Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.
What Films Are Like Overlord?
History’s never been a boring subject in Hollywood because Hollywood tells it however it wants.
A dash of the supernatural, a pinch of humor, and a large helping of whatever it wants, it’s not uncommon to see history warped and retold through cinema. Take Overlord for example. It is a film that features zombies in World War II. Either the best parts of history have been hidden from us and alternate realities exist, or Hollywood has been lying to us since we could walk in our diapers. I decided to go look for films that twist history to find out what other lies we’ve been fed.
Let's take a look at 10 bewitching movies like Overlord.
Movies Similar to Overlord
- Watchmen (2009)
- Inglourious Basterds (2009)
- Forrest Gump (1994)
- 300 (2006)
- Titanic (1997)
- Braveheart (1995)
- Pocahontas (1995)
- Pearl Harbour (2001)
- Schindler’s List (1998)
- Shakespeare in Love (1998)
1. Watchmen (2009)
Sometimes, all you need to add to history to make it exciting is a superhero. Or in the case of Watchmen, several. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore, this D.C. Comics superhero film paints a different version of the Cold War of 1985 where with the threat of an impending nuclear war looming over the world, the appearance of masked vigilantes and superpowered beings across the world has begun to change various facets of world politics.
However, after the White House outlaws the activities of these superheroes, a group of mostly retired American superheroes set out to investigate the murder of one of their own. The search leads to a dark and elaborate conspiracy with deadly repercussions.
Faced with their own moral limitations and circumstances, these heroes unwanted by the world must fight to stop the impending disaster before it destroys the world. The dark, gritty cinematography style often attributed to D.C. serves to bring a layer of realism to Watchmen. You know you’re watching a fantastic retelling of history, but it just seems to sit perfectly within that time frame drawing on real-life persons and events such as the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon.
As far as alternate historical stories go, Watchmen may be the most exciting rendition of history you will watch on the big screen. Watchmen is available for streaming on Netflix.
2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
When you cross the events of World War II with one of the most iconic directors of our time, you’re guaranteed nothing but a scene in history that is completely inaccurate, but highly entertaining.
Anything but your run-of-the-mill war film, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds drops us into a Nazi-occupied battlefield in France where a group of Allied soldiers is charged to assassinate the Nazi leadership while wreaking their own brand of vengeance and havoc on the Nazi army by means of guerrilla warfare along the way.
What follows is the on-screen debut of wildly entertaining characters as each side looks to gain an advantage over the other. Boasting a star-studded cast of Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, and Michael Fassbender to name a few, Inglourious Basterds received critical acclaim, quickly becoming one of Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic and his second highest grossing film ever.
The film went on to win and receive multiple awards and nominations with Christoph Waltz winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It’s funny, dark, and deserves to be on your list if it isn’t already. Inglourious Basterds is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store. Those looking to catch a grandiose flick like Overlord will love what this action movie brings to the table.
3. Forrest Gump (1994)
One of the cinemas most beloved characters also happens to be one of the most historically inaccurate in the film is Forrest Gump. Played by Tom Hanks in probably his most iconic role ever, Forrest Gump is a semi-autobiographical story of the life of slow but lovable Forrest who gladly recounts the tales and adventures he’s been on and how they indirectly influenced several key historical events.
From his prodigious performances as a college football star to his heroics fighting in the Vietnam War, Forrest seems to inspire and bring joy to everyone around him with his optimism and childlike innocence.
The film is especially noticeable for marking very important periods in the history of the United States, bringing each new era alive through the eyes of Forrest. Forrest Gump has gone on to become a cult classic with Tom Hanks’ performances being hailed as one of his best ever. The film swept the box office in every way imaginable and pulled in several awards and nominations for which it most noticeably won the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Visual Effects amongst a plethora of other accolades.
The irony of the American Library of Congress selecting the film for preservation as a cultural and “historical” item of importance is not lost on this audience and just goes to show you that if you tell a good enough lie, it will soon finds its way into reality. Forrest Gump is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
4. 300 (2006)
History takes a dark, violent, and very cinematic turn in 300. Another movie on this list from a comic book adaptation, surprisingly directed by the same director, the now iconic 300 tells the story of the real-life Battle of Thermopylae between the outnumbered Spartan army of three hundred men against the invading horde of the Persian empire numbering over three hundred thousand.
Essentially a suicide mission, the Spartan army is able to hold off the Persian army for three whole days before a betrayal becomes their undoing. As amazing and captivating as the struggle of three hundred against three hundred thousand sounds, the actual historical figure places the Spartan army numbers at around seven thousand.
Also, the Spartans were not walking about bare-chested with no armor. But who really wants to watch a story about cautious heroes going to their death? It’s for their reckless abandon and passion to risk it all that we love our heroes, and 300 is no different. The movie has gone on to become a cult classic, spawning countless pop culture references especially with its iconic “This is Sparta!” scene.
It might not be history, but 300 is definitely beautiful to look at with one thing becoming painstakingly obvious; Zack Snyder sure enjoys rewriting history. 300 is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
5. Titanic (1997)
Fair warning. You will see the word “iconic” used several times as you go through this list. And why not? The recreation of history is a tremendous feat that deserves to grab the attention of everyone. It’s pretty safe to say that unless you were cut off from civilization at the turn of the century, you have heard the story of and seen the similarly titled movie about the Titanic.
The love story of Jack and Rose, doomed for disaster aboard the erstwhile unsinkable ship named the Titanic, all played out to the emotive voice of Celine Dion, is one fans of cinema are unlikely to forget. However, were you aware there was no record of a Jack from Wisconsin aboard the real Titanic? Nor was there a Rose? Or the diamond left as a memento of that love?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the world’s favorite love story was a complete lie covered in the true events of that fateful day. Armed with the ammunition of historical facts, however, you are bound to find people that will swear that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett’s portrayal of this fictional couple was too pure to be untrue.
