Best ancient and medieval battles.

by andrecyber | created - 09 Jul 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Not the longest, but my favorite list. Only real world battles starting with the dawn of the world, which means no 300 since it's Fantasy for IMDb, so it's on another list. No particular order. No fantasy, this is on another list. Feel free to make suggestion.

Check out the other lists too.

Best battles since 1900 in films. Best ancient and medieval battles. Best Fantasy battles: Best "modern" (XVth to XIXth century) era battles. Best Sci Fi Battles

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1. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 899,415 | Gross: $75.60M

Braveheart has Falkirk and it's still not the best battle of the film. The Battle Stirling Bridge. Period. Yeah, I know, there's no bridge on the film (though there's a car parked). It rapes history in a whole new level. But we cannot deny it has some of the greatest battles of all time. They can take our lives, but they will never take our freeeeeedom!

One of the coolest lines ever.

2. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

R | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

63 Metascore

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the Crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Martin Hancock

Votes: 252,117 | Gross: $47.40M

The Extended cut is a masterpiece. Greatest extended cut of all time IMO tied with Blade Runner, Once Upon a Time in America and LoTR (if you consider Das Boot and Fanny and Alexander a film and not a mini-series, them too).

So many great battles on this one, but the Siege of Jerusalem is the best.

3. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

A former Roman General sets out to exact vengeance against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family and sent him into slavery.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,227,263 | Gross: $187.71M

Battle for Germania. Almost a massacre, but masterly executed, and by a wide margin the best part of the film IMO. At My Signal, Unleash Hell!

This line is even cooler than the Braveheart one.

4. Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.

Directors: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Dmitriy Vasilev | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitriy Orlov

Votes: 9,725

This old Soviet film has a 30 minuts long battle, probably the best of its time and Braveheart borrows a lot from them. Did it age well? I think so. It lacks some special effects, but it's still very well shot, with an amazing cinematography and one of the best scores of all time, by Sergei Prokofiev.

In fact, I think the first films to challenge it were Spartacus and Zulu, more than 20 years after.

5. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 114,389 | Gross: $30.00M

The large battle of this film was the first serious threat of Alexander Nevsky. Could be even better if they let Kubrick add some more gore, but it's still fantastic.

There's also the rebel uprising, very good.

6. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 203,432 | Gross: $74.70M

This juggernaut is mostly remember for the chariot race, but it has many other fantastic moments during its 3:40 hours. One of them is the sea battle.

7. El Cid (1961)

Approved | 182 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Geneviève Page

Votes: 11,832 | Gross: $26.62M

Battle of Seville. Ben-Hur meets Braveheart. Another beautiful underrated film. Watch in a big TV.

8. Arn: The Knight Templar (2007)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Arn, the son of a high-ranking Swedish nobleman is educated in a monastery and sent to the Holy Land as a knight templar to do penance for a forbidden love.

Director: Peter Flinth | Stars: Joakim Nätterqvist, Sofia Helin, Stellan Skarsgård, Michael Nyqvist

Votes: 20,218

9. King Arthur (2004)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

46 Metascore

A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd

Votes: 152,757 | Gross: $51.88M

10. Cleopatra (1963)

G | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

60 Metascore

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Pamela Brown

Votes: 26,781 | Gross: $57.78M

11. Andrei Rublev (1966)

R | 205 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer St. Andrei Rublev.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko, Nikolay Sergeev

Votes: 39,695 | Gross: $0.10M

Tartar Raid. Not actually a battle, but one of the most amazing shots of the genius Andrei Tarkovsky.

12. Troy (2004)

R | 163 min | Drama, History

56 Metascore

An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Julian Glover

Votes: 456,403 | Gross: $133.38M

The first battle, at the beach, and the second, at the gates, are the best. My main problem with the many battles in Troy is the fact that they focus too much on the heroes and not enough on the crowds, but they are still a highlight of the film.

