10 Best Movies About The Middle Ages | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The Middle Ages was a tumultuous time and has seen its fair share of holy knights, crusades, castles, legends, and who knows what else. Moreover, it was also a time of war, plague, and politics. If you’re keen to witness the glory, the tragedy, the heroism, the villainy, the romance, and the violence of that era, we’ve got you.

Here are the 10 best movies on the Middle Ages.

The Seventh Seal (1957)

In the midst of the Black Death, disillusioned knight Antonius Block challenges Death to a game of chess to delay his fate.  Block travels with his squire Jöns through a sickly land, meeting people who reflect the worries of the time.

In layman’s terms, the film is a journey of existential reflection during a deadly pandemic. The Seventh Seal will easily get the spot on the top ten list of best films ever made, given it’s an absolute masterpiece. The film will have you asking life’s big questions, like why we’re here and what life really means.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

There’s just something about Ridley Scott’s war films that leaves you wanting more, whether it’s Gladiator or Napoleon. Orlando Bloom starring in Kingdom of Heaven is no different. The film takes place during the Crusades and revolves around a blacksmith named Balian who learns he’s actually a noble and is called to protect the Holy Land and the people living in it.

With Christians and Muslims not getting along, Balian finds himself in the center of one of the biggest battles ever fought for the control of Jerusalem. The film is about honor, faith, and how degrading war can be for either side.

Excalibur (1981)

Excalibur tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. The film recounts Arthur’s life, starting as a squire and becoming the legendary king with the powerful sword Excalibur.

The best thing about the film is that it covers famous Arthurian fables like The Sword in the Stone, the Search for the Holy Grail, and the heartbreaking love story of Lancelot and Guinevere. As Arthur sweats to bring the land together and make Camelot a peaceful place, he deals with extrinsic and intrinsic troubles, including the betrayal by his loyal knight, Lancelot.

The Last Duel (2021)

Thanks to Ridley Scott, we get to see the last legalized death duel that ever took place. The film features four big-time Hollywood hotshots —Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck—as they traverse a dispute that begins with a rape allegation.

The film carefully explores the medieval culture, its legal system, and gender roles are all carefully explored so don’t fret if you’ve missed a couple of your history classes. The best thing about The Last Duel is that it follows the revered Roshomon style, where the story is told via the lens of various characters.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

In this silent movie by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer, we come face to face with Joan of Arc, the French hero from the 15th century. Joan spearheads the French army against the English but ends up being burned at the stake for heresy.

The film mainly concentrates on Joan’s trial and execution. Maria Falconetti’s outstanding performance as the legendary figure immortalized her in the annals of cinema.  This movie is ancient by now, but everyone still thinks it’s one of the absolute best performances ever.

Green Knight (2021)

David Lowery’s most recent feature is a fantastical adventure based on the work of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, penned in the 1400s. Gawain, played by Dev Patel, is a young knight who takes up a challenge from a strange green-skinned fighter.

The opponent says he will return a year later to fight Gawain. A year passes, and Gawain sets off on a awaited quest to confront his fate, dealing with all kinds of temptations, and perils on his way. The film is known for its ominous tone, breathtaking cinematography, and the way it breathes new life into the age-old fable.

Arn: The Knight Templar (2007)

Arn: The Knight Templar is a Swedish movie directed by Peter Flinth, drawing on Jan Guillou’s Crusades Trilogy. The story is about Arn Magnusson, a highly proficient swordsman born into a noble family in medieval Sweden.

Because Magnusson falls in love with Cecilia, he’s sent off to a monastery as punishment. But there, Magnusson becomes the leader he’s supposed to be, both on and off the battlefield. Arn’s adventure leads him to the Holy Land, where he takes the role of a Knight Templar to protect the city of Jerusalem.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

This comedy movie by the British group Monty Python is a clever spoof of the Arthurian legend and medieval stories. Plotwise, it follows King Arthur and his knights on a quest for the Holy Grail.

Their journey is full of dangers, ridiculous challenges, and characters like the killer rabbit, the black knight, and the knights who say “ni.” With witty dialogues, slapstick jokes, and absurd scenes, it’s one of the most quoted and cherished comedies ever. Also, it features what is arguably the most original finale in cinematic history, with King Arthur and Bedevere being put in handcuffs by the police for the murder.

El Cid (1961)

The highlight of Anthony Mann’s career, El Cid, is a historical movie starring Charlton Heston as Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, also known as El Cid. The film is set against the backdrop of the 11th century, focusing on El Cid battling on two fronts.

On the one hand, El Cid is battling the Moors, while on the other, he is dealing with the politics in the Spanish court. Apart from all that, we also get to see El Cid’s love affair with Doña Ximena and his attempts to keep peace in the region that has rarely known peace.

Black Death (2010)

Black Death by Christopher Smith takes place at a time when Europe was looking for ways to save itself from the bubonic plague. The heart of the story beats around a monk named Osmund who’s having a hard time maintaining his faith and definitions of rights and wrong.

Osmund accompanies a bunch of soldiers and travels to a small hamlet that doesn’t seem affected by the deadly plague. As they try to look for answers, possibly a cure, they’re attacked by superstitions, creepy rituals, and a feeling that something really bad is about to happen.

So, these were our top 10 picks for movies about the Middle Ages. Did your favourite make the cut? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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