Best War Movies with Swords

Who doesn’t like tales about knights? Who isn’t enchanted by their courage, fitness, horse-riding skills, and epic sword fights? Who doesn’t like how the knights in tales always fight for honor and glory? Find here our best war movies with swords list and enjoy the allure of the middle ages.

Gladiator – 2000

An interesting movie and one of the best war movies with swords directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. It’s a story about Maximus, the powerful Roman general in the army of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was chosen by the Emperor to inherit the throne in the place of the Emperor’s son Commodus. This makes Commodus conspire and try to wrestle the throne for himself, so he kills Maximus’ wife and son, and sends him off to die as a gladiator, but Maximus fights bravely  until he becomes the most popular gladiator, and waits for his chance to get revenge.

Braveheart – 1995 (best war movies with swords)

A movie starring and directed by Mel Gibson, about the Scottish people struggling for freedom, from the point of view of William Wallace, the son of a leader of an uprising against the English ruler, Edward the Longshanks. William lost his father while he was a boy and was raised by his uncle who taught him a lot of useful skills. He falls in love with a pretty local girl, but the English guards killed her and he could not protect her, so he follows in his father’s footsteps and leads the resistance until the end of his life.   

300 – 2006

An action movie and one of the best war movies with swords   starring Gerard Butler, and directed by Zack Snyder. The movie is set in 480 BC, when the Battle of Thermopylae happened between 300 Greek soldiers lead by King Leonidas and 100,000 Persian soldiers lead by King Xerxes, in this battle the Greeks forced the Persian army to go back in the mountain pass of Thermopylae, but later Ephialtes the local shepherd betrays the Greeks and shows the Persian army a separate path to go through, allowing them to kill all of the 300 Greek soldiers.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – 2000

A fantasy movie directed by Peter Jackson, starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen. The movie is about Frodo and his fellowships who went on an adventure to destroy the magical ring of Sauron the dark lord. However, the group learns that they were followed by Gollum, they also had to go through the besieged Rohan kingdom after Saruman controlled their king by a deadly spell. It is another one of the best war movies with swords.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 2001

The 2nd movie in the sequel, and the adventure this time follows Frodo the hobbit with his team included Gandalf the wizard, his three hobbit friends Samwise, Merry, and Pippin, an elf named Legolas, a dwarf named Gimli, Aragorn, and Boromir, they all went together to destroy the One Ring of the dark master Sauron, who wants to control everything, and to do their mission correctly they pass through rivers, forests, snowscapes and mountains.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – 2003

Another part from the triology directed by Peter Jackson, starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen and Ian McKellen. The adventure this time includes the final battle between good and evil, to control Middle Earth’s future. Frodo and Sam go on their mission to destroy the One Ring of Sauron. They reach Mordor, at the same time there is a legendary battle between Aragorn’s army of good, and  Sauron’s army of evil on the land of Minas Tirith city of stone.

Troy – 2004 (best war movies with swords)

A drama movie starring Brad Pitt, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and it’s story about the Trojan city around the late Bronze age 1250 BC, and the conflicts that happened between two nations after the Queen of Sparta, named Helen, ran away with her lover Paris the prince of the Trojan. Helen left her husband Menelaus and went to Troy, so he asked his brother Agamemnon to help him bring her back and they prepare an army with 1000 ships, with 50,000 Greek soldiers, one of them is Achilles the powerful warrior. the movie is based on “The Iliad” by Homer, and it’s one of the old war movies with swords you can enjoy.

13 Assassins – 2010

An action Japanese movie starring Kôji Yakusho and Takayuki Yamada, directed by Takashi Miike. It’s set in 1844 about Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira who terrorized people in Feudal Japan, he become powerful because he is so close to his half-brother the shogun, but after he kills Makino Uneme’s wife and son, Sir Doi of the Akashi Clan, an advisor to the shogun, hired the samurai Shinzaemon Shimada to investigate the murder. Shinzaemon become convinced that the murderer is Naritsugu, so he promised that he will get revenge from him and slaughter him with another eleven samurai, the team was later joined by the hunter Koyata the 13th assassin.