Troy itself is a pretty mediocre film saved from being a total trainwreck because its huge budgets let it have good action sequences and other technical aspects, like OST, cinematography, costumes, visual effects, etc.

13. Alexander (2004)

R | 175 min | Action, Biography, Drama

39 Metascore

Alexander (Colin Farrell), the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest army leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, Angelina Jolie

Votes: 155,430 | Gross: $34.30M

This could be the best historical epic of this century, but something went really, really, really wrong. Unlike Troy, the budget didn't save this one from being a total trainwreck, but the battles and OST, SFX, etc. are also the high point of Alexander.

The Battle of Gaugamela and the Battle of the Hydaspes are good.

14. Robin Hood (2010)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

53 Metascore

In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen, Max von Sydow

Votes: 241,048 | Gross: $105.27M

Very few directors are so capable of making great battles as Ridley Scott, and even less have delivered so many. Even when he's far from his best, like in Robin Hood, he could give us two good ones: the one in the castle, at the beginning, and the one in the end, at the beach.

I still think a sequel would be good.

15. The 13th Warrior (1999)

R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, History

42 Metascore

A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled in a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.

Directors: John McTiernan, Michael Crichton | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhøi, Vladimir Kulich

Votes: 111,285 | Gross: $32.70M

The battle at during the night is the best. The ending battle, however, is quite anticlimactic.

16. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

56 Metascore

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 54,023 | Gross: $34.97M

17. Ironclad (2011)

R | 121 min | Action, Drama, History

42 Metascore

In thirteenth century England, a Knights Templar and few of the Barons men, fight to defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John.

Director: Jonathan English | Stars: Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng, Brian Cox, James Purefoy

Votes: 38,660

18. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Approved | 188 min | Drama, History, War

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason

Votes: 7,516 | Gross: $4.75M

If you liked Gladiator you need to watch this one. Fantastic.

19. Henry V (1989)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama

83 Metascore

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin

Votes: 26,704 | Gross: $10.16M

The Battle of Agincourt

20. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

54 Metascore

A young girl receives a vision that drives her to rid France of its oppressors.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Rab Affleck, Stéphane Algoud

Votes: 61,475 | Gross: $14.28M

Just like Troy and Alexander. Could be better. A waay better.

21. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 41,671 | Gross: $0.63M

22. Red Cliff II (2009)

142 min | Action, Drama, History

Second and final part of an epic tale about a legendary ancient battle that changed the course of China history.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 21,775 | Gross: $0.63M

23. Vikings (2013– )

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Vikings transports us to the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore - and raid - the distant shores across the ocean.

Stars: Gustaf Skarsgård, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Travis Fimmel

Votes: 350,564

Another TV series. The battles are not huge, but are good.

24. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

97 Metascore

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 44,323 | Gross: $3.98M

If you want a film with battles that will make you happy, that's a great choice. This is probably the best Robin Hood film, even though doesn't have the best battles.

25. Three Kingdoms (2008)

R | 102 min | Action, Drama, History

His country torn asunder by civil war, Zhao Zilong, a common man heeds the call of duty and from the humblest of roots rises through the ranks on wings of courage and cunning to command an ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Lee | Stars: Andy Lau, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Maggie Q, Cunxin Pu

Votes: 5,819

26. Black Cross (1960)

166 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In the 15th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is facing a hard struggle against the neighboring Teutonic Order.Frequent clashes between the two powers finally culminate in 1410 with the Battle of Grunwald.

Director: Aleksander Ford | Stars: Urszula Modrzynska, Grazyna Staniszewska, Andrzej Szalawski, Henryk Borowski

Votes: 1,530

27. The 300 Spartans (1962)

Approved | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A small Army of Greeks spearheaded by three hundred Spartans do battle with the whole invading Persian Army.

Director: Rudolph Maté | Stars: Richard Egan, Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker, Barry Coe

Votes: 6,276

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