Benedict Cumberbatch is a phenomenal performer and he has done some amazing work in both Hollywood and British Cinema, all of his movies are at the very least good if not brilliant. He became a household since his leading role as the titular character in BBC’s modern-day Sherlock, which aired in 2010, and since then he has garnered a huge fanbase. So, today we at Cinemablind decided to make a list of the 13 best movies and TV shows starring Benedict Cumberbatch that should be on your watchlist. We also wanted to say that we know there are many brilliant films and TV shows we haven’t included in the list but we had to keep it short.
13. The Mauritanian (Netflix)
Synopsis: Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is the inspiring true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Tahar Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), uncovers shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.
12. The Hobbit Film Series (Max)
Synopsis: Includes all three films of The Hobbit Trilogy: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies. Peter Jackson journeys back to Middle-earth with an all-new adventure following Bilbo Baggins, who’s swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Bilbo, along with the company of thirteen dwarves and the wizard Gandalf the Grey, encounter trolls, orcs, goblins, elves and the mysterious Gollum.
11. The Courier (Prime Video)
Synopsis: THE COURIER is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK’s MI-6 and a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis.
10. Atonement (Hulu)
Synopsis: Joe Wright, the BAFTA Award-winning director of “Pride & Prejudice,” has reunited with his filmmaking team and his Academy Award-nominated actress, Keira Knightley, for another classic British romance, starring James McAvoy (BAFTA Award nominee for “The Last King of Scotland”) opposite Ms. Knightley. Christopher Hampton (Academy Award winner for “Dangerous Liaisons”) has written the screenplay adaptation of Ian McEwan’s best-selling 2002 novel Atonement. Shot on location in the U.K., the film’s story spans several decades. In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous mansion. On the warmest day of the year, the country estate takes on an unsettling hothouse atmosphere, stoking Briony’s vivid imagination. Robbie Turner (Mr. McAvoy), the educated son of the family’s housekeeper, carries a torch for Briony’s headstrong older sister Cecilia (Ms. Knightley). Cecilia, he hopes, has comparable feelings; all it will take is one spark for this relationship to combust. When it does, Briony — who has a crush on Robbie — is compelled to interfere, going so far as accusing Robbie of a crime he did not commit. Cecilia and Robbie declare their love for each other, but he is arrested — and with Briony bearing false witness, the course of three lives is changed forever. Briony continues to seek forgiveness for her childhood misdeed. Through a terrible and courageous act of imagination, she finds the path to her uncertain atonement, and to an understanding of the power of enduring love.
9. The Power of the Dog (Netflix)
Synopsis: Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.
8. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Starz)
Synopsis: Set in the 1970s, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage. Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and their country, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects – all experienced, urbane, successful agents – but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment.
7. Patrick Melrose (Rent on Prime Video)
Synopsis: Get ready for the lowdown on the British upper class. This five-part limited series based on the acclaimed novels by Edward St. Aubyn tracks Patrick from a privileged but deeply traumatic childhood in the South of France through severe substance abuse in his twenties in New York and, ultimately, toward recovery back home in Britain. At once harrowing and hilarious, Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the troubled titular character.
6. Hawking (Rent on Prime Video)
Synopsis: Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this drama documenting the life and work of the theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking who, despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, has galvanized the scientific world with his ground breaking work on the nature of time and the universe. This drama tells the story of a crucial period in Stephen Hawking’s life. In the course of two astonishing years he received a death sentence, fell in love, and solved the secret of the universe.
5. Star Trek Into Darkness (Netflix, Paramount+ & AMC+)
Synopsis: The crew of the Starship Enterprise returns home after an act of terrorism within its own organization destroys most of Starfleet and what it represents, leaving Earth in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his people (Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoë Saldana) on a mission to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction, thereby propelling all of them into an epic game of life and death.
4. Sherlock (Philo)
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes, an analytical deduction fanatic, is helping the police out with their enquiries for fun, when he runs into potential flatmate Dr John Watson, fresh from serving in the war in Afghanistan and sporting a limp. In spite of Watson’s initial scepticism, Holmes’ brilliant mind and dangerous lifestyle offer the stimulation he craves, and the two quickly forge an alliance. Sherlock provides the inspired leaps of intellect, while Watson keeps his friend’s flights of fancy grounded – it’s the perfect partnership. Uplifting, action-packed and highly entertaining, with sparky scripts and unforgettable performances by the two leads, this is Sherlock for a new generation.
3. Doctor Strange’s Every MCU Appearance (Disney+)
Doctor Strange (Synopsis): From Marvel comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place – a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange – armed with newly acquired magical powers – is forced to choose whether to return to his old life or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
2. 12 Years a Slave (Rent on Prime Video)
Synopsis: 12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.
1. The Imitation Game (Prime Video, Netflix & Freevee)
Synopsis: The Imitation Game is a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing (pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code) and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.