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11 Historical War Movies like Gladiator Everyone Should Watch

Updated on October 9, 2018
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

Gladiator is one the very few movies that feel simple yet beautiful and complete at the same time. It's a story of betrayal, honor, and revenge. When a Roman general's family is murdered by his corrupt king, he vows to get his revenge one day. He comes back to Rome as a Gladiator, winning people's heart with his brutal and stylish fighting, thus making life a little bit harder for an already-loathed emperor.

Everything from its poetical script to fascinating acting is an example of how war movies should be made. If you loved it, it’s only fitting that you're looking for some more movies like Gladiator. Let’s take a look at the list I’ve compiled for you.

Spartacus (1960)

The plot revolves around a Roman slave who manages to lead a revolution against elite Romans, wreaking havoc everywhere.

Spartacus was pretty lucky to have made it to the screens. With ego clashes all around, things were not looking good for this movie, but everything was worth it in the end.

Even though it was made back in 1960, it’s still pretty amazing – a timeless movie indeed. If you’re looking for some good movies like gladiator, Spartacus should be right up your alley. While you’re at it, you should also give Spartacus, the TV show, a shot. It’s pretty epic.


Braveheart - One of the most popular movies like Gladiator

When his bride is murdered by an English soldier – the one who was trying to rape her – William (The husband) leads a revolution against the king in an attempt to avenge the execution.

Braveheart is as perfect as they come. Most people say The Shawshank Redemption or The Godfather is the best film ever made. Braveheart, however, remains my personal favorite. You need to watch this movie and decide for yourself. The story might be 3 hour long, but it hooks you up right from the get go. The fascinating cinematography also plays a huge part in what makes this movie appealing.

Simply put, it's gorgeous! From the slow motion pictures of battle scenes to the costumes; there’s a lot to feast your eyes upon. I’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the top 10 movies ever made. If you’re looking for some great movies like Gladiator, this one should definitely be in your to-watch list.

The 13th Warrior

Based on the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, The 13th Warrior is the story of a man who falls for a wrong woman, and gets sent by the Sultan to a land far away on a diplomatic mission. Things take a different turn when he stops at a Viking village to restock the supplies and finds himself fighting the evil in an effort to banish it from the village.

While it has every ingredient for a fascinating war movie - breathtaking scenreies, incredible cinematography and a gripping storyline - its wry sense of humor remains the main draw. The dialogues are executed with perfect timing. Due credit should be given to camera work as well. Simply put, it's thrilling.

With a powerful cast and a splendid script, The 13th Warrior cements is place as one of the must-watch movies like The Gladiator.

The Last Samurai - A Big-budget movie like Gladiator

When a US soldier is sent to destroy the last remnants of the Samurai culture, he ends up getting captured by the enemies. Slowly but surely, he starts embracing it, learning to love their way of living. Eventually, he starts fighting for their cause, knowing that they don't have much chance against a huge United States' army.

Being a big-budget movie with Tom Cruise in lead, I was skeptical at first. Most of his movies revolve around typical Hollywood-style action sequences where he saves the day with his superhero-like performances. This movie, however, is easily one of his best performances ever.

It’s disappointing to see that The Last Samurai doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its spellbinding script and authentic performances. Cruise, especially shines in portraying a drunken soldier still living his past memories. It's easy to forget who is really is when you see him breathing life into a role with such intensity and passion.

If you haven't watched it yet, you should.


Based upon a screenplay written by Shakespeare pretty early in his career, the story revolves around the the downfall of a vicious Roman General. He returns to Rome after winning a war, only to turn his own city into a battleground.

It's said that the screenplay is filled with potholes. Apparently, Shakespeare wrote it pretty early in his career. Despite all its downside, the adaption is pretty good. Why? For starters, the script had been slightly changed. They’ve done a commendable good job with bringing the best parts into the light. If you’re looking to give something new a go, this is what you should be watching.

Pompeii (2014)

When a slave turned gladiator’s true love is betrothed to a Roman Senator against her will, he turns the whole game upside down in a race against time to save her.

The plot is far from original. We’ve all watched a bit too many movies with evil Romans and poor, helpless gladiators. The way everything plays out, however, would keep you hooked till the end. If you’re a fan of costumes, sceneries and huge sets, you’d to love what Pompeii has to offer.

I get why this movie has gotten some low ratings here and there. The fact that it's not historically accurate didn't go down with history buffs. It doesn't take an expert to point out a couple of mistakes.

The fact it, they weren’t aiming to be historically accurate. Those fixated upon its lack of accuracy are missing the point - it's supposed to be a flashy, violent movie with a good mix of facts and fiction. And for the most part, it does the job very well.

Rob Roy

This movie takes place in the 1700s, chronicling the life of Rob Roy and his family. When they're wronged by a Nobleman and his family, he is forced to live a Robin Hood style life. ill e take his revenge?

There is a reason It’s compared with Braveheart a lot. While a lot of people agree that latter is a better movie, I think Rob Roy topples Braveheart in more ways than one. For starters, It doesn’t waste any time in trying to be serious and authentic. From the moment it begins to the moment credits roll, you’re going to have lots of fun. A perfectly balanced cast and an impressive mix of humor and seriousness helps Rob Roy stand out from others.

Due credit must be given to the amazing camera work as well. Swordfights are filmed expertly, which helps with the immersion. The background music also plays a huge role, making for a tense, nail-biting experience. Overall, it's a pretty flawless movie everyone should watch.

The Eagle

The plot takes place in 140 AD, revolving around a Roman solider on a quest to find out more about the mysterious disappearance of the entire legion. Standing in his way are savage tribes living in the uncharted highlands. As expected, things don't go as smoothly as he'd planned.

If you're looking for something that stays true to the history, The Eagle won't disappoint you. There are some parts that might raise your hackles. But good news is, it stays pretty solid for the most part.


If you’re looking for a movie with one jaw-dropping fighting scene after another without much of a complicated plot, 300 should be your best bet. From the slow-mo fights to extreme gore; there’s a lot here for goregrounds to feast their eyes upon. The plot is pretty simple and straightforward, so much so that you can sum it up in a sentence. It’s pretty much confined to battle scenes with not much else going on.

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that it’s fun. Give it a shot.

Centurian - A gory and graphic movie similar to Gladiator

The plot revolves around a group of Roman Soldiers who gets left behind the enemy lines. With no other option, they decide to give it all to elude their inevitable fate.

Despite being one of the most violent movies ever, the plot is solid and acting is some of the best I’ve ever seen. If you can stomach some gruesome fighting scenes that always ends with blood splattered all across the battlefield, you’d like what it has to offer. While it’s more gory and graphic than your usual war movie, a gripping storyline makes everything fall in its place.

King Arthur - An underrated movie like Gladiator

A lot of movies have been made about King Arthur, focusing on the mystical elements for the most part. You've never been told the true story that inspired all the mystical tales in the first place. The story takes place during the times when Roman empire was losing its grip, resulting in skirmishes for power all over the world.

A meager 6.3 out of 10 at IMDB might make it look like an okayish movie, but that rating doesn't do it any justice. King Arthur has it all - Epic battles, heroic characters, mesmerizing background music, and most importantly, a fascinating script. It might not be as big as Braveheart in terms of scope, but it would certainly leave a mark on you.


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