The Best 20 Movies On NOW TV [For Every Taste!]

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With many of us still spending so much time at home, finding a good movie to watch on TV is sometimes a challenge – especially when there are so many options on a streaming service like NOW TV. Well – we’re here to help!

  • Note: This post was sponsored by NOW TV.

NOW TV is Sky’s streaming TV platform (see our full NOW TV review and guide), and it doesn’t require a lengthy contract: it’s divided into flexible packages (“passes”) of content – Entertainment, Cinema, Kids and Sports. 

The Sky Cinema Pass offers 12 live “Sky Cinema” channels, with new movie premieres every week, including many of the most recent blockbusters, and a rich back-catalogue – therefore, it’s the perfect place to find top-rated films to watch.

In this list, I’ve gathered 20 of the best films that are currently available to stream on NOW TV’s Cinema pass. They range from thrillers to comedies, sci-fi and drama – and they’re all critically acclaimed masterpieces, that are also fun to watch (so no only-for-film-students titles in this list!).

The NOW TV Sky Cinema pass normally costs £11.99/month, but you can get a 7-days FREE trial and watch as many movies as you want. (However, you can’t get the special £9.99/m price following a free trial).

So grab your popcorn, and here we go…

1. Us (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

One of the newest films on this list, Us is a very effective horror film that not only glues you to your seat – but also makes you think.

us movie poster

Written and directed by Jordan Peele (who saw major success with Get Out, two years earlier) and starring Lupita Nyong’o, Us tells the story of a family who goes on holiday, only to meet a family of doppelgängers who start harassing them violently. (And I won’t tell you anything else about the plot – to avoid spoilers…)

The social allegories are a little on the nose at times, but even if you ignore them, you’ll get a smart, terrifying experience that subverts some of the horror movie tropes we’re so used to seeing.

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97

Super-heroes are all the rage in recent years, so it was only natural for big-budget animated films to follow suit.

But Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t really what you’d expect, being one of the smartest super-hero movies around, even if you’re not usually a fan of animated films.

The story follows Miles Morales, a young Spider-Man who has to find and collaborate with other Spider-Mans from parallel dimensions (hence the multi-verse, or Spider-verse), in order to defeat, well, evil forces.

While the stakes of the story are high, the film makes a point of not taking itself too seriously, combining humour, action and feel-good moments into one roller-coaster of an experience.

3. Blade Runner (1982)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90

Jumping back in time to the 80’s, Ridley Scott’s influential sci-fi detective story actually takes place in… 2019.

But despite the years that have passed, Blade Runner still works great as a futuristic film-noir story, about a “blade runner” (Harrison Ford) who’s hunting replicants (robots that look like humans) on a murderous mission to find their creator.

blade runner harrison ford

If a lot of the story elements and images look familiar, it’s because so many movies and TV shows have copied Blade Runner’s ideas over the years – but you really must watch (or re-watch) the original, to understand why it had such a monumental impact.

There are actually THREE versions of Blade Runner on NOW TV: the original Theatrical Cut from 1982, The Director’s Cut, which contrary to the name was mostly created by the studio, and The Final Cut, which Ridley Scott had total control over. It’s a big debate, but I still believe you should start with the original version – and THEN, when you’re hooked, check out the expanded ones.

4. Alien (1979)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98

Another sci-fi horror classic from Ridley Scott, this is the film that started the ongoing Alien franchise – and it’s hard to believe it’s now over 40-years-old, with how fresh it still feels.

Alien, takes place in the distant future, on a commerce spaceship where the crew is attacked by a horrifying life form. A hunt then begins, and the film moves from a sci-fi space opera to dark horror.

There are endless arguments on which film is better – this one, or James Cameron’s sequel, Aliens – but since both are available on NOW TV, you can watch and decide for yourself. And, as with Blade Runner, there’s a “Director’s Cut” of Alien – which is the version that’s currently on NOW TV.

5. Django Unchained (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87

As Quentin Tarantino movies go, especially the ones from the last decade, this is one of those that’s easier to “digest” – but still, you probably need to be a Tarantino fan (or someone who’s about to become one) to enjoy this.

