From old school classics like Joan of Arc to modern-day hits like The Green Knight, we’ve rounded up the best medieval movies that you need to watch!
Grab some popcorn and settle in for the top 15 greatest medieval movies. 🍿
15. The Messenger: Joan of Arc (1999)
The star of the movie is Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc which takes place during the Hundred Years’ War in the 14th century.The movie follows Joan of Arc’s life from childhood to adulthood as she receives a vision that drives her to fight for France and rid it of its oppressors. The film was both a critical and financial success, grossing $70 million.
14. Gladiator (2000)
The most iconic medieval movie ever made is Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe as Maximus, a former general seeking revenge against the corrupt emperor who killed his family. The movie was a huge box office success and is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made.
Gladiator won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, and has received over 1.5 million votes on IMDb. It remains a must-watch for any fan of medieval movie fan.
13. Shrek (2001)
One of the top medieval movies of all time is Shrek (2001), an animated film released by DreamWorks Pictures with a budget of $60 million. The movie follows the adventures of an unlikely hero, an ogre named Shrek, as he attempts to rescue Princess Fiona and regain his freedom.
The movie features an all-star voice cast, including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. Shrek was a massive success at the box office, earning $488 million and spawning a franchise that includes three sequels, a spinoff film and multiple television specials.
12. The Lion in Winter (2003)
The Lion in Winter is a 2003 made-for-television remake of the (1968) classic historical drama directed by Anthony Harvey and written by James Goldman.
While the 1968 version may be old it is one known as one of the greatest medieval movies. The Lion in Winter remains a timeless classic that still resonates with today’s audiences.
11. Troy (2004)
Troy is no doubt a mega hit, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, based on the classic tale of the Greeks led by Agamemnon and the mighty Achilles. Starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom, the movie portrays the war between the Greek and the Trojan empires.
The story centers around the abduction of Helen by Paris, the son of King Priam, from under the nose of Menelaus, the King of Sparta. Released in 2004, Troy is easily a top pick for one of the greatest medieval movies ever made.
10. King Arthur (2004)
Another mega-hit and one of the best medieval movies of all time is King Arthur (2004), which is a popular adaptation of the mythical Arthurian legends. Starring Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, and Mads Mikkelsen, this film focuses on Roman officer Arthur who is sent on one last mission on behalf of Rome. The movie is rated PG-13 and with around 2.2 hours duration.
09. Kingdom Of Heaven (2005)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005) is a historical drama directed by Ridley Scott and is widely considered as one of the best medieval movies of all time. Starring Orlando Bloom and Eva Green, it features an ensemble cast that includes Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Edward Norton, and Michael Sheen. The film follows Balian of Ibelin (Bloom) as he travels to Jerusalem to defend the kingdom against the invasion of Sultan Saladin.
Kingdom of Heaven was praised for its stunning visuals and compelling storytelling, bringing the era of the Crusades to life in vivid detail. The film explores the themes of faith, loyalty, and courage during a time of intense warfare between Europe and the East. Overall, Kingdom of Heaven is a must-see medieval movie that will transport you to a different time and place.
08. Valhalla Rising (2009)
Valhalla Rising (2009) is a Viking movie that follows a pagan warrior and a young boy who escape their captors and join a group of Crusaders on their quest to the Holy Land. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Mads Mikkelsen, Valhalla Rising is a great choice for fans of Mikkelsen or anyone who can get on Refn’s wavelength.
This movie is a notable example of the Viking movie genre and adds to the list of must-watch Medieval films. In contrast, The Northman (2022), directed by Robert Eggers and starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman & Claes Bang, is a dark period thriller that promises to be a must-see addition to the Medieval genre. Whether you prefer the classics or the latest releases, there’s no shortage of great Medieval movies to choose from.
07. Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (2009)
Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (2009) is an adventure, drama and romance movie that takes viewers on Mulan’s fantastical journey as a leader, exploring themes of loyalty, bravery, and honor. Directed by Jingle Ma and Wei Dong, the movie stars Wei Zhao, Jaycee Chan, and Kun Chen.
The film has a runtime of 114 minutes and an IMDb rating of 6,659 votes. Partially inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the movie also features classic rock songs such as Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. Mulan: Rise of a Warrior is a treasured classic for fans of medieval movies who appreciate a strong female lead and an epic story.
