Best new British Movies (2016) - Top Netflix & Cinema

The best British films… where to start? Of course this list is far but exhaustive, but these are some recent films you definitely shouldn’t miss!
The Vore's Film staff selects the top best British movies of 2016 in cinema or on DVD or Netfix. Are Andrew Haigh, Gavin Hood & Bill Condon United Kingdom's biggest directors?

British movies2016
Popular actorsCharlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay & Dolly Wells
Trending movies45 Years, The Goob & Eye in the Sky

Best British movies on Netflix or DVD in 2016

Best British movies out on DVD, Bluray or VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  1. Locke (11-04-2014)
  2. Locke isn’t the first film that takes entirely place in a single space. Recently we’ve seen Buried (a coffin) and All is Lost (a yacht). In Locke, we follow Tom Hardy in a power house role as Ivan Locke, a construction foreman determined to come to terms with something he did in the recent past. The entire film takes place in a car and the only thing we see and hear is Locke making phone calls via his speakers which unravels his recent past and his current plan bit by bit to the viewer. A single location film is always tricky, as it either becomes a gimmick or just plain boring. Stephen Knights’ clever and economically written script however, makes this British film a standout in the subgenre.

    Trailer of Locke on Youtube

    Release date11-04-2014
    DirectorSteven Knight (Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders & Dirty Pretty Things)
    StarringTom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson & Andrew Scott
    Similar moviesBuried & All is Lost
    Themesinfedility, trust, drama,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsexceptional • gripping •
    Length85 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  3. Sightseers (10-05-2013)
  4. Even though Wheatly is still a new kid on the block in English cinema, it feels he’s already an established name. Given the years he has been active as a film maker, his output has been quite high. Which is a good thing, because his dark yet fresh films are quite something. We could easily have chosen any of his other features from the 2010’s, but picked Sightseers, as it embodies what Wheatley stands for the best. A darkly humourous, twisted film about a seemingly ordinary couple in a camper on a rampage through England. Please make sure to check his other films too!

    Trailer of Sightseers on Youtube

    Release date10-05-2013
    Director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Down Terrace & A Field in England)
    StarringAlice Lowe, Kenneth Hadley & Steve Oram
    Similar moviesAlan Partridge & Kill List
    Themesrebellion, adventure, comedy, crime,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsintense • twisted •
    Length88 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  5. Under the Skin (14-03-2014)
  6. In 2004, Jonathan Glazer directed Birth, a reincarnation drama with Nicole Kidman which was met with mixed results. For years it was silent around Glazer, up to a point where it wasn’t clear whether he would ever shoot a movie again. Thank God he did. Under the Skin, which stars Scarlett Johansson in probably her most interesting role since Lost in Translation, is a small cinematic wonder. Johansson plays an alien seductress who preys on men in Scotland. Under the Skin is sexy, enigmatic and visually overwhelming. Please, make sure to watch this one on a big screen. Comparisons have been drawn to Stanley Kubricks’ work, which for once isn’t an overstatement. One of the more innovative and best British films of the last few years.

    Trailer of Under the Skin on Youtube

    Release date14-03-2014
    DirectorJonathan Glazer (Sexy Beat, Birth & Radiohead: 7 Television Commercials)
    StarringScarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams & Lynsey Taylor Mackay
    Similar moviesSpecies & Lucy
    Themesextraterrestial life, men, drama, science fiction, thriller,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsbreath-taking • incomparable •
    Length108 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  7. The Double (04-04-2014)
  8. Again Richard Ayoade. Well, you could easily say he’s our favorite new British director. With The Double, which is loosely based on Dostoyevski’s famous novella,he’s in for something entirely different than Submarine. The result is daring and fascinating and ultimately better. Jesse Eisenberg, who is going through somewhat of a renaissance after a few disappointing roles, is Simon James, a colorless employee of a nondescript Soviet-like workstation. The events take a surprising turn when all of a sudden his doppelgänger, James Simon (played by Eisenberg as well) shows up. James is his, however, his opposite in literally everything, which makes Simons’ life even harder than it already was. The Double is both visually stunning and dazzling story-wise. A British film for which the word ‘kafka-esque’ seemed to be invented.

    Trailer of The Double on Youtube

    Release date04-04-2014
    DirectorRichard Ayoade (Submarine, The Watch & The Boxtrolls)
    StarringJesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska & Wallace Shawn
    Similar moviesFrank & Her
    Themesbullying, jealousy, comedy, drama, thriller,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsbased on a novel • futuristic •
    Length93 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  9. Philomena (27-11-2013)
  10. Philomena stole the hearts of many last year. At one point, it even seemed to have a serious chance at winning the Best Foreign Film oscar. It didn’t, which is a good thing, considering the films it was competing with. Still, Philomena is a really enjoyable and moving film. Steve Coogan, who seems to become a better actor every year, is brilliant as a cocky politician turned journalist who’s determined to unravel a simple Irishwoman’s (even more brilliantly and atypically portrayed by Judi Dench) past.

