Adventure Movies

10 fantasy and adventure movies like ‘Lord of the Rings’

March 30, 20246 Mins Read

Completing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is a strange sensation comparable only to finishing an epic work of literary fiction or a video game that you’ve plugged hours into completing. Once all is done and the last word has been heard or read, you sit back and think, ‘What now?’. Indeed, the very best works of art are unparalleled, and often, there is little else quite like the masterpiece you have just finished.

This is certainly the case for Lord of the Rings, a trilogy of movies adapted from the books of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien that totally changed how Hollywood cinema was made and consumed at the start of the new millennium. An epic undertaking that dedicated itself to the use of practical effects and traditional uses of miniatures, Lord of the Rings is one of those few movie masterworks that looks as good today as it did when it was made.

Therefore, seeking out anything similar is a difficult task. No doubt, fans of Lord of the Rings will have already consumed Jackson’s sub-par follow-up Hobbit trilogy and might have even gobbled up Ralph Bakshi’s animated adaptation from 1978. But aside from these movies and HBO’s Game of Thrones, which comes incredibly close to matching the size and scope of Jackson’s trilogy, the world of cinema can’t seem to muster a challenger to the grand fantasy trilogy.

But fear not, the way is not shut, you merely might have to broaden your cinematic horizons to enjoy a whole host of films that share the style, form, genre and scale of Jackson’s original Lord of the Rings movies.

The best fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings might have the fantasy genre on lockdown, but this isn’t to say that no other film has ever built similarly impressive magical spaces that ooze with wonder. Just look at Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 three-time Oscar winner Pan’s Labyrinth, which also uses practical effects to a spectacular degree in its tale of a young girl in 1940s Spain who escapes to a dark underworld.

A similar level of immersion and size can be felt in David Lowery’s vastly underrated 2021 film The Green Knight, albeit with a little less focus on dark magic and complex fantasy lore. Instead, Lowery’s tale is based on the ancient chivalric romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, telling the story of a humble knight who ventures across the land to take on a mythical beast.

In its sprawling focus on adventure and themes of chivalry and honour, The Green Knight also shares similarities with Robert Eggers’ 2022 film The Northman, another film that, while rated at the time, has never truly earned the plaudits it deserves. Just as magical, dark and grisly as Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Northman tells the story of a young Viking who sets out across the land to avenge the murder of his father.

Elsewhere, some of the greatest movies to match the energy and vast creativity of Lord of the Rings come from the world of animation, with Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 masterpiece Princess Mononoke and Travis Knight’s excellent stop-motion feature Kubo and the Two Strings being just two highlights. Both dealing with tales of vengeful spirits and historical curses, each of these two films joys in the sheer creativity of filmmaking, with every frame stuffed with gorgeous detail that brings the respective worlds to glittering life.

The best adventure movies like Lord of the Rings

One of the most beloved aspects of the Lord of the Rings story is its grand sense of scale, with it feeling very much like characters are engaging in an odyssey to correct the evil of their world. This same sense of size can be felt in several other classic films, no less Steven Spielberg’s own Indiana Jones trilogy, in which a globe-trotting archaeologist punches Nazis and plonks ancient artefacts in American museums after having plundered an intricate tomb. It’s effortlessly engrossing stuff, with Jackson snatching the trilogy’s essence and the first film in particular, Raiders of the Lost Ark, for his own fantasy movies. 

Elsewhere, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series may well be the best live-action creation they have made in the 21st century. Yet, the sequels to the beloved 2003 film have been so bad that it’s easy to forget just how great the original is, telling an epic tale of a blacksmith who teams up with an eccentric pirate to fight the undead and seek his eternal love. Steeped in historical folklore, Curse of the Black Pearl is a beautifully made adventure flick.

When talking about Tolkien’s book series, it’s hard not to also mention some of the other greatest literary fantasy novels, such as Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic Dune. While David Lynch gave the tale a poor adaptation back in 1984, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve did a far better job, with the second film in the series, in particular, being a grand cinematic ballad that, in moments, touches the brilliance of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

Seeing off the list, however, is a set of movies from the British director Ridley Scott, a lover of ‘Swords and Sandals’ fiction who created two films that sniff of Tolkien’s epic in the form of 2005’s Kingdom of Heaven and 2021’s The Last Duel. Though lacking the critical acclaim of Lord of the Rings, it’s likely any fan of the fantasy series would find something to love in Kingdom of Heaven, with the battles and swordplay singing from the same hymn sheet. Similarly, The Last Duel, which was overlooked by movie lovers at the time, is a bold piece of filmmaking with far more moral insight than it might seem from the outside. 

10 movies to watch if you love Lord of the Rings:

Related Topics

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Get our latest downloads and information first.
Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.