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Best free films on TV over Easter weekend

Our pick of the best movies to tune in to over the bank holiday weekend

Published: Monday, 22nd April 2019 at 7:16 am

A long weekend means there’s plenty of opportunity to relax in front of the TV – with a series of classic films and brand-new premieres on the box to be enjoyed this Easter.


You don’t have to have a Sky movies package to enjoy the best movies available over the bank holiday – here’s our pick of the top free films on TV.

Good Friday

Flushed Away (10am, BBC2)

Another classic from the team at Aardman Animations (behind the Wallace and Gromit capers), Flushed Away follows the adventures of the prim and proper Roddy St. James; a pampered but isolated pet rat (Hugh Jackman, taking on one of the more unusual roles of his career). After meeting sewer rat Sid (Shane Ritchie), Roddy sees himself flushed down the loo of his fancy Kensington flat into a whole new world….

The Parent Trap (11.45am, Channel 4)

Lindsay Lohan makes her film debut as twins Hallie Parker and Annie James who are serendipitously reunited at a summer camp after they were separated at birth. The troublesome twosome then decide to hatch a plan to bring their estranged parents back together – with varying results

Mr. Bean’s Holiday (3.20pm, Channel 5)

Rowan Atkinson revives his mumbling, bumbling buffoon for a trip to France. After winning a holiday in Cannes in a summer fete, Mr Bean struggles with day-to-day activities as he heads towards the south coast. The low-brow slapstick can get repetitive, but kids will be kept amused for a good few hours.

Hop (5.10pm, ITV2)

A young rebellious rabbit called E.B. is reluctant to take over his father’s role as the Easter Bunny, and so decides to leave his home on Easter Island for the bright lights of Hollywood. While initially trying to fulfil his dreams of becoming a world-famous drummer, he finds he is rudely interrupted by his dad, who has sent his guards out to try and bring him home.

Liar Liar (7.155pm, ITV2)

Jim Carrey is at his very best in this 90s classic, playing scheming and sleazy lawyer Fletcher Reede. His constant lies and commitments to work have seen a breakdown in his relationships, but after his son wishes his dad would stop lying for 23 hours, Fletcher finds himself forced to tell nothing but the truth – at the very worst time.

Dr Strange (8.30pm, ITV)

Benedict Cumberbatch makes his Marvel debut as the titular hero. Stephen Strange is an arrogant yet accomplished neurosurgeon who has his hands severely injured in a car accident, rendering him unable to perform any more surgeries. He then goes on a journey of discovery, being trained by a sorcerer to harness his new powers. Yet another box-office smash for Marvel, a sequel is currently in development.

Easter Saturday

Kubo and the Two Strings (12.30pm, Channel 4)

The dazzling stop-motion animation also boasts an all-star cast, with Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes and Matthew McConaughey all starring. Set in feudal Japan, young Kubo finds his peaceful existence under jeopardy after he mistakenly summons a vicious spirit from the past. He is then forced to go on the run and try to locate a suit of armour that his late father once wore.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (2.30pm, Channel 5)

While Roald Dahl famously hated the Gene Wilder version of his classic children’s book (he forbade them to ever make the sequel), the timeless movie is still much beloved by audiences of all ages. Weak and poor Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) finds his luck suddenly changes when he unwraps a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s phantasmagorical chocolate factory. You’ll find yourself still humming the tune of Pure Imagination days later.

Lord of The Rings: the Return of The King (5.25pm, ITV2)

The final instalment to Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of The Rings trilogy, we follow Elijah Wood’s Frodo Baggins as he continues his quest to destroy the One Ring. Despite now being 16 years old, the film’s visual effects and stellar cast still pack a punch. Its only flaw is its heavy run time (this ITV2 version is on until 9.15pm).

Alice in Wonderland (6.50pm, BBC2)

Tim Burton and Lewis Carroll are a match made in heaven as we follow the adventures of serene-like Alice as she travels through the Underworld. With help from the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp, who else?) Alice is told she must restore the White Queen to her throne and slay the Jabberwocky, which is being controlled by the terrifying Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter at her bonkers best).

