Gladiator, one of the most successful and influential films directed by Ridley Scott, has captivated audiences with its thrilling tale of a Roman general’s fight for freedom and justice, since its release in 2000. Its intense action scenes, powerful performances, and fascinating storyline make it one of the most beloved films in history.
If you’re a fan of gladiators, the Roman Empire, or motivational stories, then this list is for you! We’ve rounded up the best movies like Gladiator you should definitely watch this year.
Movies Like Gladiator
- The First King (2019)
- The Slave (1962)
- The Last Legion (2007)
- Ironclad (2011)
- The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
- Julius Caesar (1953)
- Pompeii (2014)
- Cleopatra (1963)
- Quo Vadis (1951)
- The Eagle (2011)
- Agora (2009)
- Centurion (2010)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
- Troy (2004)
- Outlaw King (2018)
- 300 (2006)
- Rob Roy (1995)
- Braveheart (1995)
- Spartacus (1960)
- Ben-Hur (1959)
20. The First King (2019)
- Cast: Alessandro Borghi, Alessio Lapice, Fabrizio Rongione
- Duration: 2h 3m
Set in the 8th century BC, The First King follows the legendary story of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who founded the city of Rome. It’s a powerful story of determination and courage as Romulus and Remus embark on a journey to discover their true heritage, seek revenge, and fulfill their destiny.
The similarity between Gladiator and The First King is that both films follow the epic story of skilled warriors who must battle for surviving and achieving their goals. If you like historical epics and action-packed drama, then this movie is definitely worth watching.
19. The Slave (1962)
- Cast: Steve Reeves, Jacques Sernas, Gianna Maria Canale
- Duration: 1h 40m
The Slave is an epic Italian historical drama directed by Sergio Corbucci. It tells the story of a slave revolt in ancient Rome, where a Roman centurion named Randus (Steve Reeves) discovers he is the son of Spartacus. After being promoted by Caesar, Randus is sent to Egypt to monitor the actions and plans of a powerful but ambitious triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus.
What follows next is an unforgettable journey full of action and suspense. The Slave is one of the best movies like Gladiator due to its highly similar thematic elements, involving a slave revolt and spectacular battle scenes that depict the power of the oppressed as they fight for their freedom.
18. The Last Legion (2007)
- Cast: Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
- Duration: 1h 41m
The Last Legion is a 2007 historical adventure movie that describes the journey of Mira, a martial arts master born in a warrior family in Kerala, India. Recruited by Spanish royalty, Mira is assigned to rescue 12-year-old Romulus Augustus Caesar from a prison in Capri.
To do so, she joins Roman Commander Aurelius and priest Ambrosinius in assembling a handful of loyal soldiers and developing a plan of escape. As they journey through the hostile land and face off with challenging enemies, they discover the true power of courage and friendship. We recommend this movie to anyone who loves a good action-packed historical adventure.
17. Ironclad (2011)
- Cast: Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng, Brian Cox
- Duration: 2h 1m
Ironclad is a historical action film set in 13th-century England. The movie depicts the struggle of a group of Knight Templars in an attempt to protect the rights of free men, which have been bestowed upon them by King John’s signature on the Magna Carta.
The movie is filled with action-packed battle scenes, dramatic tension, and moments of intense drama. As the Templar knights battle fight with the King’s forces, they must also deal with internal struggles, which makes the story even more compelling.
16. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
- Cast: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness
- Duration: 3h 8m
The Fall of the Roman Empire is a classic historical epic that tells the story of how internal corruption, high treason, and blind ambition ultimately led to the decline and fall of one of history’s greatest civilizations.
The story begins with the wise Emperor Marcus Aurelius attempting to secure peace and prosperity throughout the Roman Empire by calling together local governors after successfully conquering the Germanic tribes. What follows next, is a series of events that make this grand tale an unforgettable adventure.
15. Julius Caesar (1953)
- Cast: Louis Calhern, Marlon Brando, James Mason
- Duration: 2h
Julius Caesar (1953) is a historical drama film adapted from the play by William Shakespeare. The story follows the events leading up to some tragic consequences.
