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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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!