There are dozens of historical movies being released each year across the world, so it makes sense that a few gems might have gotten overlooked over the years and that’s why I have created this list of the top five historical movies, you might haven’t heard of or watched yet. Let’s begin…
Movies Like Gladiator
No 01: Kingdom Of Heaven
It follows a semi-fictionalized portrayal of the life of Balian of Ibelin who was a crusader noble and a primary leader for the defense of the Christian held Jerusalem during the siege of Jerusalem in 1187 against Saladin and his Muslim forces. This movie has some ‘A’ list actors in it, such as Liam Neeson, Orlando Bloom, and evergreens. So, the acting is topped here, the battle scenes are also amazing and the plot is very intriguing and historically accurate, even if, it does stumble at some places and has a bit of an awkward and slow start.
This story of the defense of Jerusalem by a small Christian force, against a massive Muslim army led by military genius Saladin in the fantastic story to tell and have brought to the big screen and a film that despite this famous cast, is relatively unknown to most audiences and one that I can recommend to all lovers of cinema, not just history fans.
No 02: The Centurion
It is a historical action movie based around a fictitious story about the ninth legions disappearance in Britain. This film stars Michael Fassbender as one of the last survivors of a group of Roman soldiers who are captured by a large force of wild Britons and held as hostages by these outlaws who have deep hate and desire for revenge against all Romans.
This is a great movie with a fantastic and interesting storyline, great plot twists and most of the main cast do a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life but some of the side characters are underwritten and not fully developed. If you are looking for a movie that tells of an adventure about one man’s fight for survival in an ancient British historical backdrop then the Centurion is my recommendation for you.
No 03: Risen
It’s a historical biblical drama movie that portrays the events shortly after Jesus’s death but from the viewpoint of a Roman Tribune who is tasked with investigating the rumors about one of the people who recently got crucified and quelled the rumors in Jerusalem of him being a messiah. This is an interesting take on the crucification of Jesus as this movie has most of the events portrayed through the eyes of a Roman and a non-believer who is not interested in the Messiah status of Jesus but is just wanting to get his job done and get it done quickly.
This movie has a very unique and gripping storyline, amazing acting by the entire cast and it depicts many biblical events in a less over-the-top manner than I have seen in many other movies of the same genre. However, there are few issues with the movie, firstly, the pacing is a bit inconsistent with events occurring which don’t always make sense but are just thrown in to move the plot along, also the issue of whitewashing is at the forefront here as there is a minimal number of non-white actors or characters in this movie, however, this is a shortcoming I’m happy to ignore in this movie as historical accuracy does not seem to be a primary concern of reason.
This is a movie which is more interested in bringing a new representation of the historical events around Jesus’s crucification which it does a very great job of, definitely a strong recommendation from me whether you are christian or not.
No 04: Iron Clad
This is a historical movie based around the siege of Rochester Castle by King John, The same King John that can be found in Disney’s Robin Hood movies. This is a film which is based around true events of the siege of Rochester castle in which a small group of rebels and noblemen during the first baron’s war. Try to hold Rochester castle against King John after he ropes on his promises that he agreed to during the signing of the Magna Carta.
This film follows a generic be great film formula in which a romance is rushed and added in just because every store needs a celibate Templar to fall in love with the noblewoman and character development is done through two characters just communicating in a few lines of dialogues every now and then but what the film does get right is its battle scenes to display how difficult it is for a small force to protect a fortress from invaders and the general plot as the storyline is interesting enough that the viewer feels compelled to watch the movie to the very end this is not the best historical movie I have seen by far but it is definitely a worthy recommendation for someone looking for a more simplified and concise story to watch.
No 05: The Knight Templar
At the end of this list, we have earned the knight templar which is based around a Knights Templar named Arn. If you couldn’t decipher the clues in the name of the movie but this is actually a two-part movie series which is based on the best-selling Crusades trilogy written by Jean Gue Leo which sees a fictional character named Arn who becomes a Knights Templar and his witness or a catalyst to many real historical events, such as the Battle of Menthe Gizzard and the Battle of Hattin.
One thing I really loved about this film was the range of different languages spoken by the Knights on crusade which would have been very common during this time. At night would have come from various countries from Europe to fight in these holy wars and would also speak in a range of languages.
On the Knight Templar is also the most expensive movie ever created in the history of Swedish Cinema and is a fantastic feat with storytelling cinematography and bringing a semi-accurate historical representation of the knight templars to our screams. Definitely a strong recommendation for me.