When it comes to subscription services for streaming TV and movies, you might think that Netflix and Amazon Prime have it locked down. In reality, there’s more competition out there than you might think - we’ve rounded up some of the best streaming platforms here - and one of the top picks is Now TV.
Arguably best known to most people as the only streaming service that shows Game of Thrones as it airs through its Entertainment Pass, Now TV actually has a lot more to offer than just that. The Sky Cinema Pass offers just what it sounds like - a load of the best movies Sky Cinema has to offer - and we’ve done our best to pick our favourites here.
In case you didn't know, the Now TV Sky Cinema Pass costs £11.99 per month, and it's worth pointing out that it's separate from the TV pass, so you only get access to the films, which means it is pretty expensive if you want access to both. However, if you're still interested check out our top picks of shows on Now TV our our picks of the best films on Sky Cinema.
There are more than a thousand films included in the Sky Cinema Pass right now, so ranking our top picks obviously meant missing out some favourites. It’s also worth remembering that one of the best things about the pass is that it offers far more of the biggest recent blockbusters than Netflix or Amazon do, so it’s arguably the best streaming service for watching new movies.
Very much a Tarantino joint, Inglourious Basterds (bastardised spelling and all) is the sort of WWII film that only he could make.
Halfway between a classic war drama and a high-stakes revenge thriller, it at first seems situated right in our own history before eventually veering off in its own direction. Naturally there's comedy involved, but rarely at the expense of the subject matter, and you never really lose that sense of the gravity of the situation.
That's in large part thanks to Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa, now one of the iconic screen villains: a prancing, giggling Nazi inquisitor who's deeply, consistently unsettling, and just as unforgettable.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Though Now TV has the whole Potter series its library, the third movie is without a doubt a standout. It's one of the few stories to not feature the Dark Lord Voldy, but does feature time travel, an estranged godfather and tons of teenaged antics.
By the time of the third movie, the cast have really grown into their acting chops (we can forgive the first two films as they're all so young), and the refreshing direction of Alfonso Cuarón features some incredible visuals of the Hogwarts grounds and surrounding areas.
This is also a pivotal moment in the series, as Harry, Ron and Hermione are all undergoing evolutions as they figure out their futures. It's also one of the closest adaptations to the books - which is always a plus for Potterheads.
The best Pixar movie so far (no thank you, I won't be taking questions at this time) Up is one of those brilliant high-concept films that you just can't figure out how they came up with.
A grumpy old man goes travelling to South America with a boy scout and a dog, where they foil an evil old adventurer and his talking canine army. Sure, why not?
Arguably most famous for that opening (zero to heavy sobbing in 30 seconds), the whole film is gorgeous, touching, and of course absolutely hilarious. It's the sort of film only Pixar could make, and all the better for it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Unless you’ve been living under an asteroid for the last few years, we probably don’t have to tell you much about The Last Jedi. It’s Star Wars. But new. And still good. And, um, rather controversial.
This sequel picks up immediately after The Force Awakens as Rey finds a Luke Skywalker who's done with the Jedi. As she works to persuade him to rejoin the fight, the rest of the Resistance find themselves on the run from Kylo Ren and the First Order fleet in a desperate race for survival.
This is a darker, gloomier Star Wars, one unafraid to take risks with beloved characters and upend narrative conventions. It certainly didn't please anyone - there are a lot of vocal fans who hate it - but this is Star Wars at its boldest, and brings a lot more to the table than mere fan service for Lucas's originals.
Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
Don't let the fact that this is for kids put you off. Don't let the fact that it's based on a show you've never seen put you off. Don't let the fact that it's a cartoon put you off. Go watchTeen Titans Go! to the Movies now.
This big screen adaptation of the kids show Teen Titans Go! is as smart and self-aware as Deadpool without the crude humour or OTT violence. It follows Batman sidekick Robin and the rest of the Teen Titans - Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire - as they try to figure out why they're seemingly the only superheroes who don't have their own movie yet.
