In this list, we’re counting down the 12 best knight movies! With all the plagues and general wretchedness that went on in the dark ages, you would think waging wars would be the last thing on the minds of the people of the era. However, if you believe most knight movies to be historically accurate, it’s the exact opposite.
In these movies, the medieval period is mostly portrayed as a time of glory and fortitude, where noble knights gallantly fought evil forces and attended prestigious jousting tournaments. Whether factually correct or not, knight movies have given us some of the most exciting heroes, action, drama, and entertainment in movie history, so let the countdown begin!
1. A Knight’s Tale (2001)
William is the son of a poor teacher. His father keeps saying to him that if a person believes enough, a man can do anything. But in 14th century Europe, this is an impossible task, as the fate of people is determined by the class to which they are born. One day William finds himself in a jousting tournament and manages to defeat all his competitors.
He disguises himself as a noble knight and slowly progresses up the social ladder. On the same occasion, he also meets and falls in love with Jocelyn, a lady of noble birth. But he is afraid to tell her the truth about his origins.
Can William change his stars against all odds? The actors are doing a great job and cinematographer Richard Greatrex Stitt really manages to juice up the jousting scenes. It’s one of the best 12 fantasy medieval warriors in movies.
2. Ladyhawke (1985)
Next on this list is a knight movie about a couple of lovers and the spell that prevents them from meeting in their human forms.
Philipe “The Mouse” Gaston is a kind-hearted thief who manages to escape the city of Aquila, ruled by a cruel bishop. When the bishop’s soldiers follow him, he is rescued by a mysterious knight named Etienne Navarre. He offers protection in exchange for help, but Philipe refuses.
But when he learns that Navarre’s faithful hawk is actually a young lady and that a vicious curse turns her into a hawk by day, he decides to do the right thing.
3. First Knight (1995)
King Arthur dedicated his reign to promoting justice and peace. Now, old and tired of wars, he is forced to go out to one last battle against the treacherous knight Malagant. He desires the throne of Camelot for himself. Meanwhile, Arthur’s new bride, Lady Guinevere of Leonese, and the new knight, Sir Lancelot, betray the king in their own way.
First Knight is especially notable within Arthurian cinema for its dispense of magical elements and the substantial age difference between Arthur and Guinevere.
4. Black Death (2010)
In 1348 the black plague strikes England mercilessly. Only a small remote village, far beyond a distant forest seems to remain untouched by the pestilence. The village is believed to be led by a necromancer, who brings the dead to life.
A young monk, Osmond, agrees to guide a band of religious mercenaries to the village so they can deliver the necromancer to the regional bishop for trial and execution. This proves to be a journey into hell.
Director Christopher Smith gives us a fascinating vision of the dark and violent medieval era. The message is pretty clear: it is a critique of religious fanaticism that is portrayed through the cheerful group of knights who are willing to perform any atrocity in the name of God. In other words, Black Death suggests the plague might have been the Dark Ages’ deadliest killer by capacity, but that religious excess might have been the era’s most dangerous legacy.
5. Last Knights (2015)
A fantasy adaptation of the epic tale of the Forty-Seven Ronin.
A fallen swordsman named Raiden discovers a father figure in his master Lord Bartok. When Bartok dies for his principles, Raiden leads a small army of warriors against a sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master.
Critics hate it, I’m probably the only one who found it entertaining. Solid action movie, If you like chivalry movies about camaraderie, you’ll probably enjoy this film.
6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
An epic fantasy action-adventure film directed by Guy Ritchie.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword tells the story of the rise to greatness of the legendary sword-fighter King Arthur, who pulled the magical sword “Excalibur” from the rock and thus fulfilled the prophecy about the identity of the next king of Britain.
Arthur’s path to the throne becomes difficult when the current government refuses to recognize him as the next king and declares war on him and his knights.
Director Guy Ritchie manages to combine epic medieval fantasy with a typical Ritchie crime film to a unique and surprising cinematic entertainment.
