Here are 15 of the best historical epics of all time
Aren’t epic movies the best? The kind where you can just settle in for a few hours and be swept away by the grandeur of it all? From ancient Greece to medieval England, these films will take you on a journey through history. So grab some popcorn and get ready to be entertained!
1. Gladiator (2000)
The film tells the story of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a general who is betrayed by Emperor Commodus and sold into slavery. While in captivity, Maximus becomes a gladiator and fights for his freedom.
It was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $450 million at the box office, the film was also praised for its historical accuracy. Russell Crowe gives an Oscar-winning performance as Maximus, and he’s backed up by a talented cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, and Oliver Reed. The directing is top-notch. Ridley Scott helmed the film, and he does a fantastic job of bringing Ancient Rome to life.
It’s a classic tale of revenge, betrayal, and redemption that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. If you’re looking for a great historical epic, then look no further than Gladiator. It’s one of the best historical epics of all time and is sure to entertain you from start to finish.
2. Ben-Hur (1959)
There are many historical epics that have been made over the years, but few can compare to Ben-Hur. This film was released in 1959 and is based on a best-selling novel by Lew Wallace. It tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who is betrayed and sent into slavery by his Roman friend Messala. After years of hardship, Judah returns to Jerusalem seeking revenge.
The film is an epic in every sense of the word. It has some of the most iconic scenes in cinema history, including the famous chariot race. It also features an all-star cast, including Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, and Stephen Boyd. The film won 11 Academy Awards, making it one of the most successful films of all time.
There are many reasons why Ben-Hur is considered one of the best historical epics of all time. It is a masterful film that features some of the most impressive set pieces and acting performances in cinema history. If you’re a fan of epic films, then you need to see Ben-Hur.
3. Seven Samurai (1954)
There are few movies as highly regarded as Seven Samurai, and for good reason. This classic Japanese film is not only one of the best historical epics of all time but also a masterful work of art in its own right.
Seven Samurai tells the story of a group of samurai warriors who are hired to protect a small village from a band of marauders. The movie follows the samurai as they train the villagers to defend themselves, and ultimately face off against the attackers in a spectacular battle scene.
What makes Seven Samurai so special is its attention to detail. Every frame of the movie is crammed with action and suspense, making it impossible to take your eyes off the screen. Seven Samurai is a timeless classic that deserves its place atop the list of best historical epics of all time. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the best historical epics of all time for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is an absolutely gorgeous film to look at. Every frame could be hung on a wall as a work of art. The cinematography is stunning, and the production design is simply incredible. It’s clear that a lot of care and attention went into making this film look as beautiful as possible.
In addition to its visual splendor, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is also an emotionally powerful film. The story is moving and tragic, and the characters are all incredibly well-developed and complex. It’s rare to find a historical epic that is this emotionally resonant, and it’s one of the things that make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon so special. It’s a true classic in every sense of the word, and it’s definitely one of the best historical epics of all time.
5. Les Misérables (2012)
Les Misérables is one of the best historical epics of all time for several reasons. The story is set during a pivotal moment in French history – the uprising of 1832. This event has been described as one of the most important moments in French history, and it’s certainly an event that has been widely studied by historians. As such, Les Misérables provides a rare and detailed insight into this significant period.
Les Misérables is an extremely powerful and moving film. It tells a story that is both tragic and inspiring, and it will stay with you long after you’ve seen it. If you’re looking for a historical epic that is both visually stunning and emotionally powerful, then Les Misérables is definitely for you, find out the best streaming services for movies and series so you can watch the film!
6. Dances With Wolves (1990)
There are many great historical epics, but few can compare to Dances With Wolves. Directed by and starring Kevin Costner, this film is based on the book of the same name by Michael Blake. It tells the story of a Civil War-era United States Army lieutenant who is sent to the American frontier to protect a fort. There, he becomes friends with a Sioux tribe and slowly begins to understand their way of life.
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The cinematography is beautiful. From the sweeping shots of the American plains to the intimate moments between the characters, Dances With Wolves is a visual feast. The film won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, and it’s easy to see why.
7. Braveheart (1995)
Braveheart is one of the best historical epics of all time for a number of reasons. The film tells an emotional and inspiring story. William Wallace’s fight for Scottish independence is both moving and motivating, and his eventual martyrdom is sure to leave viewers deeply affected.
Braveheart features some excellent acting from its cast. Mel Gibson gives an outstanding performance as Wallace, while Sophie Marceau is also excellent as Princess Isabelle.
Braveheart is simply an incredibly well-made film. From its stunning cinematography to its stirring score, the film is a masterclass in filmmaking and is sure to entertain and move viewers of all ages. For all of these reasons, Braveheart is undoubtedly one of the best historical epics of all time.
8. Spartacus (1960)
There are few historical epics that can match the grandeur and scope of Spartacus. This 1960 film directed by Stanley Kubrick is a true classic, featuring some of the best acting, writing, and directing of its time. The story follows the titular character, a Thracian slave who leads a rebellion against the Roman Empire.
