The Britishers have been blessed and, to a great extent, have blessed others as well. The British film industry has always been regarded to be the direct competition for American cinema, and it is quite fitting to be compared as well.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who started coming on everybody’s radar after his role as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, Cillian Murphy – the crime boss Tommy Shelby, Tom Hardy, Robert Pattinson, and Tom Hiddleston are some of the most famous actors who have achieved big since coming off small roles from various UK projects.
Idris Elba, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Hopkins, Andrew Garfield, Henry Cavill, and Daniel Radcliffe all have had the luxury to represent the peak of British cinema in their own way.
Let’s have a look at some of the best movies from the British Cinema that are too good to miss.
Skyfall (James Bond Series)
The name’s Bond, James Bond
Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall is the 23rd installment in the James Bond movie franchise. The film was released in 2012 and followed 007 as he finds hidden clues about several data leaks in the structure of MI6 Raoul Silva.
The movie starred Daniel Craig as the famous detective James Bond in the leading role and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva. Apart from them, Judi Dench, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Berenice Marlohe are in major roles.
The supporting cast of the film includes Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Ola Rapace, and Helem McCrory, along with numerous others. Skyfall was nominated for several accolades, including five nominations for Academy Awards, and won two of them. The movie was critically acclaimed also, and the action sequences, cinematography, and performances of the cast members were heavily praised.
Skyfall was a commercial hit as well, as it grossed way more than $1 billion while being produced on a budget of $150 million. Not just Skyfall, all 27 James Bond movies have been hits as they were always just too good.
Skyfall is available for viewers to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video.
I, Daniel Blake
I, Daniel Blake, follow Daniel Blake, a carpenter who becomes helpless as a heart attack leaves him unable to work for a living. However, the authorities push him to return to his heavily physical job, which forces Daniel to sue them and fight for his rights.
The film was directed by Ken Loach and was released in 2016. I, Daniel Blake, starred Dave Johns as the titular character Daniel Blake and Hayley Squires in the leading roles. The supporting cast includes Briana Shann, Dylan McKiernan, Kate Rutter, Kema Sikazwe, Gavin Webster, Mick Laffey, Steven Richens, and Sharon Percy.
The movie has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was appreciated by viewers and critics alike when it was released. The film won several major awards as well and is recommended for anyone looking for a classic one vs. all drama.
I, Daniel Blake, is available on Amazon Prime Video.
McQueen was directed by Ian Bonhote and followed the life of Alexander McQueen, the world-famous fashion designer from Britain. The movie was released in 2018 and was produced by Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig, Ian Bonhote, and Paul Van Carter.
The film starred Alexander McQueen himself, along with the likes of Tom Ford, Isabella Blow, Janet McQueen, and Kate Moss. The movie followed a documentary format for showcasing the life of the fashion designer and was dearly loved for its approach.
McQueen has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was praised for its originality and its portrayal of Alexander McQueen.
McQueen is available for viewers to stream on Hulu.
Shaun Of the Dead
Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, Lucy Davis, Nick Frost, and Dylan Moran are the main actors in Edgar Wright’s zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead. Other notable cast members include Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy.
Shaun, played by Simon Pegg, a salesman, is the focus of the film’s storyline, along with his friend Ed, played by Nick Frost, who are trying to save themselves from a zombie apocalypse and survive to tell the tale.
After its release in 2004, the film generally garnered positive reviews from viewers. The zombie apocalypse is set in London and has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was a hit both critically and commercially as well and was nominated for two awards at the British Academy Film Awards.
The movie is quite entertaining and offers a dose of laughter throughout the entirety of its screenplay. Shaun of the Dead is available for viewers to stream on Amazon Prime Video in certain regions.
Who doesn’t know about this legendary film series? The Harry Potter movie series was based on a series of novels by J.K. Rowling, and since its initiation, become a darling in everybody’s hearts. The movie series has a total of 8 movies, and to say it is a hit would be an understatement.
The franchise started with the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 and concluded with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 in 2011.
The series is about Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione, who tag along to defeat the evil wizard Voldemort, and the massive challenge the dark lord imposes.
