Best History Movies

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech
IMDb: 8.0
118 min

The King’s Speech tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George (’Bertie’) reluctantly assumes the throne….

Country: 
Ip Man

Ip Man

Ip Man
IMDb: 8.0
108 min

A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun. The film focuses on events surrounding Ip that took place…

Country: 
Letters from Iwo Jima

Letters from Iwo Jima

Letters from Iwo Jima
IMDb: 7.9
141 min

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda
IMDb: 8.1
121 min

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the…

Downfall

Downfall

Downfall
IMDb: 8.2
156 min

In April of 1945, Germany stands at the brink of defeat with the Russian Army closing in from the east and the Allied Expeditionary Force attacking from the west. In…

Country: 
Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan
IMDb: 8.6
169 min

As U.S. troops storm the beaches of Normandy, three brothers lie dead on the battlefield, with a fourth trapped behind enemy lines. Ranger captain John Miller and seven men are…

Braveheart

Braveheart

Braveheart
IMDb: 8.3
177 min

Enraged at the slaughter of Murron, his new bride and childhood love, Scottish warrior William Wallace slays a platoon of the local English lord’s soldiers. This leads the village to…

Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List
IMDb: 8.9
195 min

The true story of how businessman Oskar Schindler saved over a thousand Jewish lives from the Nazis while they worked as slaves in his factory during World War II.

JFK

JFK

JFK
IMDb: 8.0
189 min

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there’s more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

The Winter War

The Winter War

The Winter War
IMDb: 7.7
189 min

Russia attacked Finland in late November 1939. This film tells the story of a Finnish platoon of reservists from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Ostrobothnia who leave…

Country: 
Glory

Glory

Glory
IMDb: 7.8
122 min

Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.

Genre: Best History, War
Black Rain

Black Rain

Black Rain
IMDb: 6.7
125 min

Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him…

The Untouchables

The Untouchables

The Untouchables
IMDb: 7.9
119 min

Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is determined to take down Al Capone, but it’s not going to be easy because Capone has the police in his…

The Killing Fields

The Killing Fields

The Killing Fields
IMDb: 7.8
141 min

The Killing Fields tells the real-life story of a friendship between two journalists, an American and a Cambodian, during the bloody Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in 1975, which led…

Country: 
Gandhi

Gandhi

Gandhi
IMDb: 8.0
191 min

In the early years of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a British-trained lawyer, forsakes all worldly possessions to take up the cause of Indian independence. Faced with armed resistance…

Country: 
The Boat

The Boat

The Boat
IMDb: 8.3
150 min

A German submarine hunts allied ships during the Second World War, but it soon becomes the hunted. The crew tries to survive below the surface, while stretching both the boat…

Country: 
The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man
IMDb: 8.1
124 min

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man being mistreated by his ”owner” as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of great intelligence and…

Breaker Morant

Breaker Morant

Breaker Morant
IMDb: 7.8
107 min

During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who…

Country: 
Kagemusha

Kagemusha

Kagemusha
IMDb: N/A
180

Akira Kurosawa’s lauded feudal epic presents the tale of a petty thief who is recruited to impersonate Shingen, an aging warlord, in order to avoid attacks by competing clans. When…

All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men
IMDb: N/A
138

In the run-up to the 1972 elections, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward covers what seems to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National Headquarters. He is surprised to…

The Message

The Message

The Message
IMDb: N/A
177

Handsomely-mounted historical epic concerns the birth of the Islamic faith and the story of the prophet Mohammed.

Mirror

Mirror

Mirror
IMDb: N/A
107

A dying man in his forties recalls his childhood, his mother, the war and personal moments that tell of and juxtapose pivotal moments in Soviet history with daily life.

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
IMDb: N/A
109

The film follows Kaspar Hauser (Bruno S.), who lived the first seventeen years of his life chained in a tiny cellar with only a toy horse to occupy his time,…

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession
IMDb: N/A
93

Shurik Timofeev builds a working model of a time machine. By accident, Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to 16th century Moscow,…

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Aguirre, the Wrath of God
IMDb: N/A
93

A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth….

