When choosing a TV for movie watching, you should first consider your TV room's lighting conditions. You'll generally have a better experience if you watch movies in a dark room. You should be looking for a TV that can deliver deep blacks, has rich colors, and has bright highlights, especially in HDR content.
We've tested more than 80 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for home theater and movies you can buy. See also our recommendations for the best TVs for TV shows, the best 4k TVs, and the best TVs for sports.
The best TV for movies we've tested so far is the Sony A8G. It's an excellent TV for any type of use, and an outstanding choice for watching movies thanks to its deep, inky blacks. Like any other OLED TV, the contrast ratio and black uniformity are perfect, so dark room performance is outstanding.
With a near-instant response time, fast-moving content looks fantastic, but that means some 24p content appears to stutter; however, there's a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. It can also remove judder from all sources and can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps, which is known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. You can also enjoy movies with family or friends thanks to the amazing viewing angles. It handles reflections really well in bright rooms, but only has decent peak brightness to combat glare. If you want to watch movies with HDR content, it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision and displays a very wide color gamut, but sadly since it can't get very bright in HDR, it doesn't bring out highlights and vivid colors the way they should be.
Unfortunately, as is the case with all OLED TVs, it has the risk of permanent burn-in, but this shouldn't be a problem with varied content in movies. Although the Sony A9G OLED is a higher-end version of this TV, it only has better gaming features for a higher price, making this the best TV for movies we've tested so far.
If you want something cheaper than the Sony A8G OLED, check out the LG B9. This is an OLED TV that delivers an equally outstanding picture quality as the Sony. Watching movies remains an outstanding experience and the differences are fairly minor. This is a more future-proof model, as it supports HDMI 2.1 and has more gaming features than the Sony. As a downside, it lacks the Sony's pre-calibration accuracy, and our unit had slightly worse gray uniformity than our Sony unit, although this varies from panel to panel.
Overall, for the absolute best TV for home theater use and if money isn't an issue, look into the Sony; otherwise, the LG is very similar and costs less.
If you're concerned about the risk of burn-in on the Sony A8G OLED or the LG B9 OLED, the best LED TV for watching movies is the Samsung Q70/Q70R. You won't have the perfect blacks found on the OLEDs, but it can get very bright and deliver an excellent movie-watching experience in a dark room thanks to its deep blacks and effective local dimming support. It can get much brighter, so it's also suitable for daytime viewing in a bright room. For those who enjoy gaming, this TV comes equipped with a lot of gaming goodies.
If perfect blacks are what you're looking for, then look into the Sony, but if you're too concerned about the possibility of burn-in and don't need perfect blacks, the Samsung will serve you well for watching movies.
The Sony X950G is the best color accuracy TV for home theater. It has the most accurate colors out-of-the-box that we've seen so far, so you won't need to pay extra to get it calibrated, and it delivers great overall performance.
This TV has a VA panel, so it's able to deliver deep blacks and it has a local dimming feature to further darken any blacks. As is the case with most VA panels, the viewing angles are poor, but the 75 and 85 inch models have an 'X-Wide Angle' technology that improves the viewing angles at the cost of its contrast ratio, but we didn't test those models. It supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, it has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR. There's little motion blur with fast-moving content, it can interpolate motion up to 120Hz, and it automatically removes judder from all 24p sources, like a Blu-ray player, so you don't have to adjust any settings.
Unfortunately, the built-in speakers have a mediocre frequency response and poor distortion performance, so for the best audio, it's best to get an external setup. Luckily, it supports eARC, so you can send high-quality audio over an HDMI connection. Overall, this is an impressive TV with outstanding color accuracy, and it's a great TV for watching movies.
If you want something cheaper, then check out the Vizio P Series Quantum 2019. It can't get as bright as the Sony X950G and its out-of-the-box color accuracy isn't as good, but it has a much wider color gamut and better color volume, so it's able to produce a wider range of colors in HDR. It has an excellent contrast ratio, good black uniformity, and the local dimming feature does a great job at dimming blacks. Unfortunately, it doesn't upscale 480p or 720p content very well, so you might notice some upscaling artifacts with DVDs or content from a cable box. However, it has an excellent response time, so fast-moving objects look clear and there's a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur.
Overall, if you're looking for the best out-of-the-box color-accurate TV for watching movies, the Sony is a great choice, but if you want something cheaper, look into the Vizio.
The best budget TV for watching movies is the Hisense H9F. This is truly an impressive TV, despite its budget price. It has an outstanding contrast ratio, decent black uniformity, and a full array local dimming to produce deep uniform blacks, suitable for dark room viewing.
Response time is exceptionally low and it has an optional black frame insertion feature to further reduce motion blur, giving you a crisp image with minimal blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this TV is its HDR performance. Thanks to its impressive peak brightness and great color gamut, HDR content looks incredible, with vibrant colors and highlights that pop. Furthermore, it supports HDR10 as well as Dolby Vision.
Sadly, like most VA panels, viewing angles are disappointing, so it may not be a good choice if you have a large room or a wide seating arrangement. This TV has some gaming chops, as input lag is remarkably low, but it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology. Overall, if you want the best movie-watching experience without breaking the bank, this is the best budget TV we've tested.
If you want a budget TV with the user-friendly Roku smart OS, then check out the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019. It doesn't have great reflection handling like the Hisense H9F, but it has much better black uniformity and a better local dimming feature, so it's better suited for dark room viewing. It's able to remove from judder from all sources and it upscales lower resolution content well with no visible artifacts. Unfortunately, it has some uniformity pictures as the edges of the screen are darker and there's visible dirty screen effect in the center. However, it displays a very wide color gamut and gets bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR.
Overall, the Hisense is the best budget TV for movies we've been watching so far, but if you want a Roku TV, consider the TCL.
05/26/2020: Replaced the Hisense H8F with the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019 and the Vizio P Series 2018 with the P Series 2019.
01/27/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
12/03/2019: Replaced the Sony A8F OLED with the Sony A8G OLED and the LG B8 OLED with the LG B9 OLED.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs to watch movies for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.