The world of medieval fantasy is a magical one, with plenty of movies to keep us enthralled. From classic high-fantasy epics like Willow and The Princess Bride to more recent offerings like Warcraft and The King’s Daughter, these movies let us explore a world full of magic and mystery, kingdoms and dragons, mythical creatures, and more. Here are some of the best medieval fantasy movies that we think you should check out in 2023.
Best Medieval Fantasy Movies
- The King's Daughter (2022)
- Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
- Labyrinth (1987)
- Merlin (1998)
- Gods of Egypt (2016)
- Tale of Tales (2015)
- Wrath of the Titans (2012)
- Dracula Untold (2014)
- Conan the Barbarian (1982)
- Snow White and the Huntsman (2016)
- Immortals (2011)
- The Great Wall (2016)
- Clash of the Titans (2010)
- Hercules (2014)
- Solomon Kane (2009)
- Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
- 47 Ronin (2013)
- Willow (1988)
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
- Warcraft (2016)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
25. The King’s Daughter (2022)
- Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Kaya Scodelario, William Hurt
- Duration: 1h 30m
The King’s Daughter is an epic adventure, family-friendly fantasy, and romantic film starring Pierce Brosnan, Kaya Scodelario, and William Hurt. The story follows King Louis XIV of France (Pierce Brosnan), who is determined to find the key to immortality through any means necessary. Encouraged by his spiritual advisor Père La Chaise (William Hurt) and his royal physician, Louis entrusts a young sea captain to search for a mermaid whose life force he believes is the key to eternal youth.
His plans become complicated when his illegitimate daughter, Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario), returns to court and stands in opposition to his ambitions. Whether you are a fan of fantasy, romance, or action-adventure movies, The King’s Daughter is sure to captivate you.
24. Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Spencer Wilding, Stellan Skarsgård
- Duration: 1h 43m
Beowulf & Grendel is an epic medieval fantasy movie based on the icon poem, “Beowulf”. The film follows a Norse hero as he embarks on a quest to battle against the gruesome and powerful troll, Grendel. Beowulf, the valiant warrior, is hired by King Hrothgar of the Danes to drive out the creature from a village. However, things get complicated when Beowulf discovers the King’s hidden role in Grendel’s rampages. If you like stories featuring Norse folklore and epic battles, this movie is a must-watch.
23. Labyrinth (1987)
- Cast: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud
- Duration: 1h 41m
Labyrinth is a classic fantasy film that follows Sarah, a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself in a difficult situation. She’s been asked by her parents to babysit her baby brother, Toby, while they go out for the night. After she returns home late and receives a scolding from her stepmother Irene, Sarah’s temper flares and she wishes that someone would take Toby away.
Her wish is granted when a Goblin King appears to take Toby to his castle. And so the story follows Sarah through a magical journey as she embarks on an adventure to find her brother and get him back before midnight. This beloved classic is full of suspense, and heart-warming moments that make it an unforgettable experience.
22. Merlin (1998)
- Cast: Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, John Gielgud, Rutger Hauer
- Duration: 3h 2m
Set in the mythical land of Camelot, Merlin is a thrilling take on the classic tale of the legendary wizard. Starring Sam Neill as Merlin and Helena Bonham Carter as the evil Morgan Le Fey, the film captures the magical world of Camelot in stunning detail and with a delightful dose of drama and romance. Along the way, Merlin must try to protect Arthur from his own destiny, a path that could lead to ruin and destruction. Fans of fantasy and adventure movies will not want to miss out on this classic tale.
21. Gods of Egypt (2016)
- Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler
- Duration: 2h 7m
Gods of Egypt follows the story of Bek, a young thief whose love has been taken hostage by the ruthless god of darkness, Set. Determined to rescue her and save mankind from Set’s reign of terror, Bek embarks on an epic quest with the help of the powerful god Horus. With courage and resilience, Bek and Horus fight against Set and his henchmen in a thrilling adventure that takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens. Whether you are a fan of Egyptian mythology or just looking for an exciting fantasy movie to watch, Gods of Egypt is definitely worth checking out.
