Adventure Movies

15 Movies Like Lord of the Rings to Watch Next

December 24, 202313 Mins Read

Not many films attain the status of cinematic masterpieces, nor do many become an enduring subject of continuous discussion and praise. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, on the other hand, not only secured its place as one of the highest-grossing film series, but also continues to receive immense praise from critics and audiences to this day. Serving as a source of inspiration for other fantasy movies and shows, it has the standard for magical and transportive storytelling. Director Peter Jackson successfully translated J.R.R Tolkien’s beloved and magical books into a timeless experience that will continue to shine brightly in the hearts of many, not unlike Gandalf’s iconic light.

Now, no movie or series is exactly like Lord of the Rings. Not even Prime Video’s The Rings of Power has been able to replicate the success or captivate audiences to the extent of the original. The first season of this 2022 series received mixed reviews, and there’s no telling whether the second season (which has no official release date) will fare better. For fans of Middle-earth, there may never be another movie as exceptional as Lord of the Rings, but the following 15 fantastic movies (in no particular order) should be enough to delight their hearts.

15 The Hobbit Franchise (2012-2014)

Emerging from the imaginative world of J.R.R Tolkien and under the direction of Jackson, The Hobbit trilogy of films shares numerous similarities with Lord of the Rings, being set before the original trilogy’s events take place. Comprising An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies, the series details the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a hobbit who is reluctantly dragged into a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit offers an exciting, whimsical, and emotional ride with beautiful music and enchanting characters, reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings. The presence of beloved characters from the original franchise (like Gandalf to Legolas), a Middle-earth like we’d never seen before, and the overarching struggle between good and evil make it a tale tailor-made for fans of Lord of the Rings. Stream on Max

14 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

An enduring classic, rich in mythology, and imbued with religious symbolism, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is adapted from British author C.S. Lewis’ book series The Chronicles of Narnia. The story revolves around four siblings who are evacuated to the English countryside during World War II. Here, they stumble upon a wardrobe that leads to the magical land of Narnia, kick-starting an exciting adventure and a battle against a white witch whom they must defeat.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

From the cast, the score, and the meticulously crafted world, Narnia can undoubtedly be likened to Lord of the Rings as a staple in the fantasy genre. The film serves as a wonderful adaptation of Lewis’ book, capturing the depth, key themes, and wonder of his world in a manner that continues to captivate both the young and the old. Similar to Lord of the Rings, it unfolds as a magical story filled with sensational scenarios, abundant action, and an emotional story about family love. Stream on Hulu

13 The Harry Potter Franchise (2001-2011)

A list of fantasy movie recommendations wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the great and magical franchise that has had a lasting impact on pop culture: Harry Potter. This eight-part film series chronicles the titular character’s adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchraft and Wizardry as he grows from a lonely orphan into a powerful wizard. Making lifelong friends and bitter rivals along the way, Harry is the Chosen One, tasked with putting an end to the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all.

The Harry Poter franchise comprises: The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Harry Potter is a singular franchise. Successfully bringing a beloved literary work to life, this film series succeeds in transporting viewers to richly imagined magical worlds with beloved characters, ominous figures, and distinct cultures, just like Lord of the Rings. The series continues to receive positive reviews for its world-building, superb direction, character development, outstanding performances, and for bringing pure magic to the big screen. Stream on Max

12 Stardust (2007)

Stardust brilliantly adapts Neil Gaman’s remarkable book, etching itself into the hearts of numerous viewers. Set in the English village of Wall and the magical realm of Stromhold, it follows Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox), who pledges to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved, but discovers it’s a living woman named Yaine (Claire Danes).

