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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

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Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, film fans around the UK have been making more use of streaming than ever before – but the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime aren’t the only ways to watch movies in the comfort of your own home.

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There’s Disney+, NOW TV (which now has Frozen 2 and the Harry Potter movies) as well as terrestrial TV offering a wealth of content – covering all manner of time spans and genres.

This week sees another excellent line-up of flicks – so whether you’re after a family favourite, and all action blockbuster or an old school classic, there’s bound to be something for you.

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

Friday 14th August

Cocoon – 4:30pm, Film4

The elderly residents of a retirement home treat themselves to an occasional dip in the pool at an abandoned house. It turns out that friendly aliens in human form are using the place to restore dormant members of their species – and energy from their cocoons is giving the old-timers a new lease of life. Read our full review

Tower Heist – 6:50pm, Sony Movies

The manager of an apartment complex asks a Wall Street financier to manage pension funds for him and his friends, but the man pockets all the money instead. When he realises the fraudster is going to get away with the crime and the money will never be found, he enlists the help of a professional thief to steal it back. Read our full review

Bridget Jones’s Baby – 9pm, Channel 5

Bridget Jones's Baby
SEAC

Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch – she can only be 50 per cent sure of the identity of her baby’s father after a pair of one-night stands. Is the dad old flame Mark Darcy or US dating guru Jack Qwant?. Read our full review

American Gangster – 10:45, ITV

The story of 1970s drug kingpin Frank Lucas, whose innovative methods of smuggling heroin into the US made him one of the leading figures in the New York underworld. A detective is assigned to bring Lucas’s empire down, but his investigation is undermined by police corruption. Read our full review

Saturday 15th August

Love and Friendship – 3pm, BBC Two

Lady Susan Vernon arrives at her brother-in-law’s residence, Churchill, with a matchmaking plan for her daughter, having left a trail of confusion behind her at her last residence, Manwaring. While young Reginald de Courcey is charmed by her, some of her family are deeply suspicious of her motives. But few people are equal to her schemes. Read our full review

Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit – 4:30pm, BBC One

Inventor Wallace and his canine sidekick Gromit have set up a pest-control service, and are called in to stop rabbits overrunning a garden show. However, the pair are overwhelmed when a destructive giant bunny arrives on the scene, while an interfering aristocrat contrives to make matters worse. Read our full review

I’m All Right Jack – 6pm, Talking Pictures TV

A dim-witted man looking for a career in industry gets a job at his uncle’s weapons factory. He ends up an unwitting pawn of both the scheming management and the rebellious trade union, and becomes a central figure in a strike that has been manipulated as part of a dodgy arms deal. Read our full review

Taken – 9pm, Channel 4

An American teenager travelling through Europe is abducted by a gang of sex traffickers. However, what the kidnappers do not realise is that the girl’s father is a former CIA agent, who employs all his old skills as he searches for the criminals and tries to rescue his daughter. Read our full review

Young Frankenstein – 12:15am, BBC One

Frederick Frankenstein rejects his family heritage as a mad scientist, but when he finds a book revealing how his grandfather created a monster, he cannot resist building one of his own. Read our full review

Sunday 16th August

Jane Eyre – 1:50pm, BBC One

A girl raised in misery by her cruel aunt grows up to become a governess, and accepts work at the estate of a mysterious landowner. Despite being disturbed by strange goings-on in the house, she falls in love with her brooding employer, only to discover he is concealing a terrible secret. Read our full review 

Jurassic World – 5:50pm, ITV

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World
NBCUniversal

Decades on from its first creation, Jurassic Park is now a fully operational attraction filled with genetically engineered dinosaurs. In need of a new attraction, the company behind the park creates an entirely new species – but it quickly escapes to terrorise the tourists. Read our full review

Kong: Skull Island – 8pm, ITV2

Years after two enemy pilots land on a mysterious island, a top-secret mission to the same region descends into chaos when the local wildlife proves far from welcoming. Read our full review 

The Last Samurai – 9pm, 5 Star

The emperor of Japan recruits an American Civil War veteran to train his troops in a bid to wipe out a rebel faction of samurai warriors. The soldier is taken captive when the imperial army is defeated, and comes to respect his enemies’ traditions and code of honour, finally going over to their side. Read our full review

Quartet – 10:30pm, BBC One

Three former opera singers prepare for their annual concert to mark Verdi’s birthday and raise funds for their retirement home. However, this year, a famous diva has joined the group, and her history with the others threatens the performance. Read our full review

Monday 17th August

Puss in Boots  – 2:25pm, Film4

The swashbuckling feline joins forces with a cunning thief and a treacherous old friend to steal a magical golden goose from a giant’s castle. He must save the day when it transpires that their actions have unleashed a terrible danger on his home town. Read our full review

Howard’s End – 6:05pm, Film4

A chance encounter during a cruise throws the romantic Schlegel sisters into the paths of the Wilcoxes, an industrious family headed by the well-meaning but strait-laced Henry. When aristocratic matriarch Ruth Wilcox bequeaths her family home to Margaret Schlegel, her children are outraged and dispose of the will, setting the stage for a conflict with tragic consequences. Read our full review