20. Tale of Tales (2015)
- Cast: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones
- Duration: 2h 14m
Tales of Tales is a cinematic spectacle inspired by 17th-century folklorist Giambattista Basile’s fairytales. The movie follows the adventures of three kings and showcases a barrage of spellbinding and fantastical imagery. While the Queen of Longtrellis (Salma Hayek) is on a bitter quest, two mysterious sisters stir up the passion of a king. The movie takes a dark turn when the King of Highhills (Toby Jones) becomes obsessed with breeding a giant Flea. Overall, this movie is a surreal and mesmerizing experience that takes viewers deep into the world of fairy tales.
19. Wrath of the Titans (2012)
- Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike
- Duration: 1h 39m
Wrath of the Titans is a thrilling fantasy movie that follows the demigod Perseus, as he attempts to battle against the gods and Titans in an epic struggle for supremacy. Ten years after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus the son of Zeus, is living a quiet life as a single parent to his 10-year-old son Helius.
Unfortunately, humanity’s lack of devotion has weakened the gods and allowed their enemies, the Titans and their leader Kronos, the father of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon, to escape from the underworld’s prison. With his unquenchable thirst for power, Kronos allies with Hades and Ares to gain even more strength.
With breathtaking visual effects, Wrath of the Titans is a spectacular adventure filled with courageous heroes and epic battles, that are sure to please greek mythology or movies with giants fans alike.
18. Dracula Untold (2014)
- Cast: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon
- Duration: 1h 32m
Dracula Untold offers a unique twist to the classic Dracula franchise that most of us are familiar with. It follows the journey of Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans), a ruler and warrior also known as Dracula who has left his days of bloodshed and terror behind to rest and serves as a protector of his people.
What follows is a thrilling adventure as Vlad must employ all of his newfound strength to outwit and overpower the Ottoman army. He can fly, take on hundreds of men at once, command swarms of bats to use as weapons, and more. It’s a fun visual spectacle that encapsulates Vlad’s transformation from a mere mortal to a bit of a superhero.
17. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
- Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow
- Duration: 2h 9m
Conan the Barbarian is the classic, timeless action-adventure movie from the 80s. The film follows Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as he embarks on a quest to avenge the death of his parents, who were killed by the evil ruler Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones). Along the way, Conan meets a variety of characters including King Osric (Max von Sydow) and an evil sorcerer. The movie features spectacular swordplay and fights scenes as Conan battles his way through the kingdom. If you enjoy watching medieval movies, then most likely you will appreciate this classic film.
16. Snow White and the Huntsman (2016)
- Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron
- Duration: 1h 54m
Set in an imagined medieval era of magical kingdoms, Snow White and the Huntsman follows Freya (Emily Blunt), the younger sister of a powerful and wicked sorceress Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), while she retreats to the lands of the north with an army of orphaned warriors. When Freya experiences a devastating betrayal, her dormant magical powers awaken and she transforms into an all-powerful Ice-Witch with a frozen heart.
What comes next is a battle between good and evil as Freya’s two dauntless warriors, Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), fall in love and defy her orders. It’s a perfect movie for those who enjoy watching a combination of action, romance, and supernatural forces all at once.
15. Immortals (2011)
- Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt
- Duration: 1h 50m
Immortals is a thrilling tale set in an ancient world, where Gods have won their epic battle against the Titans. Yet a new evil is threatening mankind. King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) is mad with power and has declared a merciless war. Followed by a great army of loyal soldiers, and a relentless pursuit of the legendary Epirus Bow, Hyperion is determined to gain control of this weapon that could unleash the mighty Titans from their eternal imprisonment within Mount Tartaros.
Immortals is a thrilling epic adventure that captivates audiences with its unique blend of mythology and action. With an all-star cast, breathtaking visuals, and a powerful story of redemption, Immortals is one of the best medieval fantasy movies of all time. Whether you’re a fan of Greek mythology or just looking for an entertaining movie night with friends, this film is sure to satisfy you.
14. The Great Wall (2016)
- Cast: Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe
- Duration: 1h 43m
The Great Wall is a medieval fantasy movie starring Matt Damon, Tian Jing, and Willem Dafoe. The story follows the journey of mercenaries William Garin (Matt Damon) and Pero Tovar (Pedro Pascal), who are traveling in search of black powder. They hide out in a cave but are attacked by a hideous creature.
