During the middle ages, between 793-1066 AD, Vikings raided, colonized, and traded throughout Europe and North America.
A thousand years later, the fascination for these Norsemen is evident in several films about them. The 19 best Viking movies in this article will take you back in time to witness the maritime adventures of the Scandinavians.
1. The Northman (2022)
English 2h 17m IMDb
Director: Robert Eggers
Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang
Groundbreaking visionary Robert Eggers directed this star-studded Viking film. It follows the adventures of Prince Amleth (Alexander Skaarsgard), a young man dying to avenge his father’s murder. His unstoppable courage led him on a quest toward Iceland, where he planned on retrieving his lost kingdom.
Fans of this film’s director won’t be disappointed to see his dark take on historical topics. The movie may be off to a slow start but builds up to an exciting climax. It respected the Scandinavian heritage while creating an epic, visual feast. It explores the cycle of violence and how it consumes a person.
2. The Last King (2016)
Norwegian 1h 39m IMDb
Director: Nils Gaup
Stars: Jakob Oftebro, Kristofer Hivju, Torkel Dommersnes Soldal
This movie reveals how two Viking warriors fought to protect the last heir to the king’s throne. The audience can witness how the civil war destroyed 13th century Norway.
After the king’s assassination, his faithful soldiers searched the land for his illegitimate son. His is the only hope to preserve the honor and sanctity of the kingdom.
Even those who are not familiar with Viking history will enjoy this film. The action-packed shots, including an epic skiing scene, kept viewers satisfied. The majestic mountain tops and snowy forests were perfect backdrops for the swordfights and dramatic climax.
3. Valhalla Rising (2009)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Alexander Morton
This movie follows the life of a mighty mute warrior named One Eye. A Norse chieftain captured and tortured him, but he was able to defeat the cruel leader.
He escaped with an enslaved boy and began a journey toward an unknown and sinister land. They faced several challenges, including an endless fog and a new world with terrible secrets.
Fans of this movie shared that it made them appreciate life more. The existential theme paired with astounding visuals gave it so much depth. This Toronto and Venice Film festival entry astounded fans with the lead actor’s superb acting.
4. Viking (2016)
English 2h 22m IMDb
Director: Andrey Kravchuk
Stars: Danila Kozlovskiy, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Maksim Sukhanov
In this epic tale of revenge, Vladimir the King fights his half-brother to recapture his beloved homeland. After his father’s death, he fled home and set sail on the frozen sea. Vladimir refuses the violence his brother waged against his other brothers.
The epic battles in this film are worth the two-hour watch. Its big budget shows in the authentic and realistic scenes. The use of spears and other weapons was artistic, making it entertaining and exciting.
5. Erik the Viking (1989)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Tim Robbins, John Cleese, Mickey Rooney
This comedic take on Norse mythology is ar refreshing cinematic experience. Usually, Viking movies are severe and dramatic, but Monthy Phyton’s Terry Jones took another route. The film reveals the story of Eric the Viking, who got fed up raiding villages. He traveled to Asgard intending to rescue the Norse gods from a powerful wolf.
Fans of The Monthy Phyton would love this unique Nordic tale. Bonus points if you love Viking movies, too. The Viking Age was dark and bitter, a stark contrast to the hilarious moments of this movie. These opposing scenarios made it unique and memorable.
6. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Stars: Jay Baruchel(voice), Gerard Butler(voice), Christopher Mintz-Plasse(voice)
This animated movie is about a young Viking named Hiccup. He badly wants to defeat the dragons who wreak havoc on their town. However, adults in his life prohibited him from joining the village warriors due to his clumsy nature. One day he downs a dragon, but instead of killing him, he befriends the beast.
There aren’t many Viking movies that are fit for the family. However, everyone can have fun watching this Dreamworks classic. It’s a great watch with its stunning visuals and flawless animation. It was so good that it spawned a sequel.
