Watch: Five Films from Our British Brethren You Can Enjoy Right Now

July 4, 2012

British Films

While the rest of the world is busy dealing with July 4th as another humpday, here in the United States, it's Independence Day. Plenty of people will be quoting Bill Pullman's speech from the sci-fi blockbuster of the same name, eating ribs, hot dogs and hamburgers, blowing stuff up and getting drunk, just as the founding fathers intended. However, I think we've celebrated enough to rub our victory in the faces of those who oppressed us from across the pond. Today, I say we celebrate our British brethren for being worthy opponents, and letting us have a day off, by watching some of their recent great films on Netflix Instant.

Without further ado, here are some semi-recent films from across the pond on Netflix Instant right now:

Cemetery Junction
Watch It Now

It's quite uncanny that comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant can get together to write and direct a film that isn't a hilarious comedy. Instead, these two talented Brits come together and deliver a coming-of-age drama that's essentially American Graffiti for the United Kingdom. Keep the kids with an uncertain future ahead of them but replace the car culture with the dreary suburban setting of Reading, and you've got a spectacularly underrated film chock full of great performances and phenomenal writing.

Watch It Now

Take the dark twisted humor from across the pond, a Scorsese-inspired shooting style, and a coming-of-age story that spans across generations and you get this fantastic directorial debut from comic actor Richard Ayoade. Complete with breakthrough performances from young stars Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige, the film has flares of iconic filmmakers like Woody Allen and Hal Ashby. It has a personality that feels contemporary and classic all at once to the point that I'd go so far as to call it timeless. This will go down as an overlooked classic and one that could very well be used to enlighten film students years from now.

In the Loop
Watch It Now

Right now, showing on HBO, you can see the comedic work of Scottish director Armando Iannucci with his US government-based series "Veep" with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but before that, the director was tackling British government with comedy. First he took to small screens with "The Thick of It," and then he adapted the series into a feature film called In the Loop. With a great UK cast that includes Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi and Steve Coogan, along with US stars like James Gandolfini and Anna Chlumsky, My Girl all grown up.

The Trip
Watch It Now

This is yet another film adaptation of a UK TV series (they're actually much better at this than we are in the US), and for anyone who enjoys endless Christopher Walken impressions, this one's for you. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, the stars of the 2005 comedy Tristram Shandy, reunite with British director Michael Winterbottom for this mockumentary about a pair of actors who embark on a foodie road trip across England. Mostly improvised and highlighting the duo's penchant for dueling impressions of famous actors, the film follows them as they test their friendship while sampling the best restaurants in Northern England.

Harry Brown
Watch It Now

While the rest of our picks are more comedic in nature, this one is a straight-up thriller worth watching anyway. Basically, it's Michael Caine's Taken, and if he was fighting us in the Revolutionary War, we wouldn't have stood a chance. When a crew of drug-dealing gang members takes the life of his only friend, a retired Marine and widower (Caine) decides to take the law into his own hands, but his old-school training might be overmatched. Caine is such a fantastic, nuanced actor who has been around the block more than a few times, and it's great to see his take on a dark role like this. The film also co-stars Emily Mortimer.

We hope these films tickle your fancy whether you're celebrating Independence Day or just love movies!

Find more posts: Editorial, Lists, Netflix Instant, To Watch



i've seen them all already hehehe

William on Jul 4, 2012


British Brethren makes them sound like a cult

Graeme on Jul 4, 2012


Personally i still think that the movies Restless Natives and Quadrophenia are still up there with some of todays newer cinema out-put thats dribbling from the british island.

LV 426 on Jul 5, 2012


Nice selection,I love Submarine,one of my favourites of last year

lpoolfilmnerd on Jul 5, 2012


I can't find THE TRIP anywhere over here in Canada, does anyone know where I can find it?

Nick on Jul 5, 2012


Harry Brown is garbage...

PooPants on Jul 5, 2012

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