[Top 25] Best Mythology Movies You Need To Watch

Best Mythology Movies You Need To Watch
If something bad happens to you, it's probably Zeus's fault.

In a war between immortal gods, how can we humans escape being caught in the crossfire?

It must’ve sucked to be a typical dude back in the age of heroes. Say you’re out on a date, right, and you’ve just told this girl you’ve been crushing on how beautiful you think she is. Naturally, you’re a little nervous, so you go a bit overboard by saying that not even Aphrodite herself holds a candle to her. Well, guess what, bucko? Aphrodite took that personally, and now you get to spend the rest of your short sad life as a shrub.

Considering the kinds of punishments the gods typically dish out, I think you got off easy.

But that’s the heart of it, isn’t it? That’s why we love ancient myths so much. That interaction between gods and man. Where the gods aren’t some ultimate paragons of virtue but are instead just as petty and spiteful as we are, except they can hurl lightning bolts at us. In the ancient stories, just being able to walk away from an encounter with one of these supernatural beings was enough to qualify you as a hero. And today, we’ve been able to immortalize many of those ancient heroes on the silver screen.

So without further adieu, here are the top twenty-five best mythology movies you need to watch!


25. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Jason & The Argonauts (1963) Trailer (1080p)

I guess you could call this the original road trip story. Our hero Jason is a prince whose throne gets stolen when his father is murdered. To win his kingdom back, he must go on a dangerous quest across a treacherous sea to prove he is fit to be king.

Yep, that's some 60s costume design right there.

Don’t let the film’s age put you off. It’s still a great rendition of the myth it gets its name from. I think primarily due to Hera’s involvement in the story. She usually gets pushed to the background in favor of her husband, Zeus. So it’s nice to see her get some time to shine. And better still, this version of her isn’t a crazy psychopath hell-bent on killing all Zeus’ illegitimate kids! So that’s a plus.


24. The Sword in the Stone (1963)

The Sword in the Stone 1963 Preview | Disney

The story of King Arthur is one of the most famous myths of all time. And in this Disney version, we get to see what this great king was like as a timid youth. Then, under the guidance of the wizard Merlin, we explore just how this shy squire became a legend.

A King is born.

Next to the hit BBC show Merlin, this is probably one of my favorite renditions of King Arthur. I just like how young and inexperienced he is. We don’t often get to see the humble beginnings of ancient heroes. Their stories typically jump from them doing one awesome thing to another with very little time to slow down and see who they are as a person. I guess that adds to the mystique of their myth, but it can make them hard to connect to. So seeing Arthur at this stage in his life was a pretty cool changeup.


23. Hercules (2014)

Hercules Official Trailer #2 (2014) - Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane Movie HD

The Rock as Hercules? Talk about perfect casting! In this movie, we explore what the famous hero gets up to after his legendary 12 labors.

I would rather just walk away than fight him.

This movie likes to play around with Hercules' demigod status. Is he really the son of Zeus, or is he just a powerful human? The answers to the questions posed don’t really matter. The film is more about how your actions speak far louder than your words. What matters is that Hercules is saving people now, he’s being a hero now, and that’s all anyone really needs to know.


22. The Road to El Dorado (2000)

The Road to El Dorado (2000) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

El Dorado, the mythical city of gold. In reality, a city that never existed and that many people lost their lives trying to find. But this is a movie, and in this movie, two bumbling Spanish con-men not only find it, but they are also mistaken as gods!

It's crazy to think about how far DreamWorks has come since this movie.

This is the third film DreamWorks Animation made after Antz and The Prince of Egypt. Coming out one year before Shrek put them on the map as a true competitor to Disney. The Road to El Dorado is often overlooked. But I think it was an early indicator of just what the studio was capable of. It had fantastic animation and a great story, creating a solid foundation on which DreamWorks has only continued to grow ever since.


21. Gladiator (2000)

GLADIATOR | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies

While Maximus was a real person who did lead a slave revolt, the rest of his life is shrouded in myth and legend. In this interpretation, we see his dramatic fall from his position as a respected Roman General into the pits of slavery after he is caught up in a plot involving the assassination of the Emperor. From this dark beginning, the film then gradually builds him up, showing us his rise as the champion of the Roman Colosseum.

