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Home / Features / The best films on Sky Cinema and Now TV 2024

The best films on Sky Cinema and Now TV 2024

Sky's streaming service is packed with wonderful movies - here are the ones you should watch first, whether you have full Sky or Now TV

Best films on Now TV Cinema and Sky: Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One

If you’re seeking a streaming service focused primarily on movies, it may not be Prime Video, Netflix or Disney+ that deserves your attention. Instead, consider a subscription to Sky Cinema – available via Now (previously Now TV), Sky Stream and regular satellite-derived Sky. Here’s our guide to the best movies on Sky Cinema and Now.

Now tends to be better served with newer, bigger-name films than any of its main rivals, with at least one new movie being added every day to an already bulging collection. The sheer size of that library means it’s not always easy to immediately find something to watch though (you know: the paralysis of choice and so on). Which is where we come in. The Stuff team has picked out a selection of must-see cinematic masterpieces both old and new, so the next time you’re settling down for an evening on the sofa, you can conserve your brainpower for picking the right snacks rather than the right movie.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

The latest (and seventh) action blockbuster in the Mission Impossible franchise sees Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt face off against a malevolent rogue A.I., but don’t worry: despite this “topical” subject matter this movie is pure Hollywood escapism of the most potent type.

With its glamourous international locations, star-studded ensemble cast and impeccably filmed stunt sequences (for which Cruise happily puts his own body on the line time and time again), this is top tier stuff in terms of production values – and unsurprisingly one of the most expensive films ever made. Despite “disappointing” at the box office by only making several hundred million dollars for Paramount Pictures, there’s also an enjoyable and involving film inside this shiny wrapper.

Watch Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One on Now Cinema

No Hard Feelings

Amazingly, this is Jennifer Lawrence’s first comedy movie – and she absolutely nails it as a louche, party animal Uber driver forced to take on an unusual job in an effort to save her house. Hired by the wealthy parents of a shy, socially awkward and virginal teenage boy to “date” him in order to prepare him for life at college, she anticipates an easy task – but finds herself faced with an uphill battle even as she starts to realise the pair have more in common than she realised. It’s a raucous, racy movie of the type you don’t see too often these days, and Lawrence’s performance – including an eye-popping beach fist fight in the buff – makes it an engaging watch to boot.

Watch No Hard Feelings on Now Cinema

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day (the day) existed before Groundhog Day (the movie), but it was really Groundhog Day that turned Groundhog Day into… y’know, Groundhog Day. That is to say, it used to be a quaint United States tradition involving a plump mammal; now it’s a cliché used to describe pretty much anything that repeats more than once.

And it’s all Bill Murray’s fault. He’s at his lugubrious best in this laidback comedy from Ghostbusters and Caddyshack director Harold Ramis, which builds on a simple but clever premise (man keeps living the same day over and over again) and is just funny enough not to squander it to sentimentality. (Warning: may contain romance and/or moments of Scrooge-like self-discovery.)

Watch Groundhog Day on Now Cinema

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

While we’ll always hold a special place in our hearts for the outright strangeness of the live action Super Mario Bros. film (yes, the one with Dennis Hopper as a dinosaur), it’s fair to say that this recent animated adaptation cleaves a little closer to the source material.

Mario and Luigi are plucky New York plumbers who find themselves sucked into a magical land via a Warp Pipe, where they end up taking part in a war against the tyranny of Bowser, the evil king of the Koopas. It’s not particularly imaginative stuff, it’s true, but the glorious animation and some game voice acting from the likes of Seth Rogen and Jack Black will keep kids (and older Nintendo fanboys and girls) more than entertained.

Watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie on Now Cinema

Mad Max: Fury Road

Screeching steel, battered chrome, scorching flames, shattered glass, choking sand, blazing sun and broken bones. That’s basically the mood board for veteran director George Miller’s 2015 return to the character he first put on screen back in 1979.