It's a knowing nod to the current glut of caped crusaders on our screens, but one that doesn't get in the way of the film telling its own story or throwing an absolute torrent of jokes at the viewer. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder why more people didn't tell you to see this when it first came out.
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn star in the quintessential rom-com, as an odd couple who fall in love on the streets of Rome - except she's a European princess trying to hide her identity, and he's a journalist who's seen through the ruse and is hoping to use her for a story.
Naturally, things are never that simple, and Peck's character just has to go and develop feelings - this wouldn't be a rom-com otherwise, we suppose - but Roman Holiday doesn't fit too neatly into all the familiar boxes otherwise.
It's also a beautiful love letter to Rome in the '60s, the sort of film that leaves you absent-mindedly checking flight prices five minutes after it's over - don't say we didn't warn you.
The Truman Show
Ever had that feeling that your life is a TV show, designed for the entertainment of others? The Truman show plays this out in real time - with Truman Burbank being the unknowing star of a show... of his own life.
Truman lives on an island, which is in fact the largest set ever built. All his friends and family are actors, and commercials are inter-woven into daily life in this docu-soap.
Over the film, Truman slowly begins to unravel this carefully crafted hoax, and expose everyone for who they are. It's a witty take on the traditional Big Brother plot, and will make you slightly paranoid about your own life dramas.
This Christopher Nolan classic about two feuding magicians might not quite have the blockbuster pedigree of The Dark Night or Inception, but it's well worth a watch if you're a fan of the director and want to see him tackle something on a smaller scale.
Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman are the two stage magicians at the heart of it, trapped in a game of oneupmanship that threatens to consume them both.
Regular Nolan collaborator Michael Caine makes an appearance too (is it even a Nolan movie without him?), as does Scarlett Johansson, along with David Bowie in one of his rare film roles, an electric (ahem) performance as Nikola Tesla.
Bridget Jones's Diary
There are some romcoms that are a must-see, and this is the original. Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) somehow seems to be relatable to all women across the world as she navigates a love triangle between her boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and barrister, Mark Darcey (Colin Firth).
With slapstick comedy that will make you have second-hand embarrassment, creepy family members and hilarious fights with 'it's raining men' playing in the background, you'll be quoting this film for years to come.
Also, you'll never see a pair of spanx in the same way again. Ever.
Want a superhero movie that doesn't take itself too seriously? Shazam! is a one of the gems in the DC universe, following 14-year old Billy Batson who gains the power to turn into a superhero overnight - alter-ego played by the hilarious Zachary Levi.
With powers in super speed, strength, electricity manipulation and flight, Billy doesn't necessarily know how the best ways to utlise his new-found gifts, and soon finds himself getting in way over his head when a super-villain takes notice.
Underneath all this crazy action is a touching and emotional story around the concept of family, and how it goes beyond who you're related to by blood alone.
The latest Alien film got a bit of a mixed reaction when it first released, thanks in part to trying to both follow up the operatic Prometheus and re-establish the gritty horror of the original Alien, but it's a good reminder to revisit the untouchable original.
Perfectly pairing science fiction with horror, this 1979 masterpiece from Ridley Scott introduced the unsuspecting world to HR Giger's unmatchable body horror, with a creature designed to do nothing more than scare the hell out of you.
Now TV has the director's cut of the film - we don't debate each version's merits here, but this cut adds in a few interesting scenes and hints more at the fate of certain crew members.
A Star is Born
The movie that sparked a million gossip-rag articles about Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born, follows the romance of an aspiring singer and a famous musician as their career paths gradually switch over time.
With an original score written by Cooper and Gaga, this isn't your traditional musical. It's a mix of country, rock, ballads and even trashy pop in places. You won't feel like you're listening to guilty pleasures with these hits as you would with other traditional musicals.
Though this couple are deeply in love, they're marred with many problems, including struggles with addiction, comparison, identity and more. Bring tissues.
Leave No Trace
This thoughtful, quiet drama starring Ben Foster explores what happens when two people who've chosen to leave modern society behind are forcefully re-acquainted with it.
Will, a troubled former marine, lives off the grid in a national park with his 13-year-old daughter. When they're discovered by social services, they're forced to return to civilisation, but they both struggle to adjust in different ways, trying to explore and re-define their relationships with society at large.
Director Debra Granik has proved that Winter's Bone was no fluke, and on the strength of Leave No Trace she could have some amazing films yet to come.
Now over 50 years old, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a landmark of science fiction cinema, an utterly unique vision that shaped much of the genre since.
It's campy, schlocky, and at times gloriously crude - a sex-tinged take on Flash Gordon that's utterly dominated by Jane Fonda in her breakout role.
It's a cliché to talk about how cinema has moved on, how the great movies of the '60s would never be made today, but in this case it really is true: they don't make 'em like this anymore.
The teen movie to end all teen movies, Clueless remains unmatched after more than 20 years.
Alicia Silverstone’s wealthy but well-meaning Cher is utterly endearing as she does her best to tutor a new student (Brittany Murphy) in this modern take on Jane Austen’s Emma that transposes the action to a stereotypical American high school.
Keep an eye out for Paul Rudd as the obligatory romantic lead, years before his more recent ripped superheroics as Marvel’s Ant-Man.
“Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown…”
Few movies are as memorable for a single line as Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, an iconic noir detective story starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.
Nicholson’s cynical private eye is hired for a simple adultery case which ends up drawing him into a web of crimes, from mismanagement of state water in a California drought to murder, in a sprawling conspiracy with a final reveal that lands like a punch to the gut.
Almost relentlessly downbeat, this is in no way a pick-me-up, but it remains one of the best thrillers of the ‘70s (a decade that had a fair few great ones) and is as effective today as it was when it first hit cinemas.
Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6 was the first (and so far only) collaboration between Disney Animation Studios and Marvel, with an animated tale of six young superheroes in an alternate-universe fictional city dubbed San Fransokyo.
As you'd expect from a Disney animation, it's fun, charming, and totally heartwarming - unafraid to tackle some fairly heavy themes and then break the tension with some very silly humour.
The undeniable star of the show is Baymax, the inflatable healthcare robot cum reluctant superhero - and hands-down the most adorable Disney creation in years.
Arguably the best action movie ever made - not to mention the best Christmas movie - Die Hard changed the face of the blockbuster by giving us a new mould of action star. Bruce Willis's damaged John McClane is worlds away from the over-muscled super soldiers of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and all the more human for it.
Not that he's the only reason to love Die Hard. There's the action, the sharp script, the subtle seasonal touches, and - of course - Alan Rickman's iconic villain Hans Gruber. It's hard to believe that this was the actor's big screen debut, and he remains one of the best baddies ever.
I Am Legend
Will Smith films don't always hit the mark, but this 2007 post-apocalyptic story will have you gripping the edge of your seat and choking back a few sobs.
What was marketed as a cancer cure has mutated into an infectious disease that has turned the population into mindless, zombie-like killers. Smith is one of the few survivors, and is continuing his search across the whole of New York for the cure that will save what remains of humanity.
Ridley Scott’s other iconic sci-fi creation (after Alien, of course) remains the best adaptation of any of Philip K Dick’s stories, neatly drawing the strongest elements of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? out into a lean sci-fi noir that still finds the space for plenty of slow reflection.
Harrison Ford is the grizzled police officer tasked with hunting down a group of rogue replicants - biological androids indistinguishable from real humans - but the film is less concerned with a game of cops and robbers than it is with asking just what sets them apart after all.
Blade Runner nerds will want to know that Now TV offers the theatrical cut of the film, as opposed to any of the various other cuts and edits out there, but any version of the movie is well worth watching.