"Are you not ENTERTAINED!"

This one’s an all-time classic. It's a movie that’ll have you wanting to get off the couch and hit the gym as soon as it’s finished. Russel Crowe shows so much charisma in his role as Maximus that he just draws you in. Many movies put actors in the roles of leaders only for them not to command the kind of presence that the part demands to make it believable. That’s certainly not the case here. By the end of this film, you’ll find yourself about ready to charge right into the arena alongside Maximus.


20. The Odyssey (1997)

The Odyssey Trailer 1997

Meet Odysseus, our hero cursed by the sea god Poseidon to never make it back home from his campaign in the Trojan War. He and his loyal crew must battle their way across the Mediterranean. Facing off against witches, cyclops, and sea monsters, in a desperate voyage to return to their home island of Ithaca.

A cautionary tale of the dangers that come with ticking off a god.

Like Homer’s original tale, this story’s central conflict focuses on Odysseus’s major flaw, his ego. He’s quick to take credit for his victories during the Trojan War, which is what earns him the wrath of Poseidon in the first place. Again and again, we see that he is a tactical genius. But that genius is hampered by his overwhelming sense of pride. Only when he has been genuinely humbled can he ever hope to find his way back to the shores of Ithaca.


19. Thor (2011)

Thor - Trailer (OFFICIAL

Move over Zeus. There’s a new god of thunder in town! But wait, it looks like he got grounded by his dad and is now stuck on Earth as a demigod. Hey Zeus, Big Z, you know I didn’t mean… wait, please come back, please!

Exposing Norse Mythology to a whole new generation.

This created a fundamental tonal shift in the types of mythology movies and TV shows that got made going forward. Before, it was always Greek, Greek, Greek. There’d be the odd one-off film exploring different kinds of mythologies. But this was the film that made Hollywood sit up and notice that there were other pantheons that they could be making movies about that didn’t involve Zeus and his crazy family. It is a cinematic milestone that opened the gates for new and more diverse mythological films to be made.


18. Matchless Mulan (2020)


Did you know that two Mulan films came out in 2020? While the Disney live-action remake of their 1998 classic is the one that got all the attention, this Chinese-made film snuck quietly into theaters. Though, that might have had more to do with the OTHER big thing that happened that year, the big thing that made it so you couldn’t go to the movies.

A ballad retold.

I like to encourage everyone to experience foreign cinema. Reading subtitles may take a moment to get used to. Still, it’s just so refreshing to go outside what you’re used to and expose yourself to how the other cultures of our big world see things. This goes for myths especially. Wouldn’t you rather know how the culture where the myth originated interprets the story onto the big screen rather than the Hollywood version designed for the most mass-market appeal? I’m not saying that the Disney version is bad or anything; it’s fine, I just think this film has more to say.


17. The Mummy (1999)

The Mummy Official Trailer #1 - Brendan Fraser Movie (1999) HD

This might be a controversial statement, but I think this film perfectly captures the spirit of what makes the Indiana Jones movies so great. Our hero Rick O’Connell is like a fusion of both Indy and Han Solo, a treasure hunter with a feisty love interest and a bit of attitude. You throw in the supernatural reincarnation of an ancient high priest with godlike powers, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic movie-going experience.

That's one smug camel in the back.

This movie has a timeless feel to it. Directed by Stephen Sommers, it captures that endlessly re-watchable spirit of a Spielberg or Zemeckis film. The whole series is like that, really, as he also directed the film’s sequels. Watching it makes you feel like a kid again;  really is something special. So if you’re looking for the perfect flick for a night in with a group of friends, you really can’t go wrong with The Mummy.


16. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya - Official Trailer

This one will leave you in tears. It’s the beautiful tale of a strange young girl found inside a bamboo shoot and is adopted by a kindly elder couple. We, as the audience, get to watch her grow up and face a destiny she’s not ready for; the story is both inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.

I's like Thumbelina but sad.