The star cast was headed by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Apart from them, the major roles in the movie were donned by Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambo, Richard Harris, and Dame Maggie Smith.
The list of movies in the franchise is as follows:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
During its decade run, the series was a MASSIVE hit, both critically and commercially; speaking just about the numbers, the film series grossed more than $7 billion, which sounds impossible, right? The list of awards for what the series was nominated for and that it bagged during its campaign would be too much to cover, but to just give a rough idea, the series is one of the all-time greats.
The Harry Potter series also has a spinoff series which serves as the prequel to the films, titled “Fantastic Beasts.” The prequel series of films has so far released three movies, and all three are a joy to watch. Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts are part of the Wizarding World franchise and are epic movies that should be on the bucket list of anyone and everyone.
Viewers can enjoy the franchise on Amazon Prime Video.
Paddington was directed by Paul King and was released in 2014. The movie starred the voices of Ben Whishaw as the titular character and Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Sally Hawkins, and Nicole Kidman in other significant roles.
The film’s plot follows Paddington, a bear who leaves his home in the forests of Peru and travels to London and is adopted by a family, but the bear faces a fatal challenge as a hunter wishes to add him to her showcase collection.
The film starred the voices of Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Lottie Steer, Michael Gambon, Tim Drownie, Matt King, Steve Edge, Alice Lowe, Kavyan Novak, and several other celebrities in supporting roles.
Paddington received critical acclaim for its humor, visual effects, its storyline, and vocal performances of the various actors. The movie performed really well at the box office as well, grossing way more than $280 million, and was nominated for numerous awards as well. The movie also boasts a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A sequel, titled Paddington 2, was also released in 2017. The film is a great choice for comedy lovers and stands its ground when compared to other live-action comedies that were released during the same time.
Paddington is available for viewers to enjoy on Amazon Prime Video.
Small Axe is a series of films that were created by Steve McQueen and premiered on 15th November 2020. The movie series follows the life and events of immigrants hailing from the West Indies, who face several challenges and traumatic experiences when they move to London.
There are a total of 5 films in the Small Axe series titled
- Lovers Rock
- Red, White, and Blue
- Alex Wheatle
Known globally to cause an argument between people about whether the series is a movie series or a show, the Small Axe franchise is a movie series only. Small Axe has an impressive rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and has been critically acclaimed as well for its theme and general screenplay.
The film series has been nominated for several big awards as well and has had the luxury of winning several of them too. Small Axe is available on Amazon Prime Video in select regions and is recommended 10/10 for anyone and everyone.
Directed by Steve Loveridge, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. follows M.I.A., the rapper, as she journeys from being a coming-of-age Sri Lankan artist to a big phenomenon in the English rap scene.
The film was released in 2018 and starred M.I.A. as the movie follows a documentary-based origin. The film was produced by Steve Loveridge along with Lori Cheatle, Paul Mezey, and Andrew Goldman.
The film has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been praised for its originality and its general direction. Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. also won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award in 2018 at the Sundance Film Festival.
Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is available to either rent or buys on Amazon Prime Video.
The Death of Stalin
The Death of Stalin was released in 2017 and starred Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Paddy Considine, Jeffrey Tambor, Olga Kurylenko, and Paul Whitehouse in the leading roles.
The film focuses on the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, which causes a power struggle among his numerous ministers to become the next leader and run the government.
The movie starred Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Jonny Phillips, Nick Sidi, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Cara Horgan, Dave Wong, Luke D’Silva, Gerald Lepowski, Daniel Feam, and Paul Chahidi, and several others as members of the supporting cast.
Despite amusing the people in the UK, the film was banned in Russia and Kyrgyzstan as they felt offended and mocked by the movie’s tone. Nevertheless, The Death of Stalin was heavily praised for its theme, dark humor, and the performances of the various actors in the movie, especially Simon Russel Beale, who went on to win the Best Supporting Actor award in the British Independent Film Awards.