Tom Hardy takes on the title role in what amounts to a two-hour car chase/fight scene interspersed by a few on-foot brawls and some post-apocalyptic musings. As a piece of filmmaking Fury Road is absolutely breath-taking, with the vast majority of its action scenes based on practical effects and stunts rather than CGI. There’s nothing quite like it out there, so buckle up and get on the road.

Watch Mad Max: Fury Road on Now Cinema


Private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) gets more than he bargained for when a wandering-husband case gets him tangled up in the shady business of the Los Angeles water grab. Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir is painted in dusty shades of brown rather than the crisp black and white of the original film noirs – and it’s similarly murky in its outlook.

Gittes finds himself quickly out of his depth as his efforts to pursue justice run up against the entrenched interests of the corrupt elite, personified with lip-smacking relish by John Huston. It all builds to a devastating conclusion, in which the darkness underpinning the city – and Huston’s tyrannical Noah Cross – is laid bare. One of the greats.

Watch Chinatown on Now Cinema

They Live

What if you were living under an abusive regime that kept you preoccupied via consumerism, sex and mass media – and then suddenly became aware of it all? John Carpenter’s cult 1988 sci-fi action-thriller asks that question as Roddy Piper (yes, the wrestler) finds a pair of sunglasses that show him the dark reality of modern Los Angeles. Turns out it’s being controlled by hideous skull-faced aliens who use TV signals to disguise their true nature, and humanity’s greed to keep it in line.

Carpenter has reportedly described They Live as a “documentary”, and you’d have to be braindead to miss the satire. The fact that its targets are still very much in place and pulling the same tricks today keeps the film enjoyably relevant on that level, but it’s also got some great dialogue and action sequences. Not least the legendary alleyway fist fight between Piper and Keith David.

Watch They Live on Now Cinema


It takes a lot of tact to make a film about a delicate subject like Boston’s Catholic priest child sex abuse scandal, but the host of nominations and wins Spotlight earned over the 2016 award season should clue you in: director Tom McCarthy absolutely nailed it.

The star-studded cast helps, getting you invested in the hard-working team of Boston Globe investigative journalists right from the off. Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber and Mark Ruffalo might steal the show, but there are great performances from Stanley Tucci and Rachel McAdams too.

It’s tough to watch in places, but entirely engrossing and totally worth sticking through to the end – and a powerful reminder of why a free press is an essential part of any democracy.

Watch Spotlight on Now Cinema


Christopher Nolan’s films have never wanted for scope, but Interstellar goes to places the others can’t reach: the depths of outer space.

Matthew McConaughey plays Coop, a widowed astronaut-turned-farmer who blasts off in search of a new planet for humanity to settle on after blight causes a global famine and Earth starts to die. Of course, it’s not as simple as heading to the nearest wet rock and setting up camp; prepare yourself for wormholes, gravity equations, and extra dimensional communication, all held together around a surprisingly human core.

Watch Interstellar on Now Cinema

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

The venerable tabletop RPG has been adapted for the screen before, but this jaunty big budget movie finally seems to nail the tone and tenor correctly. It might be stuffed with references for fans of D&D to pick up on, but you don’t need to know the difference between a troll and a gnoll to enjoy the proceedings as a motley band of rogues led by Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez attempt to track down a McGuffin and save the Sword Coast from disaster.

Watch Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves on Now Cinema


Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) specialises in a very unusual type of security: subconscious security. At least that’s what he tells his clients, shortly before he and his crack team of architects, conmen and chemists break into their dreams to steal information or plant false memories.

Christopher Nolan’s reality-bending dream caper strays into James Bond territory towards the end, but the world he creates is intriguing enough to forgive the plot holes – and trust us, Inception improves on repeat viewing.

Watch Inception on Now Cinema


A robotic best pal for your child, capable of keeping your little one entertained, educated and empathised with? That would be the toy of the century, surely ­­– not to mention a far better babysitter than the stoner kid from next door. But what if this robot – let’s call her M3GAN – was protective to the point of psychosis, and capable of subverting its programming in order to deceive and ultimately kill anything it perceived as a threat to its charge?

This jaunty sci-fi horror is exactly what you expect it to be, but no less entertaining for that. If you want to see a creepy, sassy android dealing out death, you’ll find it here in spades. Camp, fun and slightly satirical stuff.

