21 Best Medieval Movies Of All Time - Backpackingman (2022)

These are some of the best medieval movies you can watch. I’ve seen many medieval movies and these are my favourites.

Just remember they aremedieval moviesso although they portray the medieval theme and history well they may not be 100% historically accurate as some ‘artistic licence by the director would have been used. Also, some are fantasy-based but with a really good medieval feel to them.

You may be wondering what a ‘backpacking travel’ website has to do with medieval movies, well let me say that most medieval movies involve travelling in some ways, and, especially if you’re visiting medieval places on your travels, such as castles, medieval towns, etc, then watching some medieval movies can give you some perspective on that time period.

There are quite a few medieval movies out there and you can definitely find lots more good ones, but if you’re just wanting to find some of the best, for now, this is it.

The movies are in no particular order.

Disclaimer:I’ve added links to where you can rent (or buy) these medieval movies on Amazon. They are affiliate links which means I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Disclaimer 2: I own none of the rights to these images, they are used under fair usage terms to discuss the movies.

The Lord of The Rings Trilogy

Yes, The Lord of the Rings is fantasy and not based on real-world history, but it’s set in a time of ‘Middle Earth’ full of knights and warriors and out of all the medieval movies it has some of the best overallmedieval atmospheres.

The Knights of Gondor might as well be some medieval military order and there is plenty of old mythology running through the movies as well.

Start with the first movieThe Fellowship of The Ring, thenThe Two Towers, andThe Return of The King.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

This is the bestmedieval movie about the crusades. The historical elements are here and there but it’s undeniably a great look at the time of the crusades.

It follows a blacksmith named Baliam in 12th century France who is, unknowingly, the son of a nobleman. That nobleman is a crusader and comes back to bring him on a crusade to the Holy Land.

Once in the Holy Land Baliam finds himself fighting for the defence of Jerusalem.

The story is set in the time of the infamousBattle of Hattinand the loss of some of the Crusaders’ lands.

Make sure youwatch the Kingdom of Heaven extended versionas it gives much more depth to the story than the original.

The Last Duel (2021)

The Last Duel is one of the most recent medieval movies to watch and it’s a good one based on a true story.

It follows the stories of 3 people, 2 men who are knights, and a woman. The woman is the wife of one of the men and claims the other man raped her, leading the husband to challenge the accused man to a duel.

Although a little slow in parts it shows good insight into real-life medieval times in France.

Braveheart (1995)

Ok, who doesn’t know theBraveheartmovie? Shame on you if you didn’t (just kidding). But as far as medieval movies go, Braveheart would be one of the best-known ones out there.

Even today the “Freedooooom” chant is a rallying cry to those in Scotland who want independence from the U.K.

It’s based loosely on the life on the life of William Wallace, known as Braveheart. He leads an uprising of the Scottish against the English and culminates in one of the most famous battles in Scottish history, the battle of Bannockburn.

It’s a little historically inaccurate in parts but it is agreat medieval movie.

Valhalla Rising (2009)

No medieval movies list would be complete without at least one Viking movie! There are a fewViking moviesout there but out of all of them, I enjoyed Valhalla Rising the most.

It stars Mads Mikkelsen as ‘One Eye’ who is a prisoner who must fight to the death for the pleasure of his captors. He manages to escape and join a band of warriors on a crusade to the New World, encountering ‘savages’ en route that he must for his survival.

There are a bunch of Viking movies out there but surprisingly, sadly, there are not that many great ones.Valhalla Risingis definitely one of the best Viking movies you can watch.

The King (2019)

This is one of the more recent medieval movies to be released and is a good one.

It’s aboutKing Henry Vtaking the throne of England after his tyrannical father dies and straight away has trouble with the fallout of his father’s legacy, with politics and an ongoing war.

If you have a Netflix account you can watch The King there (it’s not on Amazon).

Henry V (1989)

Sticking with the Shakespeare theme, this is another good movie about Henry V that is one of the better film adaptions showing medieval life in England.

It followsHenry V, the famed English king who in his short rule defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

Political and royal intrigue and battle. What more do you want in medieval movies?

Macbeth (2015)

Scotland is a set of quite a few of the best medieval movies you can watch.

This story, as the title says, is aboutMacbeth, Shakespeare’s famous play. There have been many adaptions of Macbeth on film but this one is one of the best.

Set in the 11th century, Macbeth kills King Duncan and wallows in the guilt of his action as he becomes the tyrannical ruler of Scotland.

There are some really goodmedieval fighting scenesin this movie.

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

A Knights Talefollows the squire William who finds that his master is dead and that with just one more win in a jousting tournament he would have won.

So William decides to wear his master’s armour and participate himself and he wins. In this, he then tries to win the heart of a nobleman’s daughter.

This is a really fun medieval movie to watch. Highly entertaining, but don’t expect a dark story of medieval fighting etc.

Arn – The Knight Templar (2007)

Another look at the crusades in this Swedish movie followingArn – The Knight Templarfrom Sweden who is the son of a high ranking nobleman who is sent to the Holy Land tofight against Saladinin penance for a love he was not allowed to have.

This is another good movie about the Crusades to watch and is one of Sweden’s biggest budget movies ever made.

