The 5 Best British Movies Available on Netflix U.S.

January 19, 2020

We recently asked our Facebook community about the European country they would like to watch more movies from. The two most popular answers were Ireland and the U.K, and so in honor of that, we’re making this list of the best British movies on Netflix. 

This list ranges from thrillers like The Bank Job and Layer Cake to the romantic movie God’s Own Country, and a title from one of the best British directors of all time – Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake. Each can give you a different taste of the brilliance of British filmmaking. This list is also a testament to how many brilliant non-US movies go unnoticed on Netflix because of their algorithm. This is why we started agoodmovietowatch.com – to offer a human alternative to Netflix’s algorithms that favor Netflix releases at the expense of quality filmmaking. 

This list is part of our series highlighting excellence in European Film. For more, visit Spotlight: European Film. 

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Layer Cake (2004)

Featuring a Pre-Bond Daniel Craig, Layer cake can be described as a mix between Lock Stock, Two Smoking Barrels and Scarface—a darkly funny and incredibly violent film. It features great acting from Craig and the rest of the cast, action that will keep you on the edge of your seat once it gets moving and a complex and deep theme that can make you reconsider your worldview. This is a true action movie for the thinking man (or woman).

Go to Netflix
Nowhere Boy (2010)

In a different change of pace, this biopic focuses on John Lennon’s reckless adolescence and family life instead of his soon-to-be iconic music. It brings an epic rockstar many of us have known our entire lives down to a more relatable level. The young Aaron Taylor-Johnston gives a very angsty performance which feels a little over the top at times. Anne-Marie Duff does comes off too flirtatious for a newly formed mother-son relationship but Kristin Scott Thomas outshines them all with her steely demeanor.

Go to Netflix
Trainspotting (1996)

Renton (McGregor), a Scottish twenty-something junkie, must choose to clean up and get out, or continue following the allure of the drugs and the influence of friends. Find out if he chooses life in this brutal yet entertaining Danny Boyle masterpiece. While definitely not for the faint of heart, Trainspotting still manages to be funny at times, and provides an overall very entertaining experience.

Go to Netflix
God’s Own Country (2017)

A Call me By Your Name without the privilege, pretentiousness or wealth, and it’s probably a better movie because of it. God’s Own Country tells the story of Johnny, a kid from the Yorkshire countryside and underclass. The family’s workload and responsibility fell on his shoulders after his father suffered from a stroke, which drove him further into loneliness and alienation. Upon meeting a Romanian farmer, his ideas of loneliness, sex, and intimacy are confronted with change. A beautiful and beautifully humane film, and an unbelievable debut by British director Francis Lee.

Go to Netflix
I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Revealing the gaps in the social safety net, I, Daniel Blake, is a tale centered around a blue collar worker navigating the welfare system in England. At a time where class and social mobility could not be more politically salient, this film calls into question the notion of the “citizen” and exposes the inaccessibility to the social protections in which one presumes entitlement.

At the forefront of this, is a heart-warming parable of paternal companionship between Daniel (played by Dave Johns) and a single mother – Katie – (played by Hayley Squires) who is wading through similar terrain. The acting in the film is unfathomably raw which cultivates the deepest source of gut wrenching compassion. Ken Loach has created a film that exposes the true power of empathy, leaving you feeling helplessly human.

Go to Netflix
That's all from us for the The 5 Best British Movies Available on Netflix U.S.!

A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
Drama
4
Documentary
Romance
Average score
88.6%
from our staff
Average score
83.9%
from our users