When choosing the best TV for movies, it's important to consider your TV room's lighting conditions. You'll generally have a better experience if you watch movies in a dark room as your TV's picture quality in dark scenes will look better and have fewer reflections. You should be looking for a TV that can deliver deep blacks, has rich colors, and has bright highlights, especially if you watch a lot of HDR content. It's also important to have a TV that supports eARC audio passthrough if you want to enhance your sound experience with a soundbar or receiver.
We've tested more than 100 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best TV for home theater and movies you can buy. See our picks for the best TVs for TV shows, the best 4k TVs, and the best TVs for sports.
The best TV for movies with an OLED screen that we've tested is the Sony A90J OLED. It's a flagship TV with exceptional picture quality, especially if you're watching movies in a dark room. It has a sleek design that should look nice in most home theater setups, and you can elevate the stand to place a soundbar in front without blocking the screen.
OLEDs are known for their ability to turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio. This means that blacks are deep and inky when viewed in the dark, and there's no blooming around bright objects either. It removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies. If you watch HDR movies, it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but not HDR10+. It displays a wide color gamut, has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, and has fantastic gradient handling with minimal banding. It gets brighter in HDR than most OLEDs, so although it's not as bright as LED TVs, HDR content still looks amazing.
Unfortunately, because it has such a quick response time, lower-frame rate content may appear to stutter as each frame is held on longer. It has a motion interpolation feature if this bothers you. Also, OLEDs have the risk of permanent burn-in if exposed to the same static elements over a long period, but we don't expect this to be an issue for those who watch varied content like movies. Overall, this is the best TV for movies.
If you prefer something cheaper, check out the LG C1 OLED. It has worse image processing than the Sony A90J OLED, so the color accuracy is much worse, and there's more banding in scenes with shades of the same color. It also doesn't get as bright, so some highlights in HDR may not pop how they should. However, it still delivers the same exceptional picture quality in dark scenes, thanks to the high contrast. It also has more gaming features, like variable refresh rate (VRR) support and lower input lag. It supports eARC if you want to use a receiver, but it doesn't support DTS audio formats.
If you're in the market for the best TV for movies in dark rooms and want an OLED, then check out the Sony. However, if you don't mind compromising a bit on overall picture quality for something cheaper, then check out the LG.
The best TV for movies that we've tested with an LED panel is the Hisense U9DG. It's a unique TV that uses dual cell panel technology, and because of this, it produces the best contrast we've seen on any LED TV as it displays extremely deep blacks with minimal blooming around bright objects. It looks nearly as good as OLEDs, and you don't get the risk of permanent burn-in.
It's fantastic for watching movies in dark rooms because of its deep blacks, and the full-array local dimming feature is also incredible. It makes bright objects pop a lot, and it doesn't crush any blacks either, so scenes with stars or other small bright objects appear as they should. Its overall HDR peak brightness is just okay, but that's because it loses brightness with larger areas of bright colors, and it's still good enough to provide an excellent HDR experience. It also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content, so you can easily stream your favorite HDR content.
Sadly, it's only available in a 75 inch size, so you can't get it if you're limited on space. Also, it's not versatile for other uses as it has a slow response time and low input lag, so gamers should avoid it. The gradient handling is also only decent, and you'll notice banding in scenes with shades of similar colors, which is disappointing. If this doesn't bother you, it's one of the best TVs for movies that we've tested.
If you prefer something available in smaller sizes, look into the Samsung QN90A QLED. It doesn't use the same dual cell technology as the Hisense U9DG, meaning blacks aren't as deep, and there's some blooming, but with a VA panel, it still provides an excellent dark room experience. It's available in models from 43 to 65 inches, and our results are valid for all of the models except for the 43 inch version, which has fewer features. It's also more versatile because it has a much quicker response time and lower input lag for an improved gaming experience. It has a great local dimming feature thanks to its Mini LED backlighting, but the local dimming performs worse in Game Mode because it raises the black levels.
If you want the best movie-watching experience possible and don't mind a large TV, then the Hisense is a fantastic choice. If you need something smaller, then the QN90A is an excellent alternative.
The Hisense U6G is the best TV for home theater setups if you're on a budget. Although you won't find the same features as higher-end, more expensive models, it still offers great overall picture quality, especially for watching movies. The built-in Android TV has a ton of apps available to download, but it can take some time to learn the interface.
It performs well both in dark and bright environments. It has a VA panel with excellent native contrast and outstanding black uniformity, and the decent full-array local dimming feature helps it display deep blacks. It has excellent reflection handling and great peak brightness if you want to use it in a bright room. It supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and even though its HDR brightness is just okay, it still delivers a great HDR experience as it displays a very wide color gamut. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, so content looks good whether you're watching a DVD or Blu-ray.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a motion interpolation feature and can only remove judder from 24p sources, not 60p/i sources, but that's expected from a 60Hz panel. It means that lower frame rate content may appear to stutter in slow or panning shots. It also has narrow viewing angles, but that's normal for a VA panel. The TV wobbles on the stand a bit, but overall it's well-built. Besides these problems, it's the best TV for movies for those on a budget.
Jan 07, 2022: Added the Hisense U9DG as the 'Best LED TV' and moved the Samsung QN90A to 'Smaller Alternative'; moved the Hisense U8G to Notable Mentions.
Nov 10, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021, TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED, and the LG B1 OLED to Notable Mentions.
Sep 15, 2021: Removed the Sony A80J, Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, and TCL 5 Series and added the Sony A90J with the LG C1 as 'Cheaper Alternative' for consistency; added the Hisense U7G, Sony X95J, TCL R745, LG QNED90, and TCL 5 Series 2020 to Notable Mentions.
Jul 20, 2021: Replaced the Hisense H9G and Hisense H8G with the newer Hisense U8G and U6G; replaced the Sony X90J with the Samsung QN90A because it's brighter and made it a main pick; replaced the Sony A90J with the A80J for consistency; updated Notable Mentions.
May 21, 2021: Replaced the Sony A8H and Sony X900H with the A90J and X90J; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
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 TV reviews. 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.