5 of the Best Bill Nighy Films

Last updated on the 29 March 2024 by Maeve

Bill Nighy films showcase his ability to bring depth and nuance to every character he portrays, along with his unique blend of charm and wit.


The Limehouse Golem (2016)

A still from The Limehouse Golem with Daniel Mays and Bill Nighy (Bill Nighy films)


The first of the Bill Nighy films revolves around a series of gruesome murders that have taken place in the Limehouse district of London. A seasoned detective named John Kildare (played by Bill Nighy) is tasked with investigating these murders and finding out who or what is behind them.

As he delves deeper into the case, Kildare discovers that all of the victims were connected to a popular music hall performer named Dan Leno (played by Douglas Booth). He also learns about an infamous killer known as “the Golem,” who was said to have committed similar crimes many years ago.

Top cast: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays, Sam Reid, María Valverde, Eddie Marsan, Henry Goodman, Morgan Watkins.


Sometimes Always Never (2018)

Still of Bill Nighy in Sometimes Always Never


“Sometimes Always Never” is a 2018 British comedy-drama film directed by Carl Hunter. The story follows Alan (played by Bill Nighy), a stylish and witty tailor who has spent years searching for his missing son, Michael, who disappeared during a game of Scrabble.

Alan’s other son Peter (played by Sam Riley) has grown distant from him over the years due to his obsession with finding Michael. Meanwhile, Peter’s teenage son Jack (played by Louis Healy) struggles with personal issues and seeks solace in online gaming.

When Alan receives news that someone may have found information on Michael’s whereabouts, he sets out on a journey with Peter to investigate. Along the way, they confront their strained relationship and try to reconnect as father and son.

Top cast: Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter, Tim McInnerny, Louis Healy, Alan Williams and Alexei Sayle.


The Bookshop (2017)

Still from The Bookshop with Emily Mortimer


The story follows Florence Green (played by Emily Mortimer), a widow who decides to open up a bookshop in an old, abandoned house. Despite facing opposition from some of the town’s residents, Florence perseveres and manages to get her bookstore up and running.

As she begins to build her business, Florence attracts both loyal customers and new friends – including Edmund Brundish (played by Bill Nighy), a reclusive widower who becomes enchanted with her store.

However, not everyone in the town is happy about Florence’s success, particularly Violet Gamart (played by Patricia Clarkson), a wealthy socialite who has plans for the old house that don’t involve books.

Top cast: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, Hunter Tremayne, Honor Kneafsey, James Lance, Frances Barber and Reg Wilson.


About Time (2013)

Still from About Time with Margot Robbie and Bill Nighy


Personally one of my favourite Bill Nighy films “About Time” is a 2013 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis. The story follows Tim (played by Domhnall Gleeson), a young man from Cornwall who discovers that the men in his family can time travel.

Tim uses this newfound ability to pursue love and improve his life, starting with wooing Mary (played by Rachel McAdams) whom he meets at a party. They fall in love and start a life together, but as they face challenges along the way, Tim realises that even time travel has its limitations.

Throughout the film, Tim learns valuable lessons about living in the present moment and cherishing each day. He also grapples with difficult decisions involving his family members and their own journeys through life.

Top cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Tom Hughes and Vanessa Kirby.

Living (2022)

Still from Living with Bill Nighy


The last of our Bill Nighy films is set in the 1950s era of London, a stern and humorless bureaucrat reaches a breaking point with work stress and personal isolation. After receiving a somber medical diagnosis that reveals his limited time left, he decides to take leave from work to explore life’s offerings.

As he navigates through newfound experiences inspired by an indulgent local and lively woman, his search for deeper meaning persists until a simple realization ignites his desire to create a lasting legacy for future generations.

Top cast: Bill Nighy, Diana Hardcastle, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke, Adrian Rawlins, Oliver Chris, Hubert Burton, Zoe Boyle, Barney Fishwick.


Full filmography of Bill Nighy films at Wikipedia


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