Despite the fact that some Roman Empire-themed films suffer from historical inaccuracies and dull stories, others have been well received by both moviegoers and film reviewers.
The Roman Empire is one of the largest and most well-documented ancient civilizations and superpowers. They have made a lasting impact on Europe and the Mediterranean, and their legacy can be seen today. Despite its history of imperialistic aggression, artists continue to draw inspiration from ancient Rome.
Films on the Roman Empire have always been a popular topic. The possibilities for action and period scenes are virtually limitless. Some movies about Rome should provide a more dramatic perspective than documentaries for people who can’t get enough of Rome’s romanticization, whether in classics or recent action blockbusters.
Hannah Saab made the following update on December 27th, 2021:
More and more people are discovering some of the best Roman movies that effectively reflect the thrilling and often turbulent period of history.
1. Caligula (1979)
the tumultuous life of the titular Roman Emperor, Caligula, is chronicled in this historical drama about a dreadful omen that changes everything. Suddenly, betrayal, a forbidden marriage, and violence begin to take place, which almost seem out of character for any one person.
Even though it has some outmoded elements, the movie has become a cult classic for its fearless depiction of the Emperor’s numerous shortcomings. Even if you don’t like it, you will never forget the extraordinary stories of the characters featured in this savagely terrible film.
2. Pompeii (2014)
Kit Harrington is making a major splash in Hollywood with Pompeii, following his success on Game of Thrones. Despite the fact that it had a mixed reception from critics due to the inaccurate portrayal of ancient times, Pompeiiis a fun sword-and-sandal film.
Pompeii is a film about the Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 62 AD. Thus, the film is a drama, action, and a disaster movie because it had to be realistic to the end outcome of the event in order to be considered a film. There is nothing else, even the entire voyage, that isn’t an appetizer.
3. The Eagle (2011)
Even though Channing Tatum’s performance as the film’s protagonist has received a mixed reception, The Eagle is a worthwhile picture that explores a previously unseen area of the Roman Empire, Britannia or the British Isles, while they were under Roman dominion.
Marcus Aquila, Tatum’s character, merely wanted to locate the lost golden eagle emblem of his legion in order to restore his father’s honor. Later, Marcus gains the friendship and loyalty of an old enemy, which proves to be a more precious asset than the Roman eagle.
4. Agora (2009)
When studying Roman history, it’s not just about the fighting and the military; the social institutions are just as essential. Democracy and religion were both important pillars of the Roman Empire. This was the subject of the film Agora.
A deadly feud between Christians and pagan Alexandrians is about to erupt in Agora. A woman astronomer and philosopher named Hypatia, who uses science to challenge faith and tradition, is at the center of it all. Hypatia is also entangled in a love triangle with other Roman aristocrats, which only serves to complicate things further.
5. Cleopatra (1963)
Based on Carlo Maria Franzero’s 1957 novel The Life and Times of Cleopatra, the 1963 filmCleopatra retells the well-known narrative of the titular queen, whose rebellious spirit and intellect were light years ahead of their time at the time. As a result of her refusal to submit to imperialist Rome, she finds herself in hot water with a number of high-ranking authorities.
The epic nature of the picture further enhances the film’s outstanding narrative and well-written dialogue. While there are some dull sections, the well-acted and emotional scenes that transport viewers to Cleopatra’s period more than make up for those.
6. Centurion (2010)
Centurion, like The Eagle, provides a glimpse into the Roman Empire’s first expedition into the wilds of Britain. Picts, one of the island’s indigenous peoples, are seen slaying a foolish legion that had wandered into their home territory.
A Roman general has been captured by the Picts, and it is up to a centurion who has survived the battle to free him in an effort to save his own life and the lives of the rest of the Roman army. As the aforementioned centurion, Michael Fassbender delivers another powerful performance, transforming the film into something closer to a period piece than an action movie.
