icon Best Films on Freeview This Week


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2- (2011)
18:25 - 19:25 - Sun 11/4/21 - ITV 2
7.7/10 Stars

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Harry must face his nemesis Voldemort in an epic final confrontation. With the late Alan Rickman. Violence/moderate language/flashing images. (2011)(131 mins) Also in HD


Braveheart- (1995)
21:00 - 22:05 - Sun 11/4/21 - 5*
7.6/10 Stars

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Mel Gibson directs this 13th-century saga of Scottish revolt against English tyranny with a claymore-like flourish, defying the criticism that there are moments as bogus as plastic haggis. He also stars, portraying William Wallace as a medieval, woad-smeared Mad Max-like hero, a rebel leader and rabble rouser, an intrepid champion from the mould of Hollywood heroes, made believable by the grace of the star. However, if he's a wartime resistance leader in the style of Robin Hood with a comely Maid Marion in the shape of Sophie Marceau then Patrick McGoohan as the villainous King Edward "Longshanks" is a jeering, sneering cliché too far - the Sheriff of Nottingham with his own portable torture chamber. As director, Gibson's control over thousands of extras, in the swift succession of gruesome hand-to-hand battles, is as effective as anything in Laurence Olivier's Henry V. But when the action moves in for the emotional kill, the film loses credibility - Wallace's disdain at his own disembowelment being a prime example. Yet, for all its stereotypes and disparities, there is a nicely judged air of political cynicism, as noblemen switch allegiances as easily as horses. It succeeds in bringing to life the reality of Scottish patriotism and brilliantly captures the spirit of revolution. Little wonder it won an Oscar for best picture.


Inception- (2010)
11:30 - 14:10 - Mon 12/4/21 - ITV
8.0/10 Stars

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The subconscious mind becomes a deadly maze for Leonardo DiCaprio in this wildly inventive psychological thriller from Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight). DiCaprio stars as Cobb, a corporate spy who steals secrets from other people's dreams, but begins to lose his grip when tasked by a business mogul (Ken Watanabe) with implanting a destructive idea in the mind of the heir to an energy empire (Cillian Murphy). Their thoughts are in conflict, producing incredible, ethereal action scenes akin to The Matrix. Cobb is aided by a team of specialists, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao and Ellen Page. However, he is also fighting himself and projections of his wife (Marion Cotillard) that threaten to plunge him into oblivion, and these scenes give the film a true sense of urgency. Emotional intimacy is lacking, with some characters functioning merely as devices to explain an increasingly complicated scenario, but there's no doubt that Nolan (who also directed the equally elliptical Memento) knows how to craft an enthralling brainteaser.


Raging Bull- (1980)
23:05 - 01:45 - Wed 14/4/21 - Film 4
7.5/10 Stars

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Critics and film-makers are always being asked to reel off their desert island films: this, without question, is one such great. Director Martin Scorsese makes no concession to character likeability here as he charts Jake La Motta's downward slide from arrogant prizefighter to frustrated, hateful dropout. Robert De Niro, who piled on the pounds to play the latter-day La Motta, proves he is the ultimate Method actor, both utterly convincing in the ring (the brutal fight sequences are spectacularly staged) and as the empty barrel abusing everyone (including his wife, Cathy Moriarty, and brother, Joe Pesci) at home. Scorsese effortlessly fuses top-drawer acting (De Niro rightly won a best actor Oscar for his efforts), pumping narrative drive and blitzkrieg camera technique to deliver a giddy, claustrophobic classic.


The Sword of Monte Cristo- (1951)
06:00 - 07:35 - Fri 16/4/21 - Talking Pictures
8.0/10 Stars

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A military captain is assigned to investigate a revolutionary movement in 19th-century France. A key member of the uprising is an aristocratic woman leading a double-life as a masked vigilante, and the officer is caught in a battle of wits with her for possession of a sword that is the key to finding a lost treasure. Swashbuckling adventure, starring Rita Corday and George Montgomery.


The Pickwick Papers- (1952)
12:20 - 14:25 - Fri 16/4/21 - Talking Pictures
8.5/10 Stars

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Four staid Victorian gentlemen embark on a grand tour of England in an effort to study life in all its glorious and strange varieties in an impartial and scientific manner. Comedy drama based on Charles Dickens' novel, starring James Hayter, James Donald, Nigel Patrick, Alexander Gauge, Donald Wolfit, Joyce Grenfell, Hattie Jacques, Kathleen Harrison and Hermione Baddeley.


Trouble in Store- (1953)
12:05 - 13:50 - Sat 17/4/21 - Talking Pictures
7.5/10 Stars

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A well-meaning department store worker dreams of becoming a window dresser, but only ends up infuriating his boss with his clumsiness. He gets the chance to be a hero when he and the shopgirl of his dreams stumble on a plot to rob the store. Comedy, starring Norman Wisdom, Margaret Rutherford, Moira Lister, Joan Sims, Jerry Desmonde and Lana Morris.


Stand by Me- (1986)
12:35 - 13:35 - Sat 17/4/21 - 5*
7.6/10 Stars

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Rob Reiner made his name as a director with his debut feature, the satirical This Is Spinal Tap, and proved his versatility two years later with this wonderful coming-of-age drama. It's a smart, sensitive, 1950s-set tale taken from the unlikely source of Stephen King's story The Body. The rich dialogue and the intelligent performances, from the likes of Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix, are a joy to behold as four schoolfriends set out to find the corpse of a missing boy.


Her- (2013)
01:25 - 03:50 - Sun 18/4/21 - Film 4
7.9/10 Stars

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A lonely man in the midst of a divorce downloads an artificial intelligence to act as an operating system for his computer. He finds himself better able to connect to the voice of the system than he can to any human being, and begins to fall in love with it. Sci-fi drama, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara, with the voice of Scarlett Johansson.