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Stardust is a simple yet entertaining story that is excellent on multiple levels. With its wonderful score, meticulous world-building, and enchanting characters, it stands as an underrated gem in the fantasy realm. It offers a unique blend of romance, adventure, humor, and whimsy, creating an extraordinary and touching story that is amplified by the chemistry between Cox and Danes. Stream on Prime Video

11 Eragon (2006)



Release Date
December 14, 2006

Stefen Fangmeier

Directed by Stefen Fangemeier and adapted from Christopher Paolini’s eponymous book, Eragon revolves around a farm boy who discovers a dragon egg, triggering a chain of events that lead to his destiny as the dragon rider. Like the Lord of the Rings, the film explores the themes of friendships, destiny, and the struggle between good and evil.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Eragon may have received mixed reviews from both critics and audiences at the time of its release, but, in hindsight, that’s arguably more to do with when it was released. The 2000s, after all, were dominated by Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, both of which set the bar astronomically high for any story in the genre. That being said, it stands as a solid entry, bolstered by Ed Speelers’ lead performance and Saphira’s design, bringing a different tone to the fantasy genre in a way that Lord of the Rings did. With news of an Eragon TV series in the making, now’s the time to revisit this film. Stream on DIRECTV

10 Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Kingdom of Heaven

Directed by Ridley Scott and set in the Crusades era, Kingdom of Heaven follows the story of a blacksmith, played by Orlando Bloom, and his journey to Jerusalem. He rises to prominence as a military leader and becomes caught in a complex web of alliances and betrayals.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Kingdom of Heaven eschews the magical and fantastical elements that make Lord of the Rings great, and, instead, underscores its epic historical setting. Similarly to Jackson’s trilogy, Kingdom of Heaven explores the themes of honor, morality, and the consequences of war. It also features grand battles, political intrigue, and brave characters making tough choices in the face of adversity. Stream on Starz

9 The Neverending Story (1984)

Before fantasy blockbusters like Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia captured the hearts of fantasy enthusiasts and became genre legends, The NeverEnding Story had already achieved icon status. Similar to Lord of the Rings, this beloved series originates from a fantasy book and tells a visually enchanting and emotionally resonant tale, following Bastian, who becomes immersed in the fate of Fantasia.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

The NeverEnding Story draws viewers into its magical world filled with whimsical elements, imaginative creatures, and, well, never-ending adventure. Much like Lord of the Rings, it is rich with many adorable and unforgettable characters, such as Falkor the RockBiter and Gmorg the Luck Dragon. Wolfe Pattersen surely outdid himself by presenting a beautiful movie with a powerful message. To this day, The NeverEnding Story is still considered one of the best fantasy movies from the ’80s. Stream on Max

Related: 10 Underrated Fantasy Series That Deserve More Love

8 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Looking for more adventures and magic? Then, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Guy Ritchie’s modern take on the Arthurian Legend, might be just the movie to dive into. In this rendition, Charlie Hunnam plays a street-smart Arthur, completely unaware of his royal lineage until he unwittingly pulls the legendary Excalibur from the stone, thrusting him into a world of power struggles and ancient magic.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Ritchie’s signature fast-paced and stylized approach to filmmaking shines through in King Arthur‘s storytelling, giving it a realistic street-level aesthetic that sets it apart from other adaptations of Arthurian legend. This heroic fantasy has been lauded for its engaging storyline, creative cinematography, editing, and special effects, channeling a Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings vibe. Stream on Tubi

7 Willow (1988)



Release Date
May 20, 1988

In a world threatened by an evil queen’s desire to destroy a princess, Willow, a farmer and aspiring sorcerer, bravely takes on the perilous task of ensuring Princess Elora’s safety with the help of his friends. This 80s fantasy adventure from director Ron Howard, and featuring Warwick Davis’ exceptional performance as Willow, stands as a classic.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

As Willow and his friends journey through mystical lands, facing challenges and battling evil forces, it’s hard not to be reminded of Frodo and his fellowship in the epic Middle-earth saga. Like Lord of the Rings, Willow has its own devoted fan base. More than anything, it makes for a family-friendly fantasy adventure, and echoes the theme of unlikely heroes stepping up to greatness, much like Frodo and his friends did. Stream on Disney+

6 Excalibur (1981)



Release Date
April 10, 1981

John Boorman

Nigel Terry , Helen Mirren , Nicholas Clay , Cherie Lunghi , Paul Geoffrey , Nicol Williamson

The excellent sword-and-sorcery epic, Excalibur, stands tall amongst giants of its genre, such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Renowned for its lush cinematography, evocative score and its ability to capture the mythical and magical essence of Arthurian legend, it remains a notable film in the fantasy genre.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