The Fast and The Furious (10.35pm, ITV)

The first film in the franchise may seem a little dated in 2019 (it’s very much fast cars and bikini clad women), but it’s still a thrilling watch; Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) is an undercover police officer who joins a street club that races cars at night, investigating them for hijacking moving trucks and stealing equipment – but finds more than he bargains for in Vin Diesel’s gang…

Ted 2 (10.40pm, Channel 4)

The sequel to Seth MacFarlane’s hugely popular movie about a particularly gobby anthropomorphic teddy bear, Ted 2 sees Ted fighting to be recognised as a person. Mark Wahlberg is back as Ted’s long-suffering pal John joined by Amanda Seyfried (replacing Mila Kunis from the first film) for some lowbrow, irreverent humour.

Easter Sunday

Puss in Boots (1pm, Channel 4)

The Shrek spin-off sees Antonio Banderas’s Puss find love with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) as they try to track down a golden goose and her fabled golden eggs. Expect swordfights and gooey-eyed scenes galore.

Saving Mr Banks (3.40pm, BBC1)

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are both superb in this period piece that tells of Walt Disney’s determination to acquire the rights to the Mary Poppins novels, providing a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the strength of Disney’s entertainment machine. Thompson plays the eye-rolling Pamela Travers who feared that Disney would butcher her beloved character, while Hanks oozes warmth as an ever-charming Disney.

Marley & Me (4.50pm, Channel 5)

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as a likeable couple who leave Michigan behind for a new life in Florida. To cement their new home, they adopt adorable Labrador puppy Marley – who refuses to settle down and wreaks havoc in their home. Those who don’t tear up in the film’s emotional final scenes have hearts of stone.

Jurassic Park (7.20pm, ITV2)

The Steven Spielberg classic is just as captivating a watch today as it was in 1993. An attempt to build an island theme-park, populated with dinosaurs that have been resurrected using prehistoric DNA has, unsurprisingly, disastrous results. Jeff Goldblum and Samuel L Jackson star. The film’s sequels air throughout the week.

The Wolverine (9pm, Film 4)

Hugh Jackman reprises one of his most popular roles as Wolverine, seeing him lured to Japan for the first time since the Second World War. Forced to go on the run with a wealthy industrialist’s daughter, the mutant comes face-to-face with mortality as he loses his healing powers.

The King’s Speech (9.30pm, Sony Movie Channel)

Colin Firth plays the nervous Prince Albert, who is to ascend to the throne as George VI – but fears his speech impediment will prevent him from communicating effectively with the nation. Wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) calls in help from unconventional speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to cure his stammer, leading to a close bond forming between the two men.

Easter Monday

Clash of the Titans (1.15pm, Channel 5)

The 1981 version of the tale is far more flamboyant in its approach but still good fun all the same. Perseus, son of Greek god Zeus, is destined to marry Princes Andomeda, but satyr Calibos is proving to be quite the spanner in the works. In order to marry his beloved, Perseus must face off against a series of mythological beasts.

Matilda (2.55pm, Sony Movie Channel)

The Roald Dahl tale was adapted for the big screen by Danny Devito who also stars as the conniving Mr Wormwood. Mara Wilson plays Matilda, an extraordinary little girl who develops telekinetic powers, which she uses to take on her evil headteacher (Pam Ferris).

Jason and the Argonauts (3.35pm, Channel 5)

It’s a Greek double-bill on Channel 5, with the second helping following Jason (Todd Armstrong) as he attempts to find the Golden Fleece. Elsewhere, usurper Pelias longs for Jason’s death in order to reclaim the throne.

Paddington (4.35pm, Film 4)

After an earthquake destroys his home in Peru, an adventurous young bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) travels to England to find a new home. Settling in with the Brown family and dubbed Paddington, the bear becomes accustomed to the London way of life – but soon finds himself under threat from a taxidermist (an deliciously evil Nicole Kidman).

The Social Network (9pm, Paramount Network)

A film about Facebook should be boring, but David Fincher’s slick take on Mark Zuckerberg’s creation keeps the audience hooked from the start. Jesse Eisenberg plays the Harvard student who stumbles upon the billion-dollar idea, but sees himself alienate those close to him in the process. Trent Reznor’s soundtrack to the drama is second to none.


Notting Hill (10.20pm, ITV)

Richard Curtis’s classic sees Hugh Grant at his charmingly befuddled best as bookshop owner Will, who falls for Hollywood mega star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). The road to true love never did run smooth, with unruly flatmates, tabloid scandal and secret exes coming into the fray, but you will be charmed by both Roberts and Grant throughout.


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