Some cities were just made for the cinema. The likes of Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Woody Allen have explored every inch of the bad and beautiful city that is New York, making people thousands of miles away feel like they know the city as if it were their own. Paris, too, is synonymous with the movies thanks to the cool bravado of French New Wave and later Mathieu Kassovitz’s masterpiece La Haine, which delved headfirst into the issues that plague most big cities – police brutality, poverty, racism and crime.
Possibly because of the lack of a strong British film industry, London isn’t quite the cinematic juggernaut it should be but that’s not to say there’s a shortage of great London films (it’s been a favourite of visual artists before even 1900). The capital is one of the most diverse cities in the world, in terms of race and nationality, and is beset by problems including inequality, housing and racism and many filmmakers have used these factors to create remarkable works of art that tell us so much about our society and London itself. The films on this list reflect the face that London is a culturally vibrant, historically fascinating and deeply complex city that is home to millions of people, each with a very unique story.