25.01.2022

These are, in our humble opinion, the 40 best movies of all time

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Genre: Drama

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Plot: In 1985 Texas, free-wheeling cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is given 30 days to live when he is diagnosed with Aids – but he refuses to lay down and die. Joining with a band of equally determined sufferers, many of whom he would have shunned before, he sets about sourcing alternative treatments from all over the world, bypassing the system to get medication to those who need it. Dallas Buyers Club earned three Oscars at the 2014 Academy Awards: Best Actor (McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Leto) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Where to watch: Netflix

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Genre: Comedy-drama
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

Plot: Billy Wilder’s musical masterpiece frequently tops lists of the best films ever made. When two struggling male musicians witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, they go on the run from the mob and disguise themselves as women, joining an all-female band. But complications set in for the cross-dressing pair when one becomes the focus of attention of a rich suitor, and the other falls for another member of the band. It also has one of the best last lines in cinematic history: “Well, nobody’s perfect!”
Where to watch: BBC iPlayer

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender

Plot: The true story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man in 1841, working as a violinist and living with his wife and two children in New York, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. 12 Years a Slave was the first film directed and produced by a black filmmaker (Steve McQueen) and also the first to be written by an African-American (John Ridley) to win the Academy Award for ‘Best Motion Picture of the Year’. It also earned two other Oscars: for Lupita Nyong’o as ‘Best Supporting Actress’; and for Ridley’s ‘Adapted Screenplay’.
Where to watch: Netflix

Goodfellas (1990)

Genre: Crime
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

Plot: Henry Hill (Liotta) recounts his life as a mobster in the Italian-American crime syndicate, from starting out as a petty criminal on the streets of Brooklyn to rising through the ranks of New York gangsters, detailing relationships with his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and mob partners Jimmy Conway (De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Pesci). Based on the non-fiction best-seller Wiseguy by Nicolas Pileggi.
Where to watch: Netflix

Marriage Story (2019)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern

Plot: An insightful, blindsiding story of an imploding marriage and two individuals trying to navigate separation while being parents to their young son. It’s a bittersweet heartbreaker that also some laugh-out-loud moments but won’t leave a try eye on the sofa. Laura Dern scooped an Oscar for her superb role as razor-sharp divorce lawyer Nora Fanshaw.
Where to watch: Netflix

Toy Story (1995)

Genre: Animation
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

Plot: Pixar’s first feature is one the animation genre’s most treasured films. On the surface it’s about some talking toys, but really it’s a heartfelt tale of friendship, loyalty, jealousy, self-identity and acceptance. We hope generations of children and adults alike continue watching it for years to come.
Where to watch: Disney Plus

Lion (2016)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara

Plot: Adapted from the novel A Long Way Home by Larry Buttrose and Saroo Brierley, Lion is the blisteringly heart-wrenching story of an Indian man who was adopted by an Australian family at five years old, after he became stranded in Kolkata thousands of kilometres from home. Now, he is determined to return home and track down his birth family – despite only having distant memories and the use of Google Earth.
Where to watch: Netflix

The Godfather (1972)

Genre: Crime
Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Plot: Often hailed as one of the best films of all time, The Godfather is a multi-generational crime epic that tells the story of Don Corleone (Brando), the head of a Mafia family who passes control of his dynasty to his reluctant son Michael (Pacino), who defied his father by joining the Marines in World War II and has just returned a war hero. This Francis Ford Coppola classic won three Academy Awards in 1973 for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay. If you haven’t yet had the wholly entertaining pleasure of seeing Coppola’s mafia movies, prepare yourselves.
Where to watch: Now TV

Bridesmaids (2011)

Genre: Comedy
Stars: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy

Plot: Life isn’t exactly going to plan for Annie (Wiig), who’s lost her bakery business, moves back in with her mum – and who’s best friend has just got engaged, leaving her in fierce competition with a controlling bridesmaid.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

No Country For Old Men (2007)

Genre: Crime
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin

Plot: When hunter Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong, he can’t resist the temptation to take the two million dollars in cash left behind. He is then pursued by psychopathic killer Anton Chigurh (Bardem) while veteran lawman Sheriff Bell (Jones) becomes entwined in their chase. A blood-soaked contemporary Western with a gripping and powerful performance from Bardem, which earned him one of the film’s four Oscars.
Where to watch: Netflix

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

Genre: Drama
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

Plot: It’s A Wonderful Life wasn’t a commercial success by any means when it was first released, but now it’s a Christmas classic and one of very few films worth revisiting every year (if not more). Businessman George Bailey (Stewart) thinks of himself as a failure, is perpetually in debt and is contemplating suicide. Until an angel is sent from heaven to show George how different life would have been if he’d never been born.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

21 Jump Street (2012)

Genre: Comedy
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum

Plot: Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are a pair of police officers who are very bad at being police officers. When they join the Jump Street unit, they are assigned to go undercover at a high school to shut down a dangerous drug ring. But they soon discover high school isn’t exactly what it used to be like, and they must confront teenage social anxieties as well as try to do their job – with, obviously, hilarious consequences.
Where to watch: Netflix

