Best Historical Movies

  • Gladiator

    Gladiator (R, 2000)

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi
    A man robbed of his name and his dignity strives to win them back, and gain the freedom of his peopl... read moree, in this epic historical drama from director Ridley Scott. In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus (Russell Crowe) is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) ascends to the throne, Maximus is set to be executed. He escapes, but is captured by slave traders. Renamed Spaniard and forced to become a gladiator, Maximus must battle to the death with other men for the amusement of paying audiences. His battle skills serve him well, and he becomes one of the most famous and admired men to fight in the Colosseum. Determined to avenge himself against the man who took away his freedom and laid waste to his family, Maximus believes that he can use his fame and skill in the ring to avenge the loss of his family and former glory. As the gladiator begins to challenge his rule, Commodus decides to put his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. Gladiator also features Derek Jacobi, Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, and Oliver Reed, who died of a heart attack midway through production. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb784525340
      fb784525340: . The ending's kinda dumb for me though. It takes away the whole historical mode of it!
      Reviewed 15 months days ago
    • fb1604256386
      fb1604256386: Splendid but affected slightly by historical shortcomings.
      Reviewed 5 months days ago
    • craiglowe3961
      craiglowe3961: despite obvious historical anomalies, Scott's vision of the late second century AD pax Romana is spell-binding. Flus
      Reviewed 13 months days ago
  • Braveheart

    Braveheart (R, 1995)

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Catherine McCormack, Brendan Gleeson
    Mel Gibson, long-time heartthrob of the silver screen, came into his own as a director with Bravehea... read morert, an account of the life and times of medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace and, to a lesser degree, Robert the Bruce's struggle to unify his nation against its English oppressors. The story begins with young Wallace, whose father and brother have been killed fighting the English, being taken into the custody of his uncle, a nationalist and pre-Renaissance renaissance man. He returns twenty years later, a man educated both in the classics and in the art of war. There he finds his childhood sweetheart Murron (Catherine McCormack), and the two quickly fall in love. There are murmurs of revolt against the English throughout the village, but Wallace remains aloof, wishing simply to tend to his crops and live in peace. However, when his love is killed by English soldiers the day after their secret marriage (held secretly so as to prevent the local English lord from exercising the repulsive right of prima noctae, the privilege of sleeping with the bride on the first night of the marriage), he springs into action and single-handedly slays an entire platoon of foot soldiers. The other villagers join him in destroying the English garrison, and thus begins the revolt against the English in what will eventually become full-fledged war. Wallace eventually leads his fellow Scots in a series of bloody battles that prove a serious threat to English domination and, along the way, has a hushed affair with the Princess of Wales (the breathtaking Sophie Marceau) before his imminent demise. For his efforts, Gibson won the honor of Best Director from the Academy; the movie also took home statuettes for Best Picture, Cinematography, Makeup, and Sound Effects. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovi
    • fb1449979878
      fb1449979878: . I have read the historical inaccuracies, but I don't care. I'll take it solely as entertainment not as sound history
      Reviewed 55 days days ago
    • fb1181248525
      fb1181248525: formances, a slew of flat characters (evil is evil here), and a deeply flawed plot infamous for its historical inaccuracy. Gibson was trying to inspire, but my interest in his film expired about a hal
      Reviewed 12 months days ago
    • fb794800152
      fb794800152: . i like historical movies too.
      Reviewed 14 months days ago
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age

    Elizabeth: The Golden Age (PG-13, 2007)

    Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Rhys Ifans, Jordi Molla
    Actress Cate Blanchett returns to her Oscar-nominated role and director Shekhar Kapur steps back int... read moreo the director's chair for this belated sequel to the critically acclaimed 1998 biopic Elizabeth that explores the 16th century romance between the "Virgin Queen" and noted adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). Michael Hirst teams with William Nicholson to pen the screenplay, and actor Geoffrey Rush returns to the role of Sir Francis Walsingham. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
    • fb100000126650984
      fb100000126650984: . Historical movies should be more accurate especially when historical fact makes for a better movie.
      Reviewed 13 months days ago
    • fb536320796
      fb536320796: ...thought was over dramatised at times...not sure of the historical accuracy but was a fun watch
      Reviewed 21 months days ago
    • fb1526363679
      fb1526363679: . This film had a decent story that really happened, but there are so many historical innaccuracies that it almost ruins it. I am not the kind of person who hates a period pi
      Reviewed 22 months days ago
  • The Other Boleyn Girl

