MOVIES LIKE TITANIC
On December 19, 1997, the epic star-crossed love story, Titanic, first premiered. James Cameron’s blockbuster film quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, winning 11 Oscars and turning Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet into superstars.
Titanic also became one of the best-selling movies of all time (it was number one for years only to be beaten by James Cameron’s other film, Avatar, and then recently, Avengers: Endgame. It’s now the third best-selling movie ever.)
The classic love story between Rose Dewitt Bukater and Jack Dawson is memorable, not only because of the chemistry between the actors but also because it was a star-crossed romance with familiar archetypes told thoughtfully and artistically. But it’s not only a romance film, it’s a period drama in the style of historical fiction (placing fictional characters within the famous and tragic sinking of the Titanic), and it’s also part disaster flick.
Still, Cameron made sure to handle the tragic history respectfully. Altogether, this was a movie that gives you all the feels, making you want to watch it again and again. Or was that only me?
I was a young teen when it premiered, and I went to see it in the theater SEVEN times. It was more than a movie for me; it was an experience. Even now, I can still recall how I first felt watching it.
Titanic was one of the first movies I ever watched that made me realize how much I love epic romance films. Unfortunately, they can sometimes feel few and far between.
So, because of my love for the movie and epic love stories, I created this list to help fellow romantics like me find more epic love movies like Titanic to fall in love with!
Note: For the list, I focused on movies and a couple of miniseries but left TV series off the list.
50 EPIC ROMANCE MOVIES LIKE TITANIC
(In Alphabetical Order)
#1 The Age of Adaline (2015)
When Jack and Rose meet, he helps her find her passion for life again. While the story of The Age of Adaline is entirely different, it is an epic love story about a woman finding the spark to live and be reborn as a new woman.
Adaline is an immortal from the turn of the 20th century who has lived a long, lonely life. That is until she meets a man who changes everything.
Trust me when I say that this is a movie all romantics will love! You’ll also want to find out what a bouquet of books is too.
#2 An Affair to Remember (1957)
Like Titanic, An Affair to Remember won numerous Oscars and has become immortalized in pop culture (even inspiring another fabulous romance movie, Sleepless in Seattle) as one of the greatest romance movies of all time. Also, like Titanic, the love story begins on an ocean liner.
When they arrive at their destination in New York City, they agree to meet on top of the Empire State Building in six months. But something goes wrong, and one of them doesn’t show up.
You’ll have to watch to find out why! But it’s a heartbreaker and a lovely movie everyone should see.
(Note: I also recommend watching the other versions of the same story. Love Affair from 1939 and Love Affair from 1994.)
#3 Anna and the King (1999)
Based on a memoir, Anna and the King tells the story of Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher who goes to teach the children of the King of Siam in the 1860s. A subtle but powerful love story unfolds.
Like Titanic, the production design and costumes are gorgeous, the romance swoony, and the story epic. It’s an excellent film you won’t want to miss with Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat giving memorable performances.
(Note: You should also watch the other musical adaptation of Anna Leonowen’s life: The King and I).
#4 Atonement (2007)
You can’t get much more epic and tragic than this gorgeous film. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy star in this romantic war drama about a young girl (played by the brilliant Saoirse Ronan) who accuses her sister’s lover, Robbie, of a sexual crime he’s innocent of.
There are twists and turns as the rest of the story plays out. But if you love artistic love stories with a tragic element, you’ll appreciate this award-winning movie.
Content Note: This movie is rated R for war scenes, brief strong language, and some sexuality.
#5 Australia (2008)
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star in this epic romance set in pre-WWII Australia.
When the English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley, goes to Australia to force her cheating husband to sell his cattle station, she discovers he’s been murdered. She now must take over the ranch in his place.
With the help of the cattle drover (Jackman), she drives 2,000 cattle over the harsh Australian landscape. Meanwhile, war is looming.
Titanic movie fans will appreciate the epic scope of this romance film! So, if you’re looking for romance and action, Australia should fit perfectly!
#6 Avatar (2009)
A part star-crossed love story between a paraplegic Marine and a Na’vi (a fantasy humanoid species) and part sci-fi adventure, Titanic fans will recognize James Cameron’s signature writing and directing style. He uses familiar archetypes to tell an epic story that is both entertaining and compelling. Like Titanic, it’s also one of the best-selling romance movies of all time.
