7 Films to Watch on Freeview TV This Week

Lady in the Van   Sat   19/8   BBC2 @ 21:00

A homeless elderly woman moves into a van outside a man's house. At first they hate each other but a bond slowly but surely develops over the years. A lovely gentle bit of comedy bolstered by a superlative performance from the always excellent Maggie Smith. She's perfect at playing a cranky old wagon with plenty of hidden depths. Alex Jennings is good too as Alan Bennett on whose life this story is based.

The Hunger Games : Catching Fire   Sat   19/8   CH4 @ 21:00

After the events of the first film have caused civil unrest, hero Katniss Everdeen is warned to fan the flames of rebellion; or else. The second film in the Hunger Games series is the best of them all. An exciting, action packed thriller with plenty of intelligence and a lead character you will genuinely want to see do well. Jennifer Lawrence rocks it in the lead and gets super back up from Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Hemsworth.

Ransom   Mon   21/8   ITV4 @ 21:00

A young boy is kidnapped and his billionaire father realises that even if he pays the ransom his son will die so decides to do things his way. A proper grown-up thriller here from director Ron Howard, full of tension, twists, turns and some pleasing shades of grey. Excellent cast in this one too including Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise, Liev Schreiber and Delroy Lindo and every one of them on form.

Zero Dark Thirty   Tues   22/8   Film4 @ 00:10

Kathryn Bigelow's tremendous tale of the hunt and eventual take down of Osama Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain is perfect in the lead role as the woman who planned and executed the entire operation. We may find some of her methods problematic but the story neither glorifies or condemns and just tells it like it was. A tense and superbly acted film which will have you gripped even when you know the ending.

Starman   Wed   23/8   Film4 @ 16:35 

An alien makes a very special connection with a grieving woman and asks for her help but things don't go easy for them. John Carpenter's sci-fi drama is a lovely look at what it means to be human. Funny, touching and brilliantly acted stuff. Karen Allen is good but Jeff Bridges is just amazing as a person discovering the world all around him. Record this one and keep it for a rainy Sunday.

Drag Me to Hell   Thurs   24/8   Syfy @ 23:00

Sam Raimi's hilariously gooey and crunchy tale of a young woman's mistake and her efforts to fix it. Alison Lohman is great fun in the lead role and certainly earns her pay as she gets thrown around the screen like the coyote in the old Roadrunner cartoons. This is the perfect horror film for people who claim not to like horror. It's very funny and you'll snort laughing as much as you roar at the screen

Up in the Air   Fri   25/8   BBC1 @ 23:50

A man who spends his life travelling from place to place makes a connection with a woman who does the same and for the first time in his life thinks about settling down. George Clooney and Vera Farmiga lead this drama that's equally funny and sad. A film about people who think they have it all but discover they have very little. A film about the silliness of valuing your work life above all else. Well worth a watch.

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