It shows not only the political conflict between Brutus, Cassius, and other high-ranking senators but also the personal struggle of Mark Antony and how he was determined to honor Caesar’s legacy.
The film also highlights the power of words with Antony’s famous speech uniting the people of Rome. A classic tale of ambition, tragedy, and the power of loyalty, Julius Caesar is a must-watch for any history lover.
14. Pompeii (2014)
- Cast: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland
- Duration: 1h 45m
Kit Harington, known for his role as Jon Snow in the HBO series Game of Thrones, one of the best medieval series ever created, stars in Pompeii as a slave-turned-gladiator named Milo. Set in the days of the Roman Empire, Milo finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning). As Milo and Cassia’s romance blossoms, disaster threatens the city of Pompeii.
Milo must battle a corrupt Roman senator to save his beloved, while also attempting to survive the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The movie features stunning visuals, impressive action sequences, and an emotionally charged story. A must-watch for any fan of the historical fiction genre.
13. Cleopatra (1963)
- Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
- Duration: 3h 12m
Cleopatra is an epic drama following the life story of Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. The movie describes the turbulent events that occurred during Cleopatra’s rule, as well as her complex relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
As the story begins, Julius Caesar is pursuing Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt, while Cleopatra (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) is struggling to remain in power. Despite its length, Cleopatra is a captivating timeless classic romance, that will keep you enthralled until the very end.
12. Quo Vadis (1951)
- Cast: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn
- Duration: 2h 51m
This classic 1951 historical epic tells the story of a Roman soldier, Marcus Vinicius, who falls in love with Lygia, a Christian hostage. The movie follows the two lovers as they are swept up in the dangerous and tumultuous times of Nero’s Rome. As Christians become persecuted by Nero, Marcus must make a choice between his love for Lygia and his loyalty to the Roman Empire.
The movie explores themes of faith, loyalty, and love against a backdrop of religious and political turmoil in ancient Rome, and the persecution of Christians in the Colosseum. If you like gladiator stories and epic historical dramas, Quo Vadis is a must-see.
11. The Eagle (2011)
- Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland
- Duration: 1h 54m
The Eagle it’s about a young Roman named Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) who sets out on a long journey to restore the honor of his father by finding the missing Eagle standard of the Ninth Legion, who had disappeared in the Scottish Highlands.
Along the way, he meets a Pictish warrior named Esca (Jamie Bell) who helps him on his quest. Together, they must fight against Roman soldiers and savage tribes as they make their way through the rugged land. With its thrilling story and intense action, The Eagle is definitely a must-watch for Gladiator movie fans.
10. Agora (2009)
- Cast: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac
- Duration: 2h 7m
Agora is a historical drama movie directed by Alejandro Amenábar, and it tells the story of Hypatia, a female philosopher in 4th-century Alexandria during the Roman Empire. She is an advocate for rationalism and science, and her progressive ideals are challenged by the rising power of the Christian Church.
As she tries to navigate the increasing religious tensions between Christianity and non-believers, she faces threats of violence from those who are determined to enforce their cultural and religious principles.
The movie is an exploration of the collision between faith and reason, as Hypatia struggles to preserve her beliefs in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile.
9. Centurion (2010)
- Cast: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko
- Duration: 1h 37m
Centurion is a 2010 action-adventure movie written and directed by Neil Marshall, with a story set in 117 AD Britain. The movie it’s about a group of Roman soldiers, led by Quintus Dias (Fassbender), as they battle against a powerful tribe of Picts and fight to survive.
Along the way, they must confront a treacherous and ruthless enemy that is determined to hunt them down while they desperately try to return home. It is definitely one of the best Gladiator-like movies you should watch this year.
8. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
- Cast: Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Christopher Adamson
- Duration: 2h 11m
The Count of Monte Cristo is a fascinating 2002 movie based on the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas. It follows the life of Edmond Dantes as he is betrayed by his best friend and sent to prison. While there, he meets a man who tells him a secret that turns this movie into a tale of revenge, with lots of unexpected twists.