#7 Bright Star (2009)
Despite being nominated for an Oscar for Costume Design, this period romance is a little-known love story about the real-life courtship between the famous poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. It’s a tragic but quiet love story without all the special effects and larger-than-life scenes but is just as effective. If you like the Titanic romance, you’ll appreciate how both love stories use elements of Romanticism.
#8 Brooklyn (2015)
Like Titanic, this is a sweet coming of age love story. When an Irish immigrant moves to 1950s Brooklyn, she falls in love with a young man.
But when tragedy strikes her family over in Ireland, she must choose between her life in Ireland and a new life in America. Brooklyn is an award-winning romantic period drama Titanic fans are sure to enjoy.
#9 Casablanca (1942)
If you’re in the mood for watching one of the greatest love stories (and movies) ever made, then you’ll want to watch the iconic Old-Hollywood film Casablanca. Like Titanic, it’s an epic romance with award-winning performances, famous dialogue everyone quotes, and a timeless movie you can watch repeatedly.
When Rick Blaine, a cynical nightclub owner in Casablanca, discovers his ex is in town with her war-hero husband trying to escape the Nazis, he must choose between his love for Ilsa and the greater good amid a war.
#10 Cold Mountain (2003)
Based on the award-winning novel by Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain is an epic war romance about a Southern soldier who deserts the Confederate Army and then treks back home to his sweetheart, Ada. If you want to watch a love story with fantastic chemistry between actors (like Kate and Leo), Jude Law and Nicole Kidman have some of the best chemistry I’ve seen!
While a tragic love story, the romance will stay with you long after it’s over. Plus, you won’t want to miss Renee Zellweger’s Oscar-winning performance for Best Supporting Actress. She’s simply brilliant.
Content Note: Rated R for violence and sexuality.
#11 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Two epic love stories exist in this period fantasy film! But it’s the unrequited and star-crossed romance between Mu Bai and Shu Lien that Titanic fans will swoon over.
The movie tells the story of a young warrior who steals the famous sword, the “Green Destiny.” Romance, adventure, and tragedy ensue. It’s a powerful, award-winning film you don’t want to miss.
#12 Dirty Dancing (1987)
Similar to Titanic, Dirty Dancing explores class distinctions between the rich and the poor. Young Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman falls in love with the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle, when his dance partner becomes ill (and Baby offers to take her place so they can keep their jobs).
It’s a coming-of-age love story full of amazing chemistry, quotable scenes, and sequences you’ll want to watch on repeat.
#13 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
Doctor Zhivago is not an easy watch, but worth it! It is a historical romantic drama film set in Russia during World War I and the Russian Civil War. Like Titanic, it is one of the highest-grossing love stories of all time – and for a good reason.
Doctor Zhivago is an epic story you won’t want to miss about a physician who faces hardships and love amid war. It won five Academy Awards and is considered one of the best films ever made.
#14 The English Patient (1996)
The English Patient is an epic romance of forbidden love that came out one year before Titanic, so if you enjoy nineties’ romance films, then this award-winning drama is a must-see film.
It won nine Oscars, and like Titanic, much of the tragic love story plays out in flashbacks. One of the taglines for the film was “In memory, love lives forever.” Titanic could have used the same tagline!
While this movie isn’t about young love, it is still a romance sure to tug on your heartstrings. When a nurse in 1944 takes care of a severely burned plane crash victim, he tells the story of the fateful romance.
#15 Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
Ever After is the iconic fairy tale romance movie about a realistic version of Cinderella. If you study the film’s narrative structure, you may become just as convinced as I was that Titanic influenced it.
The movie begins with an older woman telling Danielle’s story, this movie’s version of Cinderella. It’s my favorite version of the fairy tale, full of romance, adventure, and great characterization.
#16 Far and Away (1992)
More of an audience favorite than a critical darling, this star-crossed romance between a wealthy landlord’s daughter and a poor Irish boy is an entertaining spectacle directed by Ron Howard. The feisty pair from Ireland run away to America to obtain land and freedom, only to fall in love and face numerous hardships in their quest for a happy ending.
#17 Finding Neverland (2004)
Part biopic, part tragic love story, Finding Neverland tells the story of Sir J. M. Barrie’s inspiration behind Peter Pan. Finding Neverland is a fabulous movie that will leave you in tears (but the uplifting kind) by the end.
Kate Winslet plays the tragic figure this time around when she develops an unspoken romance with J.M. Barrie.