The Death of Stalin has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is recommended for anyone looking for dark comedies and is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Village of the Damned
Directed by John Carpenter, the plot of Village of the Damned revolves around the residents of Midwich, who are left shell-shocked when a mystery event occurs. The event in question is multiple women giving birth to new infants, sound pretty normal right?
But there is a catch, and all the women give birth to infants at the same time. These mysterious children later come to light as viewers get to know that the children have extremely overpowered superpowers that are not from this world.
And so, in an effort to preserve themselves, the villagers come together, and with a federal officer’s assistance, they cooperate to vanquish the obtrusively present alien youngsters.
Village of the Damned was inspired by a novel by John Wyndham titled “The Midwich Cuckoos,” which was published in 1957. The movie was released in 1995 and starred several celebrities as members of the cast, including Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Meredith Salenger, Linda Kozlowski, Karen Kahn, Pippa Pearthree, Thomas Dekker, Danielle Keaton, Adam Robbins, John Falk, Mark Hamill, Peter Jason, Michael Pare, Lindsey Haun and several others as well.
Village of the Damned is available on Amazon Prime Video to either rent or buy.
The Favourite was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and was released in 2018. The film starred Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman in the leading roles and was produced by Ceci Dempsey, Lee Magiday, Ed Guiney, and Yorgos Lanthimos.
The movie follows Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham as they compete to become the Queen’s favorite and make a fortune by serving her best when the Queen falls ill.
The Favourite also starred Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, Jenny Rainsford, Lilly-Rose Stevens, Nicholas Hoult, James Smith, and Jennifer White as members of the supporting cast.
The film was critically acclaimed for the performances that its cast members produced, and the general direction of the movie was also praised. The favorite was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, among other nominations for British Independent Film Awards, BAFTA Awards, and numerous more. The movie had its fair share of awards and was a massive box office hit as well.
The favorite also has an impressive 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is full of comedy moments. The movie keeps its viewers laughing for the entirety of its screenplay and is available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar.
Viewers can also rent or buy the movie on Amazon Prime Video.
God’s Own Country
God’s Own Country was released in 2017 and starred Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu in the leading roles. The movie was directed by Francis Lee and was produced by Manon Ardisson and Jack Tarling.
The film revolves around a young farmer who is fed up with his life. However, the farmer meets a migrant worker who hails from Romania and instantly clicks with him. The migrant provides him with a new way to look at life, and the farmer’s life takes a 180° turn as he transforms his life and improves himself.
The film was critically acclaimed for the performances put in by various actors in the movie, and the storyline was also appreciated. The film also boasted a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and starred Gemma Jones and Ian Hart in the supporting roles.
God’s Own Country is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Ex Machina was directed by Alex Garland and was released in 2014. The movie starred Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno, and Alicia Vikander in the leading roles.
The film follows a prompt programmer who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on a massive project. However, he soon realizes that the task he is assigned is not a piece of cake and that he must give his best and deliver on the CEO’s expectations.
The supporting members of the cast include Alicia Vikander, Tiffany Pisani, Lina Alminas, Symara Templeman, Corey Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, and Gana Bayarsaikhan, alongside several others.
Ex Machina received critical acclaim, and the screenplay, visual effects, and performances of the several actors present in the movie were heavily praised. The movie also has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also won two Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, among numerous other awards. Ex Machina is available for viewers to enjoy on Amazon Prime Video.
Directed by Joanna Hogg, Archipelago’s plot revolves around a family, who travel to an island to celebrate their vacation, but their plans are foiled when their internal issues destroy their getaway holiday.
The leading roles in the movie were performed by Tom Hiddleston, Lydia Leonard, Kate Fahy, and Christopher Baker. The supporting members of the cast include Amy Lloyd and Alan Mark Hewitt, along with various others.
Archipelago has become a fan-favorite since its release in 2010 and has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
The Imitation Game
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the leading role, the movie follows Alan Turing, the one big advantage Britain had during the World War II era. The man deciphers the German intelligence messages with the help of a machine that he builds with his crew.
Apart from Benedict Cumberbatch, the movie also starred Keira Knightley, Rory Kinnear, and Matthew Goode in the leading roles. The Imitation Game was nominated for various big-league awards, including several nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and numerous others as well.
