Must-see British films

Three quite young children are sitting in a row in a movie theatre. The young girl closest to the camera is staring at the screen looking quite astonished or surprised and she is photographed about to put a piece of popcorn in her mouth and she's holding a large bucket of popcorn in her lap.

We have more access to great films online than ever before. The problem now is what to watch. Here are some classic British films, as recommended by our staff!

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Watching British films can be both very entertaining and useful for improving your listening and comprehension skills! We asked some ELC staff to give us there top British films:

Peter Tamkin (Academic Director) – TrainspottingTrainspotting

“It has a great cast (Ewan Macgregor, Robert Carlyle), is directed by Danny Boyle (who was responsible for the opening ceremony at the London Olympics) and has a great philosophy: ‘Choose Life’!”

Simon Cummings (Assistant Academic Director) – Withnail and I

“It’s about class, town, country and substance abuse and is hilarious from start to finish. Brilliantly acted with one of the coolest moments in all of cinema – Jimi Hendrix soundtrack, Jaguar and Paul McGann flipping his sunglasses down”

Phil Steere (Buildings manager) – Shaun of The Dead

“I like it because when it came out it was really fresh to see a decent horror comedy mix. In my mind it hadn’t been done as well as this before. Not only is it acted with perfect comedy timing, the director knows how to put just enough little nods to other horror classics to make it Shaun of the deadeven more entertaining to fans of the horror genre. I think it shows for itself that this film has become a cult British classic and still stands up well having been released 10 years ago!”

Other popular British movies:

  • The James Bond franchise – Probably the most iconic British films ever with over 23 already produced and countless more on their way. The films focus around agent 007 (James Bond) who has a licence to kill and is never far away from his next breath taking mission.
  • The Kings Speech – Colin Firth stars in a this period drama as King George who must battle to overcome his speech impediment in order to deliver a rousing speech that inspires his people to unit in battle.
  • Monty Pythons Life of Brian – Life of Brian is a comedy film from 1979 telling the story of Brian Cohen who is born next door and on the same day as Jesus Christ, which leads to many mistaken him for the Messiah!
  • Lawrence of Arabia – This is an epic drama film widely considered as one of the greatest and most influential films in history. The film is set during the first World War and depicts Lawrence’s experiences in Arabia during the war.