The Best Medieval Movies Of All Time

By April Ryder | Published

Medieval movies bring adventure and excitement to our lives. Knights wearing their strong armored suits charge with fervor atop their brawny warhorses. Kings and Queens display the finest of jewels and fashioned threads sitting staunchly upon their thrones. 

The feeling of medieval times has long been a preface with which filmmakers can draw magic to the screen. The images and characters of the Middle Ages are iconic, and this handful of titles have captured it best. Here is a brief look into some of the best medieval movies of all time. 

8. The Name of the Rose (1986)

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring the great Sean Connery, The Name of the Rose is a medieval murder mystery movie. Connery plays William of Baskerville, charged with the task of finding out who is responsible for a series of mysterious deaths that occur during a religious conference held at an abbey located in an isolated area of Italy. 

William of Baskerville is a strong, confident Sherlock Holmes type of man, and Sean Connery brings just the right level of gusto to the role. Viewers of the film will find it intellectually stimulating, but there is plenty to appeal to the more emotional side as well. 

7. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Directed by Kevin Reynolds, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a box office smash upon release. The film grossed nearly $400 million in theaters worldwide, and its soundtrack (featuring Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do) did rather well too. 

With huge stars like Kevin Costner, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater, and Morgan Freeman on the roster, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves delivers in every way imaginable. You get epic battles, trotting horses, beautiful princesses, a noteworthy hero, and much more from this movie. 

6. Gladiator (2000)

Directed by Ridley Scott, Gladiator stars Russell Crow (Maximus) alongside Joaquin Phoenix (Commodus) in an epic medieval movie filled with battle action and bathed in the blood of its heroes. 

It is a story of courage, loyalty, and destiny that finds a well-respected general betrayed by his own emperor only to be forced to fight for his life in the gladiator arenas. The movie brought home five Oscars and more than half a billion dollars from box offices worldwide. 

5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Every list needs a bit of British humor, and what’s better than Monty Python? Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has stood the test of time. The jokes are highly quotable, and the slapstick humor can’t be beat. 

This medieval movie is supposed to be a sort of retelling of the story of King Arthur, but there was clearly no regard for accuracy. The unforgettable showdown with the persistent Black Knight and the clickity clack of coconuts being used as horse hooves makes this movie one that you’ll want to watch over and over again. 

4. Braveheart (1995)

Directed by the star of the film, Mel Gibson, Braveheart must be mentioned on a list of the greatest medieval movies. The movie is about the life of a Scottish man named William Wallace.

After surviving the murder of his wife, Wallace transforms from the peaceful son of a farmer to a strong and noble leader of the Scottish army. Braveheart performed well upon its release in theaters, bringing in more than $210 million worldwide. The movie also won Best Director and Best Picture at the 1995 Oscars. 

3. A Knight’s Tale (2001)

Directed by Brian Helgeland, A Knight’s Tale tells the story of William Thatcher (played by Heath Ledger). Thatcher is merely a knight impersonator, but he is good enough to work his way up through the ranks by winning several key jousting competitions. 

Though Ledger had yet to play his most popular role as the Joker in The Dark Knight, his performance in this turn-of-the-century medieval movie certainly measures up. The movie aims to prove the point that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. 

2.First Knight (1995)

Directed by Jerry Zucker, First Knight tells a different story of the times of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Richard Gere plays Sir Lancelot, and Sean Connery plays the role of King Arthur. 

The plot of this medieval movie revolves around Lancelot and his illicit relationship with Lady Guinevere (played by Julia Ormond). Gere’s performance will have you aching for the couple and sad for King Arthur at the same time. By the end of the film, you can’t even be mad at Lancelot for his role in Guinevere’s betrayal of her husband.

1. The Princess Bride (1987)

This iconic film was directed by Rob Reiner and stars a young Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and Peter Falk as the narrator. The movie is based on a novel by William Goldman of the same name and preserves the novel’s metafictional novel style as it is presented by a grandfather to his sick grandson as a storybook to boost his mood. 

The Princess Bride is a medieval movie with a comedy twist that tells the story of a farmhand named Westley (Cary Elwes). Westley is charged with the task of rescuing his one true love, Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright), from the repugnant Prince Humperdinck. His quest to free his princess will keep you laughing and loving the charm brought to the screen by the all-star cast of the film.