Like Netflix’s Alexander: The Making of a God? Watch these 3 historical movies right now

A solider in full armor prepares for battle.

Alexander: The Making of a God depicts the life of the legendary Greek conqueror and his rise to power. Part documentary and part scripted series, Alexander is bound to become one of Netflix’s best shows or at least one of the most talked-about, especially as it depicts the titular character as not necessarily straight — something anyone with a bare minimum of historical knowledge will know is true.

Those who enjoy Alexander: The Making of a God might leave the show longing for more Ancient Greece content. My advice to them is to play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, a game that brings 400 BC Greece to life with stunning detail. However, if they don’t want to invest 100-plus hours into the game, they’d do well to check these movies out. With similar tones, themes, and characters, these movies will scratch the itch that Alexander: The Making of a King provokes.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great (1998)

A painting of Alexander the Great riding his horse, Bucephalus.
Image via BBC

The BBC’s 1998 documentary features renowned British historian Michael Wood recounting the campaigns of Alexander the Great. Starting with 21-year-old Alexander’s plans to overthrow the Persian Empire, it primarily follows the conqueror’s journey from Macedonia to Turkey, Babylon, and Mesopotamia.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great is a must-watch for any self-respecting Alexander connoisseur. It’s a straightforward, yet fascinating look into Alexander’s journeys, painting the sheer scope of the conqueror’s empire with awe-inspiring clarity. Benefitting from Wood’s credentials, In the Footsteps is a worthwhile documentary that provides a great entry point for anyone looking to learn more about one of history’s greatest strategists and warriors.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great is available to rent on Amazon.

Troy (2004)

Eric Bana as Hector climbing a set of stairs followed by Paris and Helen in the film Troy.
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Brad Pitt stars as the legendary Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen’s 2004 epic Troy. A “realistic” take on Homer’s Iliad, the film depicts the decades-long Trojan War, condensing the events into a few days and removing all the mythological aspects in the poet’s seminal work. Eric Bana co-stars as Hector, while Orlando Bloom and Diane Kruger play the tragic lovers Paris and Helen.

Troy isn’t a perfect film. However, lush production values — including Bob Ringwood’s Oscar-nominated costumes — and a stellar performance from Bana turn this action-adventure piece into a worthwhile film of truly epic proportions. Don’t come here looking for historical accuracy, though, and instead enjoy the sheer spectacle on display, including scenery-chewing performances from Brendan Gleeson and Logan Roy himself, Brian Cox.

Troy is available to rent on Amazon.

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnehan in the film The Man Who Would Be King.
Image via Columbia Pictures

John Huston’s 1975 adventure film The Man Who Would Be King is based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1888 novella. Oscar winners Sean Connery and Michael Caine star as British soldiers Danny Dravot and Peachy Carnehan, respectively, who seek refuge in the isolated land of Kafiristan, where they come to be viewed as gods and heirs to Alexander the Great’s legacy.

The Man Who Would Be King is a fascinating look into the myth of Alexander. Presenting its story with broad comedic strokes and two deliciously wicked performances from Connery and Caine, the film is as much about Alexander the Great as it is about our preconceptions of his elusive legend. The truth is, we’ll never know enough about his life, and so we’ll fill in the blanks with our own ideas. The Man Who Would Be King expertly depicts this idea with an absurd, yet revealing plot that is as entertaining as it’s surprisingly ruthless.

The Man Who Would Be King is available to stream on Tubi.

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