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Genre: Romance
Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher

Plot: A classic feel-good flick from writer Nora Ephron and director Rob Reiner about a man and a woman who have been friends for years, but resist sexual attraction in case it ruins what they have. A comedy classic that asks the question: can a man and a woman ever be ‘just friends’?
Where to watch: Netflix

Notting Hill (1999)

Genre: Romance
Stars: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant

Plot: William Thacker (Grant) is working in his Notting Hill bookshop one day when famous American actress Anna Scott (Roberts) – who is in London working on a film – walks in and wants to buy a book off him. Cue the next scene where he spills juice all down her top and invites her back to his flat to get changed, and the love story blossoms from there. This being a Richard Curtis classic rom-com though, there are inevitable complications, such as the relentless press that won’t leave Anna alone.
Where to watch: Now TV

Gravity (2013)

Genre: Sci-fi
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Plot: This heart-pounding sci-fi thriller sees astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (Clooney) stranded in deep space after their shuttle is destroyed during a spacewalk. The only thing they have is each other, tied together and spiralling out into the abyss – and running out of their oxygen supply.
Where to watch: Now TV

Moonlight (2016)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland

Plot: Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight a complex, breathtaking coming-of-age triptych following a young gay black man from Miami as he grows from a boy, to a teen, to a young man and struggles to find himself. It’s a masterpiece about identity, sexuality, masculinity, race, friendship, pain and enduring love that we need now more than ever.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Genre: War
Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore

Plot: This multi Oscar-winning war epic from Steven Spielberg is set during the Normandy invasion of World War II and follows Captain John Miller (Hanks), who takes his men behind enemy lines to retrieve Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat.
Where to watch: Now TV

The Terminator (1984)

Genre: Sci-fi
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Plot: One of the most successful and influential science fiction movies ever made, The Terminator was James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakthrough film. In a post-apocalyptic 2029, Schwarzenegger is a cyborg assassin sent back to 1984 to kill a woman whose unborn son will be John Connor, who will lead the human rebels against the machines that have taken over the Earth.
Where to watch: Netflix

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Genre: Comedy
Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd

Plot: Will Ferrel is Ron Burgundy in this laugh-out-loud, highly quotable, entirely ridiculous comedy hit from Adam McKay. Ron is the highest-rated newsman in San Diego, along with his all-male (and equally useless) team at Channel 4 News, but his popularity is threatened when a talented female journalist, Veronica Corningstone (Applegate), is hired as a news anchor.
Where to watch: Now TV

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Genre: Comedy-drama
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

Plot: Five high school students from different walks of life meet in Saturday detention. They each tell their own story – touching on mental illness, bullying and abuse – and by the end of the day, they see each other in a different light.
Where to watch: Netflix

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Genre: Superhero
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista

Plot: A huge it from Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy sees a group of intergalactic misfits – led by space adventurer Peter Quill (Pratt) – pull together to stop an evil and powerful villain from destroying the universe.
Where to watch: Disney Plus

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

Plot: Written by Affleck and Damon, Good Will Hunting follows 20-year-old South Boston janitor Will Hunting who has a genius-level IQ and solves the most challenging mathematical problems. After assaulting a police officer, Will must seek treatment from therapist Sean Maguire (Williams), who helps him realise there’s more to himself than he thinks.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Ex Machina (2014)

Genre: Sci-fi
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Plot: Ex Machina follows Caleb Smith (Gleeson), a young coder at a tech company who participates in a ground-breaking experiment, where he must investigate the human qualities of Ava (Vikander), a remarkably advanced robot. This psychological, cerebral film picked up the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects at the 2016 Oscars.
Where to watch: Netflix

Spotlight (2015)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy James

Plot: Based on a true story, in 2001 the editor of The Boston Globe, Martin Baron, assigns a team of journalists to investigate child molestation accusations against a local priest. Editor Walter “Robby” Robinson (Keaton), reporters Michael Rezendes (Ruffalo), Matt Carroll (James) and Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams) begin a mission to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church. This film won the ‘Best Motion Picture of the Year’ Oscar in 2016, as well as the Academy Award for ‘Best Writing, Original Screenplay’.
Where to watch: Netflix

Dunkirk (2017)

Genre: War
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance

Plot: During World War II, allied soldiers from the British Empire, Belgium and France try to evacuate from the war-torn beaches of Dunkirk. This Christopher Nolan war epic picked up three Oscars and will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Where to watch: Netflix

Get Out (2017)

Genre: Horror
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

Plot: The directorial debut from writer and comedian Jordan Peele, Get Out is the story of Chris (Kaluuya), an African-American man who visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend. At first, Chris thinks her family’s strange reception is due to uneasiness about their inter-racial relationship, but as strange things start to happen over the weekend, Chris starts to realise his girlfriend’s family could be more dangerous than he thought.

