Ranking the Historical Epics Released Since 1980

by Li-1 | created - 24 Mar 2011 | updated - 25 May 2014 | Public

I love watching a good, sweeping historical epic. This is my ranking of such films released since 1980.

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1. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
68 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 828,669 | Gross: $75.60M

**** out of **** The film that brought back the historical epic, and I think it remains the best of its genre. This 13th century story of William Wallace leading the Scottish Rebellion against the English is the most rousing epic I've seen. Its sweeping storytelling, amazing battle sequences, beautiful score, and larger-than-life performances always enthrall me every time I watch this film. This is Mel Gibson's most triumphant work to date, both as actor and director.

2. The Killing Fields (1984)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 45,285 | Gross: $34.70M

**** out of ****

3. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 99,088 | Gross: $22.24M

**** out of ****

4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
81 Metascore

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 181,294 | Gross: $93.93M

**** out of **** I was absolutely blown away the first time I saw this film, and repeat viewings have only made me appreciate it even more. M&C is a rigorously authentic and completely engrossing depiction of life aboard a 19th century British warship. The cat-and-mouse story is taut and suspenseful, with just the right amount of breaks in between to develop the characters and their relationships. The entire cast feels like an actual 19th century warship crew, and that is no small feat in and of itself. The battle scenes are also fantastic, particularly the climactic battle aboard the Acheron. This is a career-best achievement for everyone involved.

5. The Last Samurai (2003)

R | 154 min | Action, Drama, History

7.7
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55 Metascore

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, William Atherton

Votes: 347,488 | Gross: $111.11M

**** out of ****

6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
90 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,008,702 | Gross: $216.54M

**** out of ****

7. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 986,244 | Gross: $96.07M

**** out of ****

8. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
89 Metascore

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 140,929 | Gross: $13.76M

**** out of ****

9. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

9.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 281,388

**** out of ****

10. The Pacific (2010)

TV-MA | 530 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.3
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The Pacific Theatre of World War II, as seen through the eyes of several young Marines.

Stars: James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Jon Seda, Ashton Holmes

Votes: 79,258

**** out of ****

11. Les Misérables (1998)

PG-13 | 134 min | Crime, Drama, History

7.5
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Valjean, a former criminal, has atoned for his past and now finds himself in the midst of the French Revolution, avoiding a law-obsessed policeman hell-bent on capturing him.

Director: Bille August | Stars: Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, Christopher Adamson

Votes: 34,406 | Gross: $14.10M

**** out of ****

12. Apocalypto (2006)

R | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.8
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68 Metascore

As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, a young man is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández, Rudy Youngblood

Votes: 256,884 | Gross: $50.87M

**** out of **** Mel Gibson is three for three when it comes to directing historical dramas. Apocalypto is in many ways Gibson's most amazing accomplishment. He's taken a cast full of unknowns, filmed it all in a foreign dialect, and has put together one of the most mesmerizing films I've seen. The trek from Jaguar Paw's village to the Mayan city is positively hypnotic, providing the kind of beautiful visuals that I've never seen in my life. The last 1/3 of the film, a chase through the jungle as our protagonist tries to return home, is one of the most thrilling action scenes of its kind.

13. Ying xiong (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History

7.9
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85 Metascore

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 159,517 | Gross: $53.71M

**** out of ****

14. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

7.7
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74 Metascore

160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana

Votes: 320,360 | Gross: $108.64M

**** out of ****

15. Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

R | 140 min | Action, Drama, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
64 Metascore

When two brothers are forced to fight in the Korean War, the elder decides to take the riskiest missions if it will help shield the younger from battle.

Director: Je-kyu Kang | Stars: Dong-gun Jang, Bin Won, Eun-ju Lee, Hyeong-jin Kong

Votes: 34,219 | Gross: $1.11M

*** 1/2 out of ****

16. The Right Stuff (1983)

PG | 193 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.9
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The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Votes: 49,199 | Gross: $21.50M

17. The Bounty (1984)

PG | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.1
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62 Metascore

Fed up with their captain's harsh discipline, a sailing ship crew decides to take action.

