10 Roman Empire Movies

by Col Needham | created - 31 Mar 2011 | updated - 22 Jan 2013 | Public

I enjoyed seeing The Eagle (2011) this week and it reminded me that there are some other great movies set in the time of the Roman empire. You can see a complete list or just the ones you have seen.

The sub-genre may be undergoing a bit of a resurgence as Centurion (2010) and Agora (2009) both look interesting, although not (yet) seen either.

In reverse chronological order (what else) ...

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1. 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: 57,684 | Gross: $19.49M

2. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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: 1,094,516 | Gross: $187.71M

3. History of the World: Part I (1981)

R | 92 min | Comedy, History

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

Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn

Votes: 39,759 | Gross: $31.67M

4. Spartacus (1960)

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

7.9
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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: 105,739 | Gross: $30.00M

5. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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: 180,612 | Gross: $74.70M

6. Julius Caesar (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

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

The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Louis Calhern, Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud

Votes: 8,618

7. The Robe (1953)

Unrated | 135 min | Drama, History

6.8
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In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie

Votes: 7,279 | Gross: $36.00M

8. Quo Vadis (1951)

Approved | 171 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.2
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A fierce Roman commander becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 10,983 | Gross: $24.29M

9. Cleopatra (1934)

Not Rated | 100 min | Biography, Drama, History

6.9
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The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Mark Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 2,828

10. The Sign of the Cross (1932)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, History

6.9
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A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi, Charles Laughton

Votes: 1,637