6. Excalibur (1981)
Based on Sir Thomas Malory’s romance “Death of Arthur”, this sword and sorcery movie is considered one of the most successful adaptations that have come out of the King Arthur legends in cinema.
The plot follows the travels of the magical sword Excalibur to the hands of Arthur, who uses it to build Camelot and create the Round Table. It then follows Arthur’s decline, as a powerful sword-fighting legend to dark forces conspires to destroy Camelot.
Excalibur focuses on Arthur’s legends as a myth rather than a historical story, so the emphasis is on the fantastic and mystical design, and less on an accurate historical description of the period.
Stream: Amazon Prime
7. Arn: The Knight Templar (2017)
The Swedish epic knight movie tells the story of Arn Magnusson, the son of the powerful Folkung dynasty.
Arn grow up in a monastery, where was trained in archery, swordsmanship, and horsemanship by a former Knight Templar. When he meets Cecilia Algotsdotter, the love of his life, a cruel and jealous world separates them.
Cecilia is imprisoned in a convent. Arn is sent as a knight of the Order of the Templars to the Holy Land. When a war between Christians and Muslims takes place, both have to fight in order to survive.
Stream: Amazon Prime
8. Ironclad (2011)
Set in the 13th century in England, Ironclad tells the story of a group of noble barons, aided by the Knight Templar, who fought for more than three years against King John to defend their country.
They forced King John to sign the Magna Carta Agreement, a document granting rights to all English freemen. The treaty weakened the power of the king and strengthened the power of the barons and the people.
Shortly after the signing, the king withdraws from the treaty and goes out with an army of pagan Danish mercenaries to a fierce war against the rebels facing him to restore John’s absolute authority over the kingdom Against all odds, the rebels fight against him in a hard battle held at Rochester Castle in Wales.
Ironclad is an action spectacle, gore-filled with satisfying bloody swordplay. Actor Paul Giamatti gives a great performance as King John of England, a grumpy man born in a world where he wields the power of a god, and inevitably wraths as that power is being taken away.
Stream: Amazon Prime
9. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
The Kingdom Of Heaven hosts some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Ridley Scott, director of the Academy Award-winning film “Gladiator” returns to the past with another epic historical knight film, this time starring the young British, Orlando Bloom. The epic film takes place during the Crusades of the 12th century and tells the story of a young Frenchman who discovers his destiny as a knight.
Balian is a blacksmith who has lost his family and faith. A meeting with his father (Liam Neeson), a crusader returning from battles in faraway Jerusalem, draws the young blacksmith into a war that will make him a warrior knight, a lover, and a defender of the walls of Jerusalem. The Muslim enemies led by the legendary leader, sultan Saladin are fighting to claim back the city from the Christians.
The Knight movie is filled with stars like Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Edward Norton, and Liam Neeson. The Battle of Jerusalem in the second part of the film is an impressive and realistic spectacle and the music is haunting.
Stream: Amazon Prime
10. The Seventh Seal (1957)
Considered one of the greatest movies of all time, The Seventh Seal is an absolute classic! The movie depicts director Ingmar Bergman’s reflections on the meaning of life and death, hell on earth, against the backdrop of Europe of the Crusades and the Black Plague.
The plot follows the journey of a knight who returned from the Crusades and the thoughts of heresy and doubts that go through his mind. During his allegorical journey, he encounters various characters who undermine his faith, and at death, with him, he conducts a game of chess.
The film features some of the most wonderful and memorable scenes in the history of cinema and is one of the most quoted films of all time. Here is one of our favorites: “Love is the blackest of all plagues, but you don’t even die of it and usually it passes.”
12. The Last Duel (2021)
Ridley Scott is on this list again, and this time with a new knight film The Last Duel. It tells a fascinating story about betrayal and revenge mixed with the brutality and oppression of women in 14th-century France.
When an argument arises between Sir Jean de Carrouges and Lord Gris, both nobles, over Marguerite’s heart, there is no choice but to resolve the dispute in a duel to death. The ensuing trial by combat, a grueling duel to the death, places the fate of all three in God’s hands.
