Movies based on Rome have always been the jewel of Hollywood. While most of the movies about the ancient Roman Empire were made in the Golden Age of Hollywood, some movies still pop up every now and then about that period in history. Today, we’re honoring the best movies about The Roman Empire, so let’s get started.
15. Agora (2009)
Agora is a 2009 film about the final days of the Greek-philosophy-driven Roman Empire. Before the empire became the Holy Roman Empire, it saw a tussle between people who followed ancient Greek philosophy and people who were becoming keen believers in Christianity.
Amidst all this, Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) finds herself in the center of adversity as her keenness towards science over faith comes into the limelight.
14. Hannibal (2006)
Hannibal is a 2006 TV movie that largely flew under the radar because it was released on television. It follows the story of one of the most revered military geniuses of mankind’s history, Hannibal. The film tells the story of the most daring military campaign ever recorded.
It begins when Hannibal decides to march on the Roman Empire through the unforgiving Alps with over 90 thousand soldiers. The movie thoroughly captures the soul of this daring quest. It’s a must-watch for people who love this story.
13. The First King: Birth of an Empire (2019)
The First King: Birth of an Empire tells the story of Romulus and Remus—brothers who founded the revered nation of Rome. These two shepherds have humble begins but go through an amazing journey that tells the story of Rome’s early days.
However, the film also captures the betrayal that’ll change the course of history. While there haven’t been many films in the past few years about this period in history, this one does justice to the beginning of perhaps the greatest nation ever.
12. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
The Fall of the Roman Empire is considered one of the greatest movies ever made. The plot of this film surrounds the story of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, as he intends to abdicate the throne to a soldier named Livius. However, loyalists of Commodus come into the fray as they plot against Aurelius and poison him before he can make Livius the emperor.
What follows is an incompetent reign that leads to the final days and eventual demise of the ancient Roman Empire.
11. Risen (2016)
Risen is the story of the Roman military legion officer called Clavius. After Jesus is crucified, Clavius leads his legion and investigates the aftermath of what happened.
During this time, he learns some important things and facts about the crucified Christ. However, as this Roman legion continues on the quest to find the missing body, what follows is the rise and return of Jesus.
10. King Arthur (2004)
King Arthur is the story of the renowned King of England and his knights of the round table. However, while he’s on the quest to conquer the Roman Empire, he realizes that Britain will need a leader while he is gone.
While the movie is an oversimplification of the events, it does tell a good story. While the accuracy remains in question 19 years after its release, the film will no doubt leave you entertained.
9. The Eagle (2011)
The Eagle is another film that is often in question regarding its historical accuracy. However, what is not in question is the film’s ability to keep you entertained.
The story is about a young Roman soldier called Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum). His quest is to find the legion’s golden emblem and restore the lost honor of his father. However, his investigation soon leads to help him understand that things aren’t simple as they had seemed earlier.
8. Monty Python’s Life Of Brian (1979)
Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a comedic take on the ancient Roman Empire. It begins when Brian is born in the stable next to the one Jesus was born in. However, upon joining the People’s Front of Judea, people mistake him for the messiah.
Soon, this mistake leads him to a misadventure that risks his life, and hilarity ensues. So, if you’re a fan of the Monty Python saga, then you will surely love this take on history.
7. Titus (1999)
Titus Andronicus’ story is one of the most tragic and brutal stories based on the Roman Empire. In this movie, Anthony Hopkins plays this character to perfection, as this general returns to the empire after a victory and a prisoner in tow—the son of his enemy.
Soon, the Queen of Goths learns that Titus has her son and wishes to sacrifice him to please the fallen Roman soldiers; she fruitlessly pleads for her son’s life. Soon after, she leaves on a quest of her own to reclaim her son, which leaves the whole empire bloodied once more.
6. Centurion (2010)
Centurion is one of the most well-received movies of the past 20 years that’s based on the Roman Empire. The story is of a Roman centurion who leads a pack of soldiers alongside the son of a well-known gladiator. Their quest is to free a captured general.
This leads to a raid on the Pict camp, which puts them behind enemy lines. However, their legion is devastated behind the border, and their quest soon turns into a battle of survival.
5. Julius Caesar (1953)
Julius Caesar is one of the greatest films ever made, and right at its center is the legendary Marlon Brando. The story is about the legendary Julius Caesar, who returns home after handing a heavy defeat to Pompey the Great. However, his success leads him on a power trip, and soon his rising ranks begin to become a thorn in the side of others.
This becomes the center of a plot to kill him and tells the story of ages, which is still told in history classes and common conversations.
4. Imperium: Augustus (2003)
Imperium: Augustus is the story of the final days of Caesar Augustus, as his son-in-law (daughter’s husband) passes away. To console his mourning daughter, he tells the story of how her husband, Agrippa, helped him become the emperor.
What unfolds tells the secret that wasn’t told before and why Caesar initially united with Mark Anthony to overthrow the leader at the time, Julius Caesar. But, in the midst of all this, Augustus lets his daughter know that all this ambition was for her.
3. Spartacus (1960)
Spartacus is another renowned movie and is considered one of the best in Hollywood history. It’s about the legend of Spartacus, who was born into slavery. Raised as one, too, Thracian Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) leads a rebellion against the slavers. However, soon after, he is sold to a gladiator maker called Batiatus.
This film focuses on various aspects of the Roman Empire. The movie is known for its outstanding directing, set pieces, and, most importantly, legendary dialogues, which are still imitated today.
2. Bun-Hur (1959)
Ben-Hur is the story of Judah Ben-Hur, who is trialed and punished into slavery after being accused of slavery. The story takes place in 1st-century Jerusalem, and once Ben-Hur finds his footing, he regains his freedom.
But that’s when the crown jewel of this movie, the famous chariot race, takes place, as Judah aims to take his revenge by competing against his brother—the one who accused him. This renowned movie is the first in history to sweep the entire Oscar floor with 11 wins—a record that would take more than 37 years to break.
1. Gladiator (2000)
Gladiator is one of the most famous movies of the past century and is renowned for having the best gladiator battles ever filmed. The movie’s story is largely fictional, as some characters are taken from history—except for the main character Commodus.
It begins when Commodus demotes Maximus from the position of a high-ranking general to a lowly gladiator. This subjects him to fight until death, but Maximus goes on a journey of courage and retaliation to regain his honor and influence.
- Cleopatra (1963)
- The Voyage Home (2004)
- Barabbas (1961)
What are the best movies about The Roman Empire in your opinion? Share with us in the comments!