06. Robin Hood (2018)
One of the newest additions to the list of best medieval movies is Robin Hood (2018). Directed by Otto Bathurst, this action-adventure film follows Robin of Loxley, a lord who returns from the Crusades to find Nottingham oppressed by the Sheriff. Robin, along with his band of Merry Men, takes matters into their own hands to fight against corruption and injustice.
Although not as well-received as some other medieval movies, Robin Hood (2018) has its own unique take on the classic tale and features a talented cast that includes Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, and Ben Mendelsohn. The movie has an IMDb rating of 5.3/10 and is available to watch on Netflix. Overall, Robin Hood (2018) provides an entertaining twist on a beloved hero and is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
05. The King (2019)
One of the best medieval movies made in recent years is The King (2019), directed by David Michod and written by Joel Edgerton and David Michod. The movie features an all-star cast including Timothee Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton, Lily-Rose Depp, Sean Harris, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Released on Netflix, The King received critical acclaim for its performances and storyline. The movie follows King Henry V of England’s accession to the throne and his struggles with ruling in a world of hidden intentions. Overall, The King (2019) is a must-watch for any fan of medieval dramas.
04. The Green Knight (2021)
The Green Knight (2021) is a recent addition to the list of greatest medieval movies ever made. Directed and produced by David Lowery, this epic fantasy is an adaptation of the King Arthur legend. The movie stars Dev Patel as Sir Gawain and Ralph Ineson as the Green Knight, with Alicia Vikander (Essel), Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, and Sean Harris (King Arthur) playing supporting roles.
Loosely based on the story “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” the movie integrates fantasy elements to create a visually stunning cinematic experience. The Green Knight has received critical acclaim, with an impressive 89% Rotten Tomatoes rating. It is currently streaming on Fubo TV and is a must-watch for fans of the medieval genre.
03. The Last Duel (2021)
One of the newest additions to the list of the greatest medieval movies ever made is The Last Duel (2021). Directed by Ridley Scott and written by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Nicole Holofcener, this historical drama is based on the novel, The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager.
The plot follows the story of Knight Jean de Carrouges, who challenges Jacques Le Gris to a duel to protect the honor of his wife in the court of King Charles VI. The movie has been rated 7.4/10 on IMDb and 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it a must-watch for fans of medieval movies.
02. The Northman (2022)
The Northman is similar to the viking movie “Hamlet”. Directed by Robert Eggers and starring Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Willem Dafoe, among others. The film takes place in Iceland during the 10th century and follows a young Viking prince seeking revenge against his father’s murderers.
The Northman is set to be Eggers’ third feature film, following his critically acclaimed horror film The Witch and his psychological thriller The Lighthouse. With an all-star cast and a gripping storyline, The Northman is poised to be one of the most anticipated films of the year. Fans of historical dramas and thrillers alike should mark their calendars for the film’s release and prepare for a thrilling ride through the Viking age.
01. Medieval (2022)
Medieval initially released in 2022, was a highly-anticipated movie that promises to transport its viewers back in time to the Middle Ages. The film centers around the story of Jan Zizka, a fifteenth-century Czech hero and warlord who beat forces from the Teutonic Order and the Holy Roman Empire.
With an experienced director at the helm and a promising premise, Medieval is poised to be a fair standout film in the historical drama genre.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do so many medieval movies have such awful costume design?
Budgetary constraints may contribute to poor costume design as film-makers may not have the budget to create the lavish designs of medieval times.
- What are some of the coolest things about the Middle Ages?
The Middle Ages saw the rise of powerful empires and kingdoms, such as the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Kingdom of France. It was also a time of great innovation, with notable advancements in fields such as medicine, engineering, and agriculture. The era is also known for its iconic architecture, breathtaking art, and epic literature.
- What is the oldest medieval movie ever made?
Some early examples of medieval-themed movies or films include “The Passion Play of Oberammergau” (1898), “The Knights of the Round Table” (1913), Jeanne d’Arc (1900). The first Robin Hood film dates back to 1907 and “The Ghost of Auldbrass” was released in (1913) according to historians.
The medieval era has always been fascinating to people, and it is no surprise that countless movies have been made in this genre. From classic films such as “Hamlet” and “El Cid” to modern-day masterpieces like “The Green Knight” and “The Last Duel,” there is no shortage of captivating movies set in medieval times.
Do you have a favorite medieval movie that didn’t make our list?
Let us know in the comments below 🙂