    The Other Boleyn Girl (PG-13, 2008)

    Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Jim Sturgess, Mark Rylance
    Adapted from author Philippa Gregory's historical novel of the same name, director Justin Chadwick's... read more atmospheric period drama follows the fierce competition between sisters Mary (Scarlett Johansson) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) to win the affections of Tudor king Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Anne and Mary Boleyn are under pressure from their father and uncle to help maintain the family's rich legacy and ensure their further prosperity by winning the affections of none other than the king of England (Eric Bana). But life in the royal court is far different than it was in the countryside where these two sisters were raised, and before long their bid to earn the love of the king has transformed two once-happy sisters into bitter rivals. At first, it appears that Mary has triumphed in winning the king's favor by becoming his mistress and bearing him an illegitimate child. Despite her early success, however, Mary has underestimated just how clever and cunning her sibling can truly be. Not only does the relentless Anne manage to edge aside her sister in the eyes of King Henry, but she also succeeds in averting his gaze from his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, as well. Mary is driven by genuine affection for King Henry, while her sister Anne has only kept up the charade in a desperate bid to become the queen of England. Now, the growing chasm between two sisters is mirrored on a larger scale as England becomes divided more than ever before. As the consequences of their actions threaten to alter the course of an entire nation, these two sisters will ultimately discover that the only place they will find true strength and loyalty is in family, and that no matter what the consequences they will forever be bound by blood. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
    • fb17131415
      fb17131415: The book has a LOT more historical value to it, but it was a good try. Plus Natalie Portman did a really good job of being v
      Reviewed 19 months days ago
    • staleesha
      staleesha: . Just disappointed that they left out important details from the book (and historical details).
      Reviewed 23 months days ago
    • fb3428648
      fb3428648: . So your left judging the narrative, and although the film is based upon a historical fiction that was wildly popular, it is hard, so hard not to rant about the film.

      When al
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
  • Valkyrie

    Valkyrie (PG-13, 2008)

    Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten
    At the absolute height of World War II, German generals hatch a daring plan to assassinate Adolf Hit... read moreler and effectively render the German war machine impotent. Directed by Bryan Singer, Valkyrie stars Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the real-life mastermind behind the elaborate plot known as Project Valkyrie: a plan to assassinate Hitler and overthrow his government from the inside. Stauffenberg has been a loyal soldier and an asset to the Reich for his entire military career, but after losing an eye, a hand, and three fingers in an Allied bombing, he reaches a breaking point. The destructive madness that his country is unleashing on the world has become too terrible for the colonel to stand silent. He joins the resistance movement -- a treasonous act, punishable by death -- and risks his life and the life of his family for the chance to change history. Comprised of high-ranking officials working in secret, the German Resistance has access to the inner workings of the government and military, putting them in the perfect position to dispatch the dictator and then use his own official contingency plan to seize power -- before the army, the S.S., and loyal party members can put someone just as diabolical in the Führer's place. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
    • johnnytangster
      johnnytangster: s) maintains a crisp pace as the plotters set out to kill the fuhrer with a briefcase bomb, and the historical details of the botched coup, which exploited one of Hitler's own contingency plans to mob
      Reviewed 2 months days ago
    • fb1427610199
      fb1427610199: Extremely well done fact-based historical thriller about an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler and take control of Nazi German by
      Reviewed 12 months days ago
    • fb1257742797
      fb1257742797: Very well acted historical drama. The story was interesting, however the movie was not engaging. Frankly, I was bore
      Reviewed 11 months days ago
  • Marie Antoinette

    Marie Antoinette (PG-13, 2006)

    Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis, Rip Torn, Rose Byrne
    Writer and director Sofia Coppola puts a new spin on the life and times of one of Europe's most infa... read moremous monarchs in this lavish historical drama which fuses a contemporary sensibility with painstaking recreations of the look of the 18th century. Born to Austrian nobility, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) is only 14 years old when she's pledged to marry Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman), the 15-year-old king of France, in an alliance that has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with love. Sent to France and literally stripped of her former life, Marie weds Louis, but to the consternation of the royal court, he seems either unwilling or unable to consummate the marriage while their advisors clamor for an heir to the throne. Young and more than a bit out of step with the new life that's been thrust upon her, Marie gives herself over to the pleasures of life in Versailles, knowing and caring little of the political intrigue that surrounds her. In time, Marie's trusted older brother, Joseph (Danny Huston), is brought in to coach Louis on the finer points of marital relations, and before long the couple is finally blessed with a child. However, as Marie tends to her children in the gilded cage of her palace and enjoys an affair with a Swedish nobleman, political power plays are throwing France into chaos, and the growing ranks of the poor rebel against the royals and their life of privilege. Also starring Rip Torn, Judy Davis, Steve Coogan, and Asia Argento, Marie Antoinette was given a controversial reception when it premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb884090343
      fb884090343: ests that her highly stylized interpretation was intentionally very modern in order to humanise the historical figures involved. She admitted taking great artistic liberties with the source material,
      Reviewed 2 months days ago
    • PreppyPrivetSchoolGirl
      PreppyPrivetSchoolGirl: . The historical facts are some what ... so-so but all in all the costumes were wonderful and the cast was
      Reviewed 40 days days ago
    • DrStrangeblog
      DrStrangeblog: Obviously Sofia Coppola was more interested in giving her characters a particular feel instead of historical authenticity, and I must say that the naturalness these actors brought was a welcome inje
      Reviewed 14 months days ago
  • Titanic

    Titanic (PG-13, 2012)

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher
    This spectacular epic re-creates the ill-fated maiden voyage of the White Star Line's $7.5 million R... read more.M.S Titanic and the tragic sea disaster of April 15, 1912. Running over three hours and made with the combined contributions of two major studios (20th Century-Fox, Paramount) at a cost of more than $200 million, Titanic ranked as the most expensive film in Hollywood history at the time of its release, and became the most successful. Writer-director James Cameron employed state-of-the-art digital special effects for this production, realized on a monumental scale and spanning eight decades. Inspired by the 1985 discovery of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, the contemporary storyline involves American treasure-seeker Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) retrieving artifacts from the submerged ship. Lovett looks for diamonds but finds a drawing of a young woman, nude except for a necklace. When 102-year-old Rose (Gloria Stuart) reveals she's the person in the portrait, she is summoned to the wreckage site to tell her story of the 56-carat diamond necklace and her experiences of 84 years earlier. The scene then shifts to 1912 Southampton where passengers boarding the Titanic include penniless Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), returning to Philadelphia with her wealthy fiance Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). After the April 10th launch, Rose develops a passionate interest in Jack, and Cal's reaction is vengeful. At midpoint in the film, the Titanic slides against the iceberg and water rushes into the front compartments. Even engulfed, Cal continues to pursue Jack and Rose as the massive liner begins its descent. Cameron launched the project after seeing Robert Ballard's 1987 National Geographic documentary on the wreckage. Blueprints of the real Titanic were followed during construction at Fox's custom-built Rosarito, Mexico studio, where a hydraulics system moved an immense model in a 17-million-gallon water tank. During three weeks aboard the Russian ship Academik Keldysh, underwater sequences were filmed with a 35mm camera in a titanium case mounted on the Russian submersible Mir 1. When the submersible neared the wreck, a video camera inside a remote-operated vehicle was sent into the Titanic's 400-foot bow, bringing back footage of staterooms, furniture and chandeliers. On November 1, 1997, the film had its world premiere at the 10th Tokyo International Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi
    • kndhargrove
      kndhargrove: . It isn't the most historically accurate film (I love ocean liners, so I know). We know how it's going to end. I haven'
      Reviewed 31 days days ago
    • fb100000222539113
      fb100000222539113: . I was hoping for more of a historical flick, not Romeo and Juliet on a ship!
      Reviewed 10 months days ago
    • fb733705883
      fb733705883: . If you're looking for a historical account, pass this by.
      Reviewed 15 months days ago
  • Troy

    Troy (R, 2004)

    Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Brian Cox
    Homer's sprawling tale of love and war in ancient Greece comes to the screen in all its grandeur in ... read morethis epic-scale adventure. In 1193 B.C., Paris, Prince of Troy (Orlando Bloom), has fallen in love; however, the beautiful woman who has beguiled him is Helen, Queen of Sparta (Diane Kruger), who is wed to King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson). While Helen is hardly immune to Paris' charms, this doesn't blunt Menelaus' fury when Paris steals her away from him. Menelaus' brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox), the power-hungry king of the Mycenaeans, is eager to expand his empire through Troy to the lands of the Aegean Sea, and he uses Paris' romantic slight against Menelaus as an excuse to wage an all-out war against the great walled city. Priam, King of Troy (Peter O'Toole), summons his armies, led by Prince Hector (Eric Bana), to meet the onslaught of Agamemnon's forces, but while the great city has yet to yield in a battle, Agamemnon has a formidable ally -- Achilles (Brad Pitt), a mighty and seemingly unstoppable warrior whose presence could tip the scales in Agamemnon's favor. Sean Bean, Julie Christie, Saffron Burrows, and Rose Byrne highlight the film's supporting cast. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • Loth18
      Loth18: ."

      A sweeping, vast epic. A sprawling historical achievement that sweeps you off of your feet. A landmark in historical filmmaking, a tho
      Reviewed 10 months days ago
    • fb1213150293
      fb1213150293: that would transpire on film were transcribed in some form or fashion for entertainment (some argue historical) purposes. You're absolutely right. At some point in your life you may have seen this sto
      Reviewed 10 months days ago
    • fb1507891751
      fb1507891751: I don't care about the historical accuracies of this movie because I loved it and can watch it over and over again! One que
      Reviewed 21 months days ago
  • Kingdom of Heaven

    Kingdom of Heaven (R, 2005)

    Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson
    Ridley Scott directed this epic-scale historical drama inspired by the events of the Crusades of the... read more 12th century. Balian (Orlando Bloom) is a humble French blacksmith who is searching for a reason to go on after the death of his wife and children. Balian is approached by Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson), a fabled knight who has briefly returned home after serving in the East. Godfrey informs Balian that he is his true father, and urges the blacksmith to join him as he and his forces journey to Jerusalem to help defend the holy city. Balian accepts, and he and Godfrey arrive during the lull between the Second and Third Crusades, in which the city is enjoying a fragile peace. Both Christian and Muslim forces are temporarily in retreat, thanks to the wisdom of the Christian monarch King Baldwin IV (Edward Norton), his second-in-command Tiberias (Jeremy Irons), and Muslim potentate Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). Violent agitators on both sides are foolishly eager to end the peace in a bid for greater power, and Saladin bows to pressures from Muslim factions; Godfrey is one of a handful of brave knights who has thrown his allegiance behind Baldwin IV and his community of diversity, and Balian joins him as they use their skills as warriors in a bid to build a lasting peace. Kingdom of Heaven also stars Eva Green as the princess Sibylla, David Thewlis as Hospitaler the priest, and Brendan Gleeson as Reynald. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    • fb1008742212
      fb1008742212: lando Bloom portrays the charisma for a character on an adventure, but since Kingdom of Heaven is a historical epic, the best word to describe him would be miscast. He tries, but he doesn't try hard e
      Reviewed 9 months days ago
    • fb100000293031212
      fb100000293031212: nd cinemetography/visuals dripping with eye candy along with intricate plot/character relations and historical context.

      All that would already make a great film but what really tops it off is the fil
      Reviewed 24 months days ago
    • raptorbpw
      raptorbpw: Lacks historical accuracy, emotional intensity, acting skill, great battles or solid characters. Otherwise
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor (PG-13, 2001)

    Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore
    When the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on that fateful day in Decembe... read morer of 1941, the United States was caught completely off guard by the formidable force of 350 heavily armed aircraft -- leading to one of the most tragic events in U.S. military history. How could the military base not have known about such a massive attack? Was it due to the amazing strategy of the Japanese pilots, or did their fighters just hit the right place at the most unexpected and vulnerable time. Perhaps it was a bit of both. Now, thanks to Eagle Rock Home Video, viewers can explore this landmark day of infamy and find out how the attack on Pearl Harbor still resonates with the U.S. military over half-a-century after the fact. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
    • fb223700851
      fb223700851: Historical Bayhem! Am I allowed to enjoy the Team America song about it, but still quite enjoy the
      Reviewed 4 months days ago
    • asjklasjklas
      asjklasjklas: . But many serious filmgoers cannot forgive its historical inaccuracies, shaky acting, and inconvenient influences from box-office hits from Saving
      Reviewed 4 months days ago
    • fb1507891751
      fb1507891751: A good movie however, the historical events portrayed were flawed with many inaccuracies and a big fan of Ben, Josh, and Kate,
      Reviewed 21 months days ago