The movie is set in 1858, and it follows a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who joins forces with a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) on a rescue mission, to save his wife from a plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

The movie has all of Tarantino’s tropes – it’s bloody, it’s violent, and there’s A LOT of witty talking. And then some more talking. But if you like Tarantino’s dialogues, you’re in for a treat.

6. Psycho (1960)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96

Jumping back in time again, Pyscho is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best-known horror films, and for good reason.

The film starts with a secretary who steals a large sum of money, and, while on the run, ends up in a creepy motel run by a young man – Norman Bates – and his mother.

psycho norman bates

It’s a thriller through-and-through, but it’s fascinating to see how the narrative changes mid-film, and Anthony Perkins‘ depiction of the charming and terrifying Bates, is really a spectacle of acting.

And yes, even after more than six decades, Psycho still works – it never feels slow (like many other older films do), and even if you’re re-watching it for the 5th time, that infamous shower scene will still make you jump…

7. Jaws (1975)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98

One of Steven Spielberg’s earliest films, Jaws rewrote the rules on Hollywood hits and blockbuster thrillers. And, unsurprisingly – it’s just as terrifying today as it was 45 years ago.

Jaws poster

The story is pretty simple – there’s a beach community, and there’s a scary, violent shark. The local sheriff, along with a couple of of his friends, then have to fight said shark – while people are getting, well, eaten.

As simplistic as it sounds, Spielberg and his cast – Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and others – manage to turn this into a masterpiece that burns slowly – and then erupts into a volcano of blood and sharp teeth.

8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90

Another classic that every movie-lover should watch, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, directed by George Roy Hill, follows two outlaws and their gang of train-robbing misfits. When one of their robberies fails – they have to start running…

While the movie has a witty, enjoyable script – it relies first and foremost on the incredible chemistry between its two leads – Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who were at the top of their game in this film.

It really is an old-school adventure, with guns, heists, romance – and one of the most famous endings in movie history.

9. Die Hard (1988)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94

There’s little chance you’re not familiar with Die HardBruce Willis’ ultimate action movie – but even if you’ve watched it before (more than once), it always calls for a re-watch. (Some even say it’s a perfect Christmas movie – so yes, I watched it last Christmas, and indeed – it worked!)

The first Die Hard (and probably best in the series) tells the story of a cop who finds himself fighting German terrorists who have taken his wife – and her co-workers – hostage.

Bruce Willis does all the shticks that made him famous – he’s witty and charming, angry at the right moments, and always ready to slip in a joke. All, of course, while battling bad men with guns.

10. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94

The culmination of everything Marvel did with their super-heroes for more than 10 years, it’s hard to talk about this film without addressing the ones that came before it.

Avengers infinity war

But I picked this one in particular, because it really shows Marvel excelling at what they do: it’s thrilling, and funny, and it’ll make you cry. It takes its story very seriously, while also not taking itself too seriously.

With a roster of stars too long to list, (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman – to name just a few), you owe it to yourself to end the saga with this super-hero masterpiece. And one watch just isn’t enough.

11. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91

Speaking about epic sagas, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which started with this one, really wrote the book on what a high-budget fantasy series should look like.

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, the movie brings together several tremendous actors, as the Hobbit and his friends, who go on a journey to save Middle-earth from the evil Sauron.

The Lord of the rings

Peter Jackson’s direction, the special effects and the lush views of New Zealand, make this film feel like an old-school adventure, while being fresh and modern at the same time. If you haven’t watched it at all – or only did when it was released almost 20 years ago – you owe it to yourself to visit Middle-earth once again.

12. Unforgiven (1992)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96

Do you like Westerns and the American wild west? So did Clint Eastwood, who also starred in some of the genre’s most iconic films. And then, he broke it all apart in Unforgiven.

Eastwood, who directed and starred in this film (along with Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris and others), took the building blocks of the classic westerns, and turned them on their head.

The film tells the story of an old, retired “gunslinger” (Eastwood) who decides to go on one last job, along with his old friend and a young, cocky kid. He soon finds that the violence and “codes” of those days (and those films), weren’t as easy and “fun” as we were led to believe…

13. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90

This emotional drama, which was based on a novella by Stephen King, is often listed as one of the best films of all times – and for good reason.

Set in a prison, the film follows the friendship that blooms between two prisoners – Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, who are both sentenced to life in prison.

