Films set in Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages (5th to 11th centuries)

by ferreiracarlos1504 | created - 13 Aug 2011 | updated - 18 Sep 2015 | Public
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1. 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: 152,786 | Gross: $51.88M

The Roman withdrawal from Britain and the Battle of Mount Badon

2. The Last Legion (2007)

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

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: 32,833 | Gross: $5.93M

Connecting (in heavily fictionalized fashion) the deposition of the last Roman emperor Romulus Augustus by Odoacer with the Battle of Mount Badon

3. 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: 111,309 | Gross: $32.70M

Blends elements of the historical account of the travels of Ahmad ibn Fadlan (AD 922), the legend of Beowulf (6th century), and the Kurosawa film Seven Samurai

4. Beowulf & Grendel (2005)

R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

53 Metascore

In Denmark, during the 6th century, Danish king Hrothgar and his warriors kill a troll whose son, Grendel, vows revenge.

Director: Sturla Gunnarsson | Stars: Hringur Ingvarsson, Spencer Wilding, Stellan Skarsgård, Ingvar Sigurdsson

Votes: 16,917 | Gross: $0.07M

Denmark in the Germanic Heroic Age - loose adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon poem of Beowulf

5. The Message (1976)

PG | 177 min | Biography, Drama, History

This epic historical drama chronicles the life and times of Muhammad and serves as an introduction to early Islamic history.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Michael Ansara, Johnny Sekka

Votes: 40,485

Arabian Peninsula - the life of Muhammad

6. Alfred the Great (I) (1969)

M/PG | 122 min | Drama, History, War

While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the ninth century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows, to... See full summary »

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: David Hemmings, Michael York, Prunella Ransome, Colin Blakely

Votes: 877

England - Alfred the Great, king of Wessex repels the army of Guthrum and begins the unification of England

7. The War Lord (1965)

Approved | 123 min | Drama, History

In 11th century Normandy, a Norman duke sends one of his knights to build a defensive fortress in order to guard the borders against Frisian raiders.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth, Maurice Evans

Votes: 2,712

Normans fend off Vikings in the Early Middle Ages

8. The Mists of Avalon (2001)

Unrated | 183 min | Drama, Fantasy

Based on the bestseller by Marion Zimmer Bradley It tells the story of the women behind King Arthur; including his mother, Igraine; his half-sister, Morgaine; his aunt Viviane, the Lady of ... See full summary »

Stars: Anjelica Huston, Julianna Margulies, Joan Allen, Samantha Mathis

Votes: 8,072

Connecting (in heavily fictionalized fashion) the story of King Arthur.

9. Valhalla Rising (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

Forced for some time to be a fighting slave, a pagan warrior escapes his captors with a boy and joins a group of Crusaders on their quest to the Holy Land.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Alexander Morton, Stewart Porter

Votes: 52,484 | Gross: $0.02M

Scandinavia and North America in 1000 AD.

10. Pope Joan (2009)

149 min | Drama, Romance

A woman of English extraction born in the German city of Ingelheim in the ninth century disguises herself as a man and rises through the Vatican ranks.

Director: Sönke Wortmann | Stars: Johanna Wokalek, David Wenham, John Goodman, Iain Glen

Votes: 7,948

A possibly fictitious woman who supposedly disguised herself as a man and rose to the status of Pope in the 9th century

11. Beowulf (2007)

PG-13 | 115 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

59 Metascore

The warrior Beowulf (Ray Winstone) must fight and defeat the monster Grendel (Crispin Glover), who is terrorizing Denmark, and later, Grendel's Mother (Angelina Jolie), who begins killing out of revenge.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright

Votes: 155,813 | Gross: $82.16M

Denmark in the Germanic Heroic Age - loose adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon poem of Beowulf

12. The Saxon Chronicles (2006)

120 min | Action, Drama, History

Set in the 9th century, Alfred the Great, England's most influential and inspiring king, escapes his kingdom when it is attacked by the Viking Horde. Anguished and alone he finds himself in... See full summary »

Director: Jeshua De Horta | Stars: Darin Southam, James C. Morris, Doug Guibord, Dan Christensen

Votes: 40

England - the reign of Alfred the Great

13. Tristan + Isolde (2006)

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

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: 49,006 | Gross: $14.73M

Britain and Ireland - adaptation of the Welsh legend of Tristan and Iseult.

