4 Best British Movies

British Movies

Updated On: November 09, 2023 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

In this article, we tackle the four best British movies. These British movies are pretty good and have a lot to offer. We’ll talk about some of the best-known and lesser-known ones that might be better or at least good.

British movies are a cultural phenomenon that has captured the hearts of movie-goers for years. They are renowned for their quirky humour, distinctive personalities, and adorably romantic stories. Whether it’s a romantic comedy or a crime drama, British movies have something for everyone.

The best British movies are a little different from all other movies. For example, the British have a greater sense of humour themselves. Their films are enjoyable since they don’t take themselves too seriously and have a terrific sense of irreverence.

Dunkirk (2017) 

Christopher Nolan directed, co-produced, and wrote Dunkirk, a 2017 film regarded as one of the best war movies. The ninth film, directed by Nolan, Dunkirk, offers a very particular viewpoint on a crucial period in British military history. It brought in more than $500 million globally.

Five British soldiers are shown in the movie’s opening scene strolling through Dunkirk’s deserted streets in France, across the English Channel from Britain. They are stuck in a French city encircled by German forces and nearly 400,000 British and French soldiers. Unseen German soldiers suddenly begin a fire, and the only Allied survivor is a child named Tommy. Who makes it to the shore, where other soldiers are waiting to be evacuated?

German jets pass above the beach and dump bombs on the soldiers assembled there, killing many of them. The beach is also not safe. As a result, deceased soldiers’ remains are scattered across the beaches and left to rot.

Tommy and another soldier called Gibson to take a stretcher they saw on the sand and pose as medical personnel to board the boat. The two troops hide on the mole and wait for the next ship to arrive after being rejected by the rescue destroyer. They overhear Commander Bolton and Colonel Winnant discussing the soldiers on the beach, the lack of evacuation vehicles, and the safety of the mole while they are hiding.

Following the exchange, German aircraft started bombing the mole and the ship while still docked. Tommy and Gibson are joined on the mole by a soldier named Alex. The soldiers on the boat jump off to live. The three soldiers then hastily descend on a giant ship meant to transport them to England

Gibson observes as a torpedo strikes the ship from above deck. Alex and Tommy can flee the burning ship after Gibson activates a trap door from the outside. The Germans are bringing the French and British closer to the river, escalating the tension. 

In the hopes that they can steer the trawler back to England once the tide comes in, Alex, Tommy, and Gibson join a squad of troops heading toward a grounded vessel. Gibson, who has not spoken to Alex since they first met, raises Alex’s suspicions when they are on the trawler. Gibson eventually admits that he is French. The soldiers must flee as the boat fills with water after the Germans start shooting at it. 

When Gibson’s foot becomes entangled, the submerged trawler drags him down and kills him. Many civilian boats come close to Dunkirk to aid the entrapped soldiers in escaping. A man named Mr Dawson travels in his ship, the Moonstone, with his son, Peter, and George, Peter’s buddy. They find a soldier on the remains of a British ship that sunk while they were at sea and take him with them. 

When Mr Dawson informs the soldier that they are moving toward Dunkirk, the soldier loses consciousness and starts acting violently. Pete locks the soldier in a room to calm him down after Mr Dawson persuades him to go below the ship. He can escape, and when he realises that the ship is headed for Dunkirk, he starts to act erratically. 

He struggles with them and accidentally knocks George down a flight of stairs. George suffers a head injury, falls ill, and eventually passes away. Then, Dawson and Peter see a British aircraft crashing into the ocean and make it there just in time to save Collins, the pilot. They manage to keep several soldiers with Collins’ assistance.

Another pilot in Collins’ squadron, Farrier, is preparing to take down German aircraft if Collins runs out of fuel. After assisting the British cause and shooting down an additional German plane, he lands on a beach. Still, German troops are waiting there to capture him. Captain Bolton decides to stay at Dunkirk to aid in the French evacuation before the British soldiers leave and head home at the movie’s end. 

Tommy scans the newspaper, and on the front page, he sees that the Dunkirk soldiers are being hailed as heroes. The spectator also discovers that, despite Churchill’s initial estimation that they could only save 30,000 soldiers, more than 338,000 British soldiers were rescued from Dunkirk by civilian boats.

