The best films on Sky Cinema and NOW TV
Mike Williams | On 22, Nov 2020
It’s not only during times of social-distancing and self-quarantining that Sky Cinema can become an essential part of a person’s day. With its original movies and extensive library of classics, hidden gems, and modern masterpieces, we can all breathe a sigh of relief (no pun intended) that it’s readily available to us at the touch of a button.
From action thrillers and moving dramas to hard-hitting documentaries, here’s your guide to the best films currently available. Don’t have Sky? You can stream all of Sky Cinema live and on-demand through NOW TV, for £11.99 a month. To sign up, click here.
The LEGO Movie
Some may roll their eyes at the idea of a movie about connecting bricks, but not only was this 2014 animated flick starring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Ferrell a roaring success, it’s also a particularly fine piece of filmmaking.
One of Ridley Scott’s finest moments, alongside Blade Runner and Alien, was casting Russell Crowe in this Oscar-winning action-packed drama about a former Roman general seeking revenge on his oppressors for the murder of his family.
The Wolf of Wall Street
If ever you needed proof that Martin Scorsese still had it and could offer up the most outrageous and hilarious of films, this Di Caprio and Margot Robbie-fronted comedy was it.
The late Kirk Douglas may have been the headliner but when you consider the supporting cast included Lawrence Olivier, Tony Curtis, Peter Ustinov, and it was directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick, it’s clear this tale of a slave-turned-revolutionist is something special.
Teen lovers, played by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, are reacquainted after a summer fling left quite an impression on each. A beloved musical that feels like it’s been around for ever.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Leigh Whannell’s superlative horror continually intensifies as Elisabeth Moss’ Cecilia becomes more and more paranoid that her deceased ex has faked his own death in order to send her over the edge. Her goal, as impossible as it sounds, is to prove her controlling former flame is stalking her, and isn’t simply a figment of her nightmarish imagination.
The Shawshank Redemption
Voted the greatest movie of all time in many a poll, Shawshank could easily be dismissed as an overhyped 1990s prison drama, when what you should really be doing is watching how great Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are on screen together.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
A new PotA trilogy couldn’t have started any stronger, as we see the iconic Caesar born against the backdrop of how the world became overrun with talking apes.
The Big Lebowski
An undeniable cult classic and one of the funniest films ever created, the Coen brothers’ comedy stars Jeff Bridges as a White Russian-drinking daytime bowler who gets mistaken for his millionaire namesake, whose wife has gone missing.
Set in the latter part of 19th-century America, freed slave (Jamie Foxx) teams up with an eccentric German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to save his wife from a brutal plantation owner (Di Caprio again).
Ignore the debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas film: it’s a classic to watch any time of the year. Bruce Willis’ vest-wearing John McClane facing off against Alan Rickman’s magnificent Hans Gruber is a feat to behold.
Who You Gonna Call? 1984’s heroes burst onto the big screen in a year when Gremlins, The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were released – and rivalled them all at the box office.
James Stewart and Grace Kelly are drawn together in Hithcock’s thriller, with the former stuck in his apartment and confined to a wheelchair, where he suspects a woman in a neighbouring block is in imminent danger.
When asked to name cinema’s craziest characters, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is right up there. Throw in Scorsese’s meticulous direction and a superb turn from an adolescent Jodie Foster and this drama is guaranteed to leave a grubby, unpleasant taste in your mouth. In a good way.
Ridley Scott’s 1982 vision of the future became synonymous with the sci-fi genre, in a murky dystopian where rogue AI, known as Replicants, must be hunted down.
Saving Private Ryan
Tom Hanks leads a small group of soldiers trying to relay a message to a private (Matt Damon) across a hellish WWII war zone in this modern classic directed by Steven Spielberg.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Sergio Leone’s stellar Western includes Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale and Henry Fonda, telling the tale of a notorious desperado who teams up with an unlikely ally to protect a woman from assassination. As far as Westerns go, this one’s up there.
Early on in Disney’s 1990s renaissance came the age-old story of Aladdin, only this time it was packaged with a list of incredible songs and a superlative voice performance from Robin Williams as the genie.
Another Ridley Scott masterpiece, this quintessential space horror both invented and defined the space slasher movie. Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley also paved the way for strong women to develop into bold and iconic action leads.
James Cameron’s Titanic was one of those once-in-a-generation hits, defining Kate Winslet and a baby-faced Di Caprio as one of the most celebrated on-screen couples in cinema history.