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox

Votes: 20,123 | Gross: $8.60M

*** 1/2 out of ****

18. War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, War

7.2
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72 Metascore

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 128,156 | Gross: $79.88M

*** 1/2 out of ****

19. Cold Mountain (2003)

R | 154 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.2
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73 Metascore

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins

Votes: 126,354 | Gross: $95.64M

*** 1/2 out of ****

20. We Were Soldiers (2002)

R | 138 min | Action, Drama, History

7.2
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65 Metascore

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.

Director: Randall Wallace | Stars: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliott

Votes: 114,149 | Gross: $78.12M

*** 1/2 out of ****

21. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
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75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 882,657 | Gross: $659.33M

*** 1/2 out of ****

22. Flags of our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Drama, History, War

7.1
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79 Metascore

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross, Jesse Bradford

Votes: 107,674 | Gross: $33.60M

*** 1/2 out of ****

23. Centurion (2010)

R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.4
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62 Metascore

A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is devastated in a guerrilla attack.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Andreas Wisniewski

Votes: 70,398 | Gross: $0.12M

*** 1/2 out of **** Prior to Centurion, I'd have to go all the way back to 2006's Apocalypto to point out a historical-based epic that I enjoyed, so it was with a feeling of relief to watch one that so thoroughly won me over. Centurion is 97 minutes of bloody, fast-paced entertainment. Its story of survival behind enemy lines is simple but very well told, the plentiful action sequences are terrific, and we get two very charismatic performances from Michael Fassbender and the underrated Dominic West. Some minor quibbles: Overall, I wish the film were longer, with a bit more time in the beginning devoted to the character intros and more screen time between Fassbender and Imogen Poots, who have great chemistry together.

24. House of Flying Daggers (2004)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.6
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89 Metascore

A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Dandan Song

Votes: 98,284 | Gross: $11.05M

*** 1/2 out of ****

25. Troy (2004)

R | 163 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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: 423,424 | Gross: $133.38M

*** 1/2 out of **** (Director's Cut) Watching Troy was like seeing the return of the old-fashioned epic, only with more blood, violence, and nudity. The film gives us interesting, larger-than-life characters and grand battle scenes (as well as some really well-done one-on-one fights). Eric Bana delivers the best performances as the honorable Hector. Admittedly, Brad Pitt's performance is a little uneven, but he definitely has the physicality for the role. This film polarized audiences and will likely upset purists of The Iliad, but I think this is a grandly entertaining swords-and-sandals epic.

26. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

R | 127 min | Drama

7.2
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47 Metascore

Depicts the final twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern, Christo Jivkov

Votes: 191,503 | Gross: $370.78M

*** 1/2 out of ****

27. Agora (2009)

R | 127 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.2
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55 Metascore

A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Catholicism in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the famous philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom

Votes: 58,077 | Gross: $0.62M

*** out of **** A very pleasant surprise. I was expecting a dull slog, but got a thoughtful, supremely well-acted, and gorgeously produced epic about the life of Hypatia and the rise of Christianity. The second half of the film isn't quite as strong as the first half, but this is nonetheless one of the better historical dramas of the last two decades.

28. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.5
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67 Metascore

When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

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

Votes: 1,110,441 | Gross: $187.71M

*** out of **** Entertaining, but overrated. I enjoyed the epic sweep and spectacle, but felt mixed about most everything else. The action scenes are visceral and exciting, but suffer from too much jittery and rapid-cut editing. Crowe is fine as Maximus, but his character feels one-dimensional. And as a whole, I found this film had little emotional impact. The extended version is slightly superior to the theatrical release, though a couple of scenes still should have been left out.

29. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

R | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.2
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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: 237,355 | Gross: $47.40M

*** out of **** (Director's Cut) ** out of **** (Theatrical Cut)

30. King Arthur (2004)

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

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
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: 146,080 | Gross: $51.88M

*** out of **** (Extended Cut) An underrated sword-clashing battle epic, King Arthur is a great-looking film with a good cast and exciting action sequences.

31. Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History

6.1
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44 Metascore

A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott

Votes: 278,084 | Gross: $198.54M

*** out of ****

32. The Warlords (2007)

R | 126 min | Action, Drama, History

7.1
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70 Metascore

It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Wai Man Yip | Stars: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jinglei Xu

Votes: 24,132 | Gross: $0.13M

*** out of ****

33. Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006)

R | 114 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.0
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70 Metascore

During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou, Ye Liu

Votes: 38,644 | Gross: $6.57M

*** out of ****

34. A Very Long Engagement (2004)

R | 133 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
76 Metascore

Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Gaspard Ulliel, Jodie Foster, Dominique Pinon

Votes: 66,129 | Gross: $6.17M

*** out of ****

35. The Warrior (2001)

R | 158 min | Action, Drama, History

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1375. Nine Koryo warriors, envoys exiled by Imperial China, battle to protect a Chinese Ming Princess from Mongolian troops.

Director: Sung-su Kim | Stars: Woo-sung Jung, Sung-Ki Ahn, Jin-mo Ju, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 10,258

*** out of ****

36. 300 (2006)

R | 117 min | Action, Fantasy

7.7
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52 Metascore

King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Dominic West

Votes: 659,575 | Gross: $210.61M

*** out of **** If you like bloody, stylish battle scenes, 300 will do the trick. It's good spectacle, with lots of outlandish visuals and heroic characters. Thin on plot and any genuine drama, but it does deliver the action that it promises.

37. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.8
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76 Metascore

Three trappers protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig

Votes: 126,285 | Gross: $75.51M

*** out of **** As a historical action epic, it works nicely. It's got exciting battle scenes and a terrific musical score that gets the pulse pounding. Unfortunately, the love story is tepid at best. I just didn't feel any chemistry between Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe and that is unfortunately a huge drawback.

38. Elizabeth (1998)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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75 Metascore

A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes

Votes: 81,412 | Gross: $30.08M

*** out of ****

39. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas

Votes: 151,886 | Gross: $36.40M

*** out of ****

40. Ironclad (2011)

R | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.2
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42 Metascore

In 13th-century England, a small group of Knights Templar fight to defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John.

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

Votes: 36,639

*** out of ****

41. The Patriot (2000)

R | 165 min | Action, Drama, History

7.2
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63 Metascore

Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs

Votes: 225,635 | Gross: $113.33M

** 1/2 out of **** I simultaneously feel like I'm being too kind and too harsh to this film. On the one hand, it's a very entertaining tale with thrilling battles, gorgeous cinematography, extremely authentic-looking sets and costumes, and excellent lead performances. But on the other hand, Emmerich is a director who knows no subtlety, some of the dialogue is just lame, there are too many corny time-consuming subplots, and most of the attempts at humor fall flat. It's either a great movie with a myriad of flaws, or a mediocre one that's saved by some great moments. Either way, I'm fairly half-half on it, though it's more entertaining than not.

42. The Alamo (2004)

PG-13 | 137 min | Drama, History, War

6.0
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47 Metascore

Based on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men, led by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces at the Alamo in San Antonio Tezas

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Emilio Echevarría, Jason Patric

Votes: 17,825 | Gross: $22.41M

** 1/2 out of ****

43. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.9
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45 Metascore

A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 59,067 | Gross: $16.29M

** 1/2 out of ****

44. Alexander (2004)

R | 175 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

5.6
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39 Metascore

Alexander, 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: 148,134 | Gross: $34.30M

** 1/2 out of **** It's a mess, but not an unenjoyable one. Over-the-top performances and overwrought dialogue weigh down some excellent battle scenes and great production values (a couple of overly obvious matte paintings aside). Extra props go to Vangelis for his grand, rousing score. I've seen all three versions of the film and found them all to be extremely flawed in one fashion or another. The original theatrical cut probably works best.

45. The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)

R | 162 min | Drama, History

7.3
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75 Metascore

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang, Zhou Sun, Xiaohe Lü

Votes: 5,481 | Gross: $1.33M

** 1/2 out of ****

46. The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)

R | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.6
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58 Metascore

During the 16th century, as Thailand contends with both a civil war and Burmese invasion, a beautiful princess rises up to help protect the glory of the Kingdom of Ayothaya. Based on the life of Queen Suriyothai.

Director: Chatrichalerm Yukol | Stars: M.L. Piyapas Bhirombhakdi, Sarunyu Wongkrachang, Chatchai Plengpanich, Johnny Anfone

Votes: 1,731 | Gross: $0.45M

** 1/2 out of ****

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

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

6.4
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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: 59,145 | Gross: $14.28M

** out of ****

48. Tristan + Isolde (2006)

PG-13 | 125 min | Action, Drama, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
49 Metascore

An affair between the second in line to Britain's throne and the princess of the feuding Irish spells doom for the young lovers.

