15 Popular Ancient History Movies on Netflix

Ancient History Movies On Netflix

Are you a history buff looking to take a quick trip back in time with ancient history movies on Netflix?

Netflix has many films based on ancient civilizations and events that occurred hundreds or thousands of years ago.

From epic accounts of how wars were won, empires were overthrown, and the occasional one spiced with sizzling love affairs.

Suppose you want to see some of the best ancient history movies on Netflix with stunning visuals and storylines that maintain some similarity with the actual events that occurred.

These 15 ancient history movies on Netflix are so good you’ll be locked on your screen till it’s all over.

1. The Outlaw King (2018)

  • Cast: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Sam Spruell, Tony Curran, Callan Mulvey, James Cosmo, Stephen Dillane.
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

The Outlaw King takes you back to Scotland in the late 13th century and 14th century when the country was at war with England to maintain its right to exist as an independent state.

Edward I, the king of England, laid siege to Stirling Castle in the opening scenes, and the rulers and nobles had no choice but to swear their allegiance to him.

In exchange for their allegiance, he offers to let some of the nobles have their lands back and appoints Scottish noblemen John Comyn and Robert Bruce to Govern in his absence.

Bruce ends up married to Edward’s goddaughter, and shortly after, he leads a rebellion after canvassing a few supporters.

At the end of one of the best ancient history movies on Netflix, one of Robert’s descendants brings peace and unity to the crowns of England and Scotland.

2. A Knight’s Tale (2001)

  • Cast: Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, Alan Tudyk.
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

If you’ve ever stumbled on Geoffrey Chaucer’s 24-part book series, The Canterbury Tales, you’re probably familiar with the character in A Knight’s Tale.

William connives with fellow squires Wat and Roland to join a tournament meant for knights and noblemen in place of his master, Sir Ector, after his sudden demise. 

One taste of success fuels Williams to enter more contests with the help of his friends.

Most of the tournaments portrayed in the film were based on real-life events, although William’s character is purely fictional.

Ultimately, Williams’ deception comes to light in a way you never imagined.

3. Stan & Ollie (2019)

  • Cast: Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, Nina Arianda, Rufus Jones, Danny Huston.
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

What’s a collection of ancient history movies on Netflix without an entry for comic relief? Stan & Ollie took us to the late 1930s when Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were a thing and were navigating the tricky waters of finding proper compensation in exchange for their services.

However, Oliver is afraid to join Stan and launch into the unknown.

With every passing scene, their friendship suffers as they tour the UK and prepare for a movie role that never sees the light of day.

The Duo finally resolve their differences after the Doctor reveals that one of them has a very short time to live.

4. Woman In Gold (2015)

  • Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Pryce.
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Woman in Gold is one of the finest ancient history movies on Netflix.

It would be a disservice to say otherwise with the number of Hollywood bigwigs cramped to give us an experience of a lifetime.

From your favorite Daredevil, Ryan Reynolds, to our friendly neighborhood detective, Helen Mirren, Daniel Brühl, and Katie Holmes, everyone brought their A-game to the retelling of Maria Altmann’s story.

Woman in Gold takes you back to Altmann’s memory of when the Jews were displaced and ill-treated by the Nazis.

Many Jewish families lost valuable possessions to the Nazis in Vienna. Years later, Altmann is determined to retrieve a prized possession that belongs to her family, even if it means taking a whole country to court.

5. Anthropoid (2016)

  • Cast: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Charlotte Le Bon, Anna Geislerová, Harry Lloyd, Toby Jones.
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Anthropoid is one of the ancient history movies on Netflix that highlights the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis in the early 1940s.

It starts when 4 men who were part of the resistance fighters during World War II are contracted to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the mastermind behind the Final Solution against the Jews.

More agents are recruited to join the mission, and on May 27th, 1942, Heydrich is fatally injured by an agent’s grenade.

A bloodbath resulting in the death of more than 5000 agents and locals from Czech and Slovak ensues after Heydrich is wounded and dies.

6. Free State of Jones (2016)

  • Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Rusell, Jacob Lofland, Thomas Francis, Matthew McConaughey, Christopher Berry, Sean Bridgers.
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Newton Knight is a legend in Jones County, Mississippi, and the Free State of Jones retells the story of his fight against the attempt at confederacy during the American civil war.

Gary Ross took inspiration from the book The Free State of Jones by Victoria E. Bynum and The State of Jones by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer.

After his Nephew dies due to negligence, even after being forced to serve in the military, Knight deserts the army and returns to his hometown.

There he has to deal with Confederate soldiers threatening the peace of Jones County and train them to defend themselves against attacks.

7. American Sniper (2014)

  • Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin “Dauber” Lacz.
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Christopher Scott Kyle was a veteran in the US Navy SEALs nicknamed the American Sniper due to his exceptional skills as a marksman.

Some even say he was America’s deadliest sniper, although that may be debatable.

Even though these events didn’t occur centuries ago, it still makes for an excellent addition to your list of ancient history movies on Netflix that are binge-worthy.

Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller shine in their roles as Kyle and Taya, with Cooper enjoying the most praise for his exceptional performance.

American Sniper gives a peek into what Kyle’s life might have been like at the frontlines in Iraq and how he struggled to hold his family together amidst all that.

8. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

  • Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Garret Dillahunt, Lupita Nyong’o.
  • IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

It’s 1841, and you’re a black man with a juicy offer to travel and temporarily make more money pursuing your passion.