Watch M3GAN on Now Cinema

True Grit

The Coen brothers’ adaptation of Charles Portis’ classic Western novel has the dubious honour of being the film nominated for the most Oscars without walking off with a single one – and watching it a few years on from its release, it’s clear that the Academy made a mistake (not with the nominations, but with the… not winning thing). This is a truly outstanding modern day Western, an exploration of how courage and heroism (aka “true grit”) comes in many forms, as well as being thrilling and funny in equal measure.

Jeff Bridges impresses as gruff alcoholic marshal Rooster Cogburn, tasked with hunting down an on-the-run murderer, but it’s young Hailee Steinfeld as his spirited 14-year-old employer whose performance arguably steals the show.

Watch True Grit on Now Cinema


Is Goodfellas one of the best movies ever made? Fuggedaboudit.

If you haven’t already seen Martin Scorsese’s stupendously well-directed gangster movie, what are you waiting for? Close this page now, fire up Now Cinema and get settled in for two hours and twenty-five minutes of filmmaking at its very finest.

Scorsese may have bagged his first Best Director Oscar for the decent Departed, but it’s Goodfellas – an epic, intoxicating plunge into the life of a New York mobster in the 50s, 60s and 70s – that’s the true masterpiece. But hey, at least Joe Pesci picked up the Best Supporting Actor gong for his turn as pint-sized psychopath Tommy DeVito, who must rank among the most memorable characters of 90s cinema.

Watch Goodfellas on Now Cinema


Why can’t all teen comedies could be as funny, warm and ultimately life-affirming as Superbad, which manages to juggle all the tropes of the genre (partying, sex, friendship) without feeling hackneyed or bloated?

It’s ninety minutes of proof that parties are sources of never-ending angst. You need someone to buy the booze – your high school friend with an ID that reads “McLovin” will do. You’ve got to impress the girls – Seth works out that headbutting them in the face works a charm. And in American movies, there’s always the chance the cops will show up – we just wish all of them were as warped as Bill Hader and Seth Rogen.

Watch Superbad on Now Cinema

Call Me by Your Name

Taking place over a long, languid early 1980s northern Italian summer, Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age story about an outwardly precocious teenager who falls for an older American student who comes to stay at his family’s holiday home.

Evocative, funny and bittersweet, this movie drifts warmly, hazily and lazily along like the perfect summertime, and conveys a universality (this is one of the few popular movies about a queer relationship that doesn’t turn the sexuality of its participants into a plot point) that puts it among the finest indie films of the past few years.

Watch Call Me by Your Name on Now Cinema


One of the surprise horror hits of the past few years, Smile is a relentless psychological thriller that, despite having a slightly silly central ‘gimmick’ (the film’s evil presence manifests itself as a creepy smile on the face of an otherwise normal person), quickly establishes an atmosphere full of dread, paranoia and discomfort that doesn’t let up until the end. It’s might not be the smartest or most stylish film of its genre, but anyone who wants a popcorn horror with extra bite will end up sporting an odd grin of their own by the time the credits roll.

Watch Smile on Now Cinema

Oldboy (2003)

To describe Oldboy as intense would be like saying Piers Morgan is unpalatable – i.e. an enormous understatement. To watch it is to be visually assaulted for 120 mins, your emotions squeezed and stamped on and flung around the room until you’re left thinking that maybe you ought to go for a bit of a lie down.

A South Korean thriller about a man who’s locked in a room for 15 years with no idea why – before being released to seek vengeance on his captors – it’s never exactly fun viewing, but it is absolutely riveting. Story-wise it’s sharp and packed with action, the acting is outstanding and at the end you’ll be left battered and bruised but still wanting more. Brilliant.

Watch Oldboy on Now Cinema


Jordan Peele’s grand Spielberg-esque thriller concerns a pair of horse-wrangling siblings (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) whose California ranch is menaced by something strange in the sky. Meanwhile, their theme park-owning neighbour seems to be running some kind of dodgy money-making scheme that doesn’t involve the standard rides and attractions.

