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The Best Medieval Movies on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Medieval movie 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 of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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1. Seven Samurai

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
92/100
Released: 1954
Drama, Action & Adventure

What it's about: A samurai answers a village's request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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2. The Seventh Seal

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
87/100
Released: 1957
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: When disillusioned Swedish knight Antonius Block returns home from the Crusades to find his country in the grips of the Black Death, he challenges Death to a chess match for his life. Tormented by the belief that God does not exist, Block sets off on a journey, meeting up with traveling players Jof and his wife, Mia, and becoming determined to evade Death long enough to commit one redemptive act while he still lives.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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3. Nosferatu

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo97%
Reelgood Logo
85/100
Released: 1922
Horror, Fantasy

What it's about: Vampire Count Orlok is interested in a new residence and in his real estate agent’s young wife. F. W. Murnau’s unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (SnagFilms & Tubi), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, FilmBox, The Criterion Channel & 2 others) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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4. Aguirre, the Wrath of God

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1972
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirre, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to "the golden city", or to certain destruction?

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (PopcornFlix, Shout Factory TV & Tubi), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Fandor, Shout Factory TV & 2 others) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Prime Video).

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5. The Passion of Joan of Arc

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1928
Biography, Drama

What it's about: A classic of the silent age, this film tells the story of the doomed but ultimately canonized 15th-century teenage warrior. On trial for claiming she'd spoken to God, Jeanne d'Arc is subjected to inhumane treatment and scare tactics at the hands of church court officials. Initially bullied into changing her story, Jeanne eventually opts for what she sees as the truth. Her punishment, a famously brutal execution, earns her perpetual martyrdom.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, Fandor, The Criterion Channel & 1 other) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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6. The Hidden Fortress

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo97%
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1958
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Japanese peasants Matashichi and Tahei try and fail to make a profit from a tribal war. They find a man and woman whom they believe are simple tribe members hiding in a fortress. Although the peasants don't know that Rokurota is a general and Yuki is a princess, the peasants agree to accompany the pair to safety in return for gold. Along the way, the general must prove his expertise in battle while also hiding his identity.

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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7. Andrei Rublev

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
82/100
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) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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8. Ugetsu

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1953
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: In 16th century Japan, peasants Genjuro and Tobei sell their earthenware pots to a group of soldiers in a nearby village, in defiance of a local sage's warning against seeking to profit from warfare. Genjuro's pursuit of both riches and the mysterious Lady Wakasa, as well as Tobei's desire to become a samurai, run the risk of destroying both themselves and their wives, Miyagi and Ohama.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, FilmBox, The Criterion Channel & 1 other) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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9. The Virgin Spring

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo86%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1960
Drama, Crime

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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10. Onibaba

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo83%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1964Rated: R
Horror, Drama

What it's about: While her son, Kichi, is away at war, a woman and her daughter-in-law survive by killing samurai who stray into their swamp, then selling whatever valuables they find. Both are devastated when they learn that Kichi has died, but his wife soon begins an affair with a neighbor who survived the war, Hachi. The mother disapproves and, when she can't steal Hachi for herself, tries to scare her daughter-in-law with a mysterious mask from a dead samurai.

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

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11. Hour of the Wolf

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1968
Drama, Horror

What it's about: An artist in crisis is haunted by nightmares from the past in Ingmar Bergman's only horror film, which takes place on a windy island. During "the hour of the wolf" - between midnight and dawn - he tells his wife about his most painful memories.

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

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12. Chimes at Midnight

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1965
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400-1413.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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13. Häxan

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
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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14. Ivan the Terrible, Part I

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1945
Biography, History

What it's about: Sergei Eisenstein's final film, this is the first part of a three-part biopic of Czar Ivan Grozny, which was never completed due again to producer dissatisfaction with Eisenstein's attempts to use forbidden experimental filming techniques and excessive cost overruns. The second part was completed but not released for a decade after Eisenstein's death and a change of heart in the USSR government toward his work; the third part was only in its earliest stage of filming when shooting was stopped altogether. In this first part, set during the early part of his reign, Ivan faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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15. A Touch of Zen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo96%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1971
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Ming dynasty noblewoman Yang must escape from the evil eunuch Hsu. She seeks refuge at a decrepit town where she gets assistance from a naive scholar & a group of mysterious yet powerful monks.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (FilmBox & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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16. Alexander Nevsky

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo94%
Reelgood Logo
72/100
Released: 1938Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: When German knights invade Russia, Prince Alexander Nevsky must rally his people to resist the formidable force. After the Teutonic soldiers take over an eastern Russian city, Alexander stages his stand at Novgorod, where a major battle is fought on the ice of frozen Lake Chudskoe. While Alexander leads his outnumbered troops, two of their number, Vasili and Gavrilo, begin a contest of bravery to win the hand of a local maiden.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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17. Henry V

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1944
Biography, Drama

What it's about: In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

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

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18. Richard III

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo84%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1955
Biography, 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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19. The Private Life of Henry VIII

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1933
Biography, Comedy

What it's about: Renowned for his excess, King Henry VIII goes through a series of wives during his rule. With Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed on charges of treason, King Henry weds maid Jane Seymour, but that marriage also ends in tragedy. Not one to be single for long, the king picks German-born Anne of Cleves as his bride, but their union lasts only months before an annulment is granted, and King Henry continues his string of spouses.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi), stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, Prime Video, Epix & 2 others), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Epix) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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20. Dragon Inn

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1967
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 (FilmBox & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Google Play).

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21. The Trial of Joan of Arc

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 1962
Drama, History

What it's about: A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial, concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of the English.

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

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22. Pathfinder

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
49/100
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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23. The Mikado

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
35/100
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).