The 30 best movies to watch on BFI Player right now

For moviegoers in 2022, finding the right movie to watch isn’t as much of a chore as an endless array of possibilities: From the Criterion Collection to Curzon to Mubi to BFI Player, there are now plenty of places to find some seriously good old stuff. and new movies.

BFI Player boasts many critically acclaimed releases, along with a back catalog of classic foreign language cinema and old favourites.

A monthly subscription to the site gives viewers access to a large library of movies, while a smaller selection of movies, including the latest releases, can be rented on a one-time basis. Here, we focused on movies that are currently available to watch on the subscription service model.

From French classics to modern cult favourites, these are the 30 favorite movies currently listed on BFI Player in no particular order.

La Haine



This grisly black-and-white French film about three friends living in a slum in Paris won Mathieu Kassovitz the Best Director award at Cannes in 1995. explores society, poverty, and race.




Our favorite of Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s films, The Square, is overthrowing Stockholm’s elite art community with a revolt. Christian (Claes Bang), the selfish curator of the X-Royal art museum in Stockholm, is going through an existential crisis. He hires an advertising team to help boost publicity for his museum, with hilarious results.

seven samurai

Often hailed as one of the best foreign language films ever made, Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece chronicles the heroic efforts of warriors trying to protect a Japanese village from a brutal bandit attack. The classic movie later inspired The Magnificent Seven.

Paris, Texas

The late Harry Dean Stanton mysteriously gets his best in this wide-ranging road movie, playing a mysterious vagrant who has left the desert unseen for four years. Unforgettable.


Another epic from Japanese genius Akira Kurosawa, this time focusing on a lone warrior who is the architect of a bloody gang war in feudal Japan. Packed with unforgettable iconography – you know you’re in a movie instinctively when you see a dog running down the street with a human hand in its mouth in the opening scene.


Elements of two classic stories from Russian literature – Chekhov’s Wife and Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov are brought to modern-day Turkey in this stunning film. It is full of political commentary on the lives of the rich and poor in Turkey, which won the Palme d’Or in 2014.

Little Joe

This interesting drama is about the creation of an evil plant that infects people with happiness. Ben Whishaw is in great shape as the scientist who learned the plant’s secret and became determined to protect the deceptive nature. Emily Beecham also stars in cult Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s critical hit.

Lynn + Lucy

This inspiring debut drama from British director Fyzal Boulifa chronicles the strained friendship between Essex couple Lynn (Roxanne Scrimshaw) and Lucy (Nichola Burley). Standard’s critic Charlotte O’Sullivan, in her review, called the film “confusing, stressful, and – ultimately – exciting” and praised it as one of the best to come out over the summer.

Throne of Blood

Another epic from Akira Kurosawa, this mid-century retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth takes the action from the Scottish steppes to feudal Japan, when a famous warrior kills his ruler on the orders of his wife. The film won two of Japan’s prestigious Mainichi Film Awards after its premiere in 1957.

sweet life

Fellini’s most famous and best-known film, a satire on frivolous celebrities and high society culture in late ’50s Rome, is the brash but flawed journalist Marcello Rubini, who has spent his life running around cabaret clubs and deserted castles with the rich and famous. (Marcello Mastroianni). to distract him from the failures that bother him.

King of New York

Filmmaker Abel Ferrara said it best: “He likens Scarface to Mary Poppins”. A bloody underground thriller, Christopher Walken stars as the ruthless Frank White, a drug lord determined to take over the city. A dubbing when it was released, it deservedly gained fame as a cult classic, not least for Walken’s performance; In this movie, he patented his unusual eccentricity, which is extraordinarily disturbing here. The dance moves are spot on though.

canine tooth

An unforgettable, surreal nightmare, Dogtooth is not an easy watch; yet the 2009 version is remembered in Greece as the most important release in decades, and that’s not without reason. As elegantly drawn as it is disturbing – and it can be grotesquely disturbing – Dogtooth tells the story of a couple who hide their teenage children from the world and keep them fit for sadistic acts of violence. Sex is always available. A movie with its own power.

Bicycle Thieves

It’s funny – absurd, almost – to think that Italian critics didn’t rate the film when it was released. His stock has soared since then, and this story of a desperate father scouring Rome for his bike in post-war Rome is now considered one of the best movies of all time. There’s a lot of heart and tension here; Without the bike, the father will lose his job and his poor, hungry family will suffer even more.


While not a linear biography, it should come as no surprise that it tells the story of the Baroque painter. While much is made of his intense approach to work, the fun is to watch the rebellious, drunken and depraved life of Caravaggio. The film also marks the screen debut of both Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean.