    Trailer of Philomena on Youtube

    Release date27-11-2013
    DirectorStephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen & Dangerous Liaisons )
    StarringJudi Dench, Steve Coogan & Sophie Kennedy Clark
    Similar moviesThe Woman in Gold & Nerbaska
    Themesorphans, religion, biographical, drama,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsbiographical • nice •
    Length98 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  11. Shell (15-03-2013)
  12. Out of nowhere came Scott Graham, a young and very promising Scottish director. Shell is a small, intimate coming of age story about a girl who lives with her lonely, surly father in a secluded area somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. They own a gas station and the passing drivers are about the only people who connect her to the world outside theirs. Dialogues are sparse in this film, as father and daughter merely communicate without talking, fastknit but opressive as their relationship has grown.

    Trailer of Shell on Youtube

    Release date15-03-2013
    DirectorScott Graham (Iona & Native Son)
    StarringJoseph Mawle, Chloe Pirrie & Tam Dean Burn
    Similar moviesFor Those in Peril & Gregory's Girl
    Themesfamilies, growing up, drama,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordslife-like • powerful •
    Length91 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  13. The Woman in Black (03-02-2012)
  14. Nobody seemed to expect much of Daniel Radcliffe’s acting skills upon finishing the Harry Potter series. In The Woman in Black, he proved he is pretty solid and he actually keeps on proving it in all the latest features he is in. The Woman in Black (produced by legendary horror company Hammer!) is a nice, old-fashioned haunted house tale about a young widowed lawyer who has to arrange the sale of an old house, located on a remote island. This film doesn’t really offer anything new, but James Watkins’ atmospheric gothic flick proves that a horror film full of cliches and archetypes can still be scary as hell.

    Trailer of The Woman in Black on Youtube

    Release date03-02-2012
    DirectorJames Watkins (Eden Lake, My Little Eye & The Descent: Part 2)
    StarringDaniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer & Ciarán Hinds
    Similar moviesMama & Oculus
    Themescourtroom, memories, drama, horror, thriller,
    CountryCanada • Sweden • United Kingdom •
    Keywordsfrightening • spell-binding •
    Length95 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  15. Ginger & Rosa (19-10-2012)
  16. There are a few pretty good films out there that show that the free (sexual) spirit of the sixties and seventies wasn’t always that great, like Lukas Moodyssons’ Together (2000) and Dorotheé van den Berghe’s My Queen Karo (2009). Ginger & Rosa is one of those films too. Elle Fanning impressively plays a young girl whose world is turned upside down when her best friend is starting an affair with her father. The film starts out as a mediocre coming of age film, but soon evolves into a poignant portrait of a time in which intellectuals could use the free spirit for their own benefits.

    Trailer of Ginger & Rosa on Youtube

    Release date19-10-2012
    DirectorSally Potter (Orlando, The Man Who Cried & The Tango Lesson )
    StarringElle Fanning, Alice Englert, Annette Bening & Oliver Platt
    Similar moviesVery Good Girls & It Felt Like Love
    Themesbetrayal, childhood, drama,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordscomplicated • intense •
    Length90 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  17. Broken (22-08-2012)
  18. And yet another debut. And again a book adaptation; family drama film Broken is loosely based on Harper Lee’s masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird. Broken‘s tone is a lot darker, but it shares the book’s core. Skunk is an eleven year old girl who, like in so many coming of age stories, loses her innocence during a summer, after she’s confronted with a fair amount of injustice. Director Norris succeeds wonderfully in translating a classic Southern Gothic tale to a modern day story in England, but the films’ greatest asset is young Eloise Laurence, who portrays Skunk in such a nuanced way.

    Trailer of Broken on Youtube

    Release date22-08-2012
    DirectorRufus Norris (London Road, Demon Wind & National Theatre Live: Everyman )
    StarringCharlie Booty, Lily James, Tim Roth & Eloise Laurence
    Similar moviesThe Selfish Giant & Starred Up
    Themesfamilies, parenting, drama, romance,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsgripping • outstanding •
    Length91 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  19. Weekend (04-11-2011)
  20. We already discussed this one earlier, but Weekend is simply too good to leave it out here. The set up is simple and brilliantly effective. Two gay guys meet each other and fall in love over the course of a weekend. Russell is an introvert guy, who still hasn’t completely come to terms with his sexuality while Glen is outgoing and slightly rebellious, but somehow the chemistry is enormous. The sad thing is however, Glen leaves for the United States after the weekend. Weekend is achingly beautiful and provokes a feeling so strong you can almost taste it.