The Imitation Game starred Allen Leech, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Tom Goodman-Hill, Jack Tarlton, Tuppence Middleton, Andrew Havill, Ilan Goodman, and Victoria Wicks, alongside others in supporting roles. The movie also has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
Directed by Yann Demange, 71 was released in 2014 and starred Jack O’Connell, Sean Harris, and David Wilmot in the leading roles. As the title suggests, the movie’s plot follows a soldier who gets separated from his unit when a riot unfolds in Belfast in 1971. The movie was produced by Angus Lamont and Robin Gutch and starred Charlie Murphy, Richard Dormer, Amy Molloy, Valene Kane, Harry Verity, Corey McKinley, Babou Ceesay, and several others in supporting roles.
71 was appreciated for its action sequences and the general tonality of the movie. The film also has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for various awards. 71 is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
We Need to Talk About Kevin was directed by Lynne Ramsay and was released in 2011. The movie was based on a screenplay by Lionel Shriver that shared the same name as the movie.
The story of the movie follows a mother who is struggling to cope with her son, and things get quite messy with each passing day. The movie starred Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, and John C. Reilly in the major roles.
The film was well praised for its story and the performances put in by its actors, especially Tilda Swinton, who won the Golden Globe Award, among other awards, for her role as Kevin’s mother. We Need to Talk About Kevin is available on Amazon Prime Video and is recommended for thrill lovers.
Disobedience focuses on the story of a young woman who returns to the community that once showed her the exit door after her father died. The movie starred Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola in the leading roles.
Directed by Sebastian Lelio, Disobedience was released in 2017 and was praised for its screenplay, direction, and actors’ performances. The supporting cast includes Nicholas Woodeson, Alexis Zegerman, Caroline Gruber, Liza Sadovy, Allan Corduner, and numerous more.
Disobedience is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and is recommended for anyone and everyone looking for a drama movie.
Lynn + Lucy
Lynn + Lucy was directed by Fyzal Boulifa and starred Roxanne Scrimshaw and Nichola Burley as Lynn and Lucy, two childhood best friends who face several roadblocks in their friendship when Lucy becomes a mother.
The movie also starred Shaq B. Grant, Smason Cox-Vinell, Tia Nelson, Jennifer Lee Moon, Molly Phipps, Kacey Ainsworth, and Jack Shalloo in supporting roles. Lynn + Lucy was released in 2019 and was well-praised for its dramatic moments.
The film also boasts a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is recommended 10/10 for drama movie lovers.
Amy was directed by Asif Kapadia and followed the life and events of Amy Winehouse, the famous singer-songwriter who struggled with drug addiction during her highs and her lows. Continuous abuse of narcotics led to the celebrity’s death which sent a worldwide shock. The movie followed a documentary format and was loved by critics and viewers alike upon its arrival.
The film also features several key members of Amy’s family, including her father, mother, and her crew members. Amy (movie) has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and shows the singer’s journey through her life in a factual way. The movie is available to watch on Apple TV and shows what meets the eye may not always be true.
His House was directed by Remi Weekes and was released in 2020. The movie starred Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, and Matt Smith in the leading roles and follows a refugee couple who escape from Sudan as war rages in their country.
The couple faces several challenges as they transition to life in an English town and struggle to blend in. To make things worse, the new town that they settle in also has a supernatural entity hunting in the shadows.
The movie was critically acclaimed for its dark tone, and the performances of the actors were also appreciated. In addition to this, the movie was also loved for its thrilling moments.
His House enjoys a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and stars Javiet Botet, Cornell John, Malaika Abigaba, and Emily Taaffe in the supporting roles. The banger horror film is available for viewers to enjoy on Netflix.
Attack the Block
Attack the Block was released in 2011 and starred John Boyega, Nick Frost, and Jodie Whittaker in the leading roles. The film also starred Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Luke Treadaway, Paige Meade, Sammy Williams, Michael Ajao, Danielle Vitalis, Jumayn Hunter, Leeon Jones, and Simon Howard, along with numerous others in supporting roles.