What makes Spartacus so great is its attention to detail. Every aspect of the film feels authentic, from the costumes to the sets. It’s clear that a lot of research went into making this movie, and it pays off. The result is a film that feels like you’re transported back in time.
Another reason why Spartacus is one of the best historical epics is its cast. The film features some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, and Tony Curtis. Each actor brings their A-game to the table, and it shows. It’s a film that truly stands the test of time.
9. Troy (2004)
The story of Troy is one of the most epic tales ever told. It chronicles the ten-year war between the Greeks and Trojans, culminating in the famous siege of Troy. We see the heroes Achilles and Hector fighting for their respective sides, as well as the love story between Prince Paris of Troy and Queen Helen of Sparta
The acting in Troy is simply superb. Brad Pitt gives an incredible performance as Achilles, the best warrior in all of Greece. He is fierce on the battlefield and yet has a deep emotional core that is revealed during his interactions with other characters.
Troy is one of the best historical epics of all time for its amazing story, superb acting, and stunning visuals. It is an immersive experience that will transport you to another time and place.
10. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
This is one of the best historical epics of all time. Directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe, this film tells the story of Captain Jack Aubrey and his ship, HMS Surprise, as they are tasked with hunting down a French privateer ship.
Although the film was released in 2003, it is set during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s. This period was a time of great upheaval and change, making it an ideal setting for an epic movie. Master and Commander capture the essence of this time period perfectly.
The film is also visually stunning. The ship battles are particularly well-done and provide a thrilling experience for viewers. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a beautifully made film that tells a compelling story. It is one of the best historical epics of all time and is well worth watching.
11. Barry Lyndon (1975)
Many people consider Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon to be one of the best historical epics of all time. There are several reasons why this film is so highly regarded. The movie is visually stunning. The set design and costumes are incredibly detailed and authentic-looking. This attention to detail makes the film more immersive and believable.
The acting is superb. The cast includes some of the best actors of the time, including Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, and Patrick Magee. They all give great performances that bring the characters to life.
The story is very well-written. It’s based on a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, and Kubrick did a great job of adapting it for the screen. The result is a complex and engrossing story that keeps viewers hooked from beginning to end.
Barry Lyndon is just a great film overall. It’s beautifully shot, expertly acted, and masterfully told. It’s a true classic that deserves its place among the best historical epics of all time.
12. The Last Duel (2021)
There are many historical epics out there, but few can compare to The Last Duel. This film tells the story of a 14th-century knight who is forced to duel another knight in order to settle a dispute. The Last Duel is an excellent example of a historical epic done right.
The film’s director, Ridley Scott, did an amazing job of recreating the look and feel of the 14th century. The sets and costumes are very authentic and help to transport the viewer back in time. The Last Duel is also visually stunning, with beautiful cinematography and some great battle scenes.
The acting is superb across the board, with particular praise going to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for their performances as the two duelists. The Last Duel is an exciting and suspenseful film that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re a fan of historical epics, then this is one movie that you definitely don’t want to miss.
13. The Northman (2022)
The Northman is an epic historical drama film directed by Robert Eggers and starring Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård, and Anya Taylor-Joy. The film is set in Iceland during the 10th century and follows a Viking warrior who sets out to avenge his father’s death.
The Northman is visually stunning. The film was shot in Iceland, and the landscapes are absolutely breathtaking. The movie also features some stunning special effects that bring the 10th century to life. It features an impressive cast of actors, including Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård, and Anya Taylor-Joy. All three actors are known for their excellent work, and they bring their A-game to this film.
The Northman is being hailed as one of the best historical epics of all time. It has everything you could want in a historical epic: stunning visuals, an impressive cast, and an exciting story. If you’re a fan of historical epics, then you need to see The Northman.
14. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, it follows his journey from being a free man to being sold into slavery. The film is incredibly powerful, both in its storytelling and in its delivery. The performances by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o are particularly stunning, and the film’s cinematography is simply beautiful.
It’s also important to note that 12 Years a Slave is an important piece of history. It’s a reminder of the atrocity of slavery and the strength of those who survived it. For all of these reasons, 12 Years a Slave is one of the best historical epics of all time. It’s a must-see film for anyone interested in history or in great cinema.
15. The Revenant (2016)
There are many great historical epics out there, but few can compare to The Revenant. Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The Revenant is an intense and brutal film that tells the story of frontiersman Hugh Glass.
This gave the film an extra layer of realism that few other historical epics can match. But perhaps the biggest reason The Revenant is one of the best historical epics of all time is its incredible cast. Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his career as Hugh Glass, and he is supported by a stellar cast that includes Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson.
If you’re looking for an epic historical film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then look no further than The Revenant. It’s a masterfully crafted film that is sure to entertain audiences for years to come.
That’s it for our list of the best historical epics of all time. We hope you enjoyed reading it! Do you have a favorite that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.