7 Films to Watch on Freeview TV This Week

We Own the Night  Sat 13/1 Sony Movie Channel @ 23:05

In 1980s Brooklyn, two brothers on either side of the law find their lives changed for the worse by dealings with the Russian mafia. James Mangold's crime drama is, in my opinion, one of the most underseen films of this century. A nail-biting thriller, intense family drama and all based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes are all on fine form here.

Wake in Fright   Sun   14/1   Film4 @ 00:55

One of the craziest Australian film you'll ever see. A teacher, John Grant (Gary Bond) gets stranded in a small outback town and finds himself drowning in alcohol with the locals. An unsettling film that will stay with you for a very long time and may even leave you feeling a little grubby afterwards. Donald Pleasence is amazing as ‘Doc’ Tydon. Disclaimer: Do not watch if you were a fan of the TV show Skippy.

Killing Them Softly   Sun   14/1   Ch4 @ Midnight

Brad Pitt stars in this entertaining and bluntly cynical thriller as a hitman brought in by the local mafia to deal with a robbery at a card game. Dark, gritty and blackly funny, this is a gangster film by way of Ken Loach not Martin Scorsese - there’s no glamorisation of mob life here. Pitt is brilliant as said hitman with Ben Mendelsohn, Scoot McNairy, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins lead a superb ensemble, as the men who inhabit this world. Oh, and it has one of the best all-time final lines of dialogue in film.

Scarface   Mon   15/1   ITV4 @ 22:00

One of the most entertaining films of the 1980s sees Al Pacino at his hammy best as Tony Montana, Cuban immigrant extraordinaire in Miami who goes from poverty to drug kingpin through sheer force of will. Even though its remembered for it's violence this is actually amazingly cheesy fun with a great soundtrack. Pacino rocks it and Steven Bauer is good fun as his second in command. Fine back up from Michelle Pfeiffer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

12 Years a Slave   Tues   16/1   More4 @ 21:00

The heartbreaking true story of a man torn from his family and sold into slavery in the American south. Chiwetel Ejiofor is superb as Solomon Northrup and ably supported by a fantastic cast. This is an upsetting film, as it should be, it may even put a lot of people off. Do not be dissuaded, it needs to be seen in all its brutal, thoughtful and power. It is a film that will enrage you.

Starry Eyes   Wed   17/1   Horror Channel @ 00:55

A young aspiring actress in Hollywood is willing to go to any lengths to ensure she becomes a star of the silver screen. This is a dark and twisted cautionary tale about the dangers of ambition and greed. It's also a pretty great little horror film that will probably leave you horrified when the credits roll so be warned, it gets nasty. Alex Essoe as our lead actress, Sarah, is brilliant and someone to look out for in the future.

The Book Thief   Fri   19/1   Film4 @ 18:25

Based on Markus Zusak's novel of the same name, this is the story of a young girl who finds solace in the written word to help herself and others cope with the horrors inflicted during the Nazi regime in World War II Germany. A beautiful looking and well-written film that while suitable for all the family isn't afraid to depict the dark wages of war, including narration by Death. Sophie Nélisse is superb as little bookworm Liesