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Learn more about each film

Find out more about each of our 7 selected Mike Leigh films including reviews, related articles and who starred in them.

MEANTIME (15) (1983)
A gritty but moving picture of unemployment in working-class London in Thatcher’s Britain. Brutal, funny, sometimes puzzling, often moving.

Stars Tim Roth, Phil Daniels, Gary Oldman, Marion Bailey

The Guardian – Double take : Tim Roth and Gary Oldman, the perfect shooting match
Praise is due to two superb actors who went from a Mike Leigh TV movie to Hollywood, pacing each other every step of the way

HIGH HOPES (15) (1988)
Thatcher’s Britain again. A politically idealistic young couple; the problems of old age; vulgar, selfish suburbanites; upper class yuppies, gentrifying urban London.

Stars Phil Davis, Ruth Sheen, Edina Dore, Lesley Manville

★★★★ Roger Ebert

★★★★ Empire

NAKED (18) (1993)
A haunting film that looks, often with ironic humour, at the bleak underbelly of human relations. Arguments and ideas; violence and warmth.

Stars David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Ewen Bremner

★★★★★ Roger Ebert

★★★★ Empire

The Best British Films – The Guardian

How we made Naked – The Guardian

SECRETS & LIES (15) (1996)
Winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or, the moving story of an adopted woman who seeks and finds her birth mother.

Stars Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan

★★★★ Empire

The Best British Films – The Guardian

ALL OR NOTHING (18) (2002)
Tough lives. Sadness and misunderstanding on a London housing estate. A life-threatening crisis, and love rediscovered.

Stars Timothy Spall, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville

★★★★ Peter Bradshaw – The Guardian

★★★★★ Roger Ebert


VERA DRAKE (12A) (2004)
The tragedy of a heroic, generous, caring wife and mother who helps women with unwanted pregnancies. Winner of the Venice Golden Lion, the film is set some years before the 1967 Abortion Act.

Stars Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis, Adrian Scarborough, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Daniel Mays, Lesley Sharp, Jim Broadbent

★★★★★ Peter Bradshaw – The Guardian

★★★★ Empire

PETERLOO (12A) (2018)
An epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history.

The massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Many protestors were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression.

The Peterloo Massacre was a defining moment in British democracy which also played a significant role in the founding of The Guardian newspaper.

Stars Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake

★★★★★ Peter Bradshaw – The Guardian
Grit and brilliance in Mike Leigh’s very British massacre

★★★★ Empire
The sheer anger Leigh feels burns through the screen.

★★★★ The Independent
Mike Leigh’s period drama has immediacy and a sense of anger

Mike Leigh’s Peterloo announced as first ever BFI London Film Festival premiere outside London




Mike Leigh image courtesy of Myrna Suárez.