Gladiator is a film that if you didn’t know who Russell Crowe was before Gladiator, then you sure as hell did afterwards. Russell Crowe stars as Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman General betrayed by Commodus who kills his wife and child as forces him into slavery, where he must battle as a Gladiator. However, due to his skills as a warrior and his performances in the ring, he soon begins to win over the favour of the people.
During a recent rewatch I started to think of all the other films like Gladiator who some of you may want to tick off your bucket list. Below are my picks. How many have you seen? Let me know on social media.
1. Troy (2004)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by David Benioff, Troy stars Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Rose Byrne, Brendan Gleeson, and Peter O’Toole. It was released in the year 2004.
Troy is an epic action film which brings to life the mythology of King Agamemnon, Achilles and Helen of Troy. In it we witness the epic siege and the infamous horse of Troy. While it’s not all that accurate it certain is a crazy amount of fun.
RELATED: 10 Movies Similar to Troy (2004)
2. Spartacus (1960)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by Dalton Trumbo, Spartacus stars Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, and Tony Curtis. It was released in the year 1960.
Spartacus is based on the Howard Fast novel of the same name. It concentrates on legendary gladiator, Spartacus, escaping from slavery and leading his fellow warriors into battle. It’s easily one of the best Kirk Douglas films.
3. The Eagle (2011)
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, The Eagle stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong. It was released in the year 2011.
The Eagle is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion’s supposed disappearance in Britain. Historically, the disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Northern Britain is a subject of debate amongst ancient history scholars.
4. King Arthur (2004)
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, King Arthur stars Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Stellan Skarsgård, Stephen Dillane, Ray Winstone, Hugh Dancy, Til Schweiger, Ioan Gruffudd, and Mads Mikkelsen. It was released in the year 2004.
King Arthur is an odd reinterpretation of the King Arthur myth. It presents to us Arthur, as a Roman soldier, rather than a medieval knight and delivers on the magic even less than the original story. Still, the epic battles are there and, after all, that’s what you’re looking for.
5. Centurion (2010)
Directed and written by Neil Marshall, Centurion stars Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Noel Clarke, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Riz Ahmed, JJ Feild, Dimitri Leonidas, Imogen Poots, and Ulrich Thomsen. It was released in the year 2010.
Centurion is loosely based on the disappearance of the Roman Empire’s Ninth Legion in Caledonia in the early second century AD. It’s quite similar to the synopsis of The Eagle. Which came out a year later.
6. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Directed by John Milius, Conan the Barbarian stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Ben Davidson, Cassandra Gaviola, Gerry Lopez, Mako, Valerie Quennessen, William Smith, and Max von Sydow. It was released in the year 1982.
Based on the comics and novels, Conan the Barbarian is a savage Cimmerian warrior who faces off against Thulsa Doom, a raider who killed his parents, and who Conan is now seeking out to exact vengeance. The film was highly influenced by the Conan comics of the 70s and 80s – which is probably why hardcore fans still love it to this day.
7. Pompeii (2014)
Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, Pompeii stars Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Kiefer Sutherland. It was released in the year 2014.
Pompeii is set just be for the tragedy of the Pompeii volcano erupting and killing everyone in the city. It’s a perfect ancient history tale involving a natural disaster. Think of Dante’s Peak mixed with Hercules and you’ve got the overall vibe of this movie.
8. Robin Hood and the Prince of Thieves (1991)
Directed by Kevin Reynolds, Robin Hood and the Prince of Thieves stars Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Alan Rickman, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. It was released in the year 1991.
Robin Hood and the Prince of Thieves is easily the best film interpretation of the Robin Hood myth and there’s no surprises here when you’ve got actors like Kevin Costner playing Robin Hood and Alan Rickman playing The Sheriff of Nottingham. It’s non-stop action and makes you remember why you fell in love with Robin Hood in the first place.
9. The Scorpion King (2002)
Directed by Chuck Russell, The Scorpion King stars Dwayne Johnson, Steven Brand, Kelly Hu, Bernard Hill, Grant Heslov, Peter Facinelli, and Michael Clarke Duncan. It was released in the year 2002.
The Scorpion King is a spin-off of The Mummy franchise in which Dwayne Johnson’s character is explored in detail. From humble beginnings as a slave to rising up as the feared warrior known as The Scorpion King.
10. The Odyssey (1997)
Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, The Odyssey stars Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Irene Papas, Isabella Rossellini, Bernadette Peters, Eric Roberts, Geraldine Chaplin, Jeroen Krabbé, Christopher Lee and Vanessa Williams. It was released in two parts in the year 1997.
The Odyssey was released as a tv movie across two parts where Odysseus turns his back on the gods after time away winning wars. The resulting conflict with Poseidon causes Odysseus and his crew to go through a lot of trials on their way home back to Ithaca. From journeying to the underworld, to surviving at the hands of the sirens and a final conflict back at home, The Odyssey is an incredible depiction of Greek mythology.
11. Hercules (2014)
Directed by Brett Ratner, Hercules stars Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, and John Hurt. It was released in the year 2014.
Despite the Hercules Greek myth, this Hercules film is based on the Steve Moore graphic novel. In the story, Hercules is tasked with leading an army against a dangerous warlord. There’s no shortage of epic conflicts in this movie.
12. Red Sonja (1985)
Directed by Richard Fleischer, Red Sonja stars Brigitte Nielsen, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L. Smith, Ronald Lacey, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was released in the year 1985.
Red Sonja is a spin-off to the 1982 Hercules film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and is about a red haired girl who is attacked, raped and left for dead – only to rise up and become a vengeful warrior. Unfortunately, the film didn’t make any profits at the box office and so no other Red Sonja films were developed.
13. Clash of the Titans (2010)
Directed by Louis Leterrier, Clash of the Titans stars Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson. It was released in the year 2010.
The Clash of the Titans is a remake of the original that came out in the 1980s. However, I’d argue that, thanks to the impressive CGI and actors involved, it’s a far better version. Like the original, Perseus, half god son of Zeus is pitted against many of the Greek Gods and Monsters of myth and legend.
What did you think of this list of ‘Movies like Gladiator’?
What did you think of Gladiator? Have you seen any of these films before?
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