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Governments frequently treat the people who depend on them with cold indifference. To avoid taking accountability for their suffering, they convert folks struggling to achieve their most necessities to numbers. Daniel Blake, an influential independent drama, highlights this cruel treatment of the poor. More significantly, it personifies individuals who are let down by the systems set up to look out for and assist them.

The Cannes Film Festival hosted the global premiere of I, Daniel Blake. The movie, written by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach, had 38 nominations for awards from different festivals, out of which it took home 30. It won the Outstanding British Film of the Year at the British Academy Film Awards and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. 

Additionally, Dave Johns won the Best Actor honour at the British Independent Film Awards for his depiction of Daniel Blake. The movie is set in the United Kingdom and centres on a 59-year-old man named Daniel Blake who, after surviving a heart attack, decides to sue the government for his employment and support allowance. Although the novel is made up, the plot is based on the experiences of UK residents who engaged in comparable conflicts with the Department for Work and Pensions.

In the opening scene, Loach uses a j-cut to isolate a government worker’s voice. At the same time, she asks Dan pointless questions about his physical capabilities. It Establishes the mood for the rest of the movie. By emphasising this, Loach highlights how this institution also depersonalises its representatives, preventing any person from being held accountable for their acts. 

The woman admits that she works for an American firm chosen by the British government and isn’t even one of their employees. Dan is determined to receive his entitlements but must overcome several challenges. He must ask for help from numerous people due to his lack of computer literacy to complete a simple online appeal form. 

He also waits hours to meet with government authorities, who always tell him they can’t help him and direct him to other representatives. As this demoralising cycle continues, Dan gets buried in official-sounding bureaucratic language. No one he talks to has answers. 

All they do is allude to “decision makers” who, without even having met Dan, will decide his fate. Worst of all, despite Dan’s doctor’s determination that he is not fit for the job. He is still convinced to file unemployment benefits since a federal test indicated differently. Black comedies inserted throughout the movie by Laverty highlight the dismal humour in the system’s flawed logic. 

It’s absurd that someone like Dan, who blatantly meets eligibility requirements for aid, cannot obtain it without going through a maze of bureaucracy. The federal personnel in charge of the never-ending irritating bureaucracy are also motivated to discourage individuals from applying for benefits, as his young neighbour China says. The more applicants will give up the process, the more complex and frustrating they can make it, saving the government money.

But despite his seemingly hopeless struggle, Dan still finds time to assist Katie (Hayley Squires), a single mother, in caring for her two children. The loss of his wife and his protracted interactions with the government has left him angry. But as he develops a relationship with the young family and takes on the role of a surrogate grandfather. His compassion and kindness show through because she has to make unfathomable sacrifices to provide for her children’s needs.

Katie represents the working-class individuals who suffer due to events beyond their control. Thankfully, Dan stands with her and reaffirms her self-respect even in her lowest points. Daniel Blake is remarkable because of his noble refusal to sacrifice his self-respect, even if it meant giving up rewards entirely. 

In his most gratifying moment, he takes back his name from the government and gives the working class, which has been invisible a face. He is a natural person who has contributed significantly to society and needs genuine assistance; he is not a number. In the film’s concluding scene, the worst injustice happens, underscoring the seriousness of the government’s carelessness. 

There is no tone shift, though, because Loach never indulges the audience in this movie. Instead, he shows the viewer this terrible truth and invites them to consider whether or not such a system can be improved. Loach uses minimal editing or sound effects and almost disappears throughout the narrative. Because it stresses how miserable life can be for the working poor in the UK, the documentary-like approach works. Uncomfortable concerns are raised by the movie’s abrupt and depressing climax, which is a sign of a successful film.

Sing Street (2016) 

Sing Street Movie

Ok, we are cheating here – but we decided to include this movie here as, with all Irish people, emigration comes up at some point. In this movie – we see the ferry to the UK and a main character’s dream of leaving Ireland for London. Sing Street is the beautiful, endearing, and slightly eccentric Irish coming-of-age narrative by John Carney. Contain a semi-autobiographical element (Once, Begin Again). The 1985 Dublin-set movie explores adolescent angst, first-love pain, dysfunctional families, the Catholic educational system, bullying, the strength of love, and the power of music.

