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.
They Live (1988)
Film4, Sunday 15th, 01:50 (Saturday night)
Arguably John Carpenter’s last truly enjoyable film, They Live stars the late Roddy Piper as a man that discovers the world is being overtaken by aliens that have infiltrated society. This deception can only be seen by the use of special sunglasses, which reveal the aliens’ true faces and the subliminal messages they are using to subdue humanity. Piper does a decent job in a role that was probably intended for Kurt Russell, and his pro wrestling background brings extra realism to a brilliant fight scene with co-star Keith David. The movie is far from perfect but offers enjoyable Sci-Fi action with a touch of satire, and also features one of the most quotable movie lines of all time.
Channel 4, Sunday 15th, 18:50 & 4Seven, Thursday 19th, 21:00
Following two Iron Man films and The Incredible Hulk, Thor was the next superhero to be adopted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Hemsworth plays the god of thunder with an engaging level of pomposity, in a story that sees him banished to Earth and relieved of his trusty hammer after reigniting a war in his own realm. There’s plenty of humour to be had from this ‘fish out of water’ scenario and the action soon heats up as he takes on his conniving brother Loki, superbly played by Tom Hiddlestone. A cast of high calibre acting talent, including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba and Natalie Portman, contributes to an enjoyable romp that feeds nicely into the first Avengers movie.
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
Film4, Sunday 15th, 18:50
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.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
GREAT! Movies, Monday 16th, 21:00
Now amazingly over 25 years old, Quentin Tarantino’s tale of gangsters, hitmen, boxers and small-time criminals in 90s Los Angeles is still his finest work. Building on the foundations laid down by Reservoir Dogs, the film is characterised by witty dialogue, pop culture references and occasionally shocking violence. The cast is amazing, mixing big names with rising stars and catapulting has-beens and never-wasses into the spotlight, while the director’s ingenious non-linear storytelling and interweaving of subplots inspired countless imitations in the following years and still influences filmmaking to this day. Pulp Fiction was critically lauded and if you haven’t watched it recently then it’s time to re-acquaint yourself with the coolest of movie masterpieces.
Wind River (2017)
Film4, Thursday 19th, 23:15
Two of the Marvel Universe’s fringe actors take centre-stage in this thriller, as Jeremy Renner’s expert tracker teams up with Elizabeth Olsen’s FBI Agent to investigate the death of a young girl found frozen in the middle of a Wyoming Indian Reservation in the dead of winter. After run-ins with the local Native Americans, their inquiries eventually lead to a bloody showdown at a nearby oil drilling site. Director Taylor Sheridan follows up the excellent Hell or High Water with another look at the modern American frontier, this time focusing on the many crimes against Native Americans that are never solved. While the story is as bleak as the environment it is set in, it’s also gripping and shockingly violent at times, while both Renner and Olsen show off acting skills that you’d probably never see in their Avengers roles.