The best 4K movies and TV shows - and how to watch them

Got a 4K telly? Then treat your eyes to some eye-popping UHD entertainment. Updated for July 2021

4K tellies aren't nearly as rare as they once were; in fact, there's a very good chance you've already got one.

But finding things to watch on it in that lovely 4K resolution (you can call it UHD if you prefer) can still be somewhat tricky. There's a fair bit out there if you know where to look, though, and the even better news is that we've done the looking for you.

So with no further ado, here are the 40 very best TV shows and movies that are currently available in 4K. We've even included a direct link to buy or stream each one from Amazon, Netflix or Sky. You're welcome!

And if you're looking to upgrade to a 4K set right now, check out our current top 10 TVs

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Is Thor: Ragnarok the best movie in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe line-up? It’s certainly got more vim and verve than most, with Taika Waititi bringing his skills as an indie comedy director to a genre where visual spectacle usually takes centre stage: his script invests characters both old and new with new spark and wit. Oh, and it’s definitely not lacking in that visual spectacle thing either – which makes this 4K version a colourful joy to watch.

The plot sees Asgard attacked by Hela, the goddess of death (an excellent Cate Blanchett), who destroys Thor’s hammer and sends him off into deep space. Imprisoned on the decadent, dangerous world of Sakaar, Thor must somehow assemble a team, escape the clutches of Jeff Goldblum’s preening Grandmaster and race back to save his homeland.

Watch Thor: Ragnarok on Disney+

I Care a Lot

Proof that you can make an engrossing, enjoyable film even when none of the characters are likeable people, I Care a Lot stars the fantastic Rosamunde Pike as legal guardian Marla Grayson, a ruthless, driven predator who makes a killing by exploiting the elderly people she’s supposed to be looking out for. On first glance her latest ward (Dianne Wiest) seems to be a veritable goldmine, but an unlikely family history makes her instead a doorway to a whole lot of trouble – of the potentially life-threatening variety. Peter Dinklage and Eiza González also star in a viciously black and deliciously enjoyable comedy.

Watch I Care a Lot on Amazon Prime Video

3:10 to Yuma

James Mangold’s Western has everything: gun-slinging, morals and a bad-to-the-bone antagonist guy in the form of Ben Wade (Russell Crowe). There's some brilliantly tense scenes as a group of everyday ranchers (led by Christian Bale’s principled, half-crippled Civil War veteran) trek to the town of Contention and then wait for the damn train that's going to take the shackled Wade to prison. It'll keep you on edge in the same way the 1957 original starring Glenn Ford does – even if it’s sometimes hard to know who to root for.

Watch 3:10 to Yuma on Netflix

District 9

A gripping piece of indie filmmaking (and one of only a handful of indie movies available to stream in 4K), District 9 tells a story of alien refugees stuck on Earth – and their mistreatment at the hands of unsympathetic human officials – that draws clear parallels with the apartheid South Africa in which director Neill Blomkamp grew up.

When a company field agent assigned to evict aliens from illegal settlements contracts a DNA-twisting virus, he is forced to seek refuge himself – and can only do so inside an alien ghetto called District 9.

Watch District 9 on Netflix

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Clocking in at 161 minutes, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tends to elicit one of two reactions: unadulterated Tarantino adoration or terminal boredom. As usual, the correct assessment lies somewhere in the middle.

Yes, there are looooong self-indulgent scenes of inconsequential dialogue, QT’s weird obsession with women’s feet is more in-your-face than ever, and you’ll need a strong constitution to stomach the violence when it eventually arrives, but when have any of these things put people off his films before? Glossy, glitzy, cool, irritating, it’s an event movie you probably shouldn’t miss – and it looks absolutely fantastic in 4K.

Watch Once Upon a Time In Hollywood on Netflix

Nomadland

Netting 2021’s Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress Oscars, Nomadland is a thoughtful and thought-provoking drama about Fern, a van-dwelling widow who travels the American West in the wake of 2008’s financial crisis.

Based on Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book about her own life as a “houseless” wanderer, Chloe Zhao’s movie is far from the sort of hand-wringing poverty porn it could have become in less empathetic, capable hands (Hillbilly Elegy, we’re looking at you). Fern’s rootless lifestyle isn’t romanticised, but it’s clear she feels at home on the road, buoyed by the kindness and concern of her fellow nomads and the simplicity of living off the grid. McDormand’s much-lauded performance (she says more with just her facial expressions here than most actors could in ten movies’ worth of dialogue) is worth the price of admission alone, but Nomadland will leave any viewer with much to think about.

Watch Nomadland on Disney+

Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed’s Ruben is a noise-metal drummer, endlessly touring tiny venues with his partner Lou in a beaten-up RV. This contented lifestyle comes to a juddering halt when Ruben begins to experience hearing loss. Realising that his career may be over and tempted back into his old substance abuser ways, Ruben checks himself into a rural deaf community – but he remains fiercely driven by a hope of fixing his affliction, getting back on tour and getting back to Lou. Ahmed is typcially fantastic, yes, but then everything about Darius Marder’s debut movie works so well: the sound design that puts you in Ruben’s head; the supporting performances of Paul Raci and Olivia Cooke; and the themes of identity, dependence and acceptance that run through it.

Watch Sound of Metal on Amazon Prime Video

Greenland

The stakes couldn’t be higher: with an interstellar “planet killer” comet on course to wipe out pretty much everyone on Earth, engineer Gerard Butler must get his estranged wife (Morena Baccarin) and young son to the safety of an underground bunker in (yes, you guessed it) Greenland.

There may be nothing particularly original going on here, but Greenland is a well-honed race-against-time thriller that successfully conveys the magnitude of its threat. From violent looters to failing technology to big flaming rocks falling out of the sky, Butler and Baccarin find themselves beset with an array of perils – even before the coming impact that may make the human race extinct.

Watch Greenland on Amazon Prime Video

Ghostbusters (1984)

Forget the postmodernist reboot, the new sequel and even the original sequel – if you’re watching a Ghostbusters movie, just make it the original. One of the best-loved comedies of the 1980s, it stars Bill Murray as a wise-cracking New York parapsychologist who gives up his academic career to lead a pest control service for spectres – and amidst a mysterious rise in supernatural activity, business is booming.

Watch Ghostbusters on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

Soul

The first full-length Pixar movie to make its debut on Disney+, Soul is a charming tale about finding your place in the world. Jamie Foxx voices Joe Gardner, a New York band teacher who longs to become a professional jazz musician. On the cusp of achieving his dream, he finds himself abruptly sucked into The Great Before – a place where brand new souls are given their personalities and passions before being sent to Earth.

Sensing an opportunity for a second chance, Joe is tasked with convincing a wilful soul called 22 (Tiny Fey) that life is worth living – but little does he realise that he has plenty to learn about the subject, too. It’s beautifully animated, of course, but Soul is also funny and moving, and more philosophical than your average animated movie.

Watch Soul on Disney+

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