Ever the crafty, self-aware director, Peele plays with classic tropes and preconceptions to mould a clever blockbuster that manages to effectively turn the camera around and point it back towards the viewer. Despite (or perhaps because of) that, Nope has proved a divisive film with audiences and critics alike, but few would dispute that its cinematography, sound design and visual effects are anything less than superb.

Watch Nope on Now Cinema

John Wick

Keanu Reeves is in full Keanu Reeves mode (if you know, you know) as besuited gunman John Wick. Wick was once a very bad man: a preternaturally efficient assassin working for the very the nastiest gangsters in the underworld. Nicknamed the Baba Yaga and dubbed ‘the guy you send to kill the boogeyman’, he made his living through death. Until he found love and retired his shooting fingers for good.

Inevitably, Wick’s attempts at a normal life go horribly awry, culminating in a gang of criminals murdering the cute puppy left to him by his late wife. Cue vengeful retaliation in the form of some of the finest gunplay committed to screen since, well, Keanu wowed us way back in The Matrix. They don’t make many action movies like this anymore (except they do, kind of, in the form of the several John Wick sequels – none of which are as ace as the original).

Watch John Wick on Now Cinema

Ex Machina

The subject matter of Alex Garland’s 2014 movie feels more relevant than ever. Tech worker Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a stay at his CEO’s high-security bunker home in an office contest. This ‘prize’ turns out to be a convenient excuse for said CEO (Oscar Isaac) to ask Caleb to assess the company’s latest invention Eva (Alicia Vikander), a humanoid robot running on highly advanced AI software. Can she pass the Turing Test even if her examiner knows full well she’s a robot?

The interactions between Eva and Caleb are infused with flirtatious humanity. Despite being aware of her artificial nature, Caleb finds plenty to admire in his artificial companion (some incredible make-up and special effects make her equally appealing to the audience). That’s what makes the denouement of this brilliant sci-fi movie all the more jaw-dropping.

Watch Ex Machina on Now Cinema

Battle Royale

In this cult classic’s dystopian Japan, teenage delinquency has driven the government to concoct a drastic solution: once a year, a randomly selected high school class is dropped off on a deserted island, handed an arsenal of weaponry and forced to fight until only one child is left alive. Whatever happened to ‘hug a hoodie’?

If being forcibly inducted into an orgy of violence sounds like a pretty harsh punishment for chatting during double maths, it’s best not to overthink things: just enjoy the carnage as petty grudges turn bloody, bullies get their comeuppance and best pals become deadly enemies. Having provided inspiration for everything from The Hunger Games to Fortnite, Battle Royale is simply a must-watch piece of exploitation cinema.

Watch Battle Royale on Now Cinema

The Black Phone

Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Scott Derrickson’s horror movie hits all the right notes. A serial killer thriller, ghost story and family drama rolled into one, it’s rich in Stephen King-esque tropes: small town, period setting, rowdy school, troubles at home and a villain (played by Ethan Hawke) who feels both supernaturally evil and terrifyingly real. It’s not often modern horror films feel as well-crafted and non-gimmicky as this, so our suggestion is to settle in on a quiet night and let it get its hooks right into you.

Watch The Black Phone on Now Cinema

Top Gun: Maverick

Is Top Gun: Maverick the movie that saved movie theatres? Steven Spielberg certainly thinks so, crediting Tom Cruise’s return to his most iconic 1980s role as a kind of panacea in Panavision: a summertime blockbuster so universally appealing and crowd-pleasing that it convinced a public cowed by COVID-19 and a cornucopia of effort-free at-home streaming services into returning to picture houses in droves.

Maverick – in which Cruise’s ageing flyboy is forced back to his roots to train the next generation of fighter aces – is certainly an exhilarating and warmly nostalgic ride, offering plenty of call-backs for the old-timers along with some of the greatest airborne action sequences ever put on celluloid. Everyone should see this story of daredevil pilots, romance, redemption and learning to grow old gracefully. Even if a cinema screen is where it really belongs.

