Every week Mat Corne scours the TV Guide for the best movies showing on UK free-to-air TV. So for those of you that refuse to pay for Sky Movies, Amazon Prime or Netflix, here are five of the best freeview movies for the coming week. If you’re looking for more free movie options then you can also check out our guide to Freeview Movies On Demand.
Stand by Me (1986)
5Star, Saturday 31st, 12:45
On a hot summer weekend in the late 1950s, four boys from the sleepy town of Castle Rock set out to find the body of a boy that has recently been reported missing. On their journey they get into a variety of dangerous situations, share their problems and begin their journey to adulthood. This coming-of-age film is based on the Stephen King novella The Body, and in terms of adaptations the writer’s work it is second only to The Shawshank Redemption, which came from the same anthology. It works as both a comedy and drama thanks to some brilliant performances from a young cast that would all go on to be major stars, and a carefree spirit that might remind you of simpler days spent in the outdoors with friends.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
GREAT! Movies, Sunday 1st, 14:50 & Friday 6th, 18:50
I’m sure this film has inspired thousands of schoolkids to play truant over the years, but I’d guarantee that none of them had as much fun as Ferris and his friends on their day off! John Hughes’ movie is odd in that very little actually happens. Some kids skip school and go to the city, no significant relationships are formed or broken, no cataclysmic events occur, and nobody gets into serious trouble. The reason it is so enjoyable is because these kids get to live the dream of everyone who fancies a day off (school or work) and do things that we’d never dare to. The characters are likeable and there are some fantastic lines and scenes that have become legendary. It’s a great feelgood movie simply because there’s nothing to hate about it – even the School Principal out to catch them provides fun moments – and that makes it a pretty unique achievement.
ITV4, Monday 2nd, 21:00
In a grim near future, the city of Detroit turns to new technology to help their police force in the fight against escalating levels of crime. When Officer Alex Murphy is murdered by a gang of bank robbers, he is transformed into Robocop, an unstoppable cyborg tasked with cleaning up the city. An absolute classic of mid 80s action movies, Paul Verhoeven’s film is sickeningly violent at times, yet amusingly satirical of American consumerism at others. Peter Weller is great as Murphy but the two main villains, played by Ronnie Cox and Kurtwood Smith, are just as fun to watch and the stop-motion antics of ED-209 are still brilliant if a little dated looking. Forget about the terrible sequels and the kid-friendly remake, just watch the original and bloody best!
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
Film4, Tuesday 3rd, 18:55
From a young age, Michael “Eddie” Edwards dreamed of being an Olympian. After trying a variety of sports and failing to qualify for the British Olympic skiing team, his dream seemed to be over, until he came up with the idea of becoming Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper for over 60 years. Taron Egerton stars as Eddie, who achieves his goal with the help of a disgraced former ski jumping champion, played by Hugh Jackman. We all know the story, which is a classic British tale of celebrating underachievement, but this biopic turns it into a funny, heartwarming feelgood movie. Both Egerton and Jackman are excellent and even if the story isn’t entirely true, it is still a hugely entertaining film showing that sometimes it’s good enough just to take part.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Film4, Friday 6th, 21:00
Making his big screen debut as a leading man, Taron Egerton stars as a directionless youth plucked from a life of petty crime to follow in his father’s footsteps as a member of an elite spy organisation. Once his training is complete, he joins with fellow spies to foil a sinister plot conceived by a deranged Tech billionaire (Samuel L. Jackson). “James Bond with Chavs” seemed like a terrible idea in principle, but this turned out to be one of the surprise hits of 2015 thanks to a great blend of comedy, over the top action and Egerton’s engaging performance.