In the absence of parallel or alternate universes, the cinematic retelling of the Titanic is the closest we come to having two versions of the same factual event, and we thank James Cameron (and Celine Dion) for it. Those looking for a movie like Overlord will find Titanic appealing.
6. Braveheart (1995)
The immortal image of Mel Gibson in blue-face as William Wallace, charging down the battlefields of Scotland is one movie fans will forever have etched in their memories. However, unlike the Titanic where the fictional characters are created to fit reality, Braveheart fits a real-life character into fiction.
Braveheart tells the story of William Wallace, emotional after his wife is executed for assaulting an officer who tried to rape her under the rights of “primae noctis”, leads a revolt against the King of England who rules Scotland. It's theatrical, emotional, inspirational, and earned Mel Gibson five Academy Awards for the film.
However, the entire film is dripping with historical inaccuracies, the biggest of all being the law that all the bloody chain of events hinged on, “primae noctis." William Wallace was also portrayed as a benevolent leader who treated all his men as equals, when the reality was, he forced conscriptions into his army and hung those who refused to serve.
Several other inaccuracies concerning the clothing, timelines for English rule, and the notion that William Wallace may have fathered the English king Edward III have been cited by historians and critics, but who wants to listen to the facts when the fiction is so much more alluring?
Braveheart is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store. If you're looking for some action flicks like Overlord, Braveheart should be right up your alley.
7. Pocahontas (1995)
Yes, Disney got it wrong with the beloved Pocahontas. Undoubtedly, Pocahontas was a real person, but let Disney tell it and you have an animated romantic musical about a Native American woman and an Englishman named John Smith.
Considering the impact Pocahontas has had on a generation of children, it is easy to believe that this film based very loosely on the real person is factually accurate, leaving room for only a few inaccuracies for cinematic effect. Let’s put a pin in that notion, shall we?
To begin with the biggest discrepancy, there could not have been a romantic relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith because when the English arrived, she was only ten years old. Yes, a relationship between these two Disney love birds would have been as creepy and disturbing as they come if it were actually true. The ending shown by Disney where there is an amicable resolution between the English and the Natives is also a huge red flag as history tells the bloody tale of the English assault and subsequent genocide committed against the Natives.
Not exactly the warm fuzzy feeling you’d be looking to get from a Disney movie, which is why we quietly avert our gaze from the facts so we can enjoy a nice, wholesome family moment watching this beloved Disney classic. Pocahontas is available for streaming on Netflix.
8. Pearl Harbour (2001)
What do you get when you mix a director with a penchant for blowing things up with one of the darkest days in American history? Pearl Harbour. Directed by the daresay explosive Michael Bay, this fictional retelling of a factual tragedy tells the story of two friends who enter the World War II fight as army pilots.
Starring Ben Affleck as Rafe McCawley, a man champing at the bits to join the ongoing war that he leaves the U.S. to go fight alongside the English Royal Air Force, and his friend Danny Walker, played by Josh Harnett, Pearl Harbour is more a romantic wartime film than a documentary of real-life events.
For starters, American airmen were not allowed to join the RAF. Also, the call for immediate retaliation by then President Roosevelt did not happen as the film depicted. What’s more, the president at that time had been struck by polio and was bound to a wheelchair so the vehement posturing he was able to achieve in cinema was far from the truth in reality.
To be fair, no one walks into a Michael Bay movie expecting to leave with a history lesson. Pearl Harbour for all its inaccuracies delivers on its main objective - to give audiences a good movie. Pearl Harbour is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
9. Schindler’s List (1998)
One of the best films ever made, Schindler’s List is a historical period drama directed by none other than the legendary Steven Spielberg. It follows the story of Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson), a German businessman who manages to save the lives of many Polish-Jewish refugees from the horrors of World War II by employing them in his factories.
It’s a beautiful tale of human kindness and perseverance through difficult odds, and as mentioned earlier, is hands down one of the best films ever. However, even the great Steven Spielberg managed to get a few of his historical facts distorted. A Holocaust survivor in a letter to the New York Times mentioned that it was highly improbable that the Jewish refugees protected by Schindler arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers as depicted in the movie.
He went on to cite other inaccuracies but did acknowledge that the film did manage to correctly depict the atmosphere surrounding the death camps. Completely accurate or not, Schindler’s List really paints a tragic picture of a very dark time in human history and should be right at the top of your watchlist if not already. Schindler’s List is available for streaming on Netflix.
10. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Readers will find the irony in the best storyteller ever having had his life retold with as much fiction as director John Madden could muster. In short, Shakespeare in Love alluded to the untruth that the inimitable play Romeo and Juliet was inspired by a love affair the eponymous bard had with a woman who dressed up as a man just to be in one of his plays.
Considering that Romeo and Juliet was an Italian story to begin with, the idea that Shakespeare drew parallels from his life to inspire the story seems highly unlikely. The film also makes the glaring error of depicting Queen Elizabeth as a theatre-going monarch.
Even now, the thought of the British sovereign seated in a theatre like us common folk instead of having plays performed for her at her pleasure in the palace seems ludicrous. That, however, takes nothing away from this romantic comedy which on top of winning seven Academy Awards, so managed to affect Prince Edward that after watching it, asked to be given the title “Earl of Wessex”, which the Queen granted. Shakespeare in Love is available for purchase on iTunes and the Google Play store.
Did I miss out on any other good movies like Overlord? Let me know in the comments section below.
Sam Shepards from Europe on April 06, 2019:
I have to add some other Nazi Zombie movies:
Dead Snow 2; Red vs Dead
I also think Saving Private Ryan is closer than many other movies.