The Best Movies Based on Greek or Roman Mythology

Going Medieval on Your Ass

It's 11/11/11 folks, and in honor of Immortals opening in theaters, it's time to count down the best Greek or Roman (commonly referred to as Greco-Roman [yes, it's more than wresting]) movies in the history of cinema!

The list is rather comprehensive, and you'll notice that it does not include Clash of the TItans (2008), Thor (that's Norse mythology), or Hercules: Unchained.  

Each of the aforementioned titles are varying degrees of applicable, from extremely applicable yet utter trash (Clash of the Titans), to not applicable except that they are both mythology, and almost making it because the guy who starred as Hercules brought back facial hair to Hollywood.

(Don't fact check me on that, please.)

On with the the list!

 

Honorable Mention | O Brother, Where Art Thou


O Brother, Where Art Thou Greek Roman movies

 

While not completely deserving of a spot on the list, due to the fact that it isn't exactly Greco-Roman in execution, O Brother, Where Art Thou is based up on Odysseus's journey back home. It's one of the best movies with an homage to Greek or Roman literature/mythology, springboarded by George Clooney's most impressive comedic work to date, and the magic of the Cohen brothers.

If you don't watch O Brother, Where Art Thou every year, what's wrong with you?

 

V | Troy 


Troy - Greek Roman movies

 

Yes, Troy was disappointing.  After al the hype, money, and star power, it was a shell of its potential. Lost in the post buzz malaise was the fact that Troy was a very good movie. Not great, oh no, but good. Brad Pitt was on point, Eric Bana was empathetic, and Orlando Bloom played one of the most annoying characters since Jar Jar Binks. And proving karma, he married Miranda Kerr, Victoria's Secret Angel.

At least that evens things out. 

 

IV | Spartacus


Spartacus Greek Roman movies

 

Apart of American culture, and a masterpiece of film, Spartacus got it right. Hercules: Unchained, starring legendary bodybuilder Steve Reeves, was also considered for the list, but it's not quite up to snuff in terms of quality. There's little arguing that no one could really play Hercules as well as Reeves did, but there's also little doubt that Spartacus well a far better acted, and written flick.

Won't the real slim shady please stand up?

 

III | Jason and the Argonauts


Jason and the Argonauts Greek Roman movies

 

What in Zeus's name is an Argonaut? Decades later, most people still aren't sure, but the movie was damn good. Jason and the Argonauts was fairly advanced at its time, with the use of claymation skeletons being one of the more memorable scenes in a string of iconic monsters that the Argonatus took up arms against. 

If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Jason and the Argonauts, do yourself a favor and pick it up at your local video store... if you still have one near you.

 

II | 300


300 Greek Roman Movies

 

300 is a landmark cinematic experience. It catapulted the use of digital filters and cost-effective visual effects sets into the realm of viable filming techniques. 300 launched Gerard Butler into stardom, and helped Michael Fassbender get to the next level of his career. 300 changed every man's awareness of his abs, and not for the better.

300 is pure Greco-Roman bad-ass-kicking fun.

 

I | Gladiator


Gladiator Greek Roman Movies

 

Slowly becoming known as "one of those movies that shouldn't have won best picture", Gladiator has lost some of its shine in recent memory. Russell Crowe being essentially crazy doesn't help the cause any. That said, is Braveheart tarnished because of Mel Gibson? No. 

Gladiator is a fine film, entertaining and gorgeous to the eye, mixing in an engaging plot full of almost loves and well laid plans. As dynamic or culturally significant as the other movies on the list, Gladiator is a tour de force of Greco-Roman attitude and glory.