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.
5Star, Saturday 4th, 17:55
Following the success of The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan reunited with Bruce Willis for one of the director’s most intriguing films. Willis stars as a seemingly ordinary security guard who becomes the sole, uninjured survivor of a devastating train accident. His superhuman escape from certain death attracts the interest of Samuel L. Jackson’s frail art dealer, and the two strike up an odd relationship that leads to increasingly more dangerous situations. The film is a fascinating entry into the superhero genre that dispels with fancy costumes and powers, instead looking at heroes and villains in a ‘real world’ way and featuring superb performances from Willis and Jackson. With both characters recently revived on the big screen in Glass, it’s definitely worth taking another look at their origins in what is arguably Shyamalan’s finest hour.
Django Unchained (2012)
5Star, Saturday 4th, 22:00 & Friday 10th, 23:35
Tarantino’s first crack at a Western stars Jamie Foxx as a slave who is given his freedom by an enigmatic bounty hunter, and partners up with him to bring down a ruthless plantation owner and free his enslaved wife. As you’d expect from a Tarantino movie, plenty of witty, expletive-ridden dialogue and brutal violence ensues. Foxx is engaging as Django, and Leonardo Di Caprio impresses as the villain of the piece, but it is Cristoph Waltz that stands out, following up his performance in Inglourious Basterds with another brilliant display as bounty hunter Shultz. A bloated middle section ruins the pace of the film somewhat, but stick with it until the end and you’ll be rewarded with an action-packed and sometimes shocking finale.
The Fifth Element (1997)
5Star, Sunday 5th & Friday 10th, 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!
Fright Night (1985)
Horror, Monday 6th, 22:50
William Ragsdale stars as Charley Brewster, a young man obsessed with horror films, who discovers that the charming man that recently moved in next door is a vampire. After family and friends refuse to believe him, he turns to faded horror star Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to help him destroy his nasty neighbour. This is classic mid-80s fun, with great mix of comedy and horror, with some great performances by the small cast, witty dialogue and some memorably gruesome special effects. It plays fast and loose with the traditional vampire lore at times, but that just makes for more variety and a better film than you might remember.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
Paramount Network, Wednesday 8th, 21:00
In his first (and sadly last) international film, Bruce Lee stars as a martial arts expert tasked with infiltrating the island lair of a drug lord, which also happens to be home to the killer of his sister. While the story is rather inspired by James Bond, the action is anything but as Lee and his co-stars show off all their best Kung Fu moves. With surprisingly good acting from the majority of characters and the memorable finale in the room of mirrors, Enter the Dragon was undoubtedly the best film of Lee’s tragically short career and while it now seems dated in some respects, it is still rightly regarded as one of the finest martial arts films ever made.