7. How to Train Your Dragon 2 ( 2014)
English 1h 42m IMDb
Director: Dean DeBlois
Stars: Jay Baruchel(voice), Cate Blanchett(voice), Gerard Butler(voice)
They’re off on a new adventure five years after Hiccup and toothless united Vikings and dragons. They discovered a secret ice cave where hundreds of wild dragons found refuge. However, a battle erupted, which was about to destroy the peace. It’s up to the two heroes to change destiny’s course.
This film may be marketed more toward children, but its message speaks to everyone. The first movie of this franchise was a rousing success, so Dreamworks decided to make another one. While many viewers are skeptical about sequels, this movie was able to break the “part two curse.”
8. Beowulf (2007)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie
This computer-animated movie is based on an ancient book of the same title. With Robert Zemeckis at its helm, you’d expect flawless animation and beautiful musical scoring. It tells the tale of Beowulf, a mighty warrior who offers the king his fighting skills. He slays a beast but angers the demon’s mother.
Getting used to the CGI takes some time. However, as the story progresses, you’ll forget that it’s animated and love the story. The action sequences and the music was phenomenal, making it an entertaining watch. The storyline is also appropriate for older kids, so it’s a great introduction to the poem.
9. Outlander (2008)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Director: Howard McCain
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Ron Perlman
This movie follows the story of Kainan, a man from another dimension whose spacecraft crash-landed in Norway during the Iron Age. Another passenger is Moorwen alien soldier and Kainan’s mortal enemy. Nouwen destroyed the villages. Kainan used advanced technology with the Viking’s tools and weapons to defeat the enemy.
The film’s premise may be unusual as it blends history with technology. However, it worked perfectly fine. It gave an insight into the Viking’s way of living and the events associated with the period. The fight scenes were flawless, and the acting was sensational.
10. The 13th Warrior (1999)
English 1h 42m IMDb
Director: John McTiernan, Michael Crichton(reshoots)
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhøi
Antonio Banderas stars in this historical adventure. He plays a Muslim diplomat sent to a distant land as an ambassador. During his journey, a group of Vikings captured him. Being a cultured group, he and his men had a hard time accepting the Viking’s rowdy behavior. However, in time he understood their nature, their leader welcomed him.
Except for Banderas, most of the cast were unknown actors, but they all gave rousing performances. It did not gain much from the box office, but many viewers believe it was unfairly underrated. Fans of action movies will surely enjoy this Viking tale.
11. The Vikings (1958)
English 1h 56m IMDb
Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine
The story follows the story of Vikings and half-brothers Eric and Einar- a former enslaved person and a Viking warrior. The two brothers fight it out for the throne of Northumbria. Aside from wanting to rule the kingdom, they’re also fighting it out for the love of Princess Morgana.
Despite not having modern moviemaking technologies, this film was epic. The visual effects and the props were way ahead of their time. The stunt work was top-notch, making the action scenes believable and entertaining.
12. Thor (2011)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Thor may belong to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s also about Vikings and Norse Mythology. It tells the story of Thor, a Norse god banished from Asgard due to his arrogance. He became their hero and most vigorous defender when he was forced to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth).
This first installment set the bar very high for the movie franchise. It’s a perfect balance between character development and visual spectacle. The movie’s characters brought the comic book to life with their acting skills and timing. It may be grounded in reality but never lost the fantasy theme of the film.
13. The Norseman (1978)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Charles B. Pierce
Stars: Lee Majors, Cornel Wilde, Mel Ferrer
This movie explores the adventures of Thorvald, a Viking prince. When his father goes missing during a mission, he launches an expedition to find him. His journey led him to a faraway land, where he discovered a local tribe had captured his father. A beautiful native woman helped them free the captives.
Many people may not understand the satirical humor of the film. However, in the dark comedy lies its beauty. While it is not rooted in accurate Nordic history, fans of the genre will still enjoy the action. This movie is for you if you’re looking for a not-so-serious take on Viking life.
