20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

best movies like the lord of the rings

In this article, we are going to bring you a list of the 20 best movies like The Lord of the Rings. We strongly recommend each title on this list and we guarantee that you are going to enjoy them if you loved The Lord of the Rings. Enjoy!

Best movies like The Lord of the Rings

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Similarities and Differences Between Dwarves and Hobbits

Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Release Date: November 28, 2012
Running Time: 169 minutes

Starring: Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Aidan Turner (Kíli), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug / The Necromancer)

We start off our list of best movies like Lord of the Rings with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The whole Hobbit trilogy is actually a continuation of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, although we’re dealing with a prequel series in this case. The Hobbit is part of the same narrative universe, it shares a lot of the characters and it was directed by the same person, which means that you can expect everything you’ve already seen in The Lord of the Rings. The only major difference is that The Hobbit is a tad lighter in its tone than The Lord of the Rings, but it’s still something you must watch.

2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit - movies like The Lord of the Rings

Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Running Time: 161 minutes

Starring: Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Aidan Turner (Kíli), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug / The Necromancer), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Stephen Fry (Master of Lake-town), Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman), Lee Pace (Thranduil)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is another entry in the Hobbit Trilogy. The original arguments still stand, you can’t find a better movie like Lord of the Rings than the Hobbit trilogy since it is the Lord of the Rings. Sort of.

3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

What Did Elrond Say to Thorin in Elvish?

Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro
Release Date: December 1, 2014
Running Time: 144 minutes

Starring: Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Aidan Turner (Kíli), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug / Sauron), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Stephen Fry (Master of Lake-town), Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman), Lee Pace (Thranduil), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is our next entry. You probably feel cheated that our first three movies on the list of best movies like Lord of the Rings are The Hobbit trilogy, but hear us out. The movies share a lot of the characters and they were directed by the same person, which means that you can expect everything you’ve already seen in The Lord of the Rings. The only major difference is that The Hobbit is a tad lighter in its tone than The Lord of the Rings, but it’s still something you must watch.

RELATED: The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit Movies in Order

4. Eragon

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Stefen Fangmeier
Screenplay: Peter Buchman
Release Date: December 15, 2006
Running Time: 103 minutes

Starring: Ed Speleers (Eragon), Jeremy Irons (Brom), John Malkovich (Galbatorix), Rachel Weisz (Saphira, voice), Robert Carlyle (Durza)

Eragon might not be the most successful movie on this list of best movies like the Lord of the Rings, but we certainly think it is worth your attention if you like fantasy narratives. The books are much better, certainly, but Eragon offers enough to entertain you despite all the downsides. With strong performances by Ed Speleers and Jeremy Irons, high-quality special effects, and a story that is still good enough despite all the changes from the book, Eragon is certainly a movie you should see at one point.

RELATED: Will There Be an Eragon 2 Movie?

5. The Wizard of Oz

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Victor Fleming, Richard Thorpe (uncredited), King Vidor (uncredited)
Screenplay: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
Release Date: August 25, 1939
Running Time: 101 minutes

Starring: Judy Garland (Dorothy Gale), Frank Morgan (Wizard of Oz), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Woodman), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Billie Burke (Glinda the Good Witch), Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch of the West)

L. Frank Baum’s seminal children’s fantasy novel is a modern-day Hollywood classic for a lot of reasons. Among them is the fact that it is certainly one of the best-known fantasy movies ever made and although it is a children’s classic, we are certain that true fantasy-lovers must see this movie at least once in their lives. The Wizard of Oz is one of the most important movies ever made and in that aspect, we welcome it to our list.

6. The Harry Potter film series

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Various
Screenplay: Various
Release Date: 2001–2011
Running Time: 1179 minutes (total)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Brendan Gleeson (Alastor Moody), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)

Rationale

The Harry Potter film series started practically at the same time as The Lord of the Rings and although it was a completely different brand of fantasy, the two franchises were both equally successful. Harry Potter’s target audience was a bit younger than that of The Lord of the Rings, but despite that, the series is one of the most lucrative and important franchises of the modern era, which is why we are absolutely certain that you must see it.

7. The Chronicles of Narnia film series

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Andrew Adamson (12), Michael Apted (3)
Screenplay: Various
Release Date: 2005–2010
Running Time: 406 minutes (total)

Starring: William Moseley (Peter Pevensie), Anna Popplewell (Susan Pevensie), Skandar Keynes (Edmund Pevensie), Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie), Will Poulter (Eustace Scrubb), Liam Neeson (Aslan, voice), Tilda Swindon (White Witch), James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus), Ben Barnes (Caspian X)

Although the Chronicles of Narnia series has only three titles and never achieved its planned success, The Chronicles of Narnia are still an important part of the fantasy canon and we think that you certainly have to see them. The Chronicles of Narnia are far more similar to The Lord of the Rings than, for example, Harry Potter or Star Wars, with the main difference being that they can be perceived as a children’s version of Tolkien’s narrative. Still, they’re definitely worth watching and deserve their place on this list of best movies like the Lord of the Rings.

