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+.
We've tested more than 60 TVs in the last two years, 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 Sony A90J OLED is the best TV for movies with an OLED panel. It's a fantastic choice for watching movies because of how it can individually turn off pixels, resulting in perfect blacks and no blooming around bright objects. It's a better choice than the LG C1 OLED because it has much better out-of-the-box accuracy, so colors look closer to what the creator intended without any sort of calibration.
As mentioned, OLEDs are excellent for watching movies in the dark because of how they display deep blacks. It has wide viewing angles, which is great for watching your favorite movie with the entire family because the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. If you also watch movies in HDR, it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but not HDR10+. It displays a wide color gamut, has fantastic gradient handling, and the HDR brightness is decent, better than most OLEDs. It's not as bright as competing LED options, but it's still bright enough to make some highlights stand out.
Sadly, OLEDs have the risk of permanent burn-in, which could happen after constant exposure to static elements. However, we don't expect this to be an issue if you watch varied content, especially if you're watching a lot of movies. If you tend to stream your movies, the built-in Google TV interface offers smooth navigation, and the Google Play Store has a ton of apps available to download. All things considered, this is the best TV for home theater setups if you want an OLED panel.
If you want the best TV for movies with an LED panel, we recommend the Hisense H9G. It's the flagship model from Hisense's 2020 lineup, and it manages to deliver impressive picture quality and performance at a fraction of the cost of many higher-end TVs. It's an excellent choice for watching movies, but it only comes in a 55 or 65 inch size. Unlike with an OLED, you won't have to worry about experiencing burn-in if that's a concern to you.
The VA panel on this TV produces deep, inky blacks thanks to its incredible contrast ratio, which is further improved by the TV's full-array local dimming feature. Our unit also has exceptional black uniformity, though this may vary between units. It removes judder from all sources and upscales lower-resolution content well, without any artifacts. The TV has a fast response time, so there's a bit of stuttering with low frame rate content. It supports HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision, and it gets bright enough to deliver an amazing HDR experience.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, but that's expected from a VA panel. Still, that means it's not as well-suited to watching movies with a group since the image looks washed out from the sides. Also, if you're going to be gaming as well as watching movies, it lacks variable refresh rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing in games. That said, for what you get, this is one of the best value LED TVs you can find, and most people should be happy with it.
If you want a more immersive viewing experience, then check out the Sony XR75X90J. It doesn't get as bright and has worse reflection handling than the Hisense H9G, but that shouldn't be much of an issue if you're watching movies in a dark room. Although we tested the 55 inch model, we expect the 75 and 100 inch models to perform similarly, but the 85 inch model uses a different processor. In terms of picture quality, the X90J has a VA panel with a fantastic contrast ratio and great local dimming to produce deep blacks for dark room viewing. It has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated. Sadly, like the Hisense, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not a good choice for wide seating areas.
If you want the best TV for movies with an LED panel, check out the Hisense, but if you want a larger screen, look into the Sony.
The best TV for movies and HDR content that we've tested is the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. This is a premium 4k LED model that offers impressive overall performance, and it's an excellent choice for watching movies, especially those available in HDR. It's similar to the Hisense H9G or Sony X90J for watching 4k content, but because there are artifacts when upscaling 480p content, it's not as ideal for watching DVDs.
Its VA panel has an outstanding native contrast and, combined with its great local dimming feature, it displays extremely deep blacks, making it a great choice for dark room viewing. What makes it excellent for HDR content is that it displays an extremely wide color gamut and is one of the brightest TVs we've tested, so highlights stand out the way the creator intended. Black uniformity is incredible, and the gradient handling is excellent. It also supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, so you won't have to worry about which format your HDR movie is in.
Sadly, our unit has a red tint to the image, even after calibration, but we don't know if this is a problem with our unit alone, so your experience may vary. It removes judder from native 24p sources, but it can't remove judder from 60p and 60i sources, like from streaming devices. If you also want to watch TV during the day, glare shouldn't be an issue thanks to its high peak brightness and amazing reflection handling. All in all, most people should enjoy watching an HDR movie with it.
The best TV for movies in the budget category we've tested is the Hisense H8G. It's surprisingly very good considering its budget price point and is great for a wide range of uses. It has an excellent contrast ratio, decent black uniformity, and full-array local dimming to produce deep uniform blacks, suitable for dark room viewing. It also looks quite sleek and has thin bezels around the screen.
It's a very good choice watching HDR content as well thanks to its very wide color gamut, though unfortunately, it can't get very bright. It may be enough to bring out some highlights, but not all. On the bright side, it supports Dolby Vision, which is great if you watch most of your HDR content from streaming services like Amazon Prime or Apple+, and it also supports HDR10+. Response time is very 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.
Unfortunately, like with most models that use a VA panel, viewing angles are disappointing, so it may not be a good choice if you have a large room with a wide seating arrangement. Also, while it has some gaming chops thanks to its remarkably low input lag, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology. Overall, if you don't want to break the bank but still want an impressive TV that's great for movies, this is a great choice.
If you prefer the easy-to-use Roku TV to stream your movies, then the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED is a good alternative. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense H8G, so some small highlights may not pop the way they should in HDR. However, the TCL displays an even wider color gamut for HDR and has better gradient handling. It has one of the best contrast ratios we've tested on an LED model, and it has a decent full-array local dimming feature. It upscales lower-resolution content, like from Blu-ray players, without any issues, and it removes judder from any source, which is rare for a 60Hz TV. Sadly, it has some uniformity issues, but this may vary between units.
If you want the best budget TV for movies, you can't go wrong with the Hisense, but if you're a fan of the Roku smart platform, the TCL is a good choice too.
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'.
Nov 24, 2020: Added Hisense H9G, removed Sony X950H.
Sep 25, 2020: Replaced the Sony A8H with the LG CX; the Sony X900H with the X950H, and the TCL 6 Series 2019 with the TCL 5 Series 2020; removed the Vizio M Series 2019.
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.