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The Best Medieval Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Medieval movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Medieval movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. The Virgin Spring

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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66/100
Released: 1960
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Devout Christians Töre and Märeta send their only daughter, the virginal Karin, and their foster daughter, the unrepentant Ingeri, to deliver candles to a distant church. On their way through the woods, the girls encounter a group of savage goat herders who brutally rape and murder Karin as Ingeri remains hidden. When the killers unwittingly seek refuge in the farmhouse of Töre and Märeta, Töre plots a fitting revenge.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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2. Throne of Blood

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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88/100
Released: 1957
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Returning to their lord's castle, samurai warriors Washizu and Miki are waylaid by a spirit who predicts their futures. When the first part of the spirit's prophecy comes true, Washizu's scheming wife, Asaji, presses him to speed up the rest of the spirit's prophecy by murdering his lord and usurping his place. Director Akira Kurosawa's resetting of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in feudal Japan is one of his most acclaimed films.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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3. Richard III

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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73/100
Released: 1955
Drama

What it's about: Having helped his brother King Edward IV take the throne of England, the jealous hunchback Richard, Duke of York, plots to seize power for himself. Masterfully deceiving and plotting against nearly everyone in the royal court, including his eventual wife, Lady Anne, and his brother George, Duke of Clarence, Richard orchestrates a bloody rise to power before finding all his gains jeopardized by those he betrayed.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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4. The Trial of Joan of Arc

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
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71/100
Released: 1963
History, Drama

What it's about: Rouen, Normandy, 1431, during the Hundred Years' War. After being captured by French soldiers from an opposing faction, Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans, is unjustly tried by an ecclesiastical court overseen by her English enemies.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel).

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5. Häxan

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7.7/10
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82/100
Released: 1922
Documentary, Horror

What it's about: Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen's legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious-- instead it's a witches' brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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6. Dragon Inn

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7.5/10
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72/100
Released: 1967
Drama, Action & Adventure

What it's about: After having the emperor’s minister of defense executed, a power-grabbing eunuch sends assassins to trail the victim’s children to a remote point on the northern Chinese border. But that bloodthirsty mission is confounded by a mysterious group of fighters who arrive on the scene, intent on delivering justice and defending the innocent.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Google Play).

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7. Pathfinder

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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54/100
Released: 1987
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Around the year 1000 AD warlike people, the so-called "tjuder", roam in northern Scandinavia. As they brutally kill a family in a remote area, including the parents and their little daughter, the families teenage son, Aigin, observes the slaughter. He manages to flee from these killers and reaches a camp with other Lapps whose inhabitants are worried if he has been able to hide his track. Afraid of the murderous people, they decide to flee to the coast. The boy stays alone to avenge his families murder. Unfortunately, they get him before he can do anything and force him to lead them to the other Lapps. He guides them but has a plan to destroy the barbarous people before reaching the camp.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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8. The Mikado

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6.5/10
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42/100
Released: 1939Rated: G
Musical, Comedy

What it's about: In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a strolling minstrel who loves the beautiful Yum-Yum. But Yum-Yum is also loved by Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo, seeing no hope for his love, considers suicide. Ko-Ko offers to solve both their problems by executing Nanki-Poo, and an agreement is reached whereby Ko-Ko will allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, at the end of which Nanki-Poo will be executed, in time for the arrival of the Mikado. But what Ko-Ko doesn't know is that Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado and has run away to avoid a betrothal to an old harridan named Katisha. The arrival of the Mikado brings all the threads of the tale together

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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9. Andrei Rublev

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8.1/10
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73/100
Released: 1966Rated: R
Biography, Drama

What it's about: An expansive Russian drama, this film focuses on the life of revered religious icon painter Andrei Rublev. Drifting from place to place in a tumultuous era, the peace-seeking monk eventually gains a reputation for his art. But after Rublev witnesses a brutal battle and unintentionally becomes involved, he takes a vow of silence and spends time away from his work. As he begins to ease his troubled soul, he takes steps towards becoming a painter once again.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel, Kanopy & FilmBox) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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10. The Magician

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
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59/100
Released: 1958
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the leading townspeople (including the police chief and medical examiner) request that their troupe provide them a sample of their act, before allowing them public audiences. The scientific-minded disbelievers try to expose them as charlatans, but Vogler and his crew prove too clever for them.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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