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.
The Fifth Element (1997)
Paramount Network, Saturday 27th, 21:00
Luc Besson’s Sci-Fi thriller is amongst his most commercially successful films, despite polarising critics when it was released. Bruce Willis stars as an unwitting saviour of the world when bewildered super-human Milla Jovovich almost literally falls into his lap in futuristic New York. An action-packed adventure across a visually-spectacular world ensues, as they pit their wits against Gary Oldman’s eccentric villain and a bunch of invading aliens. It’s a fairly straightforward action movie at heart, but the spectacular cinematography, visual effects and Jean-Paul Gaultier’s costume design propel it into a unique stratosphere of its own. At the end of the film you won’t quite understand everything you just saw, but it will certainly have left an impression!
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
E4, Sunday 28th, 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.
Horror, Tuesday 2nd, 21:00
Psycho meets 8MM in this modestly-budgeted horror flick, where Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale check into a backwater motel only to find they’re about to become the latest stars of a Snuff movie. A tense opening half hour eventually gives way to more predictable genre tropes, but the filmmakers should be praised for not resorting to an all-out gorefest, instead relying on claustrophobia and psychological torment to drive the movie to its inevitable conclusion. The cast does a reasonable job, there are a few surprises, and with a running time under 90 minutes, this is one for horror/thriller fans to check out if it has previously passed you by. Just avoid booking a remote hotel stay for a few weeks afterwards!
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
E4, Friday 5th, 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.
Source Code (2011)
BBC1, Friday 5th, 23:55
This gripping Sci-Fi thriller sees Jake Gyllenhaal involved in an experimental project where he is transported into the body of a recently-deceased commuter. He must relive the last 8 minutes of their life over and over to try and discover the perpetrator of the train explosion that killed him, and help prevent an even bigger disaster occurring. This grim variation of Groundhog Day is made all the more disturbing when the audience discovers what is going on in the real world, but to give much more away would spoil those revelations. Suffice to say this is an incredibly clever, original and thrilling film with a superb, emotion-filled lead performance from Gyllenhaal. It would be near perfect were it not for the last few minutes, which I personally found ridiculous.