#18 First Knight (1995)
If you’re in the mood for more star-crossed romance, then you can’t go wrong with First Knight. When Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere (who’s betrothed to King Arthur), the famous love triangle plays out in epic nineties’ romance fashion.
Richard Gere, Julia Ormond, and Sean Connery star.
#19 Gone with the Wind (1939)
Gone with the Wind, like Titanic, is an epic historical romance film and one of the bestselling movies of all time. It also won eight Oscars.
With gorgeous costumes, brilliant performances, and an epic scope, the iconic film is worth watching at least once! The famous tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the manipulative and selfish southern bell, and her romance with the rogue Rhett Butler set during the Civil War is must-watch entertainment.
#20 The Great Gatsby (2013)
Want more Leonardo Dicaprio as the romantic leading man? Then look no further than Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Dicaprio gives a show-stopping performance in this vibrant interpretation of the famous tragic story about the enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby.
#21 THE ILLUSIONIST (2006)
Full of twists and romantic moments, The Illusionist is a fabulous historical romance film about a poor magician who falls in love with a woman from the upper class. The star-crossed love story is fantastic and one of our favorites!
You’ll be guessing what happens until the very end. Edward Norton shines in the role.
#22 JANE EYRE (2006 and 2011)
While numerous adaptations exist of the famous Gothic romance, for Titanic fans, I recommend checking out the 2006 BBC miniseries starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens and the feature film version from 2011 starring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska.
The tale of a young, plain governess who falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester, is a captivating love story that transcends social divides.
Note: I also recommend the 1983 adaptation, but it feels closer to a TV show as it has many episodes. But if you love the story, the ’83 miniseries is excellent!
#23 JODHAA AKBAR (2008)
Jodhaa Akbar is as epic in scope as a Cecil B. DeMille historical! This famous love story set in the 16th century tells the true story of a marriage alliance that later led to true love between a princess and an emperor.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stars in the romantic Indian film, and it is a must-watch for all fans of epic romance films.
#24 KING KONG (2005)
Peter Jackson, the director behind the Lord of the Rings films, adapted the King Kong story into an epic action-adventure film inspired by Old Hollywood. The movie is also a love story between an actress and a screenwriter falling in love on a boat.
So, Titanic fans are sure to love the romance aspect of this movie! Plus, it’s a great movie that humanizes Kong, and it won 3 Oscars.
#25 THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992)
The Last of the Mohicans is a passionate love story and an epic adventure film full of tragedy, action, and romance. Set in the 18th century during the French and Indian War, three trappers help protect the two daughters of a British Colonel when their lives are in danger.
The two star-crossed romances (one just implied) in the movie are sure to please Titanic fans. The Last of the Mohicans is overall a great film with memorable performances from the cast.
Content Note: Rated R for war violence (moderate overall).
#26 LORNA DOONE (2000)
Based on the classic novel by R.D. Blackmore, this adaptation is a must-see TV movie for all fans of star-crossed love stories. When a poor farmer falls in love with a young woman from a dangerous clan, he attempts to rescue her from an arranged marriage – despite his desire for vengeance on her murderous family.
#27 MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (2005)
Are you looking for a lush, beautiful historical epic? Look no further than Memoirs of a Geisha. The film won three Oscars for Cinematography, Art Direction, and Costume Design, and for a good reason.
This impressive romance movie is gorgeous to look at, and the story’s good too. Memoirs of a Geisha is a bit of a Cinderella story about a geisha, and her romance with the Chairman (Ken Watanabe) as World War II looms closer.
#28 MOULIN ROUGE (2001)
Moulin Rouge tells the tragic love story between an aspiring writer and a courtesan. A forbidden romance blooms as the danger of a jealous duke threatens their relationship and lives. It’s a musical full of catchy songs and spectacular dance numbers.
But the chemistry between Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman and the memorable love story make this movie stand out. Like Titanic, this is an epic romance you can watch again and again. It won two Oscars and was nominated for many more.
#29 NO GREATER LOVE (1995)
This little-known TV movie is perfect for Titanic fans – if you can find a copy! When a young woman loses her parents and fiancé in the Titanic disaster, she becomes guardian to her brothers and sisters while also inheriting her father’s newspaper business.
Meanwhile, a new romance develops. If you watch, you’ll recognize a young Hayden Christensen playing one of the young brothers. It’s based on a Danielle Steel novel and is TV-PG.