7. Titus (1999)
The film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s first ever tragedy, Titus Andronicus, was released in 1999. Based on a problematic Roman general’s life tale, the film adaption authentically retells the original material’s plot.
It’s a constant battle for Titus, whether it’s in his personal or professional life. The movie does an outstanding job of capturing large-scale fights while seamlessly transitioning to more intimate, heart-wrenching moments. A Shakespearean adaptation may be expected to go on for a little too long in some places, but that’s just how it is.
8. Gladiator (2000)
The historical epics directed by Ridley Scott are unbeatable, notwithstanding his penchant for exaggeration. He hasn’t been able to top it with any of his previous period pieces, includingGladiator. Due to its superb cast and creativity, Gladatoris is arguably one of the most popular films set in ancient Rome.
A Roman general who was betrayed by his emperor’s successor and reduced to a simple gladiator is shown in this film.
Due to the dynamics of Roman blood sport and politics, Gladiator is a revenge story that is told differently.
9. Satyricon (1969)
Fellini’s Satyricon (1969) is a Roman Empire film unlike any other. This film isn’t really a depiction of life in ancient Rome, but rather it’s inspired by it in a fascinating and unusual way.
The movie is broken up into a series of ever more ridiculous segments. Costumes in the film, which include everything from paper masks to silver paint, seek to accentuate and possibly mock the animalistic aspect of human desire. It’s not a film everyone will enjoy, but it’s a must-see for film fans who enjoy the wild and absurd.
10. Ben Hur (1959)
Ben Hur is a plot comparable to that ofGladiator, but it was released decades earlier and has a disappointingly bad adaptation. If you’re interested in learning about ancient Rome’s corrupt tribunes and officials, this is the film for you.
An affluent Jew and his long-lost boyhood pal are at the center of the story. Interestingly, the same boyhood friend grew up to be a Roman tribune and therefore drove the Jewish protagonist into slavery, culminating in an exhilarating and award-winning chariot race..
11. Barabbas (1961)
“Barabbas” is a religious epic that also happens to be one of the best Rome movies of all time, released in 1961. In this video, Barabbas’s story continues after he is selected over Jesus during Passover in many religious films.
Barabbas’ journey from a slave to a formidable gladiator is depicted in the following passages, which are actually fascinating. It’s a fresh take on a biblical subject that’s rarely seen on the big screen, while also showcasing the culture and environment of that era.
12. Spartacus (1960)
Tolerance for slavery and Rome’s use of torture are undeniable blemishes. In the end, though, it was a renegade slave and gladiator who snatched the Eagle by its beak. It’s no secret that Spartacus is one of the most recognizable symbols of insurrection in history.
Because of this, the 1963 picture Spartacus should be must viewing for everyone looking for a big Rome-set film. Spartacus, backed by a ragtag band of slaves, faces out against Italy’s dictator, as he does every year. Because of the scope of the story, it merits graphic representation.
13. Julius Caesar (1953)
Julius Caesar’s time in Rome was so successful and full of accomplishments that a single film probably wouldn’t be enough to capture his essence. Even yet, the 1953 film version of Julius Caesar is based on a factual story and depicts the highs and lows of Caesar’s life.
As emperor of Rome, Caesar is at his most powerful at this period in time. Most of his allies were preparing to betray him at this time, which would prove to be a watershed moment in Rome’s history and the beginning of the empire’s rise to power.
14. The Fall Of The Roman Empire (1964)
Even while The Fall of the Roman Empire is by far the most highly regarded picture on ancient Rome, it also serves as an effective dramatic reenactment of Rome’s golden era turning point. TheGladiatorfilm, directed by Ridley Scott, was heavily influenced by this work.
That’s because one of the major storyline points of “The Fall of the Roman Empire” is the crowning of Commodus as Roman Emperor as Marcus Aurelius nears the conclusion of his reign. Machiavellian politics at its bloodiest, this was a bloodbath that altered the path of European history forever.