Kill Bill – 2003 (best war movies with swords)

An action movie directed by Quentin Tarantino, starring Uma Thurman and David Carradine, and one of the best war movies with swords. The main character in the movie is codenamed “The Bride”, she was a member in Assassination Squad called “the Deadly Viper” but when she learns she is pregnant from the team leader “Bill” she escaped into Texas, but Bill followed her seeking revenge and to take the newborn child. So, she plans on defeating him and four other people who are after her life.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – 2013

A fantasy movie directed by Peter Jackson, starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage. It’s about the dwarves who lost their home country Erebor, and are trying their best to reclaim it, with some help from Bilbo the Hobbit and Gandalf the wizard , they need to go on a quest and fight a dragon named Smaug who took over Erebor because of his love for gold. They all have what it takes to complete the mission; Bilbo has a magical ring, Thorin wants to get his kingdom back with his loyal followers, and Gandalf is the greatest wizard of all time.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – 2014

An fantasy movie directed by Peter Jackson, starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Cate Blanchett, and the story is about Thorin who lost his throne and is trying to get it back with his followers from the dwarves, with some help from Bilbo the hobbit and Gandalf the wizard. They fought together to force Smaug the dragon to leave the Lonely Mountain, but Thorin got affected with the gold madness, which affected his grandfather before and made him lose everything. When he got his mind back, he has to face an existential war between Five Armies at the Lonely Mountain, to determined the fate of the North.

The Last Samurai – 2003 (best war movies with swords)

An action movie starring Tom Cruise, and one of the best swords movies. The movie is set in 1870 about Captain Nathan Algren who was involved in the American Civil war, and after retiring he was hired by an American businessman to do a job for the Emperor of Japan. His job was to train farmers to use modern weapons and warfare, because The Imperial Omura cabinet’s wants to repress the Samurai’s rebellion, and the Samurai want to keep their old traditional way of fighting with swords. Nathan and his group tried to crush the Samurai with their modern firearm but the Samurai defeat them with their old-fashioned way, and on top of that their leader Katsumoto ordered them to give Nathan medication to cure his bad wounds. After this act of kindness, Nathan learns to respect the samurai and appreciate their ethics.

Kingdom of Heaven – 2005

An adventure movie, and one of the best war movies with swords  directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Orlando Bloom, Eva Green and Liam Neeson. The movie is set in the Middle Ages during the wars between the East and West, which were later referrred to in history as the Crusades. These wars lasted about 200 years. The main character in the movie is Balian  the blacksmith who isn’t biased to any religion but is interested in the drama happening around him, especially in Jerusalem. He knows he has the skills necessary to join the war, but his fate came to him in the form of Godfrey, the great knight who told him that he is his real father.

The Mask of Zorro – 1998 (best war movies with swords)

An adventure-comedy movie and one of the best swords movies.  The movie directed by Martin Campbell, starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It’s the story of Don Diego de la Vega or “Zoro”, who is helping poor people against Don Rafael Montero the evil Spanish governor. However, he went to jail and later ran away with his only daughter. He is a great swordsman and he teaches an outlaw man named Alejandro Murietta all his skills, to complete what he began and become next “Zoro”, and he did not let him down.

The Three Musketeers – 1993

An action and romance movie directed by Stephen Herek starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Chris O’Donnell. The movie is set in 1625 in France, when a young man called d’Artagnan tried to join the Musketeers but he found them disbanded by an evil cardinal, and instead he met three of them, Aramis, Athos, and Porthos. They take him in their group and together they prevent the evil conspiracy of Cardinal Richelieu’s to make an alliance with the enemy.

Robin Hood – 2010 (best war movies with swords)

An action movie starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, and although Robin Hood himself is an archer, the movie is set in the middle age and contains a lot of sword fights. The movie starts with King Richard’s death, and the return of Robin Longstride, Will Scarlet, Little John and Allan A’Dayle to England to prevent the French from invading their country. Robin pretends that he is the deceased knight, Sir Robert Loxley, and the group went to Nottingham and meet Sir Walter, Loxley’s blind father and his widow Lady Marian. They understand his intentions and help him to complete his mission, and all of them work together to prevent the evil king John from destroying the country while also protecting it from the prospect of a French invasion.

Outlaw King – 2018

A biography movie directed by David Mackenzie, starring Chris Pine, and it’s about the true story of  the Scottish Outlaw King Robert the Bruce, from 14th century, who fought the English army, the most well-equipped army with the biggest number of soldiers at the time, and miraculously stopped them from occupying Scotland. The English Empire declared him an outlaw,  So Robert the Bruce made an army of Scottish fighters, and they all show an epic resistance against England Empire. It is one of the best war movies with swords you can enjoy watching.

