Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men First Class. Photo: Kobal/Shutterstock

    Your ultimate lockdown film guide

    7 November 2020


    David Tennant in Criminal, Netflix

    Alexander Larman rounds up classic crime movies on Netflix here – from Ben Affleck’s The Town to Lawless.

    If you’re looking for a series to devour, we rate Criminal, which aptly for lockdown, is shot entirely in one room – the interrogation room of a police station. Manhunt has won both plaudits and fans, whilst true crime documentary The Staircase will satisfy your inner arm chair detective. See here for our full roundup.

    Robert Jackman has also profiled the new Scandi Noir shows hitting our screens this Autumn.

    And if you’re after a whodunnit, we’ve reviewed the best detective films – from the latest adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express to Blade Runner.


    George Clooney in The American (2010) (Focus Features)

    Stephen Arnell rounds up the best short thrillers to watch in an evening – from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s riveting The Lookout to Dowton Abbey’s Dan Stevens’ chilling reinvention in The Guest. And for underrated thrillers in the vein of Ben Affleck’s The Accountant check out our guide here.

    If you’re still holding out for the next James Bond, we’ve cast our eye over the best spy films – from Brad Pitt in The Man from UNCLE to Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies. There’s also more to Daniel Craig than 007, it seems – here’s our round up of his most iconic roles.

    For those with politics on the mind, Alexander Larman takes a look at the best Geopolitical thrillers from The Last King of Scotland to Argo.

    Award winners

    Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in The Silence Of The Lambs (Photo: Orion/Kobal/Shutterstock)

    Our guide to the best Oscar-winning films on Netflix is a good start for those who like to judge a movie by its gongs – from Birdman to Shakespeare in Love.

    For TV, look no further than our pick of the best BAFTA-winning TV shows – from Daniel Craig’s big break in Our Friends in the North to Life on Mars and Breaking Bad.


    ‘Mitt’ on Netflix

    Lovers of international politics will enjoy this guide to the best political shows on Netflix – whether it’s the surprisingly heart-warming Mitt Romney documentary or a political history of Brazil.

    Stephen Arnell has rounded up the best films about elections, negotiations and the Supreme Court. For politicos, he tips off-beat comedy Long Shot, starring Charlize Theron, as one to watch – she plays a senator running for the White House alongside Seth Rogan who is her unlikely speech writer (and love interest).

    But if it’s political docu-drama you’re after then our critics recommend Coalition, The Special Relationship and Long Walk to Finchley.

    Underrated shows

    Emma Stone in Maniac, Netflix

    Emma Stone in Maniac, Netflix

    Discover the lesser known series that have slipped under the radar with viewers but are worthy of a watch – from Emma Stone in Maniac to Rectify – a murder mystery told in reverse.

    Literary adaptations

    Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas star in Rebecca (Netflix)

    The latest version of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca may have divided critics but there are plenty of other literary adaptations that pleased even the most sceptical of book lovers when they hit our screens – from Gone Girl and American Psycho to Pride and Prejudice.

    Flora Watson also gives you her take on the best Daphne Du Maurier remakes to rival Rebecca.

    Vintage throwbacks

    Credit: Getty

    Whether it’s tucking into a string of Friends episodes or laughing along to Dad’s Army, nothing beats the vintage classics for some good old comfort viewing.

    Benedict Spence has reviewed the best vintage comedy sketches that stand the test of time. Tim Dawson has surveyed the world of classic sit-coms to dig out the episodes worth a rewatch.

    Meanwhile, Robert Jackman has given his take on the best comic movies – from The Death of Stalin to Life of Brian.

    Sequels and Prequels

    Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men First Class. Photo: Kobal/Shutterstock

    We’ve lost count of the number of solid films that have been somewhat marred by their sub-par sequels. But there are several sequels that outdo the original, according to Alexander Larman. He also gives his take on the best prequels here.


    Credit: Photo by Fox Searchlight/New Regency/Le Grisbi/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885850i)

    Credit: Photo by Fox Searchlight/New Regency/Le Grisbi/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885850i)

    From superhero films with a highbrow edge to our pick of the best travel documentaries, it’s easier than ever to escape the confines of lockdown from the comfort of your sofa. If that doesn’t satisfy your wanderlust, Joanna Rossiter has rounded up the best films set in India whilst Violet Hudson brings you the films that make you feel like you’re on holiday – from Cary Grant in To Catch at Thief to Russell Crowe in A Good Year.

    And for a more fantastical escape, Alexander Larman brings you his guide to the best films about time travel, from cult classic Looper to Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code.

    Films about royals

    Olivia Coleman as The Queen in season 3 of The Crown

    Whether it’s the litany of films about Elizabeth I or Colin Firth’s Oscar-winning turn as George VI, get yourself in the mood for The Crown with our pick of the best films about royalty.