Would you say No? That’s the situation Solomon Northup found himself in, and the initial thought that it was too good to be true came to bite him where the sun doesn’t shine.

After Solomon Northup is sold into slavery for 12 years, leaving his wife and two kids behind, he is moved from one master to another.

In the end, he is able to get word across about his abduction and is reunited with his family.

The sequence of events was inspired by the memoir Twelve Years a Slave, written by Northup shortly after he secured his freedom.

9. The Wind Rises (2014)

  • Cast: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita.
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

The Wind Rises is roughly based on the life of Japanese aircraft engineer Jiro Hirokoshi, who designed the Imperial Armies Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft and others used by the country during World War II.

The animation was adapted from Jiro’s book Eagles of Mitsubishi: The Story of the Zero Fighter and a book of the same name by Tatsuo Hori.

In this Adaptation, Jiro’s failed attempts at building the Mitsubishi 1MF10 and other endeavors are part of the action sequence.

Even when Jiro went on to design operational aircraft used in the war, his stance against the unnecessary war can be seen as he recounts this towards the end.

Although The Wind Rises isn’t a live-action film like the other ancient history movies on Netflix featured here, it is remarkably entertaining and worth 126 minutes of running time.

10. Lawrence of Arabia(1962)

  • Cast: Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Omar Sharif, Peter O’Toole.
  • IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Lawrence of Arabia is about T.E. Lawrence’s book and his life in the mid-1920s before his untimely demise due to a motorcycle accident.

The film runs for 210 minutes, but critics and the Oscars don’t mind, and the proof is in the 7 awards bagged at the 1963 35th Academy Awards.

The British and Arabs are united in their battle against the Turkish authorities during World War I, and due to Lawrence’s candid and fearless nature, he is put in charge of maintaining those relations.

After one of his men gets killed by the opposition, Lawrence takes matters into his own hands and launches unauthorized attacks on the Turks.

Gaining notoriety after blowing up the Damascus to Medina railway and spearheading several other attacks.

11. Ironclad (2011)

  • Cast: Paul Giamatti, James Purefoy, Kate Mara, Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi, Vladimir Kullich.
  • IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

Regarding ancient history movies on Netflix, it’s safe to say that the British are taking it.

King John of England is one of the most discussed rulers of his time, with most entries portraying him as a villain mainly due to his cruel actions.

Ironclad is no different. It recounts King John’s actions after signing the Magna Carta, which is supposed to regulate the level of power exercised by the King.

The most notable of King John’s activities was the siege of Rochester Castle in 1215. Although things don’t exactly go as planned due to the Templar Knights’ interference.

12. Platoon (1986)

  • Cast: Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Forest Whitaker, Tom Berenger, Kevin Dillon.
  • IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Platoon was directed and written by director and film producer Oliver Stone, known for his works in Wall Street, Salvador, and Snowden, to name a few.

Throughout the movie, Oliver shared some events around him when he was part of the US infantry during the Vietnamese War.

According to his account, a volunteer Chris Taylor joins the 25th Infantry Division led by Lieutenant Wolfe, who has minimal experience.

As a result, the team looks to a more experienced Duo to lead them.

When Barnes, one of the unofficial commanders, murders Elias to cover up for killing a harmless civilian, many things start to go south, leaving Taylor and Francis as the few survivors.

13. Generation War (2013)

  • Cast: Miriam Stein, Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Ludwig Trepte, Maxim Mehmet. 
  • IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Generation War, also known as Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, which means Our Mothers, our Fathers, was a German miniseries aired on TV in 2013.

The story was based on the lives of 5 German friends with different ambitions who are first seen partying in a Berlin pub.

Wilhelm and Friedhelm are brothers who serve in the Army, and Viktor, a Jew who ends up in a concentration camp.

Greta is the mistress of a Lieutenant Colonel, and Charlotte is a military nurse.

Circumstances surrounding World War II, which was going on at the time, threw the friends apart, allowing them to unite briefly at rare intervals.

At the end of one of the few ancient history movies on Netflix that shows a German take on WWII, only three of the five friends live to tell the story.

14. Marco Polo (2014 – 2016)

  • Cast: Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong, Joan Chen, Rick Yune, Amr Waked, Remy Hii, Zhu Zhu, Tom Wu, Mahesh Jadu, Olivia Cheng.
  • IMDb Rating: 8/10

At some point, you must have heard about Marco Polo, and it could have been the man or the bus manufacturing company.

Netflix did history lovers an excellent service when they began airing Marco Polo on December 12th, 2014, although it ran for only two seasons and was discontinued on the same date in 2016.

Marco Polo is an explorer and trader who winds up in the company of Kublai Khan, the founder of the Chinese Yuan dynasty.

Marco goes on to be a great help to Kublai’s court despite their rocky relationship in the beginning.

15. Kilo Two Bravo (2014)

  • Cast: David Elliot, Mark Stanley, Scott Kyle, Benjamin O’Mahony, Brian Parry, Liam Ainsworth, Ali Cook.
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Wrapping up the list of ancient history movies on Netflix, Kajaki or Kilo Two Bravo is another real-life war drama recounting the unfortunate events that occurred to some 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, and British soldiers.

After being positioned to protect Kajaki, a small Afghan village Lieutenant Hale loses a leg after a landmine explosion. 

After the first explosion, the unit discovers the entire area is a death trap rigged with Soviet landmines.

It is not long before they realize that their only choice is to sit still and wait for rescue to come.

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