Conor is a 15-year-old Dubliner who must transfer to the Christian Brothers school. Since his parents are having financial difficulties and seem to be on the verge of divorcing one another, this is the film’s focus. Newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo plays Conor. Daily bullying occurs there, and he also has to contend with the harsh and demanding headmaster (Don Wycherley), who doesn’t like the colour of his shoes.

Conor creates a band with the assistance of his new closest buddy Darren to get away from his issues (Ben Carlon). Raphina, a neighbourhood girl and aspiring model who resides in the group home across the street from the school, is another person he attempts to impress. One of the band members, played by Mark McKenna, has a youthful John Lennon-like appearance and can play various instruments. 

His older stoner brother Brendan, who has a sizable vinyl record collection, gives Conor advice on both music and females. Brendan advises that Conor write original music for the band rather than performing covers. Conor and the band have a fantastic running gag where they alter their appearance whenever they write a new song.

Sing Street is a great, feel-good movie that honours life, youth, and young love. The conclusion itself is likewise ideal, as well as lovely and upbeat. The film is drenched in nostalgia, as Carney captures Dublin life in the middle of the 1980s. Music has played a significant role in Carney’s movies, and Sing Street is no exception. 

The tale is enhanced by and revolves around the music in the movie. This movie, along with Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some, has two in a row with outstanding soundtracks. The music on the soundtrack, which includes artists like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, The Cure, and The Jam, is inspired by British pop music from the 1980s, notably the new wave and romantic era. 

The Riddle of the Model, which recalls Duran Duran, and the rollicking Drive It Like You Stole It is two original standout songs written by Carney. Additionally, there is a fantastic fantasy scene where Conor imagines the band performing at the school prom. The young ensemble gives some excellent unadorned performances that add to the environment and the material’s realism. 

Walsh-Peelo, in particular, is a fantastic find; he exudes charm, and his performance embodies youth’s optimism, vigour, and excitement. Additionally, he sings on his own. As his rebellious elder brother, who dropped out of school and is increasingly frustrated with his shortcomings, Reynor gives a strong performance. 

The Theory of Every Thing

The Theory of Every Thing

The Everything Principle James Marsh is the director. Feature Focus. Broad availability. Suppose you’re anticipating science in the Stephen Hawking biopic. In that case, you could be let down because it is based on Jane Hawking’s memoir, Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. You will want some Kleenex because it is a love story. 

The movie begins with a non-disabled Hawking cycling around Cambridge’s cobblestone streets with his friends. He makes a few mistakes, and his writing is sloppy, so no one is astonished when he gives his professor an equation written on the back of an envelope. The terrible verdict of two years is not given until he suffers a terrible fall while running in the college quad. 

Only 21, Hawking. Will not be a fight, Jane, but a terrible defeat, the doctor father of the boy foretells. The movie then depicts Stephen and Jane’s epic struggle against bodily deterioration. Hawking’s continued existence 50 years later, using the only functional muscle in his right cheek to speak, feels like a messianic triumph over time and destiny. 

It goes against the astrophysicist’s belief that if he could only find the equation, time would stand still. The movie argues that the most significant predictors of the future may be things that are even more illogical than time. Such as spirit and love, from close-ups of cream swirling in a coffee cup to above shots of spiral staircases that bend upwards towards the oculus and into the air. 

Regarding method acting, Eddie Redmayne’s performance is a masterclass, but Felicity Jones is easily on par with him. She personifies the ironclad and sensitive Englishness that is spare, brushed, and cleaned. That’s not even mentioning her allure. Hawking is suddenly brought back to youth and physical health. The movie concludes with them kissing on the bridge beneath the May Ball’s fairy lights. This final thought serves as a reminder that we are all time travellers with the most erratic of faculties, the memory.

It’s not just the actors and directors that make British movies great. It’s also the people who come together to watch them—the audience. The British film makes us feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, which has meaning and depth. We don’t just laugh or cry. We scream and cheer and pull for our favourite characters.

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