11 Best Movies About Egypt: Essential Viewing Before Your Trip!

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If you’re going to Egypt, one of the best ways to prepare for your trip is to watch one of the best movies about Egypt. Luckily, there are some absolute corkers, including blockbuster Hollywood movies on Egypt!

As a country with such a rich history, it’s no surprise that many are movies set in ancient Egypt; however, Egypt’s incredible historical landmarks have also formed the backdrop to phenomenally successful modern-day movies.

As you start to plan your trip, here are some of the best movies set in Egypt, with helpful tips depending on where in Egypt you will be going or what you are hoping to learn more about.

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Ready to get started? Grab your popcorn, and let’s dive in!

11 of the Best Movies About Egypt to Enjoy Before Your Visit

1. The English Patient (1996)

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  • Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth, Willem Dafoe
  • Director: Anthony Minghella
  • Length: 2 hours and 35 mins

Anthony Minghella brought Michael Ondaatje’s sweeping and complex WWII romance to life in this stunning movie that scooped 27 awards globally. It’s the perfect place to start a collection of the best movies about Egypt (although the Egyptian scenes were filmed in Tunisia!)

In an Italian monastery, a nurse (Juliette Binoche) cares for a mysterious man with terrible burns (Ralph Fiennes). His past is slowly revealed through a series of flashbacks.

She learns of his affair with a married Englishwoman (Kristin Scott Thomas) and about his work mapping the African landscape. In contrast, she learns to heal her own scars.

This film is perfect if you’re going to Egypt. Soak up the atmosphere and lose yourself in the intricate love story. If you plan to visit Egypt, you’ll love the scenery, the story, and the music in this classy movie!

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Tunisia (for Egypt) and on location in Italy, mainly in the stunning Monastero di Sant’Anna in Camprena, Pienza, Siena, where you can book a delightful stay!
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Be sure to book this Khan el Khalili market tour in Cairo. It’s the best way to experience the colour and vibrance of this iconic Egyptian market!

2. Death on the Nile (1978)

Sometimes, a movie should not be remade! The iconic and star-studded 1978 movie is far and away superior to the 2022 remake, which flopped at the box office!

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  • Starring: Peter Ustinov, Bette Davis, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles and Mia Farrow
  • Director: John Guillermin
  • Length: 140 min

Based on the iconic Agatha Christie novel, Death on the Nile is a dramatic account of a lavish cruise down the Nile, where an arrogant, newlywed millionairess is found murdered on board.

As the story unfolds, every passenger on the luxurious SS Karnak is revealed to have the motivation to kill the wealthy heiress by the famous, moustachioed Belgian detective – Hercule Poirot.

With his signature patience and dogged perseverance, Poirot is determined to unpick the clues and ferret out the killer. The only question is whether Poirot can reveal the name of the murderer before there is another death on the Nile.

This film is a must-see period piece with a stellar cast and superb scenery.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor, and Cairo.
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Stay in the elegant Sofitel Legend Old Cataract in Aswan, where the movie was filmed, and book guided tours of Abu Simbel Temple and the iconic Karnak Temple in Luxor!

3. Cleopatra (1963)

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  • Starring: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowell, Pamela Brown
  • Director: Joseph L. Manciewicz
  • Length: 4 hours and 8 mins (!!)

Cleopatra is probably the most famous of the movies set in ancient Egypt, largely thanks to the sparkling chemistry between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The film is set in 48 BC when Julius Caesar (Sir Rex Harrison) has just defeated Pompey the Great. It tells the story of the young Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), who seduces and manipulates Caesar to establish her authority.

When Cleopatra’s son, Caesarion (Loris Loddi), is born, Egypt’s long-awaited union with Rome feels within her grasp, along with the prospect of building a mighty new empire.

The plot twists when Caesar dies unexpectedly, and Cleopatra turns her charms onto the powerful Roman General, Mark Antony (Richard Burton), leading to a dramatic conclusion for the two lovers.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Pinewood Studios, London and Cinetta Studios, Rome (set in Alexandria, Egypt)
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Be sure to book this history-packed 1-day tour of Alexandria from Cairo for a glimpse of Cleopatra’s world!

