Formerly the National Film Theatre, this much-loved four-screen venue on the South Bank in Waterloo became the BFI Southbank in 2007. For film lovers who know their Kubrick from their Kurosawa, this is London's best cinema. Certainly, it's the city’s foremost cinema for director retrospectives and seasons programmed to showcase international work or films of specific genres or themes. It’s the flagship venue of the British Film Institute and plays home each year to the BFI’s London Film Festival and to the BFI’s seasons, such as 2014’s celebration of sci-fi. BFI Southbank also regularly hosts Q&As with some of the world’s leading filmmakers. The venue itself is a hot spot, with two bar-restaurants (one overlooking the river, nestled under Waterloo Bridge), a bookshop (good for DVDs too) and a library.
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- It’s always worrying when an artist you admire in one field decides to branch out into another. Bob Dylan’s painting career, Russell Crowe’s band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, the novels of William Shatner – are all destined for the trash pile of cultu...Read more
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- Willie T Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) is a shopping-mall Santa with a difference: a cynical, safe-cracking alcoholic with a penchant for sex with hefty women and a wholly unconcealed dislike of kids. Indeed, he only does the job as a cover for the ...Read more
- Lee's satire on American TV is an intriguing failure. Its story, about the mounting of a TV revival of a blackface minstrel show, certainly has comic potential, and Lee has created a considerable figure of fun in the isolated, central figure of Pi...Read more
- Patchy sex comedy about an irresistible ad-man who meets his match after feeling what it's like to be a sex object. It's hard not to wonder at Eddie Murphy's seemingly limitless egotism, which allows him to waltz through a movie in which he not on...Read more
- You don't expect New York HipHop rom-coms to come quite this safe - in the non-cool sense of the word, that is. The endless displays of conspicuous buppie consumption can perhaps be excused as a conventional Hollywood aspirational hook. But the s...Read more
- An amazingly sprightly account of a day in the life of a car wash, demonstrating that work is a four-letter word (especially if you happen to be black or underprivileged), and concerned partly with the variety of excretory messes that have to be d...Read more
- In 1939, rosy-cheeked chanteuse Judy Garland trumpeted the cosy, all-American proverb that ‘there’s no place like home’ in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. She returned five years later to reaffirm those beliefs in Vincente Minnelli’s musical masterpiece, ‘Mee...Read more
- Six months after the death of Eric Rohmer at the age of 89, the BFI is re-releasing a good-looking new print of ‘My Night with Maud’, the French filmmaker’s 1969 work which, a decade into his slow mutation from Cahiers critic to director, made his...Read more
- Probably the single neatest expression of Tim Burton’s cute-gothic outsider sensibility, this highly likeable 1993 stop-motion fable also proves a perfect match for Disney’s impressive new 3D technology. The spindly, ragged tactility that always...Read more
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:12
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Absolute love the BFI - events, movies, the place is always buzzing, has a convenient scooter parking and a great program as well as a great location
Wonderful place, I found the seats extremely comfortable but verything is expensive (food, drink, merchandise) except the cinema ticket price but what a great atmosphere and comfortable seating area. Worth considering membership at £40 pa for priority booking, discounts on tickets, food, drink & merchandise.
There's simply no rival in London if you're looking for a cinema that specialises in retrospectives and special seasons on directors or themed work or work from a particular country. Their special events (Q&As etc) are strong, and the venue has massively improved in recent years in terms of being a place to eat and drink before or after a film. Many people now simply use it as a place to hang out without even seeing a film.
The home of London cinema. It is a place where you can feel part of a community of film lovers, young and old, rich and poor, of every background. There is no bigger thrill than seeing your cinematic icons where they belong: on the big screen in front of a packed house. Seeing 'It's a Wonderful Life' at the BFI should be a London rite-of-passage.