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

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

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With the abundance of rival streaming services on the market these days, it can be easy to forget that one of the cheapest ways to watch movies is through good old-fashioned terrestrial television.


As ever, this week brings a great choice of flicks, and with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to dictate that most of the country self-isolates, a great selection of films to view in the comfort of your own home is more important than ever.

Take a look at our top picks of what to look out for over the coming days.

Friday 29th May

King Kong – 2:50pm, BBC Two

A film producer and his crew visit a remote island where they encounter a 50ft gorilla which takes a shine to their leading lady. When they decide to take it back to America, they fail to foresee the inevitable havoc as the gigantic ape runs amok in New York. Read our full review

Blanche Fury – 2:55pm, Film4

A penniless governess is invited to stay with a wealthy relative, where she hopes to secure her future and take over the estate by marrying her infatuated cousin. However, her secret romance with a stablehand has tragic consequences for all concerned. Read our full review

Angel Face– 7:10pm, Sony Movies Classic 

A former racing driver with dreams of opening his own garage gets a job as a chauffeur to a wealthy family, and is seduced by his employers’ scheming daughter. He is lured into becoming an accomplice in her murderous plots – and when he attempts to escape her clutches, she begins planning his downfall. Read our full review

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – 11:10pm, ITV

The Hobbit

Dwarf king Thorin reclaims control of his homeland, but his descent into madness places him on the brink of war with his human and elf allies. As Thorin’s Hobbit ally Bilbo tries to save the tormented ruler from himself, a vast horde of orcs gathers to destroy them all. Read our full review

Saturday 30th May

Chicken Run – 1:40pm, BBC One

A headstrong chicken and her fellow fowls ponder how to escape from a grim Yorkshire farm before the evil farmer’s wife can turn them into pies. Luckily, help arrives in the form of a heroic American rooster who promises to show them how to fly. Read our full review

Some Like It Hot – 3:40pm, BBC Two

After witnessing a mob hit in Chicago, two male jazz musicians don drag and hide out with an all-girl band to evade the gangsters pursuing them. However, the pair struggle to disguise their attraction for the beautiful lead singer – while one of them catches the eye of a smitten millionaire. Read our full review

Frozen – 6:20pm, BBC One

A princess with the power to freeze anything she touches loses control of her abilities and plunges the kingdom into a perpetual winter. She goes into hiding, but her sister remains determined that she can be saved from her own magic and sets off on a quest to find her, aided by a mountain man and a living snowman. Read our full review

Captain America: Civil War – 9:30pm, ITV

The superhuman soldier is propelled into conflict with his Avengers teammate Iron Man over a system of government control over their actions – a situation made worse when an old friend is accused of being behind a terror attack. As a cunning conspiracy surrounds them all, Captain America finds himself battling former allies, vengeful enemies, and new heroes on the block Black Panther and Spider-Man. Read our full review

10 Cloverfield Lane – 11:55pm, Channel 4

A woman survives a car crash, and wakes up to find herself in an underground bunker, belonging to a survivalist who claims that a devastating attack has left the outside world uninhabitable. As his behaviour becomes increasingly stranger, she begins to fear she is being tricked and resolves to discover the truth for herself. Read our full review

Sunday 31st May

The Book of Life – 1:25pm, Channel 4 

A cavalry officer on the brink of retirement takes drastic steps to prevent an impending war with the Arapaho people, stirred up by double-dealing agents and Custer’s recent defeat. After a series of skirmishes and minor victories, he decides the best solution is to ride into the Arapaho camp and negotiate a truce. Read our full review

Oklahoma! – 2:05pm, BBC Two

A farm girl is torn between two very different suitors – a charming cowboy wandering through the territory and a brooding farmhand with a dark side to his nature. Meanwhile, another cattle driver has finally raised enough money to marry his sweetheart, only to find he has a rival. Read our full review

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them – 7:30pm, ITV

British author Newt Scamander arrives in 1920s New York with a bagful of magical creatures as part of a global study of fantastic beasts, but gets caught up in a conflict when some of the creatures in his care are accidentally released. With a strange dark force terrorising the city, Newt needs to find some allies to help him round-up the beasts, while saving his own skin in the meantime. Read our full review

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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

Withnail and I – 12:15pm, Channel 4 

Two hard-drinking unemployed actors sharing a grotty flat in late 1960s London think they can escape their miserable existence by decamping to a cottage in the Lake District. But finding no respite from their problems, the less self-destructive of the pair comes to realise he has to leave his friend behind. Read our full review

Monday 1st June

The Incredible Shrinking Man – 1pm, Horror Channel

A mysterious radioactive mist-cloud reverses boating holiday-maker Grant Williams’ growth processes and causes him to dwindle away to nothing. Read our full review

