Netflix: The best historical films on streaming service

Ellis Barnes works as a copywriter and web developer. She loves movie which give her an inspiration to write her own articles and short stories.

Are you looking for the best historical films on Netflix? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Life still writes the most beautiful stories. Which is why the film industry likes to orient itself to true events and historical moments. We have selected some of the best historical films for you that you can currently stream on Netflix.

New top entry in the Netflix charts: “The Battle of the Scheldt

Hardly on Netflix and already number 3 in the company’s own charts is “The Battle of the Scheldt”. This is a Dutch war film by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., which has been on Netflix since October 15, 2021. It tells a fictional story that is set around the battle of the Schelden estuary during the Second World War. The background to this is a military operation by the Canadian armed forces between October 2 and November 8, 1944 in north-west Belgium and in the south-west of the Netherlands.


Royal History

Even if most countries have now abolished the monarchy, it still lives on in countless films. Stories full of tension, joy and sadness tell, sometimes more and sometimes less truthfully, of the struggle for freedom and power. You can see which of these stories we like the most here:

The King

After his father (Ben Mendelsohn) dies, it is up to the young Heinrich (Timothée Chalamet) to take over the English throne. Gone are the days when he could mingle with the people as Hal, now he has to rule an entire country as King Henry V and prove himself to his advisors. Chalamet convinces in this historical drama, which is based on a story of Shakespeare.

“Young Victoria”

At the age of only 18, the young Victoria became Queen of England. She ruled her kingdom for 63 years. With her husband and great love Prince Albert at her side. “Young Victoria” shows how the two got to know and love each other.

Other period films with a royal background that you definitely shouldn’t miss:

  • “Outlaw King”
  • “The Duchess”


Based on real events

In addition to exciting stories that took place hundreds of years ago, recent events of our time also offer enough material for interesting films. You can find a few of our favorites here:

“The boy who caught the wind”

When his father’s fields suffer from the persistent drought, 14-year-old William Kamkwamba decides to act. Since there is no electricity in his small Southeast African village, he has to find another solution to operate a water pump. During a secret visit to the library, the boy finds instructions for building a wind turbine. The rest is a wonderful story to watch on Netflix.

“Fruitvale Station”

On New Year’s Eve, Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) decides to change his life and not get into trouble anymore. When he wants to go to town with his friends, however, everything turns out differently. Director Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) tells the terrible story of the murder of Grant by a police officer.

You can find more films based on real events that are well worth seeing here:

  • “21”
  • “Blow”
  • “Seven Years in Tibet”

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Not only events have shaped our history, various people have also left a legacy. The lives of some of these people have been filmed and are currently available on Netflix:

“Walk the Line”

Moving drama about the turbulent life of musician legend Johnny Cash. The leading roles are Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

“The Theory of Everything”

The physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) changed the world with his work and left a legacy for eternity. “The Theory of Everything” tells not only about his brilliance, but also about his beginnings, the development of his ALS disease and his relationship with his faithful wife Jane (Felicity Jones).



Historical films do not always have to be produced for pure entertainment purposes. Like these documentaries, they can also be used specifically to educate viewers.

“Crip Camp”

In 1971, Camp Jened opened in New York. A summer camp that was used for young people with disabilities. A very special movement developed from this tent camp, which ensured more rights for people with disabilities.

“Grass is Greener”

Not just for stoners: The exciting documentary is about the difficult relationship between the USA and the drug cannabis, which was still illegal until a few years ago.

“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”

Fascinating documentary about the American LGBTQ icon Marsha P. Johnson, whose death in 1992 sadly has still not been clarified.