4. The Spy Who Loved Me (1985)

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  • Starring: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Richard Kiel, Desmond Llewelyn
  • Director: Lewis Gilbert
  • Length: 125 min

When British and Soviet ballistic missile submarines disappear, MI6 agent James Bond and Russian spy Major Anya Amasovathe are forced to cooperate on a difficult mission.

As they work to track down a dangerous megalomaniac, the two spies encounter a terrifying, steel-toothed adversary, while events from their past threaten their relationship. Can Bond and the beautiful Russian spy who loved him capture the villain before he destroys the world?

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? In 45 global locations, including the Giza Plateau, Great Hypostyle Hall (Temple of Amun, Karnak Temple), Medinet Habu Temple (Thebes), and Abu Simbel Temple in Egypt.
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? This highly-rated 8-night Egyptian tour and cruise includes many top Egyptian landmarks, an Egyptologist guide, and a hot-air balloon ride!

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Anthony Higgins
  • Director: Stephen Speilberg
  • Length: 115 min

In the shadowy world of ancient artefacts and perilous adventures, one name stands out like a beacon of daring archaeology: “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Starring Harrison Ford as the intrepid Dr. Indiana Jones, this cinematic masterpiece will take you deep into the heart of Egypt. Danger and mystery collide in an epic quest to find history’s most coveted treasure.

Get ready to be enthralled by Egypt’s mesmerising sands on your unforgettable cinematic adventure with Indy. You’ll discover that the past holds the key to unimaginable power, and only the bravest dare to uncover its secrets.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Tunisia (for Egypt), the USA, the UK, and France
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Consider taking a day trip to the remote oasis town of Siwa to experience a different side of Egypt.
You can also read my review of Siwa Oasis here (it’s rather magical).

6. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

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  • Starring: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Daniel Craig
  • Director: Simon West
  • Length: 100 min

Buckle up for a pulse-pounding ride into the world of ancient Egyptian secrets and daring escapades with “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, starring Angelina Jolie).

In a whirlwind of globetrotting adventure, Lara’s quest for a powerful ancient artefact takes us on a thrilling journey where the enigmatic sands of Egypt hold the key to unravelling a destiny that transcends time.

With danger lurking at every turn and breathtaking landscapes as a backdrop, get ready to join Lara Croft as she ventures into the heart of Egypt, where myth and reality blur and the quest for untold riches becomes a heart-pounding race against time.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? UK, Cambodia, China
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? The best way to experience the colour and vibrance of the Egyptian tombs is with this great tour!

7. The 10 Commandments (1956)

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  • Starring: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo
  • Director: Cecil B DeMille
  • Length: 3 hours and 42 mins

Another of the epic movies set in Ancient Egypt, The 10 Commandments, was legendary Cecil B. DeMille’s 4th biblical movie and his last.

The grandeur of ancient Egypt weaves a captivating tale of power, faith, and destiny where the banks of the Nile River teem with history, and the pyramids whisper secrets of a time when one man dared to challenge an empire in the name of freedom.

Grab your popcorn and settle in for an epic journey through Egypt’s opulent courts and vast deserts, where a divine message carved into stone tablets forever changed human history.

“The Ten Commandments” is a timeless classic cinematic spectacle where Egypt’s ancient splendour takes centre stage.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Egypt, Mount Sinai and the Sinai Peninsula
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? A leisurely Nile Cruise is the best way to travel between the best Egyptian landmarks!
This 4-Day 3-Night Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor includes a tour of the temple at Abu Simbel and an unforgettable hot air balloon trip.

8. Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

  • Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Length: 150 mins

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” follows the dramatic story of Moses (Christian Bale) as he defies the mighty Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) by leading the Hebrew slaves to freedom.

From the grandeur of the Nile River to the awe-inspiring pyramids, this visually stunning film captures the scale and majesty of ancient Egypt. As Moses challenges Ramses, supernatural plagues descend upon Egypt, including a breathtaking depiction of the parting of the Red Sea.

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” will plunge you into the heart of ancient Egypt, where the clash of power and faith unfolds against a backdrop of iconic Egyptian landmarks. It’s a riveting journey through history and mythology.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Spain, Morocco and the UK
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Book a popular and highly-rated tour of the most iconic Egyptian landmarks.