While the story does not feature any gladiators or epic battles, The Count of Monte Cristo and Gladiator are quite similar in terms of their focus on revenge. Both movies feature powerful, highly-motivated characters that in spite of being falsely accused of treason, they set out to seek justice and revenge with the help of an unexpected ally.
7. Troy (2004)
- Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom
- Duration: 2h 43m
Troy is a medieval masterpiece based on Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. It tells the story of the legendary conflict between the ancient kingdoms of Troy and Sparta, and the love affair between Prince Paris and Queen Helen of Sparta.
The story begins with the abduction of Helen by Paris which leads to a decade-long conflict and culminates in an epic battle between the two great armies. It’s a thrilling adventure that shows the power of love and the harsh realities of war, that will leave you captivated from start to finish.
6. Outlaw King (2018)
- Cast: Chris Pine, Stephen Dillane, Rebecca Robin
- Duration: 2h 1m
The Outlaw King movie is based on the true story of Robert The Bruce, who is an exiled lord fighting to reclaim the Scottish throne. It’s a thrilling tale of courage and determination as Robert battles noblemen and redcoats to overthrow the occupying English army and liberate Scotland.
The movie begins with Robert the Bruce (played by Chris Pine) as he is forced into exile by the English King Edward I. Along with a brave band of supporters, Robert fights for his family and freedom, while a series of unexpected situations occur, making this movie an intense journey of action and suspense.
5. 300 (2006)
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham
- Duration: 1h 57m
300 is a retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae that took place in 480 BC, during the Persian Empire’s invasion of Greece. It follows the story of King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans who heroically defended their homeland against a much larger invading army.
The movie is highly stylized, featuring intense fight scenes, mixed with a bit of tragedy. The powerful visuals and epic story make it one of the most memorable war films ever made. If you enjoyed watching Gladiator, then you’ll certainly enjoy 300.
4. Rob Roy (1995)
- Cast: Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt
- Duration: 2h 19m
Rob Roy is an epic-adventure and historical drama film directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Based on the life of Robert Roy MacGregor, a Scottish folk hero of the 18th century, the movie follows Rob Roy’s struggle against corruption, injustice, and betrayal as he strives to defend his family, clan, and honor.
Along the way, Roy must confront a powerful and ruthless nobleman, while evading the Redcoats and being accused of treason for being involved with the Jacobite rebellion. Is a perfect movie to watch on a cozy afternoon.
3. Braveheart (1995)
- Cast: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan
- Duration: 2h 58m
Braveheart is one of the best movies like Gladiator and one of the greatest medieval movies ever made. The movie follows the story of William Wallace, a Scottish rebel who leads his people in an effort to free Scotland from the rule of King Edward I of England. As a young man, Wallace is inspired by a vision of freedom and becomes a heroic figure among his people.
The similarity between Braveheart and Gladiator is that both movies are set in a time of great turmoil and violence, and both feature strong heroic protagonists who stand up against tyranny and injustice.
2. Spartacus (1960)
- Cast: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
- Duration: 3h 17m
Spartacus (1960) is a historical drama about the slave rebellion led by Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) in ancient Rome. The film follows the story of Spartacus and his fellow slaves as they fight for freedom against the oppressive Roman Empire, as well as the relationship between Spartacus and his lover, Varinia.
The movie features impressive battle scenes, costumes, stunning sets, and thrilling performances from Douglas and the rest of the cast.
The similarity between Spartacus and Gladiator is that both films are historical epics about a heroic gladiator who rebels against an oppressive ruler and fights for freedom. Both feature large battle scenes and some vivid cinematography of that era.
1. Ben-Hur (1959)
- Cast: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
- Duration: 3h 32m
Ben-Hur is a classic epic movie that tells the story of a Jewish prince, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), who is betrayed by his childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd). Judah is sentenced to slavery and must endure a dangerous journey in order to gain revenge.
Ben-Hur is our number one pick for this list of movies like Gladiator, and for a good reason. Both films have the same basic premise of an exiled nobleman returning for revenge after a great betrayal.
Both feature epic battles, including chariot racing and large-scale arena battles. If you’re looking for a classic movie similar to Gladiator, this movie is a perfect choice.