The story continues with the two being taken prisoner by the Chinese soldiers of the Nameless Order who guard the Great Wall that has protected the city from many dangers, some unknown and some magical. The amazing sets and costumes, the incredible action sequences, and the fight choreography, as well as the gripping story, make this movie a great thrilling experience. I highly recommend it.
13. Clash of the Titans (2010)
- Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
- Duration: 1h 46m
Clash of the Titans is a thrilling and captivating classic medieval movie about the struggle of Perseus, the demigod son of mighty Zeus, as he embarks on a treacherous journey to take revenge from Hades, the terrifying ruler of the Underworld. Perseus sets off to fight against the gods of Olympus and save their doomed city of Argos from Hades’ threat of unleashing the legendary sea monster, Kraken. With nothing to lose, Perseus must go through many perils and face relentless hordes of demons and adversaries to survive the battle. With a story filled with courage, adventure, and destiny, this is a captivating movie for anyone who enjoys the medieval fantasy genre.
12. Hercules (2014)
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane
- Duration: 1h 38m
Featuring Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, and Ian McShane, Hercules tells the story of a tormented soul who is neither man nor god. Hercules (The Rock) is the powerful son of the god Zeus, but only receives suffering for it. After completing twelve labors and enduring the death of his family, he turns away from the gods and takes solace in bloody battles. Along this journey, he meets six other warriors who share a bond of love for fighting and death. It’s a well-told story full of action, humor, and heartache, a great movie for a night of escapism and adventure.
11. Solomon Kane (2009)
- Cast: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Pete Postlethwaite
- Duration: 1h 44m
Packed with thrilling action and adventure, Solomon Kane is one of the best medieval fantasy movies around. The movie follows the story of former mercenary Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) who once fought under Queen Elizabeth I against the Ottomans in Africa. However, while fighting he met the Devil’s Reaper and found out his soul was forfeit to Satan, forcing him to abandon violence and instead seek redemption through a life of peace. What comes next is a dramatic turn of events, a movie that is sure to grip.
10. Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
- Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
- Duration: 1h 54m
Directed by Bryan Singer, Jack the Giant Slayer is a movie full of adventure. The movie is based on the classic fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk, and tells the story of Jack, a young farmhand who must brave the treacherous heights of a magical beanstalk in order to save a princess from an army of evil giants. With an all-star cast and stunning visual effects, this is one of the most beloved medieval fantasy movies.
9. 47 Ronin (2013)
- Cast: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki
- Duration: 2h 8m
47 Ronin tells the story of Lord Asano of Ako and his devoted samurai, who is cursed by a jealous Lord Kira to commit seppuku after Asano is bewitched into injuring Kira. Asano’s samurai, however, are determined to avenge their lord and enlist the help of a mysterious half-breed they found in the forest. Together, they set out on a daring mission to defy the Shogun’s orders. It’s a mix of thrilling action, captivating drama, and the fantastic visuals of a supernatural medieval Japan that makes 47 Ronin an unforgettable fantasy movie.
8. Willow (1988)
- Cast: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis
- Duration: 2h 6m
Willow is an adventure fantasy movie directed and produced by Ron Howard. It stars Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, and Warwick Davis in the lead roles. The plot follows Willow, a farmer who is chosen to protect and save a baby from an evil queen. Along the way, he befriends a crew of misfits, including an Airkyn, a magician, and a swordsman. They must work together to defeat the queen’s forces and save the baby.
This movie is filled with action, and adventure as Willow and his friends battle their way to victory. The special effects and costumes still hold up today, making Willow a classic in the realm of medieval fantasy films. And the great news is that the Willow TV show has also been released recently and is available on Disney+ for streaming.
7. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
- Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina
- Duration: 2h 41m
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time features an epic fantasy tale based on the popular video game series developed by Ubisoft Montreal. The movie follows a young prince, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who sets out on an adventure to save his kingdom from destruction. Along the way, he must battle magical creatures and learn how to wield a mystical dagger that has the power to control time itself. Along with an all-star cast, this movie is a thrilling and visually stunning adventure.