Pathfinder – 2007 (best war movies with swords)

A movie starring Karl Urban, about the invasion of the Viking to North America, and how they planned to exterminate the native people there. The natives destroyed their ship successfully and the only survivor was a little boy taken by a woman from the natives, they named him “Ghost”. One day, he got a nightmare about the Viking massacring people. Ghost hates killing and conflicts, but his adoptive father is unsettled by his lineage, and he ends up beating and disowning him.

Highlander – 1986

A fantasy movie starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, and one of the best sword war movies. An antique shop owner named Russell Edwin Nash, from New York, dared to join a sword fight in Madison Square Garden against Iman Fasil, and it ended with a beheaded Fasil, and the arrival of policemen. Russell hid his sword but they still arrested him, and in jail he remembers his life in 16th century Scotland, at that time his name was Connor MacLeod, who survived from a fatal wound by a miracle, and his people thought he made a pact with devil. He could not understand what is going on until he met Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez who told him that unless he gets beheaded, he will live forever.

A Knight’s Tale – 2001

An action and romance movie starring Heath Ledger, directed by Brian Helgeland. It’s about William the young jouster, who is gifted and has considerable skills in jousting. After his master died he went with his friends Wat and Roland for an adventure. On their way they met an unknown writer named Chaucer and he helped William to forge genealogy documents to become a knight. With this new identity he proves himself as a duelist in the country’s jousting competition, and between all of that, he found the love of his life.

First Knight – 1995 (best war movies with swords)    

An action and romance movie starring Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Julia Ormond, directed by Jerry Zucker. It’s about King Arthur of Camelot who lead many wars to keep peace and justice in his kingdom. He wants to marry a special woman and his choice was Lady Guinevere who became the head of Leonesse after her father died, but Camelot is not clear of Conspiracies, because one of the knights of the round table named Prince Malagant wants it all for himself, and he wants Leonesse too. On the other side, there is Lancelot the farmer who lives freely, and he also happens to be a skilled swordsman. He is courageous and fearless. He met Guinevere the first time when Malagant tried to kidnap her, so Lancelot rescued her and fell in love with her. She is attracted to him too, but she already gave her word to Arthur, so could they get the chance to be together?

Rob Roy – 1995  

A biography movie starring Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange, set in 1713 in Scotland, about the life story of Rob Roy MacGregor who become an outlaw with his nephew, after being wronged by a nobleman and that makes him seek revenge. Robert Roy was working for this nobleman as a keeper for his property, but he got robbed by a group of thieves. The movie shows many scenes of Sword duels, and it’s one of the best war movies with swords you can enjoy with your family.

Spartacus – 1960 (best war movies with swords)  

Another biography movie about Spartacus the slave who lead a revolution against Roman Republic. The movie is starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and it is no doubt one of the best war movies with swords you can watch. The movie is set in 73 BC, when one of the gladiator slaves leads a revolution and it spreads all over Rome, and thousands of slaves joined it. They plan on collecting as much money as they can to go somewhere else and live there free, and they choose Brandisium to be their free land, but they had to fight for their freedom.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – 2010   

A fantasy movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley. The movie shows us the magical and mysterious land of ancient Persia, from the point of view of Dastan, the great warrior who was adopted by king Sharaman of Persia, and how he fights the dark forces and protects an ancient dagger, which gives the owner the ability to control time and lead the world. The movie is so interesting and you can consider it as one of the best war movies with swords you can enjoy.

Wonder Woman – 2017 (best war movies with swords)   

An action and adventure movie starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, about the the Amazons warrior princess Diana, who was raised and trained in an isolated island called “paradise”. She didn’t have any connection with the outside world until an American pilot crashed on the island’s shores. He told her about the world and the conflicts happening everywhere during WW II. She felt that she has a responsibility to help him stop the threat and she fought with him for peace and justice.

Snow White and the Huntsman – 2012   

An action-adventure movie and one of the best war movies with swords, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. It’s about the fairy tale of Snow White, the daughter of the late king who lives with her evil stepmother the queen. The queen has a magic mirror telling her that snow white is her secret for youth and beauty, so she is keeping her around. When Snow White runs away to the woods, the queen sent her guards to bring her back. But when William (Snow White’s childhood friend) knows about that, he did his best to protect her and keep her alive.