This disturbing supernatural thriller is a disturbing and sometimes bizarre watch. Jessica Harper plays a ballet dancer who transfers from America to Germany to attend a prestigious academy. Things are not right; maggots fall from the ceiling, a dog’s throat is cut, murders are committed. It’s a tense, disturbing and blood-filled movie.

Under the Skin (1997)

A simple premise, but presented powerfully and poignantly. It tells the story of two adult sisters who commit the sudden death of their mother in Liverpool. Both deal with this differently; Iris (Samantha Morton) finds comfort in casual sex and hedonistic nights. Her older sister Rose, who is married and pregnant, does not and is horrified to see her sister released. A touching work of grief.

me without you

Anna Friel and Michelle Williams play Marina and Holly in a tale of friendship that poisons both as much as it pleases. We first met the couple at the age of 12 and follow them intermittently as they grow. Friendship is intense, confusing, distressing, sometimes bitter and often treacherous. So it’s very real to watch, and therefore exhilarating.


One of Werner Herzog’s most flamboyant works, Fitzcarraldo follows a man who embarks on a bizarre plot to run a steamship over a hill in the Amazon basin to gain access to a new site for a rubber factory. As in the best Herzog films, it pits man against nature and brings the director’s filmography to a wider audience in the early ’80s.

Bad Good Sleep

For his 1960 drama The Bad Sleep Well, Kurosawa turned his attention to corporate corruption – a poignant tale of betrayal, revenge, and greed. In a story influenced by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the hero KÅichi Nishi manages to infiltrate a powerful corporation to find those responsible for his father’s death.

La Notte

Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the masters of mid-century Italian cinema along with Fellini, painted one of his most profound and poignant films, La Notte, a portrait of a crumbling marriage. Set in a single day, where a novelist and his frustrated wife come to terms with their shattered relationship and receive the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Listen to Philip

The cynical comedy drama Listen Up Philip focuses on the relationship between two novelists, who are at opposite ends of their career trajectories and both come to alienate those around them. A fun and smart watch with excellent performances by Jonathan Pryce, Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss.

Secret Castle

One of the incredible Kurisama films from the 1950s, The Hidden Fortress follows two Japanese villagers who agree to journey into enemy territory but fail to realize that their passenger is a general and a member of the royal family. While often overlooked in favor of the director’s other films like Seven Samurai and Ran, it’s a beautifully shot gem worth exploring.

What Heaven Knows

The Safdie Brothers made this deeply heartbreaking drug addiction drama based on a true story, before reaching a worldwide audience with their adrenaline and anxiety-inducing films Uncut Gems and Good Time. In the film, Arielle Holmes plays a version of herself as a homeless heroin addict with whom director Josh Safdie befriended while living in New York.

room 237

Forty years of theories about one of the greatest horror movies ever made are brought together in this captivating documentary. The film separates the myths and speculations surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, considering how certain details in the classic horror movie can be filled with hidden and misunderstood meanings.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

This classic 1928 French silent film chronicling the final days and execution of Joan of Arc in England chronicles early Hollywood in its most direct and compelling way. Despite the fact that nearly 100 years have passed since Danish film director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s cinematography, Renée Jeanne Falconetti’s timeless performance, which is striking, but gives the film its effect.

Tokyo Story

Proclaimed by some to be one of the best movies ever made, The Tokyo Story is the story of elderly parents in western Japan who travel to the capital to visit their busy, adult children. The parents are not received as they had hoped, and the film becomes a meditation on the concept of family fascinated by time and distance. A delicate and heart-wrenching piece of work.

taxi Tehran

Banned from making films by the Iranian government, Jafar Panahi disguised as a taxi driver and toured Tehran encountering fascinating locals, discovering their stories and examining life under oppressive rule to create this heartwarming work of documentary fiction. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and blurred the lines between real life and drama to create a revealing portrait of a city.

Finnish Tom

This biography focuses on the life of the man who inspired a generation of gay men in Finland after the second world war to take pride in their identity. It tells the story of artist Touko Laaksonen, who returned to Helsinki after the war and challenged traditional society by publishing erotic drawings. A delicately made and touching story of a man who made a real difference in his time.

Hunting Night

This disturbing and intriguing French psychological drama is the story of a mental institution survivor who loses their memory in an unexplained environmental accident. Jean Rollin’s movie is a dark, depressing look at dystopia and depravity, but it will never leave your mind.


Swedish sci-fi, anyone? This film takes place in a world destroyed by climate change, with high concepts and reflections on human behavior in a time of crisis. The dystopian drama is set on a spaceship that races through space on its way to Mars, asking big questions and delivering an equally intimate, relationship-focused drama.

Leave a Comment