You don't need to spend a fortune on the latest 4k TV to get an enjoyable movie experience; most monitors deliver a decent multimedia experience. New 4k monitors have some of the same features as high-end TVs, including support for HDR and even local dimming for better dark room performance. However, our recommendations aren't limited to only 4k resolutions, as the difference between 1440p and 4k on monitors this size can be difficult to notice at a distance.
We've tested more than 140 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best monitors to watch movies that are available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 1440p monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The best multimedia monitor that we've tested with a 4k resolution is the Dell S2721QS. This is a well-rounded option that should please most people for any type of use. The high resolution helps deliver clear images when watching your favorite movies or crisp text if you need to use it for work. The good ergonomics allow you to place the screen in an optimal viewing position.
This is a great multimedia monitor because its wide viewing angles make it easy to share the content on your screen with others around you. It's also a good choice for viewing the latest trends online in well-lit rooms thanks to its great peak brightness and good reflection handling. It delivers good picture quality because it has incredible gradient handling, perfect coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, and excellent gray uniformity. It supports HDR10 and displays a wide color gamut, but it doesn't get bright enough to truly make highlights stand out.
Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio and blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark, and there's no local dimming feature to improve it either. On plus side, it has a few extra features such as Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture modes so that you can display images from two sources at once, and it has built-in speakers. Overall, this is the best monitor for multimedia that we've tested.
If you want an even bigger monitor, the BenQ EW3270U is a good alternative. With a VA panel, it doesn't provide wide viewing angles like the Dell S2721QS, but instead, it delivers deep blacks, which is great for watching movies. Even in bright rooms, the BenQ has good reflection handling and decent peak brightness. It supports HDR10 and displays a wide color gamut, but small highlights don't pop the way they should in HDR because it doesn't get extremely bright in that mode. Out-of-the-box color accuracy is good, and it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space if you want to use it for photo editing. Sadly, it has terrible ergonomics, so it may be difficult to place it in an ideal viewing position. On the upside, it has a USB-C port, built-in speakers, and it has a quick response time, so motion looks smooth.
The Dell is the best monitor for movies that we've tested, but if you prefer something bigger with better dark-room performance, then look into the BenQ.
The best 1440p multimedia monitor we've tested is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. Although it's mainly made for gaming, it delivers great all-around performance, and most people should be satisfied watching multimedia content on it.
It has an IPS panel, so it has wide viewing angles, which is great for watching videos with a few friends. That comes at the cost of a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray if you watch dark scenes in dark rooms. It performs fairly well in bright rooms as it can get bright enough to combat glare, and it has decent reflection handling. It displays nearly all of the sRGB color space used in most content. It also has decent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing, but it might not be enough for professional editors.
Unfortunately, even though it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut, and it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights. However, fast-moving content looks excellent thanks to its high refresh rate, resulting in minimal motion blur. Overall, this is the best monitor for movies that we've tested with a 1440p resolution.
If you want something with better dark-room performance to enjoy an improved movie watching experience, then check out the Samsung Odyssey G7. Its ergonomics are worse than the ASUS TUF VG27AQ and it doesn't have wide viewing angles, but instead, the impressive contrast and okay black uniformity help deliver a great dark-room viewing experience. It's mainly designed for gaming but it still delivers a good picture quality thanks to its good color accuracy and exceptional gradient handling. It's also a good choice for well-lit rooms as it has great peak brightness and good reflection handling. It has an edge-lit local dimming feature, but it performs terribly and can get quite distracting when watching real content. Lastly, it has okay peak brightness in HDR and displays a wide color gamut, but it may not be enough for a true HDR experience.
All things considered, if you want the best monitor to watch movies with a 1440p resolution and wide viewing angles, go for the ASUS, but if you prefer something with better native contrast, consider the Samsung.
The best multimedia monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. The 34 inch screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio with a 3440x1440 resolution, delivering crisp images. There's enough space to open multiple windows at once, and even though most videos aren't displayed in the ultrawide format, you can easily watch videos and continue your work on the same screen.
It has very good ergonomics that allow you to turn the screen a full 360 degrees because its round base plate rotates freely. It also has a wide tilt range and outstanding tilt adjustment, but you can't rotate it into portrait mode, which is expected for a model of this size. It has fairly wide viewing angles, okay peak brightness, and good reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in most well-lit rooms. Lastly, it has near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space and good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.
Unfortunately, it delivers a sub-par HDR experience. It has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark, and it lacks a local dimming feature. It also has a bad HDR color gamut and fails to make highlights stand out, so it doesn't look all that different from SDR content. Regardless of this small issue, if you're just watching content in SDR, this is the best monitor for movies that we've tested.
The best monitor for movies in the budget category is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. Versatile and well-rounded, this is one of the better 1440p monitors we've tested, and most people should enjoy its picture quality. It also has built-in speakers, which is a nice addition.
Its large screen and high-resolution help deliver detailed and crisp images. Combined with its high peak brightness and very good reflection handling, you shouldn't have any issues placing it in a well-lit environment. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is good, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated unless you really want to. It has excellent gray uniformity and wide viewing angles if you want to sit back and enjoy a movie with a friend. If you also want to use it for gaming, it has an impressive response time, low input lag, and FreeSync support.
Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, although this is somewhat expected for a model of its price. It has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. Luckily, its stand is one of the most ergonomic we've tested, so it's really easy to place in an ideal viewing position. If you're on a budget, this is the best monitor for watching movies that you can buy for a budget-friendly price.
12/02/2020: Removed the LG 27UK650-W, Samsung CHG70, and LG 34GN850-B with the Dell S2721QS, Samsung Odyssey G7, and the Acer Nitro XV340CK.
10/02/2020: Replaced the LG 32UD99-W with the BenQ EW3270U and the Dell U2520D with the ASUS PA278QV.
08/03/2020: Replaced the Samsung C49RG9 with the LG 34GN850-B and put it as its own pick; replaced the BenQ EX2780Q with the Dell U2520D.
04/07/2020: Replaced the Dell U2518D by the BenQ EX2780Q as the best budget pick, updated notable mentions based on market prices.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors currently available for multimedia. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the metrics that fare worse are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.