6. Warcraft (2016)
- Cast: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster
- Duration: 2h 3m
Being a World of Warcraft game avid fan, I was extremely excited when the movie Warcraft came out in 2016. The movie features a fantastic cast, including Travis Fimmel as King Llane Wrynn, Paula Patton as the half-orc Garona Halforcen, and Ben Foster as Medivh. You’ll probably recognize Travis Fimmel from his outstanding performance as Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings, one of the best medieval TV series ever created, and is sure to bring the same type of energy to Warcraft.
The story of Warcraft follows the Orcs of Draenor, who are being threatened by an evil Fel magic. The warlock Gul’dan creates a portal to the world of Azeroth and forms the Horde with members of various Orc clans. To keep this portal open, Gul’dan captures many prisoners to sacrifice them for his evil magic purposes.
Next, a series of epic battles ensue between the Orc Horde and the humans of Azeroth, led by King Llane. If you are a World of Warcraft fan, you will definitely recognize the characters and locations from the game. The visual effects are also incredible. Is definitely one of the best medieval fantasy movies released in the past decade.
5. The Princess Bride (1987)
- Cast: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright
- Duration: 1h 38m
The Princess Bride is a beloved classic that brings together an extraordinary cast, and a timeless story of true love. Starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright, the film follows an elderly man as he reads a cherished book, “The Princess Bride,” to his sickly grandson. At first, the boy is disinterested in what he believes will be an overly romantic tale. However, out of respect for his grandfather, he chooses to listen, and so begins an adventure full of excitement and enchantment.
The main character is Buttercup, a former farm girl chosen to be the princess bride of Prince Humperdinck of Florian. Although her heart still grieves for the loss of Westley, her one true love who vanished a few years prior, Buttercup is forced to come to terms with her impending marriage. Along the way, a series of unexpected events unfold, setting off a captivating adventure. If you enjoy classic tales of chivalry and medieval romance movies, then you’ll love The Princess Bride.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
- Cast: Tilda Swinton, Georgie Henley, William Moseley
- Duration: 2h 23m
Chronicles of Narnia is a full-of-adventure movie with great visual effects and a magical story. The story follows four siblings who stumble into the mystical world of Narnia when they step through a wardrobe and find themselves in the middle of an epic battle between the forces of good and evil. In this magical world, they find new friends, including a talking lion named Aslan, and set off on an incredible adventure to save their world. It’s a perfect fantasy movie for a family-friendly night.
3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
- Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
- Duration: 2h 41m
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, set in Middle Earth and follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit who is reluctantly dragged into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Along his journey, he meets a variety of strange creatures, from the talking spiders of Mirkwood Forest to the giant eagles that help him and his companions escape while being pursued by the Orcs. Along the way, Bilbo also discovers a magical ring that may be more powerful and dangerous than he ever imagined. This thrilling adventure is filled with epic battles and stunning visuals. I highly recommend watching the entire trilogy.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
- Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
- Duration: 2h 31m
Set in the 18th century Caribbean, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest follows Captain Jack Sparrow and his search for the fabled Dead Man’s Chest. The chest contains the heart of Davy Jones, a sea creature who is feared by all sailors, and Jack must find it before his enemies do. Along the way, he encounters creatures of myth and legend and battles for survival at every turn. This movie is full of adventurous action and fantastic creatures, making it a great medieval fantasy movie, and one of the best pirate movies ever made, perfect to watch with your family (preferably with a big bowl of popcorn).
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
- Cast: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
- Duration: 3h 21m
The number one movie on this list has to be The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the third part in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Awarded 11 Academy Awards (Oscars), it is one of the most celebrated and best medieval fantasy movies ever made. In this part, we follow Frodo and Sam as they battle against evil forces to destroy The Ring of Power, and fight for the future of Middle-Earth.
It is the most action-packed part of the Hobbit trilogy, but if this is your first Hobbit movie experience, I highly recommend watching The Fellowship of the Ring first, followed by the second part, The Two Towers, and finally The Return of the King.