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Best films to watch on TV today, tonight and this week

Whatever your taste, there's a movie on for everyone.

Judi Dench as Philomena Lee,
Steve Coogan as Martin Sixsmith

If you find that you’re becoming a little too familiar with the film selections on big-name streamers, you’re not alone.

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While many automatically head to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, streaming isn’t the only way to watch movies in the comfort of your own home.

And even though the country is opening up again post-lockdown, the range of great films on terrestrial TV is as reliable as ever – including old favourites from yesteryear, an array of modern classics and everything else in between.

From NOW TV and Disney+, to terrestrial TV offerings – there’s so much to choose from across all different genres so no matter what mood you’re in, you can find something to watch.

With so many amazing films airing on TV this week, we’ve compiled a list of the best flicks for you to choose from.

Friday 16th April

The China Syndrome – 4:25pm, TCM

A nuclear power plant controller discovers a potentially disastrous operational flaw but refuses to report it. A visiting TV journalist and cameraman pick up on the story – but as they struggle to get the news on air, a quick-witted engineer realises the danger is far more pronounced than anyone suspects. Read our full review

The Maze Runner – 9pm, E4

Dylan O'Brien and Kaya Scodelario in The Maze Runner

A boy arrives in an isolated community of children, with no memory of who he is or the outside world. When another new arrival brings an ominous message, he realises time is running out for the group and they must find an escape route through a deadly labyrinth if they are to survive. Read our full review

The Innocents – 9pm, Talking Pictures TV

A highly-strung vicar’s daughter takes up the post of governess to two orphaned children living with their servants in a sprawling Gothic mansion. She learns of the scandalous history of her predecessor and her lover, and suspects their spirits are the cause of her charges’ disquieting behaviour. Read our full review

GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra – 11:35pm, Channel 4

When a powerful experimental weapon is snatched by a mysterious terrorist organisation, two of the soldiers guarding it are recruited into a top-secret military strike force. As they go in search of the stolen technology, they uncover a plot by its creator to take over the world. Read our full review

Saturday 17th April

Steel Magnolias – 4:35pm, 5 Star

The close friendship of six women from different generations, living in a backwoods town in America’s Deep South, sustains them through life’s joys and disappointments. Read our full review

Bean – 7:10pm, ITV2

The hapless fool is employed as a security guard for a British art gallery and is sent to Los Angeles to bring back a famous painting. Unfortunately, he finds himself mistaken for a renowned art professor and invited to make an important presentation. Read our full review

First Man – 9pm, Channel 4

A look at the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong, from his early days in 1961 as a NASA test pilot. By the late 1960s, as he becomes emotionally distant from his family, he embarks on a space mission that leads to him becoming the first man to walk on the moon. Read our full review

The Man Who Fell to Earth – 10:50pm, Talking Pictures TV

An alien is sent to Earth to find a way to save his dying home planet. He adopts a human identity and uses his advanced knowledge to become a successful tycoon. However, he is corrupted by the sensations and vices of human life and loses sight of his objective. Read our full review

Jaws – 10:50pm, ITV

A New England seaside town’s tourist season is turned into a nightmare by a giant killer shark. The local police chief’s efforts to protect the public are thwarted by the greedy mayor, forcing him to join forces with a grizzled fisherman and an enthusiastic marine biologist to hunt and kill the monster predator. Read our full review

Sunday 18th April

Kind Hearts and Coronets – 11:55pm, 5 Select

The penniless grandson of a duke plots to eliminate the eight relatives standing between him and a vast inheritance. He shoots, drowns, poisons and explodes his way through his family tree, but his final triumph is ruined when his lady love’s husband kills himself. Read our full review 

Babe – 1:50pm, ITV

A kindly farmer wins a cute piglet, which some greedy humans and jealous animals hope will end up as the Christmas roast. Undaunted, the young pig proves himself useful on the farm and enlists the aid of the resident dog in learning how to herd sheep. Read our full review

The Tree of Life – 3:20pm, Sony Movies

A boy living in 1950s Texas grows up to become a disillusioned adult. On the anniversary of his brother’s death, he questions his relationship with his stern father, his place in the modern world and the meaning of human existence. Read our full review

I, Tonya – 10pm, BBC Two

Margot Robbie stars in I, Tonya as figure skater Tonya Harding

Ice skater Tonya Harding rises through the ranks at the US figure skating championships, but her future in the sport is thrown into question by a shocking incident after her ex-husband steps in. Read our full review  

Sexy Beast – 12:10pm, Channel 4

A retired safe-breaker enjoying the high life in Spain becomes the target of unwanted attention when his psychotic former gangland boss comes looking to enlist his help and expertise for a major bank robbery in London. Read our full review

Monday 19th April

Heaven Can Wait – 3pm, Talking Pictures TV

American football player Joe gets snatched away to the afterlife following his death, but the angel responsible realises too late he was supposed to survive. Joe is offered the chance to return to the land of the living by taking over the body of a murdered millionaire – to the shock of the dead man’s killers. Read our full review

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – 9pm, Paramount Network

A laconic gunslinger, a ruthless hired killer and a conniving outlaw hunt for a cache of loot during the chaos of the American Civil War. However, each is privy to only part of the information necessary to find it, setting in motion a series of deadly betrayals. Read our full review