The Dark Knight
Perhaps the strongest instalment in Christopher Nolan’s superlative Batman series, Heather Ledger’s turn as the Joker (for which he won an Oscar) is just one of the many factors that make this such an enthralling watch.
Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic is perhaps the pinnacle of the genre, showcasing career-defining roles for a young Al Pacino and Marlon Brando as the head of the Corleone family.
Regarded by many as the greatest film ever made, Hithcock’s thriller sees James Stewart’s retired detective hired to follow a woman deemed to be in danger – but his past demons come back to haunt him.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick only made a handful of movies but he produced a collection of the most inspiring, thought-provoking cinematic experiences ever. 2001 is one of those that divides many but offers something so expansive and unique it can’t help but be included in a list of all-time greats.
The 1987 original, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, is an untouchable throwback to the bygone era of muscle movies that has plenty going for it.
Amy Heckerling’s tale of a young, rich high-schooler (Alicia Silverstone), who tries to boost new girl Tai’s (Brittany Murphy) rep, is one of the 1990s movies firmly cemented in pop culture.
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman team up as two detectives tracking down a murderer who incorporates the seven deadly sins into his gruesome crimes. Directed by David Fincher.
E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial
When Elliot stumbles upon a tiny alien sifting through the shed, the pair form an inseparable bond that allows director Steven Spielberg to take them on a journey through adolescence, self discovery, and – most importantly – friendship.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of Were-Rabbit
Aardman Studios create a classic in what is possibly Wallace and Gromit’s finest hour. It’s a gorgeous, witty, and highly entertaining plasticine animation.
Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her portrayal as a skittish, fragile ballerina who battles to maintain her sanity after being awarded the lead role in Swan Lake.
Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Ann, an HRH living out a sheltered and bored existence – until she meets an American news reporter who turns her world and expectations upside down.
Admittedly this didn’t do a whole lot for the reputation of Great White Sharks, but it did place a young director named Steven Spielberg on the map, as he crafted one of the all-time great horrors that, believe it or not, was only rated PG.
After stumbling upon an ancient map, a group of misfit kids embark on the swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime.
A.I. – Artificial Intelligence
Originally intended for Stanley Kubrick before his untimely death in 1999, Spielberg took over helming this ambitious sci-fi featuring Haley Joel Osment as a robot child who wants to find his place in the world.
Cameron Crowe’s engaging film follows a successful sports agent (Tom Cruise) who, after a moment of clarity, finds himself stripped of the high life and left to make it on his own – retaining a solitary yet unpredictable client in the shape of Cuba Gooding Jr.
The final movie in MCU’s first major arc, this blockbuster ties off over a decade of films and more superheroes than you can shake a stick at, as the Avengers try to undo what genocidal maniac Thanos achieved in Infinity War. Beautifully concludes the story fans followed for years.
When a bored housewife (Haley Bennett) begins to ingest various inane objects, it may – on the surface – seem like the actions of an isolated stay-at-home-marital arrangement. But when we dig a little deeper the psychologically controlling and suffocating nature of her husband’s dominance over the relationship becomes terrifyingly apparent.
No Country for Old Men
Javier Bardem is a cold and calculating killer in the Coen brothers’ four-time Oscar winner, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Bardem’s ruthless performance.
This Martin Scorsese masterpiece stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta – the latter whom the story centres on – and follows a young kid ascending through the Italian-American mob.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
It’s difficult to imagine how this graphic novel adaptation could work, especially in adapting its zany, psychedelic existence from the comic page, but Edgar Wright manages to pull it off with enormous success.its docu-style fabrication is perfectly balanced with its sci-fi narrative.
Affirming itself firmly into pop culture, the 2001 remake of the 1960 classic offers a super slick update of the heist movie that’s executed to a tee.
Michael B Jordan assumes the part of real-life civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, as he represents wrongly convicted murderer Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx), in a powerful and horrifyingly true legal battle from 1987, where racism was an even bigger plague within the justice system.
Set in the midst of World War II, young Jojo is indoctrinated into the Hitler Youth, where he imagines the dictator himself (played by the film’s director, Taika Waititi) talks to him, as he goes about his childhood blissfully unaware of what’s happening in the real world, raised by his mother (Scarlett Johansson). Far funnier than it sounds, honestly.
This somewhat lonely tale of one man’s (Brad Pitt) journey into space to recover his AWOL father (Tommy Lee Jones) is both a spectacular sci-fi story and heartfelt drama about a father and son.
The Green Mile
This Stephen King adaptation may clock in at over 180 minutes, but performances from the late Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Hanks makes this supernatural drama compelling from start to finish. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself weeping by the time the credits roll.