Outlaw King (2018)

Another one that’s set in Scotland, this time in the 14th century. Outlaw King follows Robert the Bruce as he claims the crown of Scotland and struggles against the English for independence.

Not as dramatic as Braveheart and a little slow going but it’s still a good look at medieval Scotland.

There has been another movie simply calledRobert The Brucethat has been released since Outlaw King but I prefer Outlaw King to it. But if you love medieval movies then give it a watch as well I guess.

If you have a Netflix account you can watch Outlaw King there (it’s not on Amazon).

Ironclad (2011)

Ironcladis about a Knights Templar once more as he and a small group of barons help defend Rochester Castle in the 13th century against King John after the king reneged on theMagna Cartacharter.

The small group of men at Rochester Castle stand in the way of the king’s army and a siege battle begins.

Great for a look at a medieval siege and of course the Knights Templar. Also, it’s one of the best medieval war movies you can see.

Black Death (2010)

Black Deathis based on the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England.

A band of soldiers roam the countryside to a small village searching for claims that people who have died have come back to life. Evil forces ensue.

Stars Sean Bean is one of the best medieval actors out there (Game of Thrones) but I won’t spoil for you if he dies or not!

Excalibur (1981)

Excaliburis a classic in the genre of medieval movies and is based on the myths of King Arthur.

It follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Camelot and Merlin as they quest for the Holy Grail.

This is great for a look at theKing Arthur myths and legendsas well as a good old medieval movies fun.

Mongol (2007)

One of the greatest names in history, Genghis Khan (meaning ‘universal ruler’), was known as Temudgin back when he was rising up in his early years before he came to be a mighty warrior.

This movie about the Mongols is not about them conquering other places but about Temudgin bringing together the nomadicMongoltribes into one fighting unit.

It’s a good look athow the Mongol Empire started out.

His mighty Mongol hordes would soon conquer most of Central Asia, Persia, Eastern Europe and the Christendom kingdoms.

Although the region the Mongols were in was not really going through a medieval time, their conquest of Christian lands in the west that were in the medieval period means it’s worth knowing some of the Mongols’ histories.

The Mongols were one of the biggest threats to Christian Europe during the Middle Ages.

The Physician (2013)

A German movie (in English) taking a look atlife in Persiain the 11th century.

The Physicianis about a young orphaned boy in medieval England who sets out to Persia with a travelling Berber, to learn medicine from a famed healer.

Although Persia itself wasn’t having a medieval time of it, the medieval setting in England and with many medieval themes gives the movie a spot on this list.

Watch this movie for the setting in Persia especially.

The Hobbit Trilogy

I started this post with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and now it’s the turn for The Hobbit which was his prequel book to The Lord of The Rings.

It’s also set in Middle Earth and follows a hobbit and several dwarves as they go on a quest to fight a dragon that is guarding treasure in an ancient dwarf mountainside.

It can be a little slow at times and to be honest they could have fitted the whole story into two movies, but when the action does get going it’s great.

For the medieval feel, I particularly love Lake Town.

Just like The Lord of the Rings I recommend watching the extended versions to really immerse yourself in the ‘Middle Earth’ world.

The first movie isAn Unexpected Journey, thenThe Desolation of Smaug, and finallyThe Battle of the Five Armies.

Japanese Feudal Movies:

Ran (1985)

Japan is where some of the most epic feudal stories are. The samurai are legendary in history as warriors.

I use the phrase ‘feudal’ here as generally, the term medieval applies to Europe’s Middle Ages, although other countries had their ‘medieval times’ but generally in a different timeframe from Europe. In Japan, it would be feudal times.

Ranis based on a Shakespeare play called King Lear and follows the life of an elderly lord who no longer wants to rule and plans to give his kingdom to his sons to rule between them.

Brothers being brothers they don’t see eye to eye on how to share the kingdom and misery ensues for the old lord.

Seven Samurai (1954)

Seven Samuraiis not only a classic samurai movie but also one of the best Japanese movies ever made. It’s been one of my personal favourites for a long time.

It’s about a band of samurai warriors that have no lord to serve and instead hire out their fighting talents to a village to help defend them against attack by bandits.

Some epic samurai sword fighting scenes and great character development. It looks a bit dated now in appearance but the dialogue, story and fight scenes are timeless.

Throne of Blood (1957)

Another Japanese medieval movie (they really are some of the best) and this one is also based around Shakespeare’s Macbeth but with some other traditional Japanese elements thrown in.

It’s about a general who is egged on by his wife about a prophecy that he would be the ruler of a castle called Spider’s Web. It follows his attempts to do this!

Throne of Bloodis a lot of fun and shows a really good side offeudal Japanback then.

Andjust for fun:

Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975)

“First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”– Monk in The Holy Grail.

Ah, Monty Python.

This is a serious piss-take about Arthurian legend, the crusades, knights, and (as the title says) aquest to find the Holy Grail.

This was the second Monty Python movie I watched after Life of Brian and I couldn’t stop laughing!

Monty Python and The Holy Grailis a must-watch for some of the silliness in medieval times.

The Best Medieval Movies

Like I said in the beginning this is not the be-all and end-all of the medieval movies out there but these are definitely some of the best, and my personal favourites overall.

For more of medieval take a look at the 25 best medieval castles in England to visit.

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