The film focuses on a group of teenagers who must stand their ground and live to tell the tale when a horde of aliens attacks them in London. The movie was very well praised for its action sequences and was appreciated for the story.
Attack the Block also has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is recommended for horror lovers who also like a little bit of comedy.
Shame was released in 2011 and followed Brandon, a man who is obsessed with engaging in sexual intercourse. However, the man must keep himself in check when his sister arrives and decides to stay at his place.
The movie was directed by Steve McQueen and starred Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan as Brandon and his sister, Sissy, in the leading roles. The supporting members of the cast include James Badge Dale, Alex Manette, Elizabeth Masucci, Amy Hargreaves, Robert Montani, and Hannah Ware, along with a few others.
The movie was appreciated for its depiction of sexual addiction, and the performances of the various actors were praised, especially Carey Mulligans. The movie is a good choice for anyone looking for an erotic film that has a taste for some drama as well.
Directed by Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir was released in 2019 and starred Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Burke in the leading roles. The movie’s story follows Julie, who falls in love with a man who seems to be the absolute best on paper. However, Julie soon finds out that the man is suffering from drug abuse and is very emotionally needy.
The film starred Richard Ayoade, Jack McMullen, Frankie Wilson, Tosin Cole, Ariane Albed, Ajmes Dodds, Barbara Peirson, and Hannah Ashby in supporting roles. The Souvenir has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was also critically acclaimed for its story. The movie is a classic example of a testament in a lover’s life and is recommended for drama lovers. The Souvenir is available on Hulu.
28 Days Later
28 Days Later was directed by Danny Boyle and was released in 2002. The film starred the famous sigma male: Cillian Murphy as a patient in a coma who miraculously wakes up and realizes that he could be the next victim of a virus that turns humans into man-hunting entities.
The film also starred Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson, and Megan Burns in supporting roles, along with several others. The film was critically acclaimed and was praised for its cast’s performances in addition to the theme and the general direction of the film.
28 Days Later was a massive hit at the box office as well, earning more than $85 million while being produced on only an $8 million budget. The film was also followed by a sequel, titled “28 Weeks Later”, which was released in 2007. The movie is a great choice for anyone looking for post-apocalyptic trauma with its fair share of dramatic moments and is available on Amazon Prime Video in several regions.
Sherlock Holmes was directed by Guy Ritchie and was released in 2009. As the name suggests, the film focuses on Sherlock Holmes, the popular “consulting detective.”
The film starred Robert Downey Jr. as the intelligent observer and Jude Law as his wingman Dr. John Watson as the duo investigates a unique case when an old acquaintance threatens to usurp the government and take control via supernatural means.
The supporting members in the movie include Mark Strong, Rachel McAdams, William Houston, Robert Maillet, Geraldine James, Eddie Marsan, Hans Matheson, Kelly Reilly, and James Fox, among numerous others.
The movie was a phenomenal hit at the box office, as it grossed more than $500 million while being produced at a budget of only %90 million. The film was a critical hit as well, as it was praised for its humor and screenplay.
The film also saw Robert Downey Jr. win the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy and was also nominated for several Academy Awards. A sequel, titled Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was also released in 2011 and was another blockbuster.
Sherlock Holmes is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
The Kingsman franchise kickstarted its campaign with the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014, which was created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.
The movie series is about a suit-making company, which turns out to be a secret agency made to take out the global threats that may potentially harm people. The agency is full of fancy and advanced tech that can’t be recognized by the common eye as it is camouflaged, such as an umbrella that can be used as a bulletproof shield or a pair of spectacles that turn out to be arguably the best tech ever made.
The movie series has so far released three movies titled
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and
- The King’s Man
The King’s Man served as a prequel to the franchise and followed the origin of the agency, whereas Kingsman: The Golden Circle served as the direct sequel to the first film. The movie series has been loved by viewers and critics alike as it takes a unique and rather funny approach to spy movies.
The movie series is also set for another release sometime in 2023 titled “Kingsman: The Blue Blood” and is available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar.