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 will look deeper 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 from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+. It's also important to have a TV that supports eARC audio passthrough if you want to enhance your sound experience.
We've tested more than 80 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best TV 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 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 the stand can be elevated so you can 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 also 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 of time, but we don't expect this to be an issue for those who watch varied content like movies. All things considered, this is the best TV for movies.
If you prefer something cheaper, then 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, the C1 still delivers the same exceptional picture quality in dark scenes thanks to the high contrast. It also has more gaming features than the Sony does, like variable refresh rate (VRR) support and lower input lag, which is great if you also want to game with it. 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.
If you're worried about the burn-in risk associated with OLEDs, then it's better to look for an LED TV, which appear to be immune to burn-in. The best TV with an LED panel that we've tested is the Samsung QN90A QLED. It's a flagship 4k TV that comes with Mini LED backlighting, allowing it to get extremely bright, and it has greater control over its full-array local dimming feature.
The VA panel has a high native contrast ratio, but it's worse than other TVs with VA panels because of Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that improves the viewing angles at the cost of contrast. However, it still has a great local dimming feature to produce extremely deep blacks with minimal blooming around bright objects. There's some stutter due to the quick response time, but it can remove 24p judder from any source automatically, and there's a motion interpolation feature. Even if you want to watch movies in the day in a room with a few lights around, visibility shouldn't be an issue as it has fantastic reflection handling.
Unfortunately, the local dimming performs worse in Game Mode than outside of it as it raises the black levels and there's more blooming. So if you stream your favorite movies from your game console, you have to make sure you're not in Game Mode to maintain excellent picture quality. Thanks to its Mini LED backlighting, it has outstanding HDR brightness that really makes highlights pop how the creator intended. Overall, this is the best TV for movies in the LED category.
If you want to save some money, then look into the Hisense U8G. It doesn't have Mini LED backlighting and isn't available in larger sizes like the Samsung QN90A QLED. It also has worse viewing angles because it lacks any viewing angle technology, but that means it has a higher native contrast ratio for deep blacks. It has a great local dimming feature and it performs the same in Game Mode as outside of it. It displays a very wide color gamut for HDR content and gets bright in that mode. The built-in Android TV can stream content in both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats. Unfortunately, our unit has some blooming around bright objects, but overall black uniformity is still excellent.
If you're looking for the best TV with an LED panel, you can't go wrong with the Samsung, but if you don't need the Mini LED backlighting or wide viewing angles, then check out the Hisense.
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. In a dark room, 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. Like the Hisense U8G, it supports both 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. This 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 small problems, it's the best TV for movies for those on a budget.
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.
Mar 23, 2021: Replaced the LG CX OLED with the Sony A8H OLED for consistency and because it performs slightly better for movies in SDR and HDR.
Jan 22, 2021: Renamed the LG CX to 'Best OLED' and moved the Hisense H9G to its own pick as 'Best LED'; removed the Samsung Q80T and added the Sony X900H because it has a better contrast; added the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 as 'Best for HDR'.
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.