Epic movies refer to a film-making style characterized by large-scale, sweeping spectacle and scope. These films are not just exciting and breathtaking to watch, but also offer so much to learn. In this article, we highlight the 9 best epic films of all time.
The Ten Commandments (1956)
This 1956 religious drama is indisputably one of the best epic movies of all time. It is based on a 1949 novel called Prince of Egypt. The movie revolves around the biblical story of Moses, who seeks to deliver enslaved Hebrews and lead an exodus to Mount Sinai. It is while at this mountain that Moses receives commands from God. The movie was filmed in Egypt and Sinai Peninsula and has won numerous awards.
This David Cameron epic is one of the most popular films of all time. It revolves around the story of the RMS Titanic, a real-life ship that sank in the Atlantic Ocean during its maiden voyage. The Titanic stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, along with other famous actors such as Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, and Gloria Stuart. The Titanic was a massive box office success and remains one of the best-grossing films of all time to date.
This is a 1960 epic historical film written by Dalton Trumbo and based on a 1951 novel (of the same name). The movie is inspired by the true-life story of Spartacus, a slave revolt leader from the Roman Empire era. The film revolves around the events of the Third Servile War. Spartacus won multiple Academy Awards, including the Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor. It has since been preserved as a culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant item by the National Film Registry.
Gone With the Wind (1939)
This 1939 epic is adapted from a 1936 novel of the same name. It is set in the American South during the civil war and reconstruction era. The plot revolves around the story of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of a plantation owner who falls in love with Ashley Wilkes, a married man. The plot goes on to shine a light on Scarlett’s subsequent marriage to Rhett Butler.
Schindler’s List (1993)
This is a 1993 historical drama written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on a 1982 non-fiction book by an Australian author. The plot follows a German industrialist, Oskar Schindler, who waved over 1,000 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by hiring them in his factories. Schindler’s list stars big-name actors such as Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, and Amon Goth. The film initially grossed $322 million from a budget of $22 million.
Forrest Gump (1994)
This is another famous movie that deserves a mention in any must-watch film list. It is a comedy-drama epic written by Eric Roth based on a 1986 novel of the same name. The movie stars Tom Hanks and follows Forrest Gump, a kindhearted but slow-witted Alabama man who experiences diverse, defining historical moments. When Forrest Gump was released, it became the top-grossing film released that year, earning over $678 million.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
This is a 2002 epic adventure film based on J.R.R Tolkien’s book. The second installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it features an impressive cast including Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, and Ian McKellen. In continuation of the Fellowship of the Ring storyline, Frodo and Sam progress on their journey to Mordor in order to destroy the Ring. They – at some point – meet Gollum, and are later reunited with Gandalf before fighting the legions of Saruman.
The Green Mile (1999)
This is a magic realism film from 199 that was written by Frank Darabont. It was based on a 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film stars Tom Hanks, who experiences some supernatural events after the arrival of a convict at a death row prison. The Green Mile was a massive commercial service, grossing $286 million from an initial $60 million budget. It was nominated for multiple Academy Awards.
This 2006 epic is one of the best historical war films of all time. It is based on a 1998 comic and stars Gerald Butler. The king of a Greek nation, King Leonidas leads about 300 brave Spartans to face an army of over 300,000 Persian soldiers. When it was released, the film was a Box Office success. It grossed over $456 million, one of the best performances ever in box office history.