The Great Wall – 2016 (best war movies with swords) 

A movie starring Matt Damon, Tian Jing and Willem Dafoe. It’s about William the mercenary, who becomes a prisoner behind the great wall in China, and that makes him reveal the secret behind one of the world’s greatest wonder. William was fighting for money, but in this case he fought for honor and nobility, and he faced waves of marauding beasts with a collection of the greatest warriors. It’s another one of the best sword war movies against an unusual enemy.

The King – 2019

A biography movie on Netflix about prince Hal of England, and the heir of the throne from his late father King Henry IV. Hal inherits not only the throne but also the conflicts in the palace, war, and even his father’s emotional strings, and he becomes King Henry V. He never thought about the throne, and he lived all his life with ordinary people, but he did not get any choice in becoming a king and living the life he always hated.

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends – 2014

A Japanese movie and one of the best war movies with swords, starring Takeru Satoh, Tatsuya Fujiwara and Tatsuya Fujiwara. It is about Kenshin who got special training in Hiten Mitsurugi school techniques by his old master, in order to become ready to face Shishio who wants to invade Japan and bring chaos to the country, ending years and years of peace. Shishio meets the Prime Minister Hirobumi in Tokyo and convinced him to declare Kenshin an outlaw. Could he continue his mission and protect his country from the chaos?

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – 1977

An epic movie directed by George Lucas, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It is about Luke the young farmer who rescued princess leia from the evil Darth Vader. Luke got some help from his old mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo the smuggler. The group is supported by two robots called R2-D2 and C-3PO, they all go on an intergalactic adventure, facing evil foes, and they will do anything to defeat the oppressive Empire. It is one of the best war movies with swords.

The Man in the Iron Mask – 1998

A movie directed by Randall Wallace starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich. The movie is set in Paris, France, about the musketeers who want to save the country from poverty and huger. Their quest led them to the corrupt king that only cares about his own pleasure, money and women. The three musketeers, Aramis, Athos and Porthos, replace the king with his twin who was taken away after birth and kept hidden from everybody, and his face was covered by an iron mask to prevent conflicts over the throne. The three musketeers trained him well to become the new king they need for their country.

The Patriot – 2000

An action movie directed by Roland Emmerich, starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. The movie is set in 1776 about the French-Indian war hero Benjamin Martin who is retiring and trying to live in peace in colonial South Carolina, taking care of his farm. He is trying his best to not get involved in the war with great Britain’s army, but his two sons Gabriel and Thomas enlisted in the Continental Army after the rebellion of South Carolina against England. The British army used the most brutal techniques against people, especially Colonel William Tavington who burned Martin’s farm, making him seek revenge.

Blade – 1998

A Sci-fi movie directed by Stephen Norrington, and starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff, about Blade the vampires slayer who wants to save people from this species that feeds on human blood. He hits the road, roaming around the night clubs in New York to find and kill them. He is getting revenge for his mother, who was killed by one of them the day he was born. Blade has a loyal friend named Abraham Whistler, a weapons manufacturer he can trust. He is also trying to invent a cure for the hunger for blood because he himself is a half-vampire.

Eragon – 2006

A movie starring Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich, about King Galbatorix of Alagaesia, who is an evil traitor and a dragon rider. He will do anything for power and glory. On the other side there is Eragon, the young farmer who got a blue stone from princess Arya, and soon he realized that it is a dragon egg. The egg hatches and a new dragon called Saphira is born. Eragon got training to be a dragon rider by his mentor Brom, who told him that he is the one who was mentioned in an ancient prophecy as the the Savior of his people from the evil king.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – 2008

An action-adventure movie directed by Rob Cohen, starring Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, and Maria Bello. The movie is set in ancient China about the founder of the Qin dynasty. He is a powerful warlord building a big empire, and he became known as the Dragon Emperor. He built the great wall, and he buries his enemies under its’ stones. He knows how to control the traditional Chinese Wuxing elements, fire, water, earth and wood. He also seeks immortality, which is why he sent Zi Yuan the witch to find the “Oracle Bones”, the key for eternity. It’s a great addition to the best war movies with swords list.

Hanan Hikal
Hanan Hikal
Articles: 62

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