8. The Star Wars series

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Various
Screenplay: Various
Release Date: 1977–present
Running Time: Ongoing

Starring: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Frank Oz (Yoda), Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine / Darth Sidious), Liam Neeson (Qui-Gon Jinn), Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Alec Guinness (Ben Kenobi), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu), Christopher Lee (Count Dooku)

Star Wars is a science-fiction saga, a space opera, that is very similar to Tolkien’s Middle-earth, with the main difference being that it has a futuristic, space-based setting. Star Wars shares many plot elements with The Lord of the Rings, as both are operatic sagas where a select group of unlikely heroes has to fight against a world-threatening evil. If you’re a hardcore fantasy junkie, the Star Wars setting might be problematic for you in the beginning, but you definitely need to watch the Star Wars franchise as well.

RELATED: 20 Best Dragon Movies of All Time

9. The Shrek film series

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Various
Screenplay: Various
Release Date: 2001–2010
Running Time: 367 minutes (total)

Starring: Mike Myers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots), Cameron Diaz (Fiona),

Rationale

As far as animated features go, Shrek is one of the most entertaining franchises you can stumble upon on. It has great humor, even better stories, and some of the best characters in modern animation. Shrek shares a similar fantasy setting to The Lord of the Rings, and some character types appear in both franchises, which is why we recommend it if you want something lighter, but still in tone with your favorite fantasy setting. Also, Shrek is one of the most important animated franchises of the modern era. If you’re surprised to see the Shrek film series on this list of best movies like Lord of the Rings, don’t be.

10. The Princess Bride

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Rob Reiner
Screenplay: William Goldman
Release Date: September 25, 1987
Running Time: 98 minutes

Starring: Cary Elwes (Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts/The Man in Black), Robin Wright (Buttercup/The Princess Bride), Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya), André the Giant (Fezzik), Billy Crystal (Miracle Max)

Not only is The Princess Bride one of the best-known cult classic fantasy films, but it is also a truly amazing work by Rob Reiner that has been capturing the hearts of audiences ever since its debut. With a great cast and an amazing story, The Princess Bride is a movie adored by generations and a movie that has certainly withstood the test of time. And while it may be lighter in tone than Tolkien’s work, the movie is certainly a cult classic you need to see.

11. Kingdom of Heaven

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: William Monahan
Release Date: May 2, 2005
Running Time: 144 minutes

Starring: Orlando Bloom (Balian), Eva Green (Sibylla), Jeremy Irons (Raymond III), David Thewlis (Hospitaller), Brendan Gleeson (Raynald), Edward Norton (Baldwin IV), Liam Neeson (Barisan), Michael Sheen (Priest)

Rationale

If you ever wondered what The Lord of the Rings would have looked like had it been based on actual historical events, Kingdom of Heaven is your pick, without a doubt. Ridley Scott’s historical epic looks like something Tolkien would (or could?) have written in his Middle-earth franchise. Still, it’s actual history – stylized for the screen, but not much – and we strongly advise you to watch it if you want to see a true epic.

12. The NeverEnding Story

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Screenplay: Wolfgang Petersen, Herman Weigel
Release Date: April 6, 1984
Running Time: 94 minutes

Starring: Barret Oliver (Bastian Bux), Noah Hathaway (Atreyu), Patricia Hayes (Urgl), Tami Stronach (The Childlike Empress)

Similar to The Princess Bride, Petersen’s The NeverEnding Story is a brilliant example of how a fairytale can become a masterpiece of fantasy cinema. The NeverEnding Story has entered the history not only because of Limahl’s New Wave song of the same name, but because it is a truly wonderful and beautiful story that celebrates how imaginative people can get and how a boy can have the adventure of a lifetime. It’s one of the most beautiful movies on this list of best movies like Lord of the Rings.

13. The Hunger Games series

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Various
Screenplay: Various
Release Date: 2012–present
Running Time: 548 minutes

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman)

The Hunger Games trilogy is one of the more important modern-day fantasy franchises and although it has a futuristic setting, it still contains enough fantasy elements to satisfy your needs. The quality of production is impressive and the series is certainly one of the more popular ones today, which is why we ultimately recommend it. You’ll certainly have more than enough fun watching it and although it may not be similar to Tolkien’s work, it’s part of the same genre.

RELATED: Are The Hunger Games Movies on Netflix, Prime, Disney Plus, HBO, or Hulu? Where to Watch The Hunger Games Online?