You’re Next – 9pm, Horror Channel 

A family gathers for an awkward reunion that brings old tensions back to the surface. The evening takes a nightmarish turn when their remote country house is besieged by a gang of masked, crossbow-wielding strangers intent on murdering everyone inside. Read our full review

Tuesday 20th April

Lord Jim – 4:10pm, Sony Movies Action

A 19th-century sailor is branded a coward after jumping ship during a terrifying storm. To repair his damaged reputation, he embarks on a perilous journey through the Far East to deliver a consignment of explosives to a tribe rebelling against the oppression of a feudal warlord. Read our full review

Goodbye Christopher Robin – 6:50pm, Film4

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Biopic of children’s author AA Milne, focusing on how his relationship with his son influenced the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories. The books prove immensely popular in a nation recovering from the trauma of the First World War, but bring the youngster who inspired them uncomfortably into the public eye. Read our full review

Crimson Tide – 9pm, ITV4

A veteran US submarine captain receives an incomplete message after a Russian base falls into rebel hands, and is convinced it is an order to fire his nuclear weapons. However, his first officer refuses to take such potentially devastating action without confirmed orders, leading to a deadly battle of wills. Read our full review

Wednesday 21st April

The Hound of the Baskervilles – 1:40pm, Sony Movies Classic

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are asked to protect the last remaining member of the aristocratic Baskerville family, who is believed to be the target of a monstrous spectral hound roaming the remote Devon moors. Read our full review

The Haunting – 6:35pm, TCM

Psychic researchers gather at a supposedly haunted house to investigate its evil reputation, and find themselves facing their deepest fears as they confront the unknown forces prowling its corridors. Read our full review

In the Line of Fire – 9pm, Sony Movies

An ageing secret service agent, tormented by his failure to save the life of John F Kennedy in 1963, is drawn into a battle of wits with a sinister CIA-trained assassin out to kill the current president. As the day of reckoning draws closer, the agent’s nerves are tested to the limit – and nothing seems to be going his way. Read our full review

Thursday 22nd April

The Pride and the Passion – 4:20pm, Sony Movies Action

A British officer helps a Spanish rebel and his band of guerrillas repair a cannon to use against Napoleon’s forces. Read our full review

A Walk in the Woods – 6:55pm, Film4

A travel writer decides to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2,200-mile journey through some of America’s most rugged terrain. However, the only companion he can find for his exhibition is a roguish old friend, who sees it as an opportunity to get out of paying his debts. Read our full review

Role Models – 9pm, ITV4

Two irresponsible salesmen find themselves in trouble with the law after crashing their truck. To avoid jail, they agree to undertake community service looking after a couple of troubled kids. However, it soon seems that going to prison would have been the easier option. Read our full review

Friday 23rd April

Young and Innocent – 1:20pm, Talking Pictures TV

A police constable’s naive daughter goes on the run with her innocent murder suspect boyfriend, racing against time to find evidence to convict the real killer as the authorities close in. Read our full review

Ema – 1:35pm, Channel 4

An estranged couple struggle with the aftermath of giving up their adopted son, despite the violent acts he committed. Read our full review

The Girl in the Spider’s Web – 9pm, Film4

The Girl in the Spider's Web

Swedish hacker Lisbeth Salander is hired by computer genius Frans Balder to retrieve Firefall, a programme capable of accessing the world’s nuclear codes that he developed for the National Security Agency. Though Salander manages to find Firefall, it’s not long before she’s fighting for her life against mercenaries. Read our full review

Philomena – 11:35pm, BBC One

A teenager in 1950s Ireland becomes pregnant, and is sent to a home for `fallen women’, while her baby is forcibly taken from her and sent to America to be adopted. Fifty years later, she meets a disillusioned political journalist who attempts to reunite her with her son. Read our full review

What’s on NOW TV this week?

If you’ve not found anything on the regular TV schedules that tickles your fancy, NOW TV is regularly adding some new films to their collection – which you can access with a Sky Cinema pass.

Here are this week’s highlights:

The Secret Garden – now available

The film tells the well-loved story of a young girl who is sent to live with her uncle, where she discovers a beautiful garden and a local boy who helps her understand the garden’s hidden secrets

A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood – now available

In 1998, magazine journalist Lloyd Vogel is sent to interview beloved TV entertainer Fred Rogers, an assignment he feels is beneath him. However, a friendship soon forms between the two men. Starring Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper. Read our full review.

Le Mans ’66 – now available

Matt Damon stars as Carroll Shelby, the visionary American driver and car designer who was enlisted by Ford to assemble a car – the Ford GT40 – to beat out Enzo Ferrari’s vehicles and their dominance over the race. Shelby recruits rogue driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), and together they battle corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car.

Abominable – now available

After discovering a magical creature they believe to be a Yeti, teenager Yi and her two friends embark on an epic adventure. They try to reunite the creature with his family, whilst evading a wealthy financier and a determined zoologist who want to capture the creature for their own needs. Read our full review.

Looking for more? Take a look at our best movies on NOW TV guide – Get 12 months of Sky Cinema for just £11.99 £9.99 / month.

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If you have Netflix we have rounded up the best movies on Netflix, the best series on Netflix to watch now and Disney+ viewers check out our best movies on Disney Plus guide. Amazon? We have the best movies on Amazon Prime. Wondering what to watch on TV? Visit our TV Guide.