The first thing you’ll likely notice about this film is the art style. Even though it’s Japanese animation, it doesn’t really line up with the “Anime” aesthetic you usually associate with Japanese productions nowadays. This makes sense when you see that it’s a Studio Ghibli film; they always preferred to do their own thing without worrying too much about whatever the current popular style is. The art here is like a traditional woodblock painting brought to life. It works in the movie’s favor, adding beauty and tragedy to the story being told.


15. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother Where Art Thou Official Trailer

Taking inspiration from Homer’s classic The Odyssey, this film reimagines Odysseus' grand voyage across the Mediterranean and sets it instead in the deep American south during the Great Depression. The Odysseus of this story isn’t some famous king; here, he starts out as a prisoner serving his sentence working on a chain gang. He and a few other prisoners manage to escape their forced labor and then go on a hair-raising adventure through the South, where they confront one-eyed Klansmen, deadly sirens, and somehow manage to become musical sensations.

When you hear the sudden sound of banjos in the distance.

Don’t you like the idea of re-spinning older myths into new modern settings? It’s pretty fun to imagine stuff like that. What ifs are what stories are made of. Most authors do it all the time, and you wouldn’t even notice unless it was pointed out to you. The same stories have been told and retold for thousands of years; they simply change shape and blend in with other stories to give them new life.


14. Clash of the Titans (2010)

Clash of the Titans - Trailer 2

A modern retelling of the 1981 classic, Clash of the Titans tells the story of Perseus. The demigod son of Zeus (as most Greek heroes are), who attempts to save the city of Argos from being destroyed by the gods. Because apparently, they thought they could declare war on the gods of Olympus and win, which was a stupid idea but okay.

Off to make your dad pay child support.

This was probably the first movie that gave an ancient Greek myth the level of scale it should have. Before this, while the acting was good, many films based on the old legends just felt kind of cheesy. Barring a few exceptions like 300 (2006), we just weren’t there technologically yet. But with this film, we finally get the large-scale epic feel that a story featuring giant monsters and the Olympian gods should have. Make sure to see it with high-quality sound for the best viewing experience.


13. Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Wrath of the Titans - Official Trailer #1 (HD)

Perseus returns as our main hero in this sequel to the 2010 reboot of Clash of the Titans. But, this time, facing off against actual Titans! Because funnily enough, there weren’t actually any Titans in Clash of the… Titans.

Just your average Tuesday in ancient Greece.

This movie benefits greatly from its sequel status since there wasn’t any source material the production crew had to adhere to. Since the filmmakers got all that out of the way with the 2010 reboot, they were free to do their own thing with the world they had set up. The plot of this film is far more interesting. The characters are given better motivations and development. And everything just flowed better overall.


12. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)

Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas - Trailer

DreamWorks outdid themselves with this swashbuckling adventure film, telling the story of notorious pirate Sinbad. The trouble starts when he gets himself wrapped up in the evil schemes of Eris, the goddess of chaos and discord. And now he and his crew must do her bidding to retrieve a legendary Book of Peace to complete her dark plan.

She's not someone you want to be on the bad side of.

So other than Disney’s Aladdin, I think this is the only middle eastern mythical hero to get the big-budget animated treatment. Though there is that Japanese anime Magi, which is also pretty good. But Sinbad’s just a cool character, even in his original story. He’s a world-traveling adventurer who gets up to all kinds of mischief. And Brad Pitt does a fantastic job bringing him to life in this movie.


11. Moana (2016)

Moana Official Trailer

Keeping with the seafaring theme, here we have Moana. The story of a young girl who sets out on a voyage to save her island and its people. Along the way she teams up with a showboating demigod named Maui, and together they journey to reclaim the legendary heart of Te Fiti.

I wish I had that many tattoos.

Of the animated Disney films of the 2010s, I think this is the one that really let the animators stretch their legs and push their craft to new heights. Don’t get me wrong, movies like Frozen and its sequel look good. But you can just tell that so much work went into making the water feel alive in this film. The ocean feels like its own character, which is why I think they did actually make it a character in the story. It’s not just the ocean though, the movie really just gives you these tropical vibes that seem to transport you from your couch all the way to the south pacific.


10. Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away - Official Trailer

Now we move on to a not so happy transportation, as our heroine Chihiro is whisked away from her everyday life into a strange and frightening spirit world in which she finds herself trapped. Forced to serve in a supernatural bathhouse under the rule of a tyrannical witch. Chihiro finds herself stripped of everything she knows, her parents, her name, and even her memory.

That'd be one uncomfortable meal.

Probably the most well-known Studio Ghibli film. Maybe because of Disney backing its US release. It was responsible for exposing the Japanese animation genre to many people who had never seen it before. And served as a sort of gateway that helped Japanese animation and by extension Anime as a medium become more mainstream. Paving the way for the thriving Anime culture we see today.


9. The First King: Birth of an Empire (2019)

THE FIRST KING (2019) Official Trailer | Historical Action Movie

Everyone knows the glory of the Roman Empire. But what was it like at the very beginning, before the famous emperors and mighty legions? That’s what this movie explores in telling the story of brothers Romulus and Remus, the two heralded to be the fathers of what would one day become a continent-spanning dynasty.

When it's brother vs. brother, who will become the true father of Rome?

So one of the first things that’ll pop out at you when watching this movie is that all the acting was done in ancient Latin. Not Italian, not even the more modern Latin you may have taken in high school. They went out of their way to recreate the spoken Latin of 753 BC. The Director, Matteo Rovere, insisted on making the viewer feel as close to that time as possible. Hence why the story shows that one only gains the right to rule after he first submits to the gods’ will; the production crew took no thought for updating the myths theme to appeal to modern audiences.


8. Hercules (1997)

1997 Hercules Official Trailer 1 Walt Disney Pictures

So this is the story of Hercules told through the lens of a Superman movie. A baby Hercules is taken from Olympus (Krypton) and is found by a pair of farmers (The Kents). The rest of the movie centers on him coming to grips with his demigod status as the son of Zeus and learning what it means to be a true hero.

This movie is like a beutiful art piece made entirely out of broken glass, nothing should work but somehow it just does.

This movie is comedy gold to anyone who knows their stuff when it comes to Greek mythology. Zeus and Hera are a loving couple? Hera is a kind, nurturing mother to Hercules? What? Those things never happened in the original myths, but Disney being Disney, somehow made all of the film's inconsistencies work fabulously. That doesn’t mean however that your inner mythology nerd won’t be screaming in your head that all of this just feels so… wrong.


7. Wonder Woman (2017)

WONDER WOMAN - Official Trailer [HD]

Wonder Woman is an interesting character because she represents the crossroads where ancient Greek myths and modern superhero myths meet. As an immortal Amazon warrior born on an island of all women, this film shows her venturing out beyond her shores and for the first time getting to see what the wider world is like. Unfortunately, the world she is confronted with is currently in the middle of the first World War, so instead of a warm welcome to this new world the young Princess Diana is immediately presented with a trial by fire to prove her worth, luckily she doesn’t disappoint.

That trench scene is one of the best moments in superhero films ever.

This movie is probably the best of the current live-action DC films. The third act kinda goes crazy with the CGI, but it's a solid work that can stand on its own without any help from the other movies in the franchise. I honestly wish all the other DC movies were of this quality. It hits that sweet spot that franchise leadership said they were going for in being different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while at the same time not making it feel like a Batman film. A problem they’ve been struggling with since Man of Steel back in 2013.


6. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke - Official Trailer

While not as immediately popular as Spirited Away was a few years later. This film with its environmentalist message has come to be considered one of Studio Ghibli’s all-time greats. Telling the story of a cursed prince as he sets out to confront a great forest spirit, he unwittingly finds himself in the crosshairs of all the factions warring over the land on which the forest sits.

Studio Ghibli went all out with the spirit designs in this movie.

This film's use of different gods and spirits in Japanese folklore is really cool. Japanese myths aren’t as easy to follow as other cultures because they believe that gods and spirits can reside in anything. From rivers to mountains, they can be both big and small. So while a lot of the spirits in this movie are made up, they are still founded on real mythology. And the way Ghibli animates these supernatural beings makes them feel just so powerful and majestic, even if some of them are pretty gross to look at.


