Entertainment

The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked  

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List Rules Your favorite historical drama films, regardless of box office gross or popularity.

Moviegoers rank the best historical drama movies  and period pieces of all time below. So what makes a good historical drama movie? Some would say period-accuracy is most important while others may assert plot and emotion should be priorities. These differing opinions are why it is difficult to rank the best historical drama movies of all time.

Do your due diligence and vote up your favorite historical dramas. These are the top films in the historical drama genre, meaning that each and every one of these is either tells a story from history or is a period piece. We have included details such as cast, year, director and more. This list of historical drama films also contains plot summaries and miscellaneous information. Original trailers for the movies included when available.

Many of these hit historical drama movies are available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Don't agree with this list? Feel free to rerank it to your heart's desire. You can either copy the historical drama films or add your own. This list, though, contains the best historical drama movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films. Make sure to rock the vote by voting up the greatest movies on this list (according to you).  List of historical drama films includes historical drama movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. After you've voted for your favorites, share the list on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks. Aside from this list of the best historical drama movies, you can also take a look at the Best Family Drama Movies, The Best R-Rated Drama Movies, and the Best PG-13 Rated Drama Movies

All sorts of directors have taken on Historical drama movies. Examples include Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, and Robert Redford.

list ordered by
1
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more
2
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen
Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more
3
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom
Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more
4
Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston
Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more
5
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
LisaMcCaffrey added Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite
The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more
6
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more
7
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more
8
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Joe Skip Stewart added Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more
9
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field
Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The ...more
10
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman
The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to lead the his own group of men during the ...more
11
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Joe Skip Stewart added Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher
Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom ...more
12
Glory is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick
Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more
13
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more
14
Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott
Gettysburg is a 1993 epic film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg. The film starred Tom ...more
15
Patton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees
Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical film about U.S. General George S. Patton during WWII. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by ...more
16
Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson
Gangs of New York is a 2002 American fictionalized historical drama film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan in 1863. The film was directed by Martin ...more
17
Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre
Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars ...more
18
300 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
ElijahKaganer added Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey
300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae which took ...more
19
Troy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Roland Keszeg added Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom
Troy is a 2004 epic period war film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, loosely based on Homer's Iliad. After Paris smuggles Queen Helen to Troy, Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of ...more
20
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
wiabux added Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life ...more
21
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Ferry73 added Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more
22
Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
RobLein added Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese film directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an ensemble cast, including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Sō Yamamura, E. G. Marshall, James Whitmore ...more
23
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
cynde added Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger
Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more
24
The King's Speech is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth, Guy Pearce
The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an ...more
25
Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked
Jim_In_Texas added Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason
Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film also co-stars Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason, and Everett McGill. The ...more