Watch Top Gun: Maverick on Now Cinema


Who better to oversee a biopic of the King of Rock and Roll than Baz Luhrmann, a director well-versed in the type of camp, OTT entertainment associated with Elvis Presley’s Las Vegas years? Luhrmann doesn’t disappoint here: Elvis is a glitzy, glamourous and non-stop ride through the icon’s short life, complete with soaring musical sequences and hard-to-forget performances (a fat-suited Tom Hanks as Presley’s Machiavellian manager Colonel Tom Parker being particular difficult to shift from one’s brain).

Holding the entire thing together can’t have been easy, but Austin Butler’s Oscar-nominated lead performance succeeds. Poor Butler appears to have undergone some kind of permanent psychic transformation as a result of this role (his normal speaking voice seems to be forever Elvis-ified), but it’s a certified star-making turn.

Watch Elvis on Now Cinema


The film that discouraged an entire generation from skinny dipping, Jaws remains one of the most influential, most copied and most beloved films of all time.

The premise is beautifully simple: when a New Jersey seaside resort is terrorised by a killer Great White shark, the local police chief decides to hunt it down. But it’s the film’s presentation, script, direction and its iconic score that make it so special. Director Steven Spielberg cranks up the tension through his use of perspective and sound, leaving the audience constantly on edge, but Jaws isn’t afraid to contrast its scarier moments (and make no mistake: this is essentially a horror movie) with fantastic beats of levity and comedy.

The end result is that it’s still an incredibly rewarding and riveting watch more than 40 years after its release. Just do yourself a favour and avoid the sequels.

Watch Jaws on Now Cinema

Bodies Bodies Bodies

A group of wealthy 20-something friends gathers at a palatial home and decides to ride out an approaching thunderstorm by taking lots of drugs, drinking gallons of booze and playing a murder in the dark-style game. When the shenanigans get a little too real, it sparks off a rapidly escalating flurry of mistrust and paranoia where old grudges are refreshed and new suspicions are forged.

Working both as an efficient murder mystery horror flick and a venomous social satire on Gen Z’s tendency for vacuity, victimhood and backstabbing selfishness, Bodies Bodies Bodies is one of the rare films that succeeds in being likeable despite lacking a single likeable character.

Watch Bodies Bodies Bodies on Now Cinema

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

James Cameron is renowned for pushing special effects technology with an almost religious fervour (we have him to ‘thank’ for the brief 3D movie ‘craze’) and in Terminator 2 he conjured up the most advanced computer-generated character yet seen on the big screen. The liquid-metal T-1000, a cyborg assassin sent back in time to murder tearaway teenager John Connor, used every CGI trick in the book to sell the reality of the character. And it doesn’t look half bad over 30 years later.

Audiences in 1991 were floored by this digital creation as it morphed from one character to another, oozed through the bars of a steel door and turned its hands into blades, but ultimately this movie succeeds for other reasons, namely Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic performance as the ‘good guy’ T-800 sent to protect Connor, the equally impressive practical SFX and fast-moving, riveting plot.

Watch Terminator 2 on Now


Rian Johnson’s Looper is a brilliantly mind-bending time travel action-thriller with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing an assassin whose job consists of putting a bullet in the head of people teleported to his time by a future mob organisation (we know, we know – but stick with it). When the poor sap that appears before him turns out to be his future self (played by Bruce Willis) things get understandably complicated.

The intricate plot is strongly complimented by plenty of action and strong performances from all, although Gordon-Levitt’s Bruce Willis-like prosthetic nose is initially a little distracting.

Watch Looper on Now

Hot Fuzz

The second entry in the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ that also includes Shaun of the Dead and The World’s EndHot Fuzz takes the 90s action movie template and lands it in sleepy rural England. As Shaun riffed on old zombie movies, this turns action flick tropes and traits into a source of comedy – and it does so in such a warm, technically adept way that the filmmakers’ respect for their inspirational source material shines through.