Michael the Brave

Michael the Brave

Michael the Brave
IMDb: N/A
203

An epic fresco depicting the reign (1593-1601) of Mihai Pătrașcu (better known as “Mihai Viteazul” / “Michael the Brave”), the famous prince who united the three provinces: Transalpine Vallachia, Transylvania…

Z

Z

Z
IMDb: N/A
127

Repression is the rule of the day in this film that skewers Greek governance of the 1960s. Z, a leftist rabble rouser, is killed in what appears to be a…

The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter
IMDb: N/A
134

1183 AD: King Henry II’s three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won’t commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him. An…

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood
IMDb: N/A
134

After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions…

Andrei Rublev

Andrei Rublev

Andrei Rublev
IMDb: N/A
183

An expansive Russian drama, this film focuses on the life of revered religious icon painter Andrei Rublev. Drifting from place to place in a tumultuous era, the peace-seeking monk eventually…

The Battle of Algiers

The Battle of Algiers

The Battle of Algiers
IMDb: N/A
121

Tracing the struggle of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale to gain freedom from French colonial rule as seen through the eyes of Ali from his start as a petty…

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
IMDb: N/A
97

In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father’s killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life…

Simon of the Desert

Simon of the Desert

Simon of the Desert
IMDb: N/A
45

Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him come down to Earth and…

Becket

Becket

Becket
IMDb: N/A
148

King Henry II of England has trouble with the Church. When the Archbishop of Canterbury dies, he has a brilliant idea. Rather than appoint another pious cleric loyal to Rome…

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

The Great Escape
IMDb: N/A
173

The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocate them to a high-security ‘escape-proof’ camp to sit out…

The Leopard

The Leopard

The Leopard
IMDb: N/A
186

As Garibaldi’s troops begin the unification of Italy in the 1860s, an aristocratic Sicilian family grudgingly adapts to the sweeping social changes undermining their way of life. Proud but pragmatic…

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia
IMDb: N/A
217

The story of British officer T.E. Lawrence’s mission to aid the Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence becomes a flamboyant, messianic…

Judgment at Nuremberg

Judgment at Nuremberg

Judgment at Nuremberg
IMDb: N/A
179

In 1947, four German judges who served on the bench during the Nazi regime face a military tribunal to answer charges of crimes against humanity. Chief Justice Haywood hears evidence…

Spartacus

Spartacus

Spartacus
IMDb: N/A
197

The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners…

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind
IMDb: N/A
128

This gripping adaptation of the Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee play examines an issue that still causes great controversy—the role religion should play in the schools.

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur
IMDb: N/A
212

Judah Ben-Hur, a Palestinian Jew, is battling the Roman empire at the time of Christ. His actions send him and his family into slavery, but an inspirational encounter with Jesus…

The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

The Human Condition I: No Greater Love
IMDb: N/A
206

A Japanese pacifist and socialist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember
IMDb: N/A
123

The sinking of the Titanic is presented in a highly realistic fashion in this tense British drama. The disaster is portrayed largely from the perspective of the ocean liner’s second…

Mutiny on the Bounty

Mutiny on the Bounty

Mutiny on the Bounty
IMDb: N/A
132

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front
IMDb: N/A
133

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. Together with several other young German soldiers, he experiences the horrors of war, such evil of…

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Passion of Joan of Arc
IMDb: N/A
82

A classic of the silent age, this film tells the story of the doomed but ultimately canonized 15th-century teenage warrior. On trial for claiming she’d spoken to God, Jeanne d’Arc…

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
IMDb: N/A
143

The trials and tribulations of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish man forced into galley slavery, is juxtaposed with the rise of a man some consider to be the Messiah.

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin
IMDb: N/A
75

A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resultant public demonstration, showing support, which brought on a police massacre. The film had an incredible impact on the…

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages
IMDb: N/A
N/A
197

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.