10 Brilliant Historical Movies With Unforgivable Inaccuracies

Would including Nike Airs in a World War I drama be that bad?

Braveheart Movie
20th Century Fox

Who doesn't love a historical drama? At the very least they offer those of us who don't have time to read the opportunity to sound informed. Even for well-read history boffins though, seeing historical figures brought to life is no doubt a thrilling experience.

It goes without saying that some artistic licence is a requirement when bringing a historical event to the big screen. For the most part, dialogue has to be invented and timelines sometimes require compressing. Even stretching facts or exaggerating events for the sake of creating onscreen tension can be acceptable.

But, sometimes directors take such liberties that real events become distorted to the point of causing offence. Getting the balance right between crafting an engaging story and representing the facts is key. Filmmakers have a certain responsibility when tackling history, after all for many viewers this may be their only insight into the past.

The following movies have all been praised for their entertainment value, but in the same breath they've also been hounded for their lazy, ignorant and even disrespectful handling of history.

10. Dauphin Was Hundreds Of Miles Away - The King (2019)

Braveheart Movie

From the get go it was clear a certain amount of artistic license was going to be taken with this story. Director David Michôd worked with Joel Edgerton to develop a script based on William Shakespeare's Henriad. Shakespeare took his own liberties with Henry V, so the screenwriters were already on the back foot when it came to historical accuracy.

There are certain inaccuracies that can be forgiven, though, and actually work in the movie's favour. King Henry V was never the drunken youth he is painted out to be; he was a seasoned military leader and popular candidate for the throne. For the sake of the character's story arc, however, it makes sense to give him an uphill start.

The most glaring inaccuracy was the depiction of the Battle of Agincourt, itself. Let's put aside the incorrect battle tactics and instead focus on the inclusion of Louis, The Dauphin (Robert Pattinson). The arrogant Dauphin is shown riding into the carnage, essentially pausing the fighting, to offer single combat, before he is unceremoniously killed. In reality the Dauphin was hundreds of miles away, in ill health and was an incredibly pious and humble man. Single combat was also something that rarely happened and certainly not in the midst of battle.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.