6. 300 (2006)

Image: Warner Bros.

Frank Miller’s 300 was based on the comic book series of the same name, and the movie’s roots are lie far closer to the comic than they do in actual history. But, as it’s still a retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, it seems only fair that it’s held under the same historical microscope as other so-called “historical” movies.

While the Spartans’ armor – or blatant lack thereof – might seem cool, in reality Spartan warriors are documented as going into battle wearing full suits of iron armor.

There’s then the matter of the Persians. While in 300, they’re depicted as weird, other-worldly slave-drivers, the reality of the Persian Empire was that owning slaves was widely forbidden due to Zoroastrian beliefs. Ironically, Sparta actually likely possessed more slaves than Xerxes did.

Still, 300‘s historical liberties shouldn’t take away from what a fantastic piece of cinema it is, so don’t let its inclusion on this list ruin it for you.