14. Pathfinder (2007)
English 1h 39m IMDb
Director: Marcus Nispel
Stars: Karl Urban, Clancy Brown, Moon Bloodgood
After a fierce battle with American Indians, a Viking warrior left a little boy behind. This story develops when the tribune accepts the young Viking and raises him as their own.
All was well until fifteen years later, the Vikings returned and launched a violent attack on the tribe. The young man is now torn between his heritage and the family who cared for him.
The plot is a refreshing change from the usual Viking movies. It exposes viewers to two cultures, making it more informative. The brilliant lighting and cinematography contributed to the reflective mood of the film.
15. The Viking Sagas (1995)
English 1h 23m IMDb
Director: Michael Chapman
Stars: Ralf Moeller, Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir, Sven-Ole Thorsen
This movie brings you on a journey into the snowy mountains of the Northern territories. A mythical warrior launches a mission to seek vengeance and battles with schemers and noblemen. He fights for his loved ones and the survival of their culture.
Historians will agree that this film accurately depicts Viking life in medieval Iceland. The actors nailed the actual behavior and customs of the people during the Viking age. Furthermore, the film’s stunning cinematography justified the rich Nordic heritage and scenery.
16. A Viking Saga: Son of Thor (2008)
English 1h 22m IMDb
Director: Michael Mouyal
Stars: Ken Vedsegaard, Peter Gantzler, Erik Holmey
This Viking film shows the adventures of Helgi, a mighty warrior. He witnessed how enemies decimated his village. He managed to escape the wrath and headed to his Uncle’s place. Several years later, he met the people who killed his parents, and turmoil began again.
Surprisingly this magnificent independent film was only shot in two weeks. You would not even know that it had a low budget. The musical scoring, acting, and directing were all superb, making it a standout in film festivals. Critics believe it is worth 82 minutes of your time.
17. The Long Ships (1964)
English 2h 6m IMDb
Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Russ Tamblyn
This classic film shows the battle of a Viking explorer and a Moorish ruler. Together with their men, these two leaders try to locate the “Mother of Voices,” a mystical golden bell. Upon arriving in Africa, they had no choice but to work together. However. Only one can own the bell if it even really existed.
The film’s big budget is shown in the production design, set, and cinematography. The musical scoring was haunting as it appealed to your profound emotions. Meanwhile, Sidney Poitier was a revelation as he played a villain. It was not his usual role choice, but it suited him perfectly.
18. Asterix and the Vikings (2006)
French (France) 1h 18m IMDb
Director: Stefan Fjeldmark, Jesper Møller
Stars: Roger Carel(French version), Lorànt Deutsch(French version), Sara Forestier(French version)
In this animated film, you’ll witness the adventures of Asterix and Obelix. When Vikings abducted the Gaul village chief’s nephew, he sent his two warriors to find him. However, things go downhill when the nephew falls in love with the daughter of the Viking chief.
It is another Viking film that you can watch with the whole family. The comic book fans would enjoy the visual treat, animation, and excellent storyline.
Meanwhile, the director developed the multidimensional characters perfectly. It’s a lighthearted Viking tale accompanied by catchy music. It’s cute, action-packed, and wildly entertaining at the same time.
19. Vikingdom (2013)
English 1h 54m IMDb
Director: Yusry Abd Halim
Stars: Dominic Purcell, Natassia Malthe, Craig Fairbrass
This Viking story follows the saga of King Eirik as he fights against Thor. He has to stop the Norse god from destroying humanity. His mission is to obtain three relics, including a necklace, Odin’s horn, and the hammer from Valhalla.
This movie may not be from Hollywood machinery, but it got great reviews. You can feel the effort the production team gave to its story, cinematography, and action sequences. It showed incredible swordplay and an excellent depiction of Viking fantasy.
Watching historical movies is an excellent pastime due to its educational and entertainment value. The 19 best Viking movies this article showed can inform and delight viewers across generations. Remember to choose age-appropriate ones when watching with your family.