#30 THE NOTEBOOK (2004)
When one thinks of epic love stories in movies, it’s impossible not to include The Notebook and the powerful love story between Noah and Allie. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams have an equal amount of chemistry as Leo and Kate, and the social differences that keep the characters apart are similar.
A part tragic love story, part happy ending, The Notebook is a compelling romance film that will continue to be a fan favorite.
#31 NOW, VOYAGER (1942)
Now, Voyager is one of the greatest romance films ever made, with Bette Davis giving one of her best performances as the mentally unwell spinster Charlotte Vale who has been verbally abused by her mother her entire life. When Charlotte has a mental breakdown, a kind Doctor brings her to a recovery center.
Later, her doctor sends her on a trip to practice being independent and confident, only for her to fall in love with a married man. While the two plots of Titanic and Now, Voyager are entirely different, it’s hard not to notice a few similarities.
They are both about women finding themselves and their own voices. Plus, Now, Voyager shows two romances on boats. One when Charlotte is young, and another when she’s older.
There were a couple of camera shots in Titanic that could have been paying tribute to Now, Voyager. One, the lovers caught in a car on a luxury cruise. And two, the closeup of Bette Davis showing her character’s transformation – which is comparable to the first time we see a young Rose Dewitt Bukater onscreen. It’s the use of the classic Hollywood entrance, and both reveal the glamour of the actresses.
#32 THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT (2017)
This romantic war drama film makes for another epic love story Titanic fans should watch! The Ottoman Lieutenant tells the love story of a Turkish officer and an American nurse during World War I; it’s also a bit of a love triangle.
Unfortunately, a few producers changed the final edits of the film from the director’s vision (including removing significant historical aspects), and the movie did not receive good reviews. But it is still an entertaining romance with Michiel Huisman proving he is fantastic as the romantic leading man.
Content Note: Rated R for moderate war violence.
#33 OUT OF AFRICA (1985)
This award-winning epic romantic drama film stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford and tells the love story of a Baroness and a hunter. The film starts in 1913, so it’s the same time period as Titanic.
The movie also includes a tragic romance with the narrator (Streep) looking back at her time in Africa. Like Titanic, it’s a thoughtful, romantic epic everyone should see and even won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
#34 THE PAINTED VEIL (2006)
Edward Norton and Naomi Watts star in this heartfelt and beautiful romantic drama film about a British Doctor fighting a cholera epidemic in China while also being married to a woman who doesn’t love him.
Romance and forgiveness take center stage in this powerful love story. With a fantastic script and impressive performances, The Painted Veil is a romance movie everyone should see.
#35 PEARL HARBOR (2006)
Pearl Harbor is an epic romantic war film that James Cameron’s Titanic influenced. While not nearly as good, the love triangle between a nurse and two best friends is an entertaining watch.
The story leads up to the Pearl Harbor tragedy and is historical fiction – leaning more on fiction, but the effects are satisfying, and the movie is well-cast.
#36 POMPEII (2006)
If you enjoy disaster flicks with romance, then Pompeii is a fun watch. While much cheesier and more on the ridiculous side, it’s a diverting love story about a gladiator who fights to save the woman he loves from a corrupt Roman and then later from the Pompeii disaster of Mount Vesuvius.
#37 PRIDE & PREJUDICE (2005)
Titanic at its heart is an old-fashioned romance. If that appeals to you, you won’t want to miss this brilliant and gorgeous adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel.
Full of romanticism and epic romantic moments, Pride and Prejudice, like Titanic, is one of the greatest romance movies of the last 25 years.
The movie tells the familiar story of the independent and witty Elizabeth Bennet, who crosses paths with the proud and seemingly arrogant Mr. Darcy. Misunderstandings between the two follow.
But when he begins to fall in love with her (despite their class differences), the question arises: Can they each overcome their pride and prejudices to be together?
While the 1995 adaptation is more popular (and overall, my personal favorite), Titanic fans might appreciate the film artistry (including the costumes, soundtrack, cinematography) of this adaptation.
Still, I recommend watching numerous versions of the story. For a complete listing, check out our list of the best Pride and Prejudice adaptations ranked.
#38 THE PROMISE (2016)
The Promise is an ambitious historical romance film set during the final days of the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the love triangle between a journalist, a medical student, and Ana, an Armenian woman. It has a fantastic cast, including Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, Charlotte Le Bon, and Shohreh Aghdashloo. The movie uses old-fashioned storytelling techniques to brilliant effect and is worth watching.
