Who needs Netflix and Prime? Turns out that BBC iPlayer has a terrific collection of films to watch.

Whilst all eyes tend to be on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime when it comes to movie updates, on the quiet the BBC iPlayer service continues to play host to a limited, diverse selection of films. What’s more, a good number of them you can download to your tablet to watch on the move.

Latest addition: Top Hat
Just gone: Election

GREG DAVIES: LOOKING FOR KES

A new documentary feature, that sees the stand up comedian following the story of Barry Hines’ novel A Kestrel For A Knave, including a journey to where Ken Loach filmed the brilliant movie adaption, Kes.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000bh0n/greg-davies-looking-for-kes

THE PROGRAM

Director Stephen Frears’ dramatised version of the Lance Armstrong scandal, with Ben Foster playing the disgraced cyclist. It’s on iPlayer for the duration of December.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000by0g/the-program

A SIMPLE PLAN

A terrific thriller from the 1990s, starring Billy Bob Thornton and the late Bill Paxton. Sam Raimi directs. Don’t look up anything else. Just watch it.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0078cwc/a-simple-plan

CAT PEOPLE

Available for another year at least, the terrific, famed B-movie from 1942 is on the service, and once you’re done with that, its sequel is on there too.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0078ns6/cat-people

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

One of the best teen movies of recent years, The Edge Of Seventeen is from writer and director Kelly Fremon Craig, with Hailee Steinfeld leading the strong cast. This one’s on iPlayer until late December.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07dh199/the-edge-of-seventeen

TOP HAT

The classic Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical has just been added, but it’s only available until the other side of Christmas.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0074r4k/top-hat

HAPPY NEW YEAR, COLIN BURSTEAD 

Ben Wheatley’s most recent film – ahead of his upcoming Rebecca adaptation – is available for a good year or so yet on iPlayer. Neil Maskell takes on the title role.

Find it here:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bwdss2/happy-new-year-colin-burstead

HALF A SIXPENCE

With the BFI celebrating musicals at the moment, why not treat yourself to Half A Sixpence, starring Tommy Steele as Arthur Kipps. George Sidney directs the much-loved musical.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00kyp1d/half-a-sixpence

THE HURT LOCKER

Kathryn Bigelow’s Best Picture winning drama The Hurt Locker leaves iPlayer in mid-December. The 2008 feature stars Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie, amongst its cast.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000bhgw/the-hurt-locker

IT FOLLOWS

One of the best horrors of recent years, It Follows is a genuinely unnerving film about a curse that just keeps coming for you – at walking pace. Its around in iPlayer until Christmas.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p06zb13p/it-follows

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Given its loose copyright situation, Night Of The Living Dead will likely sit on iPlayer for pretty much ever. Good thing too: George Romero’s genre-defining classic is always 95 minutes well spent.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0078pw1/night-of-the-living-dead

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

With a seventh film on the way, you’ve got until next September to check out the original and best in the series. For added impact, watch it in the dark, at home, on the television near your bed…

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07r55c0/paranormal-activity

MAN ON THE MOON

One of Jim Carrey’s best-ever performances – and the behind the scenes story of the film is almost as good as the feature itself – Man On The Moon comes from director Milos Forman, and is on iPlayer until mid-December.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b007cjz1/man-on-the-moon

MINDING THE GAP: AN AMERICAN SKATEBOARDING STORY

One of the finest documentaries of the year, and an Oscar nominee back in February, Minding The Gap starts as a skateboarding story. It soon develops into something a lot more.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07cttsd/minding-the-gap-an-american-skateboarding-story

PATHS OF GLORY

Stanley Kubrick’s 84 minute war movie stars Kirk Douglas, and is leaving iPlayer shortly. You’ve got until the end of November to check this one out.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0004pm3/paths-of-glory

PRIMARY COLORS

Timely, this. Mike Nichols’ big, glossy cinema adaptation of the-then anonymously authored Primary Colors stars John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Emma Thompson and more. It’s the early story of Bill Clinton’s rise to prominence, just in disguise.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00749zc/primary-colors

QUEEN OF VERSAILLES

An astounding, jaw-dropping documentary, about a couple who plan on building a huge mansion, only for the global financial crisis to get in the way.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01qbz9m/queen-of-versailles

SILENCE

Comic book movie fans get to enjoy Martin Scorsese’s Silence on iPlayer for one more week. Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Adam Driver take the lead roles.

Find it here:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000b1x5/silence

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

Peter Jackson’s remarkable World War I documentary gets another two weeks on iPlayer, and deserves urgently seeking out.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0brzkzx/they-shall-not-grow-old

THE FEAR OF GOD: 25 YEARS OF THE EXORCIST

Mark Kermode and Nick Freand Jones’ acclaimed documentary was recently dug out of the vault, and given a fresh introduction. It’s the extended version on the iPlayer service too, and it’s available for the next year.

Find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p07r5pwq/the-fear-of-god-25-years-of-the-exorcist

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