14. King Lear (1999)

Not Rated | 190 min | Drama

King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »

Directors: Brian Blessed, Tony Rotherham | Stars: Brian Blessed, Hildegard Neil, Jason Riddington, Phillipa Peak

Votes: 77

Celtic pre-Roman Britain

15. The Last Viking (1997)

88 min | Action, Drama

The son of Viking Harald is left behind in his village with women and children, when his father joins a group of rebels. They are revolving against the king, but the king takes revenge by ... See full summary »

Director: Jesper W. Nielsen | Stars: Holger Thaarup, René Hansen, Moa Lagercrantz, Marika Lagercrantz

Votes: 214

Viking Age

16. Royal Deceit (1994)

R | 103 min | Adventure, Drama

An ancient Danish story of evil, power and human spirit, that subsequently inspired William Shakespeare on his tragedy - Hamlet.

Director: Gabriel Axel | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Brian Cox

Votes: 1,876

Denmark in the Germanic Heroic Age - legend of Amleth from the Danish Gesta Danorum

17. Charlemagne (1993– )

90 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Young Charlemagns is placed on the Frankish throne in the middle of the 8th Century A.D. Despite having many powerful enemies he slowly unites the nations of Western Europe and rebuilds civilization on the ruins of the Roman Empire.

Stars: Christian Brendel, Anny Duperey, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Paolo Bonacelli

Votes: 191

Charlemagne's reign up to his coronation as emperor in 800

18. Pathfinder (2007)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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: 41,027 | Gross: $10.23M

19. Pathfinder (1987)

86 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Around the year 1000 AD warlike people, the so-called "tjudes," roam in northern Scandinavia. As they brutally kill a family in a remote area, including the parents and their little ... See full summary »

Director: Nils Gaup | Stars: Mikkel Gaup, Ingvald Guttorm, Nils Utsi, Henrik H. Buljo

Votes: 4,574

Norway - based on a Sami legend

A fictionalized version of the reign of Æthelred the Unready.

21. King Lear (1971)

GP | 137 min | Drama

The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Brook | Stars: Paul Scofield, Irene Worth, Cyril Cusack, Susan Engel

Votes: 704

Celtic pre-Roman Britain.

22. Pope Joan (1972)

PG | 132 min | Drama, History

In medieval Europe, a pious young woman becomes a scholar of theology, disguises herself as a man, rises through the Catholic Church hierarchy and is elected Pope.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Liv Ullmann, Jeremy Kemp, Natasa Nicolescu, Sharon Winter

Votes: 302

A possibly fictitious woman who supposedly disguised herself as a man and rose to the status of Pope in the 9th century

23. Arthur of the Britons (1972–1973)

30 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Arthur is the chief of a small Celt tribe in Dark-Ages Britain, a century or two after the withdrawal of Rome. Arthur struggles to weave the scattered tribes of Celts, Jutes, etc. into a ... See full summary »

Stars: Oliver Tobias, Michael Gothard, Jack Watson, Brian Blessed

Votes: 112

Britain after the Roman withdrawal

24. 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: 54,034 | Gross: $34.97M

25. The Vikings (1958)

Not Rated | 116 min | Action, Adventure, History

A slave and a Viking prince fight for the love of a captive princess.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh

Votes: 11,462 | Gross: $7.00M

Highly fictionalized account of the death of Ragnar Lodbrok and the subsequent invasion of Northumbria by two of his sons

26. Camelot (2011)

TV-MA | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, History

When King Uther dies and Britain faces chaos, Merlin presents an unknown named Arthur as the new king by birthright, as the late king's son, against the ambitious desires of his half-sister, Morgan.

Stars: Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tamsin Egerton, Peter Mooney

Votes: 22,162

27. The Banquet (2006)

Not Rated | 131 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

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: 6,369

28. Hamlet (1990)

PG | 135 min | Drama

53 Metascore

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans revenge.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, Paul Scofield

Votes: 20,232 | Gross: $20.71M



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