must-watch for anyone who loves historical dramas or epic battle scenes.
14. Troy (2004)
Troy is a 2004 epic war film that tells the story of the Trojan War. The film is loosely based on Homer’s Iliad and follows the conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans. The film focuses on the character of Achilles, the greatest warrior in Greece, and his role in the war.
Troy features a star-studded cast, including Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, Orlando Bloom as Paris, and Diane Kruger as Helen. The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen, who is known for his work on other epic films such as The Perfect Storm and Das Boot.
15. El Cid (1961)
Set in medieval Spain, “El Cid” follows the legendary warrior Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, known as El Cid. The film portrays his struggle to unite the Christian and Moorish factions during the Reconquista.
Fans of medieval movies should watch “El Cid” for its epic battles, captivating storytelling, and Charlton Heston’s powerful performance as the titular hero.
16. Willow (1988)
Willow is a fantasy adventure set in a medieval-like world. The film tells the story of a reluctant dwarf named Willow Ufgood who embarks on a quest to protect a baby destined to overthrow an evil queen.
With its enchanting visuals, mythical creatures, and a charming hero’s journey, Willow is a must-watch for medieval movie fans seeking an immersive and magical experience.
17. Brave (2012)
Although not strictly medieval, “Brave” is set in a mythical ancient Scotland and captures the spirit of that era. The film follows Princess Merida as she defies tradition, seeking to control her own destiny through archery and bravery.
Brave offers a unique blend of medieval-inspired themes, breathtaking animation, and a strong female protagonist, making it a compelling choice for fans of medieval movies.
18. How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
While set in a Viking world, “How to Train Your Dragon” presents a delightful twist on the medieval genre. The story revolves around Hiccup, a young Viking who befriends a rare dragon and challenges his society’s traditional view of these creatures.
With thrilling aerial battles, endearing characters, and a heartwarming coming-of-age narrative, “How to Train Your Dragon” appeals to medieval movie enthusiasts seeking an imaginative and adventurous tale.
19. Knight’s Tale (2001)
Knight’s Tale transports viewers to medieval Europe, where a peasant named William Thatcher poses as a nobleman to compete in jousting tournaments.
This lighthearted and entertaining film blends medieval authenticity with modern elements, including anachronistic music and humor. With its charismatic cast, exciting tournament sequences, and an underdog story, “Knight’s Tale” offers a refreshing and enjoyable take on the medieval genre.
20. Catherine Called Birdy (2022)
Based on the novel of the same name, “Catherine Called Birdy” is a historical drama set in 13th-century England. The film follows Catherine, a spirited teenage girl from a noble family, as she rebels against her arranged marriages and navigates the challenges of medieval society.
With its authentic portrayal of medieval life, strong character development, and themes of female empowerment, “Catherine Called Birdy” is a must-watch for medieval movie enthusiasts seeking a thought-provoking and engaging story.
21. Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Although not a traditional medieval movie, “Romeo and Juliet” is set in Renaissance Italy, offering a similar atmosphere and themes. This iconic Shakespearean tragedy tells the tale of two young lovers from feuding families and their ill-fated romance.
With its poetic language, timeless themes of love and tragedy, and sumptuous period setting, “Romeo and Juliet” appeal to fans of medieval movies looking for a classic tale of passion and conflict.
22. The Warriors End (2009)
“The Warriors End” is a gripping medieval epic that follows a band of knights on a dangerous quest to save their kingdom from an invading force. The film explores themes of honor, loyalty, and sacrifice while showcasing intense battle scenes and intricate political intrigue.
With its realistic depiction of medieval warfare, complex characters, and compelling narrative, “The Warriors End” is a must-watch for fans of medieval movies craving an immersive and thrilling cinematic experience.
23. The Princess Bride (1987)
This beloved cult classic combines romance, adventure, and humor in a medieval fairy tale. The story follows Westley, a farm boy, and his quest to rescue Princess Buttercup from an evil prince.
Filled with sword fights, giants, and witty dialogue, it captures the essence of medieval storytelling with a modern twist. Fans of medieval movies should watch The Princess Bride for its charming characters, timeless humor, and its ability to simultaneously celebrate and parody the tropes of the genre.
24. Ivanhoe (1952)
Based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Ivanhoe is set in 12th-century England during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. The film follows the titular character as he returns from the Crusades to reclaim his love and protect his country from a power-hungry prince.
With epic battles, chivalry, and a complex web of alliances, Ivanhoe offers a compelling narrative that showcases medieval themes of honor, loyalty, and heroism. Fans of medieval movies should watch Ivanhoe for its grand scale, historical setting, and its exploration of the medieval code of chivalry.
25. Ben-Hur (1959)
Set in ancient Rome, Ben-Hur tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who is betrayed by his childhood friend and condemned to slavery. The film follows his journey of redemption and revenge, culminating in a thrilling chariot race.
While not strictly medieval, Ben-Hur offers a visually stunning portrayal of ancient times, with themes of honor, justice, and resilience that resonate across historical periods. Fans of medieval movies should watch Ben-Hur for its epic spectacle, intense action sequences, and its exploration of timeless themes of justice and redemption.
Here are a few movies that didn’t make this list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Outlaw King (2018)
- Kagemusha (1980)
- Kingdom Of Heaven (2005)