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 some of the best freeview movies for the coming week.
The Green Mile (1999)
Film4, Saturday 29th & Friday 6th, 21:00
Stock up on the tissues and brace yourself for Frank Darabont’s epic adaptation of Stephen King’s serial novel. Tom Hanks stars as a Death Row prison guard whose life is unexpectedly changed by a giant but gentle inmate, who displays some out of the ordinary powers. Hanks is good as usual, but is completely upstaged on this occasion by the performance of the late Michael Clarke Duncan, in what was undoubtedly his most memorable role. It’s hard watching at times, and doesn’t reach the heights of Darabont’s earlier prison based King adaptation The Shawshank Redemption, but there’s still plenty to admire here if you can cope with the long running time.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
ITV2, Sunday 1st, 18:20
The first Star Wars film to take place outside of the main Skywalker saga focuses on the Rebellion’s mission to obtain the plans for the first Death Star. Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Urso, estranged daughter of the battle station’s designer, who is recruited by rebel spy Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) to help obtain information on the whereabouts of the plans, with the trail eventually leading them and their team to a daring raid on the tropical planet of Scarif. There are definite issues with the film, which were covered in our review when it was released, but it is packed with some of the best action you’ll see in a Star Wars movie and the finale serves as a perfect segue into A New Hope.
The Impossible (2012)
Film4, Sunday 1st, 23:05
Inspired by an amazing true story, this gripping tale of disaster and survival stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as a couple who, along with their three children, are caught up in the tragic 2004 tsunami in Thailand. Separated by the destructive impact of the water, the two strive to locate their children and ultimately one another amongst the chaos that followed the catastrophe, meeting and helping other survivors along the way. Acted brilliantly by both stars, but Watts in particular, this is an incredible tale that showcases the human spirit at its best. The names and nationality of the family that were involved in this ordeal may have been changed, but their story remains just as compelling and the film is a superb tribute to all those that were affected or offered aid following the disaster.
Money Monster (2016)
Sony Movies, Sunday 1sth 23:05 and Wednesday 4th, 21:00
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.
ITV4, Wednesday 4th, 23:10
This ludicrous but enjoyable action flick stars Jason Statham as a hitman that is poisoned by a rival and must boost his adrenaline levels by whatever means necessary in order to stay alive and get revenge. Those means include brawling, frantic running, drug-taking and even a spot of al fresco sex with his bewildered girlfriend, with an even more bewildered group of bystanders looking on. The character’s condition means the entire film takes place at breakneck speed, and after 88 breathless minutes you can look back on some fantastic fights, chases and plenty of comedy too. Statham makes a likeable anti-hero, and this movie formed another successful rung in his ladder that climbed to international action hero status.