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7 Movies Like "Gladiator"

Updated on January 18, 2016
7 Movies Like Gladiator
7 Movies Like Gladiator

Gladiator is an epic, historical-drama film starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen and Oliver Reed. The story follows Maximus Decimus Meridius, a faithful Roman general who rises through the gladiatorial ranks after everything has been taken away from him. Directed by Ridley Scott, Gladiator has renewed people’s interest in historical epic films. The movie has been a huge box office hit, even brought home several recognitions from the 73rd Academy Awards. The movie premiered on May 5, 2000.

Here are movies like “Gladiator” that will bring you back in time, when the world is at war, giving rise to the world’s greatest ancient leaders we know today.

1. Braveheart

Release Date: May 24, 1995

Director: Mel Gibson

Cast: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan

William Wallace grows up in a chaotic Scotland. As a young boy, he witnesses how his father, his brother, and many others lost their lives in an attempt to fight for their nation’s freedom. Growing up, William has become a wild rebel. He leads a revolution, battling against Edward the Longshanks, the ruthless English emperor who is greedy enough to assume the inheritance of the Scotland crown. When the woman he loves is killed for defending herself from an English warrior who attempts to rape her, William begins his quest, leading the Scottish soldiers into an uprising to break free from the harsh English tyranny.

2. 300

Release Date: March 9, 2007

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham

To spread out his already vast territory, the aggressive King Xerxes of Persia plans to conquer Greece with his massive army. But the courageous King Leonidas of Sparta will not allow that to happen. With a fearless heart and a desire to defend what he owns, he takes with him his personal defense force of three hundred soldiers. They guard the only way to enter Greece: the passage of Thermopylae, until a traitor Greek citizen informs King Xerxes about the confidential passageway that leads to the territory of Leonidas's army. Queen Gorgo, Leonidas’ wife, does her own thing: she convinces the assembly to allow the Spartan soldiers to battle against the Persians.

3. The Last of the Mohicans

Release Date: September 25, 1992

Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means

In the middle of the French and British war in colonial America, local American battle troops have themselves involved. The British troops ask for the native colonial soldiers’ help. However, these soldiers are having doubts about leaving their own nation unguarded. Things begin to get even more complicated for the British officer when, in the midst of war, a promising romance develops between his daughter and a liberated gentleman, who is adopted and raised as a Mohican. This man is the last living Mohican, trailing things on his own, even with the conflict going on.

4. Apocalypto

Release Date: December 8, 2006

Director: Mel Gibson

Cast: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández

When a peaceful tribe in the Mayan civilization is severely attacked by soldiers who are looking for slaves, the kingdom starts to decline. To prevent the kingdom’s further weakening, the leaders insist that the only solution is to find human sacrifices to be offered to their gods. Unwilling to be a sacrifice, Jaguar Paw escapes with his son and pregnant wife in a secret burrow near the tribe. However, the kingdom rulers’ men catch him. When the time has come for him to be the offering, an eclipse happens, saving his life for the meantime. Now, if Jaguar Paw wants to survive and protect his family, he has to fight back.

5. Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Release Date: September 13, 2012

Director: Te-Sheng Wei

Cast: Masanobu Andô, Jun'ichi Haruta, Sabu Kawahara

When the Japanese succeed to take over Taiwan, the Seediq are obliged to give up their faith and leave behind their culture. Taiwanese men are compelled to leave traditional hunting to do difficult works. Meanwhile, the women population is forced to leave traditional weaving to serve the Japanese authority and take care of their households. They are also prohibited to put tattoos on their face, as tattoos are the Seediq's sign, meaning transformation. Mona Rudao has witnessed this oppression for 30 years. She becomes a leader of Seediq Bale, leading 300 warriors in a bloody war against 3000 Japanese warriors.

6. Willow

Release Date: May 20, 1988

Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis

In the prison of Queen Bavmord’s castle, a woman gives birth to a child - the same child who is destined to throw the evil Queen away from her reign, just as an ancient prophecy claims. Before the Queen finds out about the child, as well as the prophecy, the midwife hides the child, escapes, but is driven to leave the baby in a river when they reach the Hounds of the Queen. The water brings the baby into a nelwyns’ village, where little Willow sees the baby and adopts her. When Willow discovers who the baby is, he begins his risky journey to take the baby back to her people and make the prophecy happen.

7. Spartacus

Release Date: October 7, 1960

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons

Thracian Spartacus is born and raised as a slave. Later on, he is sold to Batiatus, a Gladiator trainer. After some weeks of training, which includes killing in the arena, Spartacus turns his back from his owners and directs his fellow slaves into an uprising. Their members increase as they move from town to town. Under Spartacus’ leadership, the rebels set off for a bloodbath to get the freedom they deserve, going against the corrupt Roman Republic, which is being pursued by two power-greedy senators, the republican Gracchus and the militaristic Crassus.

Which movie like Gladiator will you watch next?

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