#39 ROMEO + JULIET (1996)
Before Leonardo Dicaprio catapulted into superstardom, he starred as the tortured Romeo who falls in love with Juliet. This is my favorite adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic star-crossed romance (with the 1968 adaptation a close second).
It’s a unique interpretation using Shakespeare’s dialogue while juxtaposing it with a modern era. Absolutely brilliant. And that scene when Romeo and Juliet first meet with the song “Kissing You” playing in the background? Well, it’s no wonder Leonardo Dicaprio got the role of Jack Dawson in Titanic.
#40 SAN FRANCISCO (1936)
Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy star in this romance-disaster flick/musical set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It’s the perfect watch for all Titanic fans and a very entertaining movie full of good performances, an epic story, and spectacular effects for a 1930’s movie. I think it’s one of the greatest disaster films ever made.
#41 SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995)
A young Kate Winslet (pre-Titanic) stars in this nearly flawless adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel about two sisters. With romance, an excellent script from Emma Thompson, and iconic performances, Sense and Sensibility is a romantic drama film everyone should see.
#42 SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998)
Shakespeare in Love and Titanic each won the best picture one year apart. So, if you want to watch another award-winning epic historical romance movie, then this love story about a young Shakespeare falling in love with a new muse (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) should fit the bill.
Content Note: Rated R for sexuality.
#43 SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980)
Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour star in this timeless love story about a man who travels back in time (to 1912 – same as Titanic) and falls in love with a famous stage actress. It’s romantic, tragic, epic, and a beautiful romance film and one of my personal favorites.
#44 SYLVIE’S LOVE (2020)
This new sweeping romance purposely uses old-fashioned romance and old-fashioned storytelling techniques to tell a powerful love story. When a saxophonist works part-time in a record shop in the 1950s, he falls in love with a young woman who dreams of working in television.
Circumstances keep them apart, but you root for them to find a way to be together and reach their dreams simultaneously. Titanic fans should appreciate the Old-Hollywood quality of Sylvie’s Love.
#45 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH (2014)
Based on the famous memoirs of Vera Brittain, a young British woman comes of age during World War I. She experiences young love, the tragedy of war, and discovering her voice in terrifying times.
There are elements of an epic romance here in this war film, but it’s the characterization of Vera, Titanic fans will appreciate. Here’s a young woman from Edwardian times who faces tragedy in the face of a new era of war. She’s a romantic but at the same time an independent spirit who wants to carve out a life different than the ones her parents have mapped out for her.
Testament of Youth is not just a romance, it is an authentic story that will bring the tragedy of World War I alive while also affecting you long after the film is over.
#46 TITANIC (1953)
Unlike the famous Titanic film, A Night to Remember, this version of Titanic is more of a romance than a historical representation. When a married couple board the Titanic with their two children, their marriage is all but over. But when the Titanic hits the iceberg, it brings the family back together – making their previous issues seem trivial.
It’s a compelling movie with good performances, and while not exactly historically accurate, it’s a must-watch film for Titanic fans. Barbara Stanwyck stars.
#47 TITANIC (1996)
Before James Cameron’s Titanic, there was this TV movie that came out a year earlier. It was a historical romantic drama starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Peter Gallagher, and George C. Scott.
Two romances take place in this story, but the similar story of a young man who steals a ticket onboard the Titanic and then falls in love with an Irish girl as they deal with a villainous Tim Curry should entertain fans of Cameron’s Titanic.
#48 TITANIC (2012)
Titanic meets Downton Abbey in this unique interpretation of the tragic sinking as written by Julian Fellowes. The TV miniseries (although it feels more like a movie broken up into four parts) follow different characters’ perspectives in separate classes. And yes, there is romance in it. Period drama fans will especially appreciate Victoria’s Jenna Coleman in a leading role.
#49 TRISTAN + ISOLDE (2006)
Tristan and Isolde is one of the most entertaining star-crossed epic romance movies ever made and definitely worth your time. The story follows the famous legend of Tristan and Isolde and their doomed love affair during the Dark Ages.
#50 WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
If you love star-crossed romance and musicals, this take on the Romeo and Juliet story is a must-watch classic romance film. Natalie Wood stars in this award-winning film, and it’s one you can watch again and again.
What movies like Titanic do you recommend? Do you have a favorite epic romance movie? Share and discuss below in the comments!