The Best Mike Leigh Movies Ranked And Where to Watch them

If you're looking for the best Mike Leigh movies of all time then here is a definitive list. We rank every movie directed by Mike Leigh based on their popularity score from IMDB from best to worst. Click on the ‘see more’ button to find out where to watch them in Australia covering all streaming services. In August 2021 there are 8 films in this list.

List of the Best Movies Directed by Mike Leigh In Order of Popularity

  1. Secrets & Lies
  2. Naked
  3. Vera Drake
  4. All or Nothing
  5. Another Year
  6. Happy-Go-Lucky
  7. Mr. Turner
  8. Peterloo

The top 8 Movies directed by Mike Leigh

1. Secrets & Lies

Rated: R

8.0/10

Cynthia lives in London with her sullen street-sweeper daughter. Her brother has been successful with his photographer's business and now lives nearby in a more upmarket house. But Cynthia hasn't even been invited round there after a year. So, all round, she feels rather lonely and isolated. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Hortense, adopted at birth but now grown up, starts to try and trace her mother.

2. Naked

Rated: Not Rated

7.8/10

Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ranting at strangers, and meeting characters in plights very much like his own.

3. Vera Drake

Rated: R

7.6/10

Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days doting on them and caring for her sick neighbor and elderly mother. However, she also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies. While the practice itself was illegal in 1950s England, Vera sees herself as simply helping women in need, and always does so with a smile and kind words of encouragement. When the authorities finally find her out, Vera's world and family life rapidly unravel.

4. All or Nothing

Rated: R

7.5/10

Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for elderly people, and their son Rory is unemployed and aggressive. The joy has gone out of Phil's and Penny's life, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they are brought together to rediscover their love. All or Nothing is set on a London working-class housing estate over a long weekend, and also tells the stories of a range of Phil and Penny's neighbors, some of whom become involved in the family's lives, and all of whom experience an emotional journey.

5. Another Year

Rated: PG-13

7.3/10

A married couple who have managed to remain blissfully happy into their autumn years, are surrounded over the course of the four seasons of one average year by friends, colleagues, and family who all seem to suffer some degree of unhappiness.

6. Happy-Go-Lucky

Rated: R

7.0/10

Poppy Cross is happy-go-lucky. At 30, she lives in Camden: cheeky, playful, frank while funny, and talkative to strangers. She's a conscientious and exuberant primary-school teacher, flatmates with Zoe, her long-time friend; she's close to one sister, and not so close to another. In this slice of life story, we watch her take driving lessons from Scott, a dour and tightly-wound instructor, take classes in flamenco dance from a fiery Spaniard, encounter a tramp in the night, and sort out a student's aggressive behavior with a social worker's help. Along the way, we wonder if her open attitude puts her at risk of misunderstanding or worse. What is the root of happiness?

7. Mr. Turner

Rated: R

6.8/10

Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.

8. Peterloo

Rated: PG-13

6.5/10

The story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester.