Ranking The Best Medieval Movies of All Time

The last two centuries are not the first to create content and images of life during the medieval times. It’s been 5 centuries since the Middle Ages have passed us, and in each of those centuries, people imagined, portrayed and depicted this Medieval period through paintings, architecture, poetry, music, and novels. But the film industry in the 20th century defined Medieval history more than any other medium, book, painting, etc.. Even though the conclusions of academic research, and findings of archeology have given us advanced knowledge and information of the Middle Ages, nothing has a bigger influence on us than the images created by a movie. Just as most people’s perceptions of the American Wild West were drawn from cinema, versus source material or academic research. But after all, movies are made for entertainment and with all that said we can still relax with a good movie that is set in the Medieval Ages.



So what are the best medieval movies? Famous Kings, vicious sword fights, jousting, sprinting war horses… fire, pillaging, armored knights, people with English accents saying “m’lady” and “ye”… This is our list of all the greatest medieval movies ever made, from movies about The Dark Ages to Renaissance films. Many of these may also be considered to be movies about medieval knights. The best movies that take place in the Middle Ages are listed below.

1. Braveheart

Director: Mel Gibson
Cast: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormack, Patrick McGoohan

2. Monthy Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Cast: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones



3.Kingdom of Heaven

Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Edward Norton

4. The Name of the Rose

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Cast: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Ron Perlman

5. Excalibur

Director: John Boorman
Cast: Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

6. A Knight’s Tale

Director: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon

7. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

8. King Arthur

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Ray Winstone

9. The 13th Warrior

Directors: Michael Crichton, John McTiernan
Cast: Omar Sharif, Antonio Banderas, Tony Curran

10. Henry V

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Christian Bale, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench

11. The Princess Bride

Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin



12. Ivanhoe

Director: Richard Thrope
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Taylor, Joan Fontaine

13. Ladyhawke

Director: Richard Donner
Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer, Matthew Broderick

14. The Vikings

Director: Richard Fleischer
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh

15. The Lion in Winter

Director: Anthony Harvey
Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins

16. Dragonheart

Director: Rob Cohen
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery, Dina Meyer, David Thewlis

17. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey

18. Beowulf

Director: Graham Baker
Cast: Cristopher Lambert, Rhona Mitra, Patricia Velásquez, Layla Roberts

19. Highlander

Director: Russel Mulcahu
Cast: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Roxanne Hart

20. First Knight

Director: Jerry Zucker
Cast: Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond, Ben Cross

15 comments

  1. no.1 es do not deserve it’s positions, as it’s a total falasy of the life of William Wallace, Hollywood invention, not factual

  2. I’d knock a few of those off this list such as a Knight’s Tale, The Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Instead, I’d add El Cid, The Warlord, Knights of the Round Table and Errol Flynn’s version of Robin Hood.

  3. I love “The Princess Bride”, “Dragonheart”, “Highlander”. But these movies have very little to do with the actual historical context. In fact, entire list is a mix of pure fantasy,comedy, love dramas and not-so-historically-correct books adaptations, all set in the medieval entourage. Closest to the reality, imho, are amazing “Braveheart”, “The Name of the Rose” and decent “Kingdom of Heaven”. So I don’t understand the principle behind compiling such a list.

  4. Come on. Historical understanding leaves a bit to be desired.

    Anything before 1000AD is DARK Ages; from the Fall of theRoman Empire – 444AD – to the Norman Conquest. Europe fell “dark” – records we’re reliable and chaos stalked the Continent.

    That rules out all but 7 on this list. One way of cutting it down, I suppose.

    And as for Arthur being a blonde… 🙄

  5. Edited for autocorrect…

    Come on. Historical understanding leaves a bit to be desired.

    Anything before 1000AD is DARK Ages; from the Fall of the Roman Empire – 444AD – to the Norman Conquest. Europe fell “dark” – records were unreliable and chaos stalked the Continent.

    That rules out all but 7 on this list. One way of cutting it down, I suppose.

    And as for Arthur being a blonde… 🙄

  6. There was a movie with Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh that I saw under two different names. One was Flesh + Blood & the other was…something and the Rose. I thought it was among the most accurate movies I’ve seen in terms of the live, the attitudes, etc. It wasn’t based on any actual events, which helped. All of the characters were absolutely ruthless. The scope was small and local, which was good. Nothing overarching, no cosmic evil. Hauer plays the leader of a mercenary band hired by a displaced noble to get the noble’s city back. Then the nobleman double-crosses Hauer & c and the game is on. And no real spoilers; that’s like the first ten minutes of the movie. It’s set in 1509, which could be considered Mediaeval or Early Modern, but it’s pre-Reformation and 1453 always was a bit arbitrary.

    Name of the Rose, Lion in Winter, and Henry V all belong. Robin Hood was bloody awful. What about Becket? With Peter O’Toole as Henry II, a role he reprised in Lion in Winter. The only actor nominated for an Oscar playing the same character in two different movies.

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