14. The Lord of the Rings (animated)

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Screenplay: Peter S. Beagle, Chris Conkling
Release Date: November 15, 1978
Running Time: 133 minutes

Starring: Christopher Guard (Frodo Baggins), William Squire (Gandalf), John Hurt (Aragorn), Anthony Daniels (Legolas), David Buck (Gimli)

Rationale

Out of the three animated features, Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings is by far the best-known and the best when quality is concerned. This animated Lord of the Rings feature is a brilliant adaptation that captures not only the essence of Tolkien’s story but also the style of his fantasy writings. All in all, it is a little masterpiece in its own right, and based on what we can deduce from its style, there is no doubt that it influenced Jackson’s approach to the story.

15. The Return of the King (animated)

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
Screenplay: Romeo Muller
Release Date: May 11, 1980
Running Time: 98 minutes

Starring: Orson Bean (Bilbo Baggins), Richard Boone (Smaug), Roddy McDowall (Sam), Theodore Bikel (Aragorn), Brother Theodore (Gollum)

The Return of the King was the last feature-length adaptation of Tolkien’s work and it is rightfully regarded as a cult classic today. The adaptation is mostly forgotten today due to being a TV movie, but we still consider it to be a great movie that draws you into its carefully crafted, animated world. The movie has a very similar feel to Jackson’s The Hobbit – although there is absolutely no connection between the two – and that is why we put it among the best movies like the Lord of the Rings.

16. The Hobbit (animated)

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director(s): Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
Screenplay: 
Romeo Muller
Release Date: 
November 27, 1977
Running Time: 
77 minutes

Starring: Orson Bean (Bilbo Baggins), Richard Boone (Smaug), Hans Conried (Thorin Oakenshield), John Huston (Gandalf / Narrator), Otto Preminger (The Elvenking)

The Hobbit was the first feature-length adaptation of Tolkien’s work and it is rightfully regarded as a cult classic today. The adaptation is mostly forgotten today due to being a TV movie, but we still consider it to be a great movie that draws you into its carefully crafted, animated world.

17. Mortal Engines

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Christian Rivers
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Running Time: 128 minutes

Starring: Hera Hilmar (Hester Shaw), Hugo Weaving (Thaddeus Valentine), Robert Sheehan (Tom Natsworthy)

Although Mortal Engines was not directed by him, this Peter Jackson-produced movie is certainly a good choice if you want to enter a world of fantasy that is going to intrigue you. Mortal Engines’ post-apocalyptic setting might be different than Tolkien’s fantasy world, but it is still more than enough to satisfy all your needs related to the fantasy genre. The movie wasn’t all that successful when it came out, but we think that it’s definitely worth a watch.

RELATED: 55 Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies Ranked (2022 Update)

18. Seven Samurai

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni
Release Date: April 26, 1954
Running Time: 207 minutes

Starring: Toshiro Mifune (Kikuchiyo), Takashi Shimura (Kambei Shimada), Daisuke Katō (Shichirōji), Isao Kimura (Katsushirō Okamoto), Minoru Chiaki (Heihachi Hayashida), Seiji Miyaguchi (Kyūzō), Yoshio Inaba (Gorōbei Katayama)

Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Seven Samurai is not a fantasy movie, but it shares an element with Tolkien’s adaptation, an element that Kurosawa actually introduced to modern cinema. Namely, the gathering of several heroes (in this case, seven samurai) to fight a common evil is a motif present in a lot of modern movies, but it was Kurosawa that actually introduced it to modern cinema. This element is present in Jackson’s movies and that is why this movie is on our list. Also, it is one of the best movies ever made, so it deserves a spot on our list of best movies like the Lord of the Rings just because of that.

19. Howl’s Moving Castle

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay: Hayao Miyazaki
Release Date: September 5, 2004
Running Time: 119 minutes

Starring: Chieko Baisho (Sophie Hatter), Takuya Kimura (Howl), Akihiro Miwa (Witch of the Waste)

Rationale

We couldn’t really have a fantasy-based list without Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, the best feature-length anime author of our era. Miyazaki’s movies are always magical, but Howl’s Moving Castle is one that really resonates with our list. This majestic story combines Miyakazki’s creative storytelling with beautiful animation, which is why we have decided to list it here. There is no doubt that you are going to love this movie and we kindly advise you to see it as soon as possible if you already haven’t.

20. Labyrinth

20 Best Movies Like The Lord of the Rings (2022 Update)

Director: Jim Henson
Screenplay: Terry Jones
Release Date: June 27, 1986
Running Time: 101 minutes

Starring: David Bowie (Jareth), Jennifer Connelly (Sarah Williams)

We conclude our list of best movies like the Lord of the Rings with Henson’s cult classic movie Labyrinth, one of David Bowie’s most famous film roles. Labyrinth has certainly become synonymous with the fantasy genre and although it is a very different subgenre than Tolkien’s narrative, it is still a pillar of the fantasy genre in film. The movie has also withstood the test of time and is rightfully considered to be a cult classic, which is – of course – why we included it on our list.

  • Arthur S. Poe has been fascinated by fiction ever since he saw Digimon and read Harry Potter as a child. Since then, he has seen several thousand movies and anime, read several hundred books and comics, and played several hundred games of all genres.