This movie is a pleasant surprise. At first, you get the feeling that you don’t quite get what’s going on. But slowly you start solving the plot puzzle and everything gets clearer. The story was told in a fascinating way. I came in expecting to see battles between different warriors and armies than a single battle between the two main characters.
But that’s the whole point – The Last Duel is built all the way up to that particularly aggressive and tense battle and for that, I’m not disappointed but vice versa – I will describe the film in one word – WOW!
13. The Green Knight (2021)
So many medieval movies have told the story of King Arthur, but far fewer have focused on Sir Gawain – one of the most famous Knights of the Round Table.
The Green Knight is the latest adaptation of the famous middle ages poem “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight.” The protagonist is King Arthur’s nephew, Sir Gawain (the wonderful Dev Patel) who during the Christmas celebrations held in the king’s castle, confronts a threatening and uninvited guest, the green knight. Sir Gawain, who accepts the challenge from the supernatural knight, has one year to deliver on his side of the bargain. In order not to give out spoilers, we won’t reveal what happens during the journey, and Sir Gawain’s magical encounters.
This is a mesmerizing fantasy movie, and it looks like it was actually filmed in the 14th century. ‘The Green Knight’ comes to life in all its glory thanks to amazing cinematography, spectacular directing, and Patel’s brilliant performance. David Laurie is one of the most prominent creators of the new American cinema. He moves with ease between independent cinema and Disney. Do not miss this movie, but only if you don’t know what to expect.
Stream: Amazon Prime
14. Knights of Badassdom (2013)
The movie follows three best friends (Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, and Ryan Kwanten) and dedicated LARPers (Live Action Role Players) as they take to the woods to reenact a Dungeons and Dragons-like scenario fresh out of the mythical Middle Ages.
Trouble arises after they unwittingly conjure up some serious evil in the form of a blood-lusting Succubus, from the pits of hell. Fantasy and reality collide on the Fields of Evermore in an all-out epic battle of make-believe wizards, demons, and assorted mythical fantasy creatures. Their courage and friendship are put to the test as they attempt to vanquish the evil they have summoned. Will the group prove to simply be foam sword-wielding LARPers, or true ‘Knights of Badassdom?'”
A fun movie with a cool monster, a knight, some chick, but most importantly Peter Dinklage. Knights of Badassdom movie is like has a back story like Lost in La Mancha. It deserves its own documentary.
Stream: Amazon Prime
15. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Wrapping up this list is one of the best cult comedies filled with knights, witchers, french invaders, castle parties, and one special lie detector bridge!
King Arthur (Yes, him again) embarks on a journey to seek out men to join the Knights of the Round Table. After the revelation of God to him, he finds his destiny in search of the Holy Grail. On the way, he and the knights go through a variety of adventures.
The cult movie is packed with scenes that are pure fun to quote. From the song of the Knights of Camelot through the encounter with the knights who say “Ni!” And to the holy hand grenade. Every minute of the film is so filled with details, jokes, and sarcastic remarks, you can hardly blink without missing something good.
More Knight Movies
17. Black Knight
Black Knight is an original, action-adventure epic that tells the story of a highly skilled and faithful knight who, after failing to protect his king, must transform himself into the Black Knight to save the kingdom. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania, Samurai Jack)
18. Knights of the Zodiac – Saint Seiya (Expected 2023, In development)
Five young warriors are recruited to be Knights of the Zodiac, an elite cosmic force dedicated to protecting the Greek goddess Athena and the planet Earth.
Based on one of the best knight anime series of the 80s. In the world of Saint Seiya, there are many mythological legends. From Athena, the goddess of wisdom, to Poseidon, to the sea. Many of the warriors in this world have a Cloth based on some mythology.
Thirteen years before the plot begins, Kido Sauri was born in ancient Greece, alongside the twelve Knights of the Zodiac who were supposed to protect her. But due to an assassination attempt on her, one of her twelve knights rescues her and places her next to a tourist visiting Greece.