Not only is Hot Fuzz – in which Pegg’s hero supercop is shipped off to a sleepy West Country village for making the rest of the Metropolitan Police look bad – hilarious, it’s also a fantastic homage to the likes of Point BreakLethal Weapon and Bad Boys.

Watch Hot Fuzz on Now


Russell Crowe rose to superstardom off the back of this Roman Empire epic, in which he plays a celebrated and honourable general who, when betrayed by Joaquin Phoenix’s power-mad new emperor, is forced to fight his way to vengeance via the blood-stained pits of gladiatorial combat.

Directed with typical visual panache by Ridley Scott, Gladiator is a stirring, old-fashioned Hollywood blockbuster of the highest order, replete with all the classic tropes: sweeping vistas, rousing emotion, romance, scintillating fight scenes and a truly hateful villain in Phoenix. Movies of this type don’t generally age well – astonishingly, this is now over 20 years old – but thanks to Scott’s mastery behind the camera and Crowe’s Oscar-winning performance in front of it, Gladiator feels as fresh as the day it hit cinemas.

Watch Gladiator on Now

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer bring their brand of humour – previously confined to YouTube, the occasional Saturday Night Live sketch and their records – to the big screen in this unjustly overlooked mockumentary about egomaniacal pop star Conner4Real.

With old friends sidelined or cut out of his life altogether, Conner’s life and career spiral into disaster as his second album flops – which of course, makes for an entertaining ride. The cameos from dozens of real-life celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Seal and Paul McCartney add plenty of spice to the mix.

Watch Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping on Now

Scream (1996)

In self-referential teen horror Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street director Wes Craven riffs on the genre tropes he himself helped define: here, the masked killer sticks slavishly to the stalk-and-slash rules set by older scary movies.

What could easily have turned out as a schlocky parody actually works as both a creepy, tension-wracked slasher flick and an amusing po-mo meta-comment on the genre, helped in part by a strong cast (the most famous member of which is bumped off in the first ten minutes), some great twists and plenty of quotable lines. It was followed by a raft of lesser sequels, a TV series and a full-on nostalgia-fuelled reboot, but for our money the original remains by far the best.

Watch Scream on Now

The Matrix

The Matrix isn’t just an entertaining action movie. This film is packed with cultural touchstones and iconic moments, and it still looks amazing more than twenty years after it first emerged from the Wachowski’s febrile minds.

Keanu Reeves has never been better as Thomas Anderson, an office-bound drudge by day and hacker by night who finds himself drawn into a reality-shattering adventure full of flying bullets, mind-blowing martial arts sequences and some early CGI that doesn’t look like absolute rubbish today. Whoa!

Watch The Matrix on Now

Jurassic Park

Almost three decades after its release, Jurassic Park remains a near-perfect film. Steven Spielberg’s mastery of pacing, camera, editing and sound is on full display here, as the living attractions in a dinosaur theme park take advantage of chaos theory to turn on their captors. The dreary, uninspired sequels have shown that there’s much more to making a great movie than a great idea (what if dinosaurs and humans could interact?) and great special effects; this is a rare occasion when a mega-budgeted box office-breaking blockbuster feels full of heart.

Watch Jurassic Park on Now

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of the even more epic fantasy novel is not without its issues (I mean, how many endings does a film need?), but the director’s achievement in wrangling such an uneven, weighty and wide-ranging tome into three enjoyable blockbuster movies should not be overlooked.

You likely know the story already: a young hobbit must travel from his peaceful, bucolic corner of the world to the hellish realm of Mordor to destroy a powerful ring. Along the way he’ll encounter dangers, make new friends, take part in an apocalyptic war and much, much more. This trilogy is action-packed, well-acted and visually arresting – and capable of generating plenty of emotion at times, too.

Watch The Fellowship of the Ring on Now TV

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Profile image of Sam Kieldsen Sam Kieldsen Contributor


Tech journalism's answer to The Littlest Hobo, I've written for a host of titles and lived in three different countries in my 15 years-plus as a freelancer. But I've always come back home to Stuff eventually, where I specialise in writing about cameras, streaming services and being tragically addicted to Destiny.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, drones, video games, film and TV

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