12 Movies Like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ You Must Watch

J.R.R. Tolkien creates the most fabulous fantasy universe possible (yes Game of Thrones fans, he is the original master!) and most people who are into Lord of the Rings are huge fans of the fantasy genre or they enjoy epic battle sequences. However, since Lord of the Rings was a movie series the fans haven’t had a longer period of pleasure unlike Game of Thrones fans who can enjoy the drawn out television series or Harry Potter fans who have quite a lot of movies to enjoy because Rowling wrote quite a few books to milk the cash cow.

Tolkien and Lord of the Rings fans thus might need to turn to other movies which remind them of their beloved Middle Earth, reruns of the same films do get boring after a while even for the most hardcore fans and thus here is a list of films similar to The Lord of the Rings that are our recommendations. If you are interested, you might be able to stream some of these movies like The Lord of the Rings on Netflix or Amazon Prime or even Hulu.

12. Legend (1985)

Directed by Ridley Scott, this film did not win much commercial success at first but later went on to become a cult classic. A tale that follows the fight against Darkness (yes literally the antagonist’s name) by a rag tag group of heroes. The unicorns horns serve as the object of desire in this fantasy film as the ring of power serves in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The battle of good and evil and the didactic tones of the story along with the elements of fantasy are sure to remind viewers of Tolkien’s masterpiece.

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11. Eragon (2006)

Based on Christopher Paolini’s novel of the same name and directed by Stefen Frangmeier, Eragon follows the tale of a common boy who comes in possession of uncommon magic and navigates his way through a world full of dark monsters and an evil king out to get this magic from him. Sounds familiar to Lord of the Rings does it not? It is, and we hope that viewers will enjoy how the boy comes to take responsibility for the dragon and becomes the hero that his world needs. Viwers who missed the Nazgul’s dragons and didn’t get their fill with Smaug either can definitely turn to this movie to get their fill of a dragon’s awesomeness.

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10. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Based on Lewis Carroll’s famous book and directed by Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland is one of the finest examples of fantasy film in the movie business. The film follows the tale of Alice a young girl who helps the White Queen regain the throne by slaying the Jabberwock a creature controlled by the Red Queen. The battle between the two queens seem quite like the battle between Sauron and Saruman and the creature seems rather like the many beasts of Mordor that have to be slain before the hero can fulfil the quest – most notably the Balrog. Alice in Wonderland offers some brilliantly quirky characters and is an excellent way for fantasy lovers to draw their attention away from Middle Earth and go down this excellent rabbit hole.

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9. Willow (1988)

Directed by Ron Howard, this film comes very close to Lord of the Rings in certain aspects – a dwarf is tasked with retrieving a child who shall be the bane of an evil queen. Sounds very similar to a hobbit being tasked with destroying a ring which shall be the bane of a dark lord. Willow is a simply made film, straightforward in its elements of fantasy and viewers will find it a welcome and light break. It borrows quite a fair bit from Tolkien’s tropes and thus viewers might enjoy seeing a similar trope play out on screen.

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8. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Based on Katherine Paterson’s novel of the same name, this film is directed by Gabor Csupo. The film follows the story of two kids who create a fantasy world of their own while living in a tree house. While the world they create is not real unlike most fantasy genre movies which would have us believe that these worlds exist, the monsters and creatures in these children’s world seems every bit real to the children and their camaraderie in the film is reminiscent of the two Hobbits who undertook the journey to destroy the ring. A film about friendship and magical worlds, this movie will definitely be a favorite among fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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7. Inkheart (2008)

Based on Cornelia Funke’s novel of the same name, this film was directed by Iain Softley. The story follows a man who has the gift of reading characters out of books but for every character he reads out a real life person has to go into the book. A story full of adventure and classic bad guys and forces of good, Inkheart borrows from plenty of classic literature including Arabian Nights and Wizard of Oz. In the fantasy world of Inkheart the universe expands to take in other fantasy worlds and viewers are bound to fall in love with this dynamic world and it will definitely serve as an adequate substitute for Middle Earth’s adventures.

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6. The Never Ending Story (1984)

Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, this film follows the story of a boy as he reads a book and gets incorporated into the story. Although the plotline reads closely like Jumanji’s the elements of fantasy including a villainous storm called Nothing and the world of Fantasia are much like Middle Earth in the face of inevitable destruction. The fate of both these worlds lie in the hands of an innocent idealistic fellow and they both come through, letting their inner heroes shine. This film although criticized by the author himself for having deviated from the plot, nonetheless gets the message across.

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5. Stardust (2007)

Based on Neil Gaiman’s work and directed by Matthew Vaughn, this story follows a man from a mythical place called Wall who tries to bring back a fallen star for his loved one. However his quest is besieged by witches and dark forces who are looking for the star as well. A quest for a mystical object and a promise to deliver sounds very similar to the Lord of the Rings plot and although Gaiman’s writing is much lighter and viewers should not expect any epic battles, this film is saturated with fantasy elements that will appeal to lovers of the genre.

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4. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Directed by Ridley Scott this film is about a blacksmith who defends Jerusalem during the crusades. The journey of a man from a blacksmith to a hero reads similarly like Samwise Gamgee’s and the epic battle sequences will serve to remind the viewers of the battles of Mordor. This film with its epic storyline and big battle sequences is very well suited for viewers who miss Lord of the Rings.

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3. The Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014)

Directed by Peter Jackson this is the closest Lord of the Rings fans can get to their own genre. Written by Tolkien and serving as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the film is set sixty years before the events of Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins another hobbit goes on an adventure to help Thorin Oakenshieldd a dwarf to reclaim their home. The trilogy introduces us to the ring in the hands of Bilbo and we shiver at the terrors we know it will unleash. However, the trilogy is the closest thing to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, set in the same place featuring the same myths and some of the same characters and it is the best substitute for fans who miss the trilogy.

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2. Chronicles of Narnia (2005, 2008, 2010)

Based on the books by C.S. Lewis this film series follows a group of ordinary children who gain entrance into a magical world and are almost immediately pitted against an antagonist who seeks to destroy the world. The children in themselves are powerless but the creatures of the magical world of Narnia unite and they receive help from a wise magical lion called Aslan and evil is ultimately defeated. It reads almost like the very story of Lord of the Rings – featuring Aslan in place of the Gandalf, the White Witch in place of Sauron and children in place of Samwise. The magic and the fantasy and they epic battle scenes are all there in Narnia and viewers will perhaps take a liking to this new land which might just help them get over their Middle Earth nostalgia.

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1. Star Wars (1977-)

An epic franchise set in outer space in a different galaxy far far away, this franchise is perhaps the film equivalent of Tolkien’s. An extremely vast and immersive fantasy world created by George Lucas, it shares some of the basic features with Lord of the Rings – a reluctant hero, a looming villain and evil armies and the forces of good ultimately triumphing. Star Wars is a journey of a lifetime and fans of the fantasy genre should definitely watch it to get over their Middle Earth hangover.

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