Groundhog Day – 6:55pm, Sony Movies

An obnoxious TV weatherman reporting on a small town’s annual festival finds himself caught in a bizarre time loop, and is forced to relive the same day over and over again. While at first he tries to exploit his predicament, he is ultimately driven to mend his ways and adopt a less cynical attitude. Read our full review

The Day of the Jackal – 9pm, Sony Movies Classic

A group of conspirators contracts the Jackal, a professional hitman, to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle of France. The killer starts to put his painstaking plans into action, creating a new identity, establishing his alibi and commissioning a custom-made weapon, while out-foxing the French police at every turn. Read our full review

Tuesday 2nd June

Call Me Madam – 2:40pm, BBC Two

A Washington socialite becomes ambassador to a small European state and falls in love with the foreign minister, while her sidekick attracts the attention of a princess. Read our full review

Philadelphia – 9pm, Sony Movies Classic

A gay lawyer is fired after contracting Aids, and takes his former employers to court to prove he was discriminated against because of his condition. The only attorney he can find to represent him is a homophobic courtroom rival, who is forced to confront his prejudices as the case unfolds and his client’s health deteriorates. Read our full review

That’ll Be The Day – 10pm, Talking Pictures TV

A school dropout leaves home and drifts through a succession of dead-end jobs until he finds an outlet for his frustration in rock ‘n’ roll. Read our full review

Jim MacLaine was abandoned by his father when he was young. Later, as a suburban school dropout, Jim leaves home and drifts through a succession of dead-end jobs until he finds an outlet for his frustration in rock 'n' roll. Tossing away the chance of a university education much to the consternation of his mother, alienated MacLaine becomes a lowly deckchair attendant before streetwise friend Mike gets him a job firstly as a barman and then with the fun fair. The initially shy MacLaine quickly becomes a heartless fairground Romeo leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. Eventually MacLaine returns home to run the family store and marry his girlfriend, but despite the birth of a son, restless Jim feels the lure of rock ’n’ roll again.

Carmen Jones – 2:50pm, BBC Two

A sultry female military worker attracts admiring glances from her male colleagues, but she has her eye on an engaged pilot. Otto Preminger’s romantic musical drama, based on Bizet’s opera Carmen with modernised lyrics and set in the Deep South during the Second World War. Read our full review

Affair in Trinidad – 5pm, Sony Movies Classic

A nightclub singer helps the police catch the ruthless gangsters responsible for murdering her husband. However, the plan is complicated when her brother-in-law shows up, determined to get revenge on the killers himself. Read our full review

Two Mules for Sister Sara – 9pm, Paramount Network

A grizzled drifter rescues a nun from a gang of rapists and gets roped into escorting her across the Mexican desert. He gradually realises there is more to his new companion than meets the eye – and she may be hiding a surprising secret. Read our full review

Thursday 4th June

Newsies: the Broadway Musical – 1pm, BBC Two

A performance of the musical filmed at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the story follows Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenage `newsies’, who dream of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. Read our full review

Anastasia – 2:25pm, Film4

In 1920s Paris, exiled Russians claim they have found the daughter of the last Tsar, who was originally believed to have been killed with the rest of her family. She is taken into the care of a General and groomed until she can convince Anastasia’s cousin Prince Paul that she is genuinely the tsarina and inherit a fortune. Read our full review

Carrie – 10:25pm, TCM

A shy, withdrawn teenager discovers she has paranormal powers, which she uses to protect herself from her abusive mother and classmates. When a friendly student invites her to the prom, she is determined to enjoy herself and is amazed when she is crowned queen of the ball – but joy turns to fury when her tormentors play a cruel prank. Read our full review


Friday 5th June

The Gay Divorce – 2:45pm, BBC Two

An unhappily married woman travels to an English seaside resort to escape, where she is pursued by a love-stricken young man. She mistakenly assumes that he has been hired to pose as her lover so her husband will divorce her, which leads to much confusion. Read our full review

Forever Female – 5:30pm, Talking Pictures TV

A writer hopes to persuade a famous actress to star in his play – but the only part she is willing to play is one she is too old for. Read our full review

The Beach – 9pm, Sony Movies 

A backpacker arrives in Bangkok, where a wild-eyed veteran traveller tells him the location of a remote paradise island. When he finally makes it to the golden beaches, he discovers there is already a community in residence. All is not as it seems, however, and the blissful idyll soon turns sour. Read our full review

I Give it a Year – 11:20pm, BBC One

A couple marry after a whirlwind romance, but family and friends have doubts about the relationship. As their first anniversary approaches, they both begin to wonder if they are right for each other, especially when faced with more appealing alternative partners. Read our full review


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