To this day, Excalibur continues to garner acclaim for being the greatest and most iconic depiction of the legend of King Arthur. What makes the film a classic is its ability to tell King Arthur’s story in a visually striking and epic manner, enchanting viewers and evoking strong emotions as they witness the rise and tragic fall of Arthur and his knights. Like Lord of the Rings, it unfolds a legendary story, showcases grand battles, and mesmerizes with its breathtaking cinematography. Rent on Prime Video

Related: The 10 Greatest British Fantasy Movies of All Time

5 Dragonheart (1996)

Dragonheart is set in a medieval fantasy world, tracing the story of Bowen (Dennis Quaid), a disillusioned knight, and his alliance with the last living dragon, Draco (voiced by Sean Connery). Together, they embark on a quest to stop the tyrannical king Einon (David Thewlis), creating a captivating blend of adventure, heartfelt moments, and an enchanting dragon-human bond.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Dragonheart has achieved a lasting popularity and nostalgic appeal among audiences, particularly those introduced to it in their childhood or adolescence. The film has its strengths, boasting adventurous and magical sequences along with themes of redemption that will remind many of Lord of the Rings. Often remembered for its pioneering use of CGI to bring Draco to life and Connery’s outstanding voice performance, it remains a must-watch fantasy film. Stream on Starz

4 Labyrinth (1986)

Much like the enduring impact of Lord of the Rings, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is an immersive and engaging film that continues to resonate with audiences, even three decades after its release. It tells the story of a teenage girl with a vivid imagination, who wishes for the Goblin King to take her brother away and, to her dismay, her wish is granted.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Like Lord of the Rings, Labyrinth captures one’s imagination with its breathtaking and imaginative world, rich scenery, unforgettable characters, and original plot. The film is absolutely amazing in so many ways, but David Browie’s dreamlike performance of the Goblin King is by far one of its highlights. Jennifer Connelly also delivers a solid and tender performance as the endearing teenage girl. There’s no doubting it, Labyrinth stands as an ’80s gem and a cult classic fantasy movie. Rent on AppleTV

3 Warcraft (2016)

Warcraft is a fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones and based on the popular video game series The World of Warcraft. The movie makes an ambitious attempt to bring the rich lore and characters of the video game to the big screen. Set in the high-fantasy world of Azeroth, it details the attempts by humans to thwart the invasion of their peaceful realm by the Orc Horde.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

While Warcraft may not share many overt similarities with Lord of the Rings, it caters perfectly to enthusiasts of high-fantasy narratives. Brimming with epic battles between races, intricate world-building, and captivating visual effects, it ranks amongst the most thrilling fantasy films of the modern age. Rent on AppleTV

2 The Princess Bride (1987)

Like Lord of the Rings,The Princess Bride draws inspiration from a beloved fantasy novel and stands as a timeless cinematic gem. Based on William Goldman’s novel, it unfolds as a fairy tale story being read to a sick boy by his father. An excellent use of a frame narrative, the story within the film tells the love story of Buttercup and Westley.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

The Princess Bride is a fun, adventurous story that is fantastic from start to finish. It successfully blends elements of romance, comedy, humor, parody, and even moments of violence, darkness, and sadness, all while having a fairytale ambiance. Though a straightforward story, the film shines with superb directing, acting, and a well-designed plot that elevates it to an outstanding level. Thus, if there’s another beloved fantasy film to see after Lord of the Rings, it is this romantic fairy tale. Stream on Disney+

Related: The Princess Bride: Where the Cast is Today

1 Legend (1985)

More surreal and fantastical than Lord of the Rings, Scott’s Legend unfolds in a magical and ethereal world divided by light and darkness. Tim Curry plays the Lord of Darkness, seeking to plunge the entire world into darkness by killing the remaining two unicorns, while Tom Cruise and Mia Sara portray the heroic duo who must prevent this.

How It’s Like Lord of the Rings

Jack’s heroic journey to stop the Lord of Darkness feels a lot like the Fellowship’s mission to stop Lord Sauron in Middle-earth. The inclusion of dwarves, elves, mythical creatures, evil forces, and the fierce battle between good and evil will undoubtedly delight fans of Lord of the Rings. Legend has also cultivated a cult following over the years, thanks to its stunning visuals, enjoyable plot, and imaginative elements. Rent on Apple TV

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