Fright Night – 9pm, Horror Channel

A teenager becomes convinced his new next door neighbour is a vampire responsible for a series of recent disappearances. Finding nobody is willing to believe his unlikely story, he seeks the aid of a washed-up movie star famous for playing a vampire hunter in destroying the monster. Read our full review

Tuesday 18th August

Belle – 6:55pm, Film4

The illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy admiral is raised in the household of her great uncle, but is never entirely accepted in Georgian British society. She falls in love with an idealistic lawyer, and together they campaign against the slave trade.. Read our full review

Gladiator – 9pm, 5 Star

Gladiator

Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius is a casualty of a power struggle between the corrupt Emperor Commodus and the senate. Ordered to be put to death along with his family, he escapes his would-be killers but is sold into slavery as a gladiator – but uses his fame in the arena to fight against the tyrant. Read our full review

Stardust – 10pm, Talking Pictures TV

An aspiring rock ‘n’ roller achieves his dream of fame and fortune – only to discover that it comes at a price. Read our full review

Wednesday 19th August

The Wild One – 12:55pm, Sony Movies Classic

The sullen, leather-clad leader of a motorcycle gang and his fellow hellraising rebels pitch up in a small town, where he woos the sheriff’s daughter. But when rival bikers turn up on the scene, conflict escalates. Read our full review

District 9 – 9pm, Talking Pictures TV

Alien refugees who arrived in South Africa in the 1980s are placed in segregation camps, and suffer three decades of racial abuse at the hands of their human neighbours. However, things begin to change when a bureaucrat charged with moving the extraterrestrials to a more secure home suffers a grim accident and is given a radically different perspective on the affair, and little choice but to team up with the extra-terrestrials. Read our full review

Apollo 13 – 9pm, ITV4

Fact-based drama about the ill-fated 1970 Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Crew leader Jim Lovell is faced with a nightmare when the mission suffers an on-board explosion – leaving the team stranded in space with a dwindling oxygen supply while flight controllers and engineers in Houston try to find a way to bring the crew safely back to Earth. Read our full review

Thursday 20th August

Gandhi – 3:25pm, Sony Movies Classic

Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning biopic of Mohandas K Gandhi, who rose from unlikely beginnings as a small-time lawyer to become the inspirational leader of India’s struggle for independence and a worldwide ambassador for peace thanks to his philosophy of non-violent protest. Read our full review

As Good as it Gets – 9pm, Comedy Central

As Good As It Gets Sky Movies
SEAC

A bigoted misanthropic writer, who treats everyone he meets with contempt, is forced to look after a gay neighbour’s dog, and develops an empathy with another creature for the first time in years. Sensing a need for human company, he pursues an unlikely romance with a waitress, who is the only person willing to put up with his rudeness. Read our full review

Hounds of Love – 11:15pm, Film4

When a young woman is abducted by a couple from a suburb of Perth, Australia, her only chance of surviving the terrible ordeal her kidnappers inflict upon her is to drive a wedge between them. Read our full review

Friday 21st August

The Natural – 5:10pm, Sony Movies

A baseball prodigy’s dreams of sporting stardom are cut short when he gets shot. Once he has recovered from his injuries, he rejoins his team as a rookie recruit at an age when most players are thinking of retiring – only to enjoy an unexpected run of success. Read our full review

Lady Bird – 9pm, BBC Two

Golden Globe-winning comic drama, written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Artistic California teenager Lady Bird expects much from life. However, the strained relationship with her mother and failing family finances keep clipping her wings, while early romance leads to heartache. Read our full review

Nocturnal Animals – 10pm, Sony Movies

An art gallery owner is tormented by the violent thriller penned by ex-husband. Read our full review

The Levelling – 12:20, BBC Two

A trainee vet returns to her family farm after her brother’s suicide and attempts to build bridges with her estranged father. 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 are regularly adding some new films to their collection – with you can access with a Sky Cinema pass.

Here are this week’s highlights:

Jumanji – now available

Four high school students are drawn into the jungle setting of a video game. However, their digital alter egos are not what they expected. Read our Jumanji review

Zombieland – now available

A mutated virus sweeps across America, turning most of the population into hideous flesh-eating zombies. A hard-drinking fearless adventurer leads a small band of young survivors on a perilous journey through the wasteland in search of a safe haven. Read our Zombieland review

Frozen 2 – now available

Not got Disney+? Well, NOW TV has the Frozen sequel for you to watch. With Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff back on the road again – and in trouble – this darker, heartwarming adventure is just as good as the 2013 movie. Read our Frozen 2 review

Harry Potter – now available

The whole Harry Potter franchise is available on NOW TV. Follow Harry, Hermione and Ron as they come up against Voldemort time and time again all culminating in one final battle. Read our Harry Potter 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.