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.
The Shining (1980)
BBC2, Saturday 17th, 21:15
When Jack Torrance takes on the role of winter caretaker at the remote and imposing Overlook Hotel with his family, he is expecting a quiet time where he can focus on writing his book. Instead the dark history of the hotel and strange forces within it gradually drive him to insanity and put his family in grave danger. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel may not have met with the approval of the author, but it is widely regarded as one of the finest horror films thanks to Jack Nicholson’s chilling performance, some unforgettable imagery and an ominous score.
Independence Day (1996)
Film4, Saturday 17th, 18:10
One of the biggest event movies of the 90s, Independence Day combines the classic alien invasion story with a disaster movie, as gigantic UFOs stage a synchronised attack on Earth’s major cities, wiping out the majority of communication and leadership. Following the attack, America launches a counter-offensive with the help of cocky jet pilot Will Smith and tech-genius Jeff Goldblum. It’s all very silly, mostly rehashes the plot of War of the Worlds and features plenty of American sabre-rattling, but the characters are engaging and the effects and action sequences were superb in their day. The sequel was a bit of a dud but this is worth watching if only for the spectacular destruction of some of the world’s most famous buildings!
Hot Fuzz (2007)
ITV4, Sunday 18th, 23:05 & Tuesday 20th, 22:05
The team responsible for Shaun of the Dead reassembled for this action-packed comedy that revealed the sinister underbelly of life in a small country village. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lead a cast filled to the brim with British comedy talent, not to mention some more traditionally serious stars doing their own comic turns, in a wonderfully ridiculous homage to American action movies and British sensibilities. Violence and gore comfortably sit alongside slapstick comedy and witty banter, culminating in a blood-drenched and bullet-riddled finale that is as good as any Hollywood blockbuster.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Sony Movies, Sunday 18th, 15:50
Eddie Redmayne takes on the demanding role of Hawking in this biopic, showing his early life at Oxford University, his romance with future wife Jane, and the devastating diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 21. Given just two years to live at the time, the remainder of the story is a demonstration of his defiance of that prognosis as he became one of the most noted scientists of the 20th Century. As with all films of this type there are some liberties taken with the truth in the interests of drama, and the relationship between he and his wife in particular is overly sentimental. Overall though it is an amazing, uplifting story with a superb performance by Redmayne, who fully deserved the numerous accolades he received.
Money Monster (2016)
Sony Movies, Sunday 18th, 22:55, Thursday 22nd, 01:10 & Friday 23rd, 22:55
The always reliable George Clooney stars as the flamboyant host of a TV Show that gives money-making advice, but his day is ruined when a man invades his set and takes him hostage after losing all his savings investing in a stock tip that went bad. As the two face one another live on air, behind the scenes the police are formulating a rescue plan while the TV crew begin an investigation into why the seemingly sure-fire investment tip tanked so dramatically. This film flew under the radar a little upon release but turned out to be one of the best thrillers of recent years. Nail-bitingly tense from start to finish, with clever twists and brilliant performances from the whole cast, only the rather predictable ending lets it down a little but that doesn’t stop it being a great movie.