The 10 best Greek mythology movies, ranked

Over the centuries, Greek mythology has offered some of the most compelling poems and stories ever. The grand nature of these tales have led to the release of epic movies, television shows, comic books, video games, and many more works of art. With countless stories, and a wide range of interesting characters, Greek mythology has provided civilization with tales about creatures, rituals, gods, and heroes of Ancient Greece, and these tales have become a way for many to understand the world.

There have been numerous films that are based on the many stories of Greek mythology. From animated classics, to romance fantasies, and even epic war films, these mythology tales —or myths –  have been told in a number of different ways. Even though most are known to have historical inaccuracies, they have become very popular classics in cinema.

For the most epic way to kickstart your fascination, or for the chance to relive some of the best films from the genre, here a ranking of the 10 best Greek mythology movies, with each one offering something unique, and exciting for fans.

Immortals (2011)

If Henry Cavill hadn’t blown minds away as Superman, fans would probably regard his role in Immortals as his most epic to date. The British star portrays Theseus, a human warrior handpicked by Zeus to lead the charge against King Hyperion, who wishes to free the Titans and cause havoc. It was a commercial success, and received mixed reviews, and while the story veers away from Greek mythology, it’s got enough fantasy and action to thrill any viewer. 

Clash of the Titans (2010)

The 3D remake of the 1981 classic might not have achieved a warm critical reception, but fans were more than pleased with the grand visuals, and exciting music in the film. Sam Worthington took over from Harry Hamlin as Perseus, son of Zeus, this time at the center of war between Zeus and Hades, played by Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes. The film scored over 490 million dollars at the box office, and spawned a sequel, Wrath of the Titans (but that had an even lower critical reception).

Hercules (2014)

Dwayne Johnson led this action-packed film about the famous god of strength, Hercules. The film follows the titular legend, after completing the twelve labors, as he leads a group of rebellious mercenaries on adventures. When a kingdom is on the verge of siege, the king hires Hercules and his companions to train his men. The film is based on Steve Moore’s graphic novel of the same name, and offers just as much action as expected from a Johnson-led film, albeit an ancient story. 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

If Disney’s Hercules introduced younger audiences to Greek mythology, the Percy Jackson film series took it a step further. Based on the novel series by Rick Riordan, the film follows 16 year old Percy — portrayed by Logan Lerman — who discovers he is the son of Poseidon, and has the ability to breathe underwater. Unaware of his true identity, things take a wild turn when he is accused by Zeus of stealing his lightning bolt, sending him and his friends on the adventure of a lifetime. The first in the Percy Jackson film franchise, this fantasy film proved a hit with younger audiences, and was a box office success. 

The 300 Spartans (1962)

While not as bloody, or visually striking as the original 2006 film, this epic was actually made with the cooperation of the Greek government, and was filmed on location in parts of Greece. While critics have regarded the film as alluding to the Cold War, The 300 Spartans follows the Battle of Thermopylae and is another pioneer in the Greek mythology genre in cinema. 

Clash of the Titans (1981)

While recent moviegoers might be familiar with the 2010 3D remake, the 1981 original also aided in the popularity of the Greek mythology film genre. It follows the classic tale of Perseus, the son of Zeus, and his epic fight with the legendary Medusa, and her stone-turning glare. The film also adopted the stop-motion animation of acclaimed stop-motion animator, Ray Harryhausen. 

Disney’s Hercules (1997)

Undoubtedly the most popular feature film about the titular hero, Disney’s animated musical, Hercules was a critical and commercial success, and one of the final films of the Disney Renaissance. It’s the only family-friendly film on this list, and details the birth and success of Hercules. James Woods shines as antagonist, Hades, and there are enough brilliant musical moments to cement this film as one of the best, and unique Greek mythology films. 

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

This cult classic opened the door for many Greek mythology films to be made. The 1963 epic film has been hailed by critics for its pioneering collaboration with stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen. The story follows the mythological tale of Jason, and his quest to find the magical Golden Fleece. It’s definitely the perfect start to one’s journey into the world of Greek mythology. 

Troy (2004)

One of the most popular films on the list, Troy is based on the Greek author Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, and set during the historial Trojan War. The ensemble led film was a major commercial success, regardless of its mixed critical response. Brad Pitt and Eric Bana led the cast, as Achilles, and Hector respectively, and the film details the invasion of the city of Troy by the Greeks. Pitt’s acting was heavily praised in this film, earning some of the best reviews of his acting career.

300 (2006)

This epic war film might have garnered controversy for its historical inaccuracies, but that didn’t stop 300 from becoming one of the most popular films based on Greek mythology. Gerard Butler claimed to have spent six hours a day training for the role of Sparta’s king, Leonidas, but it clearly paid off, as 300 grossed over 450 million dollars at the box office. The gory film is also a shot-for-shot adaptation of the 1998 comic book of the same name. Directed by Zack Snyder, 300 focuses on the brutal war between Sparta and Persia, and offers some of the best acting performances in any Greek mythology film.