5. 300 (2006)

300 - Official Trailer [HD]

This gory action film depicts the famous battle of Thermopylae. Showcasing a legendary last stand by 300 Spartan warriors against the mighty army of the king of Persia. Led by the valiant king of the Spartans, Leonidas.

The Bro movie to end all Bro movies.

As with a lot of big movies recounting legendary historical moments, there is a lot of… stretching of the truth going on. Historically, more than 300 Spartans stayed behind to aid the Greek forces retreat from the invading Persian army. But that wouldn’t be as dramatic, so we don’t mention that. Instead, this film has one goal, to get your testosterone pumping. It’s a bro movie of the highest caliber, and it’ll make you immediately want to hit the gym after every viewing.


4. Mortal (2020)

MORTAL Official Trailer (2020) Nat Wolff Fantasy Movie HD

This is like a much darker version of Marvel’s Thor movie. In which Eric, our protagonist, is trying to escape being captured by both the Norwegian and American governments for incidents he’s caused due to his supernatural nature. Along the way, he meets a young psychologist named Christine who becomes his only real confidant in a world where everyone else is out to get him.

This movie has the same energy as other sleeper hit films like Chronicle.

Okay, so other than Marvel’s Thor, this film also feels like it has DC’s Man of Steel movie thrown in the mix as well due to its more somber tone. It’s a foreign film, Norwegian to be exact, that has both Norwegian and English dialogue throughout the movie. Another cool thing you’ll notice if you were a 90’s kid is that the distributing company for this picture is Saban Films. If that name sounds familiar it’s because the man who formed that company is Haim Saban. He’s famous for bringing a Japanese TV show called Super Sentai to the United States and rebranding it as a Saturday morning kid's show that you might know of as Power Rangers.


3. The Green Knight (2021)

The Green Knight | Official Trailer HD | A24

This film is set during the time of Arthurian folklore. Where we follow Sir Gawain, a Knight of the Round Table and nephew to King Arthur. As he goes on a journey of self-discovery, learning humility, bravery, and what it means to be a true knight.

It's rare to see an Arthurian legend that doesn't focus on King Arthur himself.

We don’t often get modern stories about the other knights of the Round Table. Most media that focus on the Arthurian legends tend to center only on King Arthur himself. With the occasional story about Merlin. So it’s always nice when we get a tale that fleshes out another member of King Arthur’s court. And this movie about Sir Gawain learning to take responsibility and earn his place at the table is a perfect addition to the lore of Camelot.


2. Immortals (2011)

Immortals - Official Trailer

The epic story of the hero Theseus, as he battles to stop the evil Hyperion before he can release the imprisoned Titans so that they might wreak havoc on the world. Along the way, he is secretly aided by the gods of Olympus in his quest, as they disobey the law of Zeus that they should not intervene in the affairs of mortals. After gaining the powerful Epirus Bow, Theseus can stand toe-to-toe against his godly foes, and carve his name into legend.

Yet another instance in which Zeus's bad parenting continues to cause suffering for everyone.

This was actor Henry Cavill’s breakout film. After this, he would star as Superman in Man of Steel (2013) and later as monster hunter Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher. He’s since become sort of a nerd culture sensation since admitting to being a fan of properties like World of Warcraft and PC gaming in general. He also put out a cool video where audiences  got to watch as he built his own gaming computer. At only 38, the future looks bright for this talented actor, and I’m sure he has many great roles ahead of him.


1. Troy (2004)

Troy - Original Theatrical Trailer

The tragic tale of the fall of Troy is shown in epic detail. All the major players from Homer’s classic are here. From the mighty warrior Achilles and wise king Odysseus to Paris and Helen, the young lovers whose affair began this bloody conflict in the first place.

Everything really was all Paris' fault wasn't it?

Surprisingly, this film opts to remove all the supernatural stuff present in the original story. Zeus and the rest of the Olympians don’t show up as characters, and all the events play from a more grounded human level. We see Achilles as a great warrior, but here he’s shown to be just a man, not the nigh unkillable hero of Greek legend. It’s still a fantastic movie regardless. I just don’t know what they would have done if they had intended to make a film based on the Odyssey after this, because there really isn’t any avoiding the fantastical elements of that story.


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