For fans of mythology and legends, it's great when we get to see our favorite characters brought to life in movies—as long as we understand that films won't always adapt and follow storylines as recorded.
We might spot out-of-character descriptions and actions, or perhaps the entire story gets creatively twisted with a completely new plot while only maintaining certain major events from the protagonist's heroics.
Fantasy movies about gods and goddesses aren't limited to Greek and Roman mythologies. There's plenty of material to explore in other cultures, like the Seven Gates or Trials in Hell or the Egyptian myth of Anubis waiting for the souls of the dead.
From goddesses who create to gods who destroy, here are our picks for the best movies about gods, goddesses, and other deities.
16. Immortals (2011)
Directed by Tarsem Singh
Starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt
Action, Drama, Fantasy (1h 50m)
As the league of gods and goddesses are thinking of helping Theseus, Zeus says that they (gods) should not interfere with the affairs of man unless the Titans are released.
Though the film Immortals incorporates the stories of Theseus, the oracles, the plot to release the Titans, and other gods like Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, and Athena, it's not a direct adaptation from any literature.
Aside from the plot being out-of-story, the locations, the cinematography, and the cast give life to a new story of heroism and adventure with a classic Greek literature touch.
15. Gods of Egypt (2016)
Directed by Alex Proyas
Starring Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler
Action, Adventure, Drama (2h 7m)
Gods of Egypt is filled with characters based on an ancient Egyptian religion that includes Ra, Horus, Set, and Thoth. It features an ancient Egypt with gods and goddesses, who are gigantic in human form, coexisting with humans who highly praise them.
The story revolves around Bek, a thief who manages to steal Horus' eye from Set's treasure vault. He then allies with the fallen god Horus, believing that Horus can bring his lover back to life.
The movie has epic fight scenes with characters turning into their animal-beast forms, as depicted in the ancient culture where Egyptian gods have animal-headed figures, with Set being a jackal and Horus an eagle.
14. Clash of the Titans (2010)
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Action, Adventure, Fantasy (1h 46m)
Clash of the Titans is a film loosely based on Greek mythology, particularly about Perseus (one of Zeus' sons from a mortal woman) and how he saves the land of Argos from Hades' Kraken.
In the myth, it's Poseidon who brings forth Cetus, a giant serpent-like sea creature to punish the people for their queen's boastfulness that belittles the gods. One of the best parts of the film is his battle with Medusa.
Though the film features the characters of Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Apollo, Acrisius, Io, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Perseus, the plot has its own storyline that diverges from the myth.
13. Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike
Action, Adventure, Fantasy (1h 39m)
A sequel to the aforementioned Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans covers the story of the unleashing of the Titan Cronos. Actors Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles as Perseus, Zeus, and Hades, respectively.
The story takes place decades after the event of the Kraken, with Perseus now living normally as a fisherman.
The people stopped worshipping the Olympian gods, so their powers and immortality faded—making the walls of Tartarus, which confine the Titan Cronos, grow weaker.
With Poseidon dead and Zeus drained of power, it's up to Perseus, Andromeda, and another demigod named Agenor to save mankind from this more devastating god-like creature.
12. Thor (2011)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Action, Adventure, Fantasy (1h 55m)
The MCU's Thor is a film with characters based on Norse mythology, which is prominent in Iceland with roots founded in Scandinavian origin. The character Thor is the son of Odin and the god of thunder and war, who wields a mighty hammer named Mjolnir.
In the myth, aside from his hammer that flies back towards him when thrown, he also owns an enchanted belt and gauntlet that he uses for his adventures. He's also regarded as one of the hero-gods of the Vikings to whom they pray before savage battles.
In the later Thor: Ragnarok, there's a scene where Surtr destroys Asgard, which is also based on the Norse myth about Ragnarok (the final battle between the gods of Asgard and the giants).
11. Wonder Woman (2017)
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright
Action, Adventure, Fantasy (2h 21m)
Princess Diana of Themiscyra, the daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons, is known as Diana Prince or Wonder Woman.
The character is based on the league of demigoddesses of Greek mythology—the Amazons—who are fierce all-female warriors known to be on par with or stronger than men.
The film features the Amazonian as the only hope to save mankind from Ares' plot to destroy the human race.
Diana, now equipped with the god-slayer sword, ventures to the outside world that's in the middle of a war brought down by the god of war himself.
10. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Starring Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López
Drama, Fantasy, War (1h 58m)
Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a dark fantasy film that features fairy tale creatures amid a war-stricken setting, mixing both fantasy and reality on the big screen.
In the story, an 11-year-old Ofelia (played by Ivana Baquero) is led to a stone labyrinth where she meets a faun who believes she's the reincarnation of someone he's been waiting for.
The faun is a creature that usually appears in many tales, with the appearance of a human with the hind legs and horns of a goat. Pan (the Greek god of shepherds and flocks) is the most notable example.
9. Troy (2004)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom
Drama (2h 43m)
Troy is a film loosely based on the narrative of Homer's Illiad, depicting the Trojan War (a decade-long war between Greece and Troy). The film features major events, including the abduction of Helen and the famous Trojan Horse incident.
Achilles, the hero of the Greeks, is the son of the sea-nymph Thetis and a king named Peleus.