Get Out was praised for its writing, acting and themes of systemic racism, white America’s treatment of its black citizens and, as Peele himself (who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his film) puts it: “The real thing at hand here is slavery… It’s some dark sh*t”.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

Plot: Shawshank is commonly credited as being one of the best movies of all time. Andy Dufresne (Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover – but only he knows he’s innocent. The film tells the story of his friendship with fellow prisoner Red (Freeman) over a number of years.
Where to watch: Now TV

Mean Girls

Genre: Comedy
Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams

Plot: Perhaps the most quotable feel-good flick of all time? Cady Heron (Lohan) falls in with the shallow clique of ‘Plastics’ at her new school, but chaos ensues when she falls for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of lead Plastic Regina George (McAdams). With Tina Fey behind the screenplay, you know you’re guaranteed many LOLs.
Where to watch: Now TV

Django Unchained (2012)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

Plot: A Tarantino classic set in 1858 and following freed slave Django (Foxx) who teams up with a charismatic and brilliant bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) to hunt the South’s most dangerous criminals. Their work takes them to the plantation owned by the malicious Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), where Django’s long-lost wife (Washington) is still a slave.
Where to watch: Now TV

The Lion King (1994, 2019)

Genre: Animation
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones

Plot: The universally-loved story of Simba just had to make it onto the list. While the 2019 remake boasts music from Donald Glover and Beyoncé, the 1994 original will always have a place in our hearts.
Where to watch: Disney Plus

The Revenant (2015)

Genre: Action
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

Plot: The film that finally earned Leo an Oscar! Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is severely injured after a bear attack while exploring the unchartered wilderness in 1823, and left for dead by his own hunting team. The legendary frontiersman must use skills to survive in the harsh and unforgiving landscape, while seeking vengeance on the man who betrayed him.
Where to watch: Netflix

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Genre: Fantasy
Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen

Plot: The culmination of the epic Peter Jackson trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien classic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the final battle for Middle-Earth. Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s evil army as hobbits Frodo and Sam reach Mordor to destroy the One Ring. The film picked up an astonishing 11 Oscars in 2004.
Where to watch: Netflix

Fargo (1996)

Genre: Crime
Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi

Plot: Set in Minnesota in 1987, Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) is so desperate for money that he hires two men to kidnap his own wife, so that he can collect the ransom from her wealthy father, paying the thugs and alleviating his own debt. Their scheme falls apart due to the henchmen shooting a state trooper, plus the persistent work of policewoman Marge Gunderson (McDormand). A Coen Brothers classic.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Love Actually (2003)

Genre: Romance
Stars: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Martin Freeman

Plot: Another Richard Curtis classic rom-com that just had to make the cut. With nine intertwining stories perfectly examining the complexities of love, this is a film that’s definitely not just for Christmas.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Hidden Figures (2016)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Plot: Three female African-American mathematicians played a pivotal role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program, launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Not only were they the brains behind one of the most significant operations in history, they also had to cope with racial and gender discrimination in the workplace.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Fight Club (1999)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton

Plot: The David Fincher classic, starring Brad Pitt and based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, follows a depressed, white-collared insomniac who forms an underground fight club with Tyler (Pitt), a careless soap salesman, but their partnership is challenged when Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) catches Tyler’s attention.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Vertigo (1958)

Genre: Thriller
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Plot: Although it was dismissed when it was first released, Vertigo is now hailed as one of Hitchcock’s best films. It tells the tale of former detective Scottie Ferguson (Stewart) who suffers a fear of heights is hired to prevent an old friend’s wife from committing suicide – but he becomes infatuated with her.
Where to watch: Netflix

Forrest Gump (1994)

Genre: Drama
Stars: Tom Hanks

Plot: An Alabama man with an IQ of 75 recounts the early years of his remarkable life, which took place during some of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century, including the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies, the Vietnam War and Watergate. All the while, he never gives up hope of being reunited with his childhood sweetheart, Jenny.
Where to watch: Now TV

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Genre: Thriller
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Plot: Clarice Starling (Foster) is part of the FBI’s training academy investigating a serial killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill. Clarice ventures into a maximum-security mental asylum to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) – a psychiatrist serving life behind bars for murder and cannibalism – in the hope he can shine some light on the case. The film picked up five Oscars and perfectly bridges the gap between sharp psychological thriller and bloody, murderous, hide-behind-your-hands horror. It still manages to make us jump no matter how many times we’ve seen it
Where to watch: Netflix

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Genre: Romance
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Plot: Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman’ is spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family where she falls head over heels in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle. When Johnny’s dance partner, Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), finds herself pregnant after a fling with one of the waiters, Baby volunteers to take her place. But convinced Johnny is nothing but low-life scum, Baby’s dad refuses. We came for the romance (read: topless Patrick Swayze), we stayed for the absolutely banging soundtrack.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime

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