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O'Hara

Votes: 47,390 | Gross: $14.73M

** out of **** The romance is front and center in this film, and it's unfortunately rather tepid. I didn't feel much chemistry between James Franco and Sophia Myles, and Franco feels somewhat miscast here, with his unconvincing British accent. The film is not without its pleasures, there is an excitingly filmed and choreographed forest skirmish near the beginning, but it's mostly middling stuff.

49. The Eagle (2011)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
55 Metascore

In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, István Göz

Votes: 58,237 | Gross: $19.49M

** out of ****

50. Ye yan (2006)

Not Rated | 131 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.

Director: Xiaogang Feng | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, You Ge, Daniel Wu, Xun Zhou

Votes: 6,105

** out of ****

51. Pathfinder (2007)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

5.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
29 Metascore

A Viking boy is left behind after his clan battles a Native American tribe. Raised within the tribe, he ultimately becomes their savior in a fight against the Norsemen.

Director: Marcus Nispel | Stars: Karl Urban, Clancy Brown, Moon Bloodgood, Russell Means

Votes: 39,370 | Gross: $10.23M

** out of ****

52. Cleopatra (1999– )

Not Rated | 177 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

6.6
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Princess Cleopatra becomes Egypt's Queen and has an out-of-wedlock son with the son-less Roman ruler Julius Ceasar. Through two romances, she strives to protect Egypt from the Romans, and make her son the heir to Ceaser's Roman Empire.

Stars: Leonor Varela, Nadim Sawalha, Owen Teale, Philip Quast

Votes: 3,416

** out of ****

53. Caesar (2002 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 240 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.7
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Twenty-year-old Julius Caeser flees Rome for his life during the reign of Sulla, but through skill and ambition rises four decades later to become Rome's supreme dictator.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Richard Harris, Christopher Walken, Valeria Golino

Votes: 2,296

** out of ****

54. Robin Hood (2010)

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

6.7
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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: 228,276 | Gross: $105.27M

* 1/2 out of ****

55. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
51 Metascore

When Robin and his Moorish companion come to England and the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham, he decides to fight back as an outlaw.

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater

Votes: 157,129 | Gross: $165.50M

* 1/2 out of ****

56. Xin hai ge ming (2011)

R | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

5.9
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37 Metascore

A historical drama based on the founding of the Republic of China when nationalist forces led by Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty.

Directors: Li Zhang, Jackie Chan | Stars: Jackie Chan, Winston Chao, Bingbing Li, Chun Sun

Votes: 5,226 | Gross: $0.13M

* 1/2 out of ****

57. First Knight (1995)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

5.9
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Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere, who is due to be married to King Arthur. Meanwhile, a violent warlord tries to seize power from Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Director: Jerry Zucker | Stars: Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond, Ben Cross

Votes: 60,181 | Gross: $37.60M

* 1/2 out of ****

58. 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

PG-13 | 154 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
47 Metascore

Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Sigourney Weaver, Loren Dean

Votes: 24,650 | Gross: $7.19M

* 1/2 out of ****

59. Battle of the Warriors (2006)

R | 133 min | Action, Drama, War

6.7
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Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China.

Director: Chi Leung 'Jacob' Cheung | Stars: Andy Lau, Sung-Ki Ahn, Zhiwen Wang, Bingbing Fan

Votes: 3,543

* 1/2 out of ****

60. Jiang shan mei ren (2008)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama, History

5.9
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After the death of her father, a woman is forced to take over as empress and fight to save her kingdom.

Director: Siu-Tung Ching | Stars: Kelly Chen, Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Xiaodong Guo

Votes: 3,442

* 1/2 out of ****

61. The Last Legion (2007)

PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Adventure, War

5.4
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37 Metascore

As the Roman empire crumbles, young Romulus Augustus flees the city and embarks on a perilous voyage to Britain to track down a legion of supporters.

Director: Doug Lefler | Stars: Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Peter Mullan

Votes: 31,409 | Gross: $5.93M

* out of ****