Though him being a demigod isn't highlighted in the movie, his skills as a warrior are feared on the battlefield, as seen when Hector bids goodbye to his family before facing Achilles in battle.
According to the myth, Achilles has an invulnerable body because his mother dipped him in the River Styx, but he has one weakness: his heels, because that's where his mother held him when he was dipped.
8. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Starring Logan Lerman, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan
Adventure, Family, Fantasy (1h 58m)
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a movie based on the novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordon. It's the first of the two installments in the Percy Jackson series.
The main characters are the demigod children of the gods of Olympus, but in a present-day setting wearing tees and jeans instead of leather and breastplates. The plot centers on Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, who's accused of stealing Zeus' lightning.
To prevent a war of the gods and to prove his innocence, Percy and his crew of other demigods go on an adventure that incorporates other major events in Greek mythology, including a journey to the underworld and Medusa's lair, except it's all in a modernized world.
7. Moana (2016)
Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
Starring Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House
Animation, Adventure, Comedy (1h 47m)
Moana is an animated film by Disney that features the titular character and her journey to bring the heart of Te Fiti back to its rightful place. She's accompanied by the shapeshifting demigod, Maui.
In Polynesian religion and myth, Maui is a demigod with different narratives and stories depending on the culture.
The most popular version of Maui is him being a trickster and using a fishhook to raise the islands of Hawaii from the seafloor.
6. Hercules (1997)
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Starring Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods
Animation, Adventure, Comedy (1h 33m)
Disney's Hercules is an animated film loosely based on the Greek demigod hero Heracles, the son of Zeus with a mortal woman. In the film, he's featured as the son of Zeus and Hera, which retconned his illegitimate birth (to make it more child-friendly for Disney audiences).
In Hercules, evil villains kidnap the infant Hercules to strip him of his godliness—but in failing to do so, they leave the boy with the superhuman strength of the gods in a mortal body.
Now a teenager, Hercules needs to help the Olympians against the Titans, which are released by Hades.
5. Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017)
Directed by Kim Yong-hwa
Starring Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon
Action, Adventure, Drama (2h 19m)
Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds is a South Korean film that features the Theory of Reincarnation (or Samsara), a belief regarding the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth in Hinduism and Buddhism religion.
The theme is further incorporated with the Seven Trials of Hell, where souls of the dead are tried for various misdeeds (with each trial centering on a different deed). When found innocent, souls move on to the next, eventually passing for the right of reincarnation.
The story centers on the Paragon soul of a firefighter who died on duty. He's assisted by three guardians, who are given another chance at life if they successfully reincarnate a required number of souls.
As he faces each trial, the worlds of the living and the dead start to change because a vengeful soul linked to his death appears to be causing chaos and disturbance.
4. Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2018)
Directed by Kim Yong-hwa
Starring Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Hyang-gi
Action, Adventure, Drama (2h 22m)
In this sequel to the aforementioned Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds, the soul to be guided through the trials is the vengeful spirit who wreaked havoc in the first film.
While the main premise centers on said soul's trials, Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days provides further exploration into the characters of the three guardians and their pasts, who played important roles in each other's lives until their eventual deaths.
While the first film was action-packed, Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days turns more toward suspensefully thrilling drama that's lined with guilt, repentance, and forgiveness.
3. The Ritual (2017)
Directed by David Bruckner
Starring Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier
Horror, Mystery, Thriller (1h 34m)
In the film The Ritual, you'll find a premise similar to The Blair Witch Project: a group of friends on a hiking trip end up in the woods and are soon hunted by an unknown (mythical) creature.
The monster in The Ritual is called the Jotunn, a being that comes from Norse mythology. However, unlike the Norse god Thor's human-like depictions, the Jotunn is given a nightmarish appearance that's perfect for the horror overtones of this film.
In fact, the monstrous Jotunn is described as the child of Loki, the Norse god of mischief. And instead of fearing it, the locals actually worship the Jotunn as a godly being.
2. Noah (2014)
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins
Action, Adventure, Drama (2h 18m)
Inspired by the renowned flood narrative in the Book of Genesis, the film Noah is an epic retelling of the "Great Flood" that destroyed mankind and left only the righteous man Noah (and his kin) as survivors.
Infused with elements of action, fantasy, and drama, Noah unsurprisingly drifts away from the actual story that's told in the Bible and only features Noah, the Ark, and the flood as tentpoles for its own tale.
Despite being directed by the acclaimed Darren Aronofsky, the film's taking of creative liberties made it the subject of criticism from both Christians and Muslims. But when taken as its own thing, Noah is a grandiose experience that's surprisingly thought-provoking.
1. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)
Directed by Isao Takahata
Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen
Animation, Drama, Family (2h 17m)
Isao Takahata's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is one of the best anime movies ever produced by Studio Ghibli. Adapted from a monogatari (a form of Japanese literature), it centers on the story of Kaguya: a celestial being from the moon who lives as a mortal down on Earth.
Japanese literature is influenced by various cultures—mainly its neighboring countries—so it's not surprising to see a character pop up who's similar to Chang'e, the Moon Goddess of Chinese Mythology.
One legend about Chang'e describes her as a mortal who drank the elixir of immortality, then flew up past the heavens to the moon, where she spends her never-ending life far from her lover.