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Sunday, June 13, 2021

5 of The Best Medieval Movies of All Time

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Throughout time, people have imagined and tried to recreate the past through paintings, architecture, poetry, music, and novels.

In the 21st century, the film industry has defined Medieval history more than any other book or painting.

Please note that these films are not historically accurate – they are ranked based on entertainment purposes only.

Ranking The Best Medieval Movies of All Time

Nothing has a bigger influence on us than the images created by a movie.

So what are the best medieval movies of all time?

Expect to see famous kings, large battles, vicious sword fights, jousting, sprinting war horses.

1. Braveheart – Number 1 of the best medieval movies of all time

If you haven’t seen Braveheart, you have not lived; please go and watch it right now.

Our top-ranked movie blew the box office, going on to win five Oscars, including Best Picture, and remains one of the most loved historical films of all time.

Mel Gibson’s Braveheart tells the story of Scotland’s great hero William Wallace, a rebel who raised a homegrown army to challenge the tyrannical British crown, and who sacrificed everything he loved in the name of freedom.

Braveheart is an excellent movie.

The movie is set in 13th century Britain.

William Wallace is a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler who wishes to inherit the crown of Scotland for himself.

When he was a young boy, William Wallace’s father and brother, along with many others, lost their lives trying to free Scotland.

braveheart medieval movie

William Wallace begins his long quest to make Scotland free once and for all, along with the assistance of Robert the Bruce.

The characters involved are amazing. The plot is gripping. And the whole movie has a sense of wonder and originality.

When I first watched Braveheart, I thought it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

However, like most things this movie is surrounded by controversy largely because of the historical and inaccuracies involved with this.

Dates were wrong. Events were made up. Characters were used freely in and out of context

So if I had known about the historical inaccuracies in advance, would that have changed anything?

The answer is no.

Watch it online by clicking the link below.

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


2. Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven has it all.

A great storyline of a man from rags to riches, large scale battles, clever political interactions, and a touching take on the crusades.

It is set in the time of the Crusades during the Middle Ages.

A blacksmith named Balian (Orlando Bloom) has lost his family and his faith.

Kingdom of heaven medieval

Destiny comes seeking Balian in the form of a great knight, Godfrey of Ibelin, a Crusader briefly home to France from fighting in the East.

In Jerusalem, a fragile peace prevails, through the efforts of its enlightened Christian king, Baldwin IV, aided by his advisor Tiberias, and the military restraint of the legendary Muslim leader Saladin Ayubi.

Kingdom of Heaven is an entertaining and spectacular film.

My personal take on this film – I have seen the theatrical version and I also have seen the directors cut.

Please take the time to watch the directors cut.

The storyline is filled out and the motivations and characters are fleshed out.

The Director’s cut should have been the official version of the movie, the theatrical cut is a poor excuse.

Watch the Director’s Cut of Kingdom of Heaven by clicking HERE.

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


3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

This is a Guy Ritchie movie (think Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) and provides an alternative version of the King Arthur legend.

As a boy, Arthur is left orphaned after his father.

Arthur is raised in a brothel, knowing very little of his birthright.

Vortigern wants Arthur dead, to ensure there is no claimant to the throne. The legends foretell that only the next king will be able to draw Excalibur, Uther’s sword, from the rock where it is lodged.

So, in an effort to identify Arthur, Vortigern forces all the young men of Arthur’s age to attempt to draw out the sword.

Now it is Arthur’s turn.

King Arthur is a medieval, mythological figure.

Most of you would already be familiar with his story, taking the sword out of the stone, making friends with Merlin the wizard, establishing the Knights of the Round Table.

His legend has been popularized by many writers.

It is not known if there was a real Arthur.

This Guy Ritchie film has a clever take on the story of King Arthur, telling it in his usual style of fast-paced wit and quick shots.

Yes, this isn’t your typical king Arthur movie, and that adds even more to the awesomeness of it.

I found some of the fighting scenes overwhelming, but the opening credit scene was awesome.

For those who want to enjoy a nice action-adventure film in the medieval period with some sword fighting and sorcery, then you would definitely enjoy this one.

Watch it now by clicking the image below.

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


4. A Knight’s Tale

If you are looking for an entertaining but historically inaccurate film, you have come to the right place.

This movie was designed to entertain. And it is very successful at doing so. Queen? David Bowie? In a movie set in the middle ages?

After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.

This is the story of a boy who aspires to be more than what society set out for him.

a knights tale

When I watched this movie, I was expecting a film like Braveheart.

Historically accurate, filled with action and blood and cries of pain.

This movie was none of those.

My initial thoughts were – “this is not very realistic”.

Of course, that was when I had gone in expecting a film with real historical lessons.

After you get past the first one or two scenes, everything really grows on you.

The humor is, yes, cheesy at times, but I still laughed.

Throw in a bit of jousting, a very dislikable villain, some funny sidekicks, and a little romance and you’ve got a pretty good flick. Definitely a must-see.

Watch it by clicking on the picture below:

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


5. Excalibur

The myth of King Arthur brought once again to the screen.

Uthur Pendragon is given the mystical sword Excalibur by the wizard Merlin.

At his death, Uthur plunges the sword into a stone, and the next man that can pull it out will be King of England.

Several years later, Arthur, Uthur’s bastard son, draws Excalibur and becomes King.

excalibur movie

Excalibur has the ability to take you back to the time it depicts.

Every time I watch this film, I get more out of it.

Excalibur has put faces to the characters I read about.

It infused them with personalities and gave them life beyond the pages.

The scene of Arthur drawing his sword is one of the most meaningful and defining moments in literary, and now movie, history.

I personally love movies that have great music, and the music in this is perfect, never intrusive, but always suggestive and underlining the drama subtly.

Great direction, production, photography and music.

King Arthur himself would have been proud of it.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 5 best medieval movies of all time.

If you have another movie favorite, please let us know, and we would love to add it to the list. Happy watching!

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  1. Five of these movies can be called history or medieval movies. The rest are pure fantasy. This list can certainly not have been made by historians.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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… 🙄

  6. 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… 🙄

  7. 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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