    Trailer of Weekend on Youtube

    Release date04-11-2011
    DirectorAndrew Haigh (Gladiator, 45 Years & Greek Pete)
    StarringTom Cullen, Chris New & Jonathan Race
    Similar moviesSummerstorm & Jongens
    Themesmen, sexuality, drama, romance,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsmagnificent • romantic •
    Length97 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  21. Wuthering Heights (21-01-2012)
  22. Andrea Arnold left her mark with her previous efforts Red Road (2007) and Fish Tank (2009). Wurthering Heights, a remarkable take on the well known and often adapted book is something different, while at the same time Arnold maintains her distinctive raw and poetic style, reminiscent of Terence Malick’s best work. It’s daring how she made a so often told story her own. A refreshing little gem amongst that endless list of well crafted but often boring Brontë and Austen adaptations.

    Trailer of Wuthering Heights on Youtube

    Release date21-01-2012
    DirectorAndrea Arnold (Fish Tank & Red Road )
    Starring Kaya Scodelario, James Howson & Solomon Glave
    Similar moviesSense and Sensibility & Jane Eyre
    Themeslove, women, drama, romance,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsbased on a novel • peculiar •
    Length129 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  23. Tyrannosaur (07-10-2011)
  24. Another promising debut film marking a bright future for British cinema. Tyrannosaur can be placed in a long English tradition of social-realist drama, the films Ken Loach and his followers have patented. It tells the unlikely story of Joseph, a lower class widower with some serious anger issues and Hannah, a devote Christian who has her domestic problems of her own. Both wounded souls in their own respect, Joseph and Hannah find comfort in each others’ company. Considine shows that these typical raw British lower class stories never wear out, providing that you tell them craftfully.

    Trailer of Tyrannosaur on Youtube

    Release date07-10-2011
    DirectorPaddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum, In America & Cinderella Man)
    StarringPeter Mullan, Archie Lal & Jag Sanghera
    Similar moviesBreaking the Waves & Animal Kingdom
    Themesdomestic violence, love, drama,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsstriking • tragic •
    Length92 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  25. Never Let Me Go (15-10-2010)
  26. ‘Read the book first’, is what people always say when you’re about to watch an adaptation of a novel. I’m not quite sure if that goes for British-Japanese novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s works too, as Remains of the Day is a much better film than a book. Never Let Me Go, based on a Ishiguro novel too, is quite impressive, which makes me wonder how much I’ll like the book. It’s a dystopian romance story, set in a boarding school in an alternate time. It would be a waste to spoil the unexpected twist in the plot, but lets say it gives you a clear idea of the horrific ‘side effects’ of cloning.

    Trailer of Never Let Me Go on Youtube

    Release date15-10-2010
    DirectorMark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Static & Michael Jackson: HIStory on Film - Volume II)
    StarringKeira Knightley, Carey Mulligan & Andrew Garfield
    Similar moviesRemains of the Day & Atonement
    Themeseducation, women, drama, romance, science fiction,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsbased on a novel • haunting •
    Length103 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  27. Submarine (18-03-2011)
  28. Before directing his debut film Submarine, Richard Ayoade was a recognisable face in Britain already, albeit as an actor. He was part of the cast of popular cult comedy series The Mighty Boosh and The IT crowd, which made his directorial debut all the more anticipated. Submarine, an adaptation of the novel with the same name is an excellent, off beat coming of age dramedy about a young Welsh boy who’s destined to lose his virginity and to save his parents’ marriage. Arctic Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner was asked to write an original score for the film, which lifts the film to an even higher level.

    Trailer of Submarine on Youtube

    Release date18-03-2011
    DirectorRichard Ayoade (The Double)
    StarringCraig Roberts, Sally Hawkins & Paddy Considine
    Similar moviesMoonrise Kingdom & Juno
    Themesgrowing up, sex, comedy, drama, romance,
    CountryUnited Kingdom • United States •
    Keywordsentertaining • touching •
    Length97 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix

  29. Another Year (04-02-2011)
  30. Mike Leigh is certainly no stranger to directing honest films, inhabited by utterly real people. At the centre of Another Year is an elderly couple blessed with a large circle of friends. Friends with all sort of problems, who all, to a greater or lesser extent depend on them. You don’t need to expect big plot twists here. Another Year follows a group of friends in the autumn of their lives during four seasons. Nice things happen, awful things happen. There aren’t that much directors, however, who are able to make that worth your while. Another impressive achievement by one of England’s most beloved directors.

    Trailer of Another Year on Youtube

    Release date04-02-2011
    DirectorMike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake & Happy-Go-Lucky)
    StarringJim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen & Lesley Manville
    Similar moviesL'Amour & The Marigold Hotel
    Themesold age, relationships, comedy, drama,
    CountryUnited Kingdom •
    Keywordsbelievable • insightful •
    Length129 minutes
    Buy/stream it Amazon / Netflix


Best new European cinema in 2016 - Netflix & Cinema