Like big battle scenes? British accents? Violence? Carnage? Vague historical context? Then you might be a fan of Wolfgang Petersen's blockbuster "Troy," based on some damn thing from a long time ago. Here are seven more movies that might scratch the "Troy"-shaped itch in your heart. Enjoy, for the good of Rome/Greece/wherever!
" Kubrick disowned the project, his take on the battle-filled historical epic is head-and-shoulders above the average example of the genre. He fills the battle scenes with an immediacy and carnage that might surprise you if you're used to watching giant blobs of CGI soldiers run into each other. And the human element of the story works perfectly, as well – what dude hasn't teared up a little during the "I Am Spartacus" scene?
An undisputed classic in the adventure genre, "Gunga Din" was one of the first Hollywood productions to do big battle scenes on this kind of scale. Zoom in a little closer to the action, and you'll find nothing to be disappointed in, either: Cary Grant is just one of the highlights of a great cast. You might be surprised to see how exciting a movie from 1939 can be (although you really shouldn't be).
One of the true masters of the epic battle movie is Akira Kurosawa. And one of his best is "Kagemusha," which tells the story of a medieval warlord who dies and is replaced by a poor thief who looks just like him. Kurosawa packs the movie with violent battle scenes which are so impressive it might be hard to believe that he was going blind when the movie was made. And you can thank producers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas for helping to bring the movie to the screen. See? They are good for something!
Another epic from Kurosawa, this one even better than "Kagemusha" (and much more violent). Based on the Shakespeare tragedy "King Lear," Kurosawa pulls out all the stops in bringing this epic to the big screen, with bright bursts of color (particularly bloody red) and a distinctive, avant-garde score. He made a lot of epics in his career, but this was the last, and arguably the one that tops them all.
Spartacus" was the movie that reinvigorated the historical epic genre, and watching it again now will show you why. The lead performances from Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix are highly involving, as is the story of a prominent general-turned-gladiator. The real star of the show, however, is Ridley Scott's masterful battle scenes, both in sequences depicting ancient combat, and the ones inside the gladitorial arena.
The "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy
Although the makers of "Troy" specifically strayed from the source material's mythic and fantastic elements, the basic DNA of fantasy can still be found in the movie. If that's your sort of thing, you'll probably love Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movies, which string one fantastic set-piece after another with all the British accents you can handle.
Alexander the Great is up there with Achilles in the halls of history's great warriors, so Oliver Stone's affectionate tribute to the man would make an interesting companion piece to "Troy." Although it was a notorious flop and savaged by critics, there's a lot to enjoy here, not least of which are the large-scale epic battle scenes, which are orchestrated with an old-school touch by Stone.