The iconic Sphinx - one of Egypt's most famous landmarks

9. Malcolm X (1992)

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  • Starring: Denzel Washington, Amanda Bassett
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Released: 1992
  • Length: 3 hours 22 min

Denzel Washington is mesmerising in this journey through the life of one of America’s most iconic civil rights leaders, from his troubled youth in Harlem to his pivotal role in the civil rights movement.

The film follows Malcolm X to Egypt, where he discovers a sense of racial unity. He also learns about the rich history of African civilisation, inspiring him to further advocate for equality and justice.

“Malcolm X” is a gripping portrayal of one man’s transformation from a life of crime into a passionate advocate for social change, set against the backdrop of Harlem, Boston, and Egypt. It’s an inspiring cinematic masterpiece and an essential chapter in American cinema history.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Cairo (Egypt), Mecca (Saudi Arabia), Soweto (South Africa) and Long Island (USA)
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Experience the vivid colour and vibrance of Cairo on this 1-day tour of the Pyramids, Cairo Museum and the Cairo Bazaar!

10. Jumper (2008)

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  • Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell
  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Length: 88 min

“Jumper” is a sci-fi thriller that whisks audiences off on a mind-bending adventure through some of the world’s most exotic locations, including Egypt.

David Rice (Hayden Christensen) discovers he can teleport anywhere in the world instantaneously and he sets off on a globetrotting journey, teleporting to stunning destinations such as the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

Amidst the backdrop of these iconic Egyptian landmarks, he encounters a secret organisation of Jumpers with their own agenda, and he discovers a perilous conspiracy that threatens his life and the world as he knows it.

“Jumper” is a high-octane adventure that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, making them question what they would do if they could go anywhere in the blink of an eye.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Multiple global locations, including Giza, Egypt
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Take all the hassle away and book this private tour to the Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, and Egyptian Museum. It’s the easiest way to experience these iconic Egyptian landmarks!

11. Cairo Time (2009)

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  • Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya
  • Director: Ruba Nadda
  • Length: 90 min

When magazine editor Juliet (Patricia Clarkson) arrives in Cairo to meet her husband, she is captivated by the city’s vibrant culture and timeless beauty.

Set against the backdrop of the Giza Pyramids and the bustling streets of Cairo, the film offers a breathtaking glimpse into the rich tapestry of Egyptian life.

As Juliet navigates the labyrinthine alleys of Khan el-Khalili bazaar and explores the serene Nile River, she becomes entangled in a chance encounter with Tareq (Alexander Siddig), a local Egyptian who introduces her to the city’s hidden treasures.

“Cairo Time” is a poignant love story that transcends cultural boundaries and beautifully captures the allure of Egypt’s historic sites and the warmth of its people. In this tale of unexpected connections, the timeless charm of Cairo unfolds, leaving you enchanted by the city’s mystique and longing to visit.

πŸ“Œ Where was it filmed? Locations in Cairo, including the Shepheard Hotel, The Pyramids, The Sphinx, and Khan El-Khalili Market
πŸ‘€ How can you see it for yourself? Experience the vivid colour and vibrance of Cairo on this 1-day tour of the Pyramids, Cairo Museum and the Cairo Bazaar!

Final Thoughts on Movies Set in Egypt

If you’re going to Egypt, I hope some of these movies set in Egypt will inspire you and help you to prepare for your trip.

Movies set in Egypt have long captivated audiences with their sweeping landscapes and iconic Egyptian landmarks. From the pyramids of Giza to the stunning temples of Luxor, these films transport viewers to a world steeped in mystery and ancient history.

While visiting these famous places may seem daunting, careful planning and research can help make this dream a reality. Try immersing yourself in these movies’ rich culture and heritage! You’ll likely gain a deeper appreciation for Egypt’s treasures and contribute to its vital tourism industry.

So whether exploring hidden tombs or sailing down the Nile like an adventurer from the big screen, why not take a cinematic journey with some movies set in ancient Egypt to experience the magic that has enthralled audiences for generations?

You might also enjoy these articles about Egypt:

A 3-Day Siwa Oasis Itinerary: Awesome Things To Do
35 Famous Egyptian Landmarks You Need To Visit!
The Ultimate Women’s Packing List For Travel to Egypt
Awesome Quotes About Egypt to Inspire Your Instagram Captions

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