All the tropes of a prison-movie are there – the villainous guard, the violent inmates and the corruption. But somehow, the film manages to turn into an emotional feel-good movie, which manages to be serious and uplifting at the same time.

14. Le Mans ’66: Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92

If you like car racing films, this one is going to scratch that itch and then some. However, it’s not just about fast cars – it’s also a drama based on a true story.

LeMans66 movie

The film follows American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) who teams up with British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), to build a revolutionary race car for Ford to defeat Ferrari at the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966.

Damon and Bale give an incredible performance that really elevates the action into an emotional drama.

15. The Lion King (1994)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93

Almost 30 years after its original release, The Lion King is still just as moving, funny and spectacular as it was back then.

Everyone knows the story by now – the lion prince, Simba, has to learn how to grow up quickly, when trouble befalls his father, The Lion King, due to a fight with the evil uncle Scar.

Whether you’ve already watched the hit West End musical, or the new “live-action” version (which is also on NOW TV), this is the place to start (or re-watch) – the songs are as good as you remember them, the animated visuals are stunning, and you’re bound to shed a tear – even after all these years.

16. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98

While we’re on the topic of tears – no eyes were left dry in movie theatres when E.T. was first released, and it’s been making people cry for almost 40 years now.

e.t. and elliot

That being said, if you somehow haven’t watched it yet, E.T. is not a tragic story – it’s a sci-fi boy-meets-alien story, that – in true Steven Spielberg fashion – also manages to be a touching story about childhood and where your home is.

E.T. is a heartwarming adventure, with the beautiful and iconic music from John Williams, and every generation of parents should watch this with their children. (Or alone with some ice cream, that’s fine too!)

17. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83

A wacky comedy that’s been quoted and re-quoted since its release, this unique film from the Coen Brothers relies heavily on the performances of the brilliant cast, and the witty dialogues.

The film follows the story of Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), who – due to a case of mistaken identity – falls into a plot of crime, drugs, guns, extortion and violent kidnappings.

The Dude enlists the help of his bowling buddies – John Goodman and Steve Buscemi – but, as expected, it all goes haywire.

Despite some of the “dark” topics, this film manages to be funny as hell, and you’re bound to become another Lebowski fan by the end.

18. Notting Hill (1999)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83

Romantic comedies aren’t as popular today as they once were, but Notting Hill represents one of the genre’s highs, with two stars that once dominated the category – Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

Notting Hill julia roberts hugh grant

The film tells the story of a bookshop owner (Grant) in Notting Hill, who meets a famous American movie star – Julia Roberts (well, she’s actually called Anna Scott in the film).

The two will have to get over their differences – the book world vs the movie world, the Brits vs the Americans, men vs women – everything you would expect from a classic Rom-Com.

But it’s all done in a sweet, gentle way, and it’ll charm you all the way through to the end.

19. Forrest Gump (1994)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71 (Audience Score: 95!)

Yep, Forrest Gump only has a 71 on Rotten Tomatoes’ critics meter – but bear with me, because the Audience Score tells a very different story at 95.

So yes, this film about a man with an IQ of 75 (Tom Hanks) who happens to take part in some of modern American History’s greatest moments, is not without faults – some might say it’s too sentimental, some might say it’s too much on the nose – but audiences love it, and for good reason.

Gump’s character, as portrayed by Hanks, is truly charming – so he carries the emotional weight of the larger-than-life events on his shoulders. It’s certainly a sentimental ride, and the rich soundtrack, full of American classics from the relevant periods, is also a huge plus.

It might feel a bit too naive for today’s cynical crowds – but if you leave the sarcasm behind, just for a couple of hours – you’re going to enjoy this loving fable.

20. Rocketman (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89

Another musical (of sorts), this biopic loosely follows the life of Elton John, from his tough childhood, through his difficult drug-filled years, and becoming an international sensation.

Rocketman movie

Taron Egerton does a fantastic job as Elton, and Jamie Bell excels as Elton’s longtime friend (and lyricist) Bernie Taupin – the film is just as much about their friendship as it is about the music.

The songs are sprinkled throughout the film, not necessarily on the “proper” timelines, but in places where they fit the plot and Elton’s emotional state at the time.

If you’re a fan of Elton John and his songs, this is a must-watch, and it will surely increase your appreciation of the man and his music.

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