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 reviewed more than 110 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 LG 27UK650-W is the best multimedia monitor that we've tested so far and is the best monitor for movies. This 27 inch, 4k screen delivers an immersive multimedia experience with its HDR support. Although its HDR performance is somewhat hindered by its lower peak brightness and the lack of local dimming features, the gradient performance is outstanding, which minimizes banding.
If you also want to game a bit on this monitor, the response time on this monitor is great for fast action scenes, but you're limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. Given that 4k gaming at a high refresh rate is still uncommon due to hardware constraints, we don't expect it to be an issue. Inputs include two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort, which allows for multiple devices to be connected, such as a gaming console or media streamer. It also has wide viewing angles, great for watching the latest trending videos with your friends.
As expected, unfortunately, the IPS panel isn't ideal for darker rooms, as it can't produce true blacks and has mediocre black uniformity. Overall, this is a very good monitor that's feature-packed for its price, making it the best monitor for watching movies we've seen so far.
If you like the LG 27UK650-W, but screen size and real estate are more important to you, check out the LG 32UD99-W instead. This larger model offers almost identical performance, with great motion handling, wide viewing angles, and excellent gradient handling. Other than the difference in screen size, this monitor has a slightly better contrast ratio, a wider color gamut, and better black uniformity than the other LG. Finally, connectivity is also improved with the addition of a USB-C port, which allows you to connect a laptop and use it as a second screen or to charge other devices.
If you're looking for the absolute best monitor for movies, look into the 27UK650-W due to its price and features. If you're looking for something larger, the 32UD99-W is an excellent choice, though it has a significant increase in price.
The best 1440p multimedia monitor we've tested so far is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. Although this monitor is 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. This monitor 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 1440p monitor for multimedia we've tested so far.
If you're looking for a monitor with a VA panel for better dark room performance, check out the Samsung CHG70. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like ASUS TUF VG27AQ, but it's able to produce deep blacks and is one of the best monitors for watching movies in a dark room. The Samsung also has better coverage of the Adobe RGB color space if you want to use it for photo editing, and it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy. It's able to display a wide color gamut for HDR content, but unfortunately, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. However, if you also plan on using this monitor in a bright room, it has good reflection handling and great peak brightness in SDR.
If you want the best 1440p monitor for multimedia, look into the ASUS. Otherwise, the Samsung is the best monitor for watching movies in a dark room with a 1440p resolution.
The best monitor for watching movies on an ultrawide screen is the LG 34GN850-B. It has an immersive 21:9 aspect ratio with a 1440p resolution, so you can sit back and enjoy your favorite videos on this monitor. It also has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, ideal if you want to share your screen with a friend.
This monitor has great color accuracy out-of-the-box, so you won't have to pay extra to get it calibrated if you're just using it to watch videos. It covers almost all of the sRGB color space used in most content, and it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. It also supports HDR10, displays a wide color gamut, and it gets bright enough in HDR to bring out some highlights, but still not good enough as some TVs. Additionally, it has superb gradient handling, minimizing banding.
Sadly, due to its IPS panel, it's not ideal for watching movies in dark rooms. It has a low contrast ratio so blacks appear closer to gray. On the upside, if you choose to use it in a bright room, it gets bright enough to combat glare and it has decent reflection handling. All in all, this is the best monitor for movies with an ultrawide screen we've tested so far.
The best monitor for watching movies in the budget category is the Dell UltraSharp U2520D. It's a simple, yet reliable monitor with a good all-around performance that should please most people. It's well-built, and like most Dell monitors, it has impressive ergonomics.
Its overall picture quality is great. It has very good out-of-the-box color accuracy, impressive coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing, and like most IPS panels, it has wide viewing angles. It's not a bad choice for HDR too as it displays a wide color gamut and its peak brightness in okay, but you still won't be getting a true HDR experience. It also has a USB hub so you can charge your devices while watching movies.
Sadly, like any IPS monitor, it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray. Its reflection handling isn't good either, but it gets bright enough to combat glare, so it's still a good choice for moderately-lit rooms. It's a good monitor overall, making it the best monitor for movies available for a cheap price that we've tested.
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.
06/05/2020: Minor changes to text for clarity, updated notable mentions to reflect the latest reviews.
04/07/2020: Replaced the Dell U2518D by the BenQ EX2780Q as the best budget pick, updated notable mentions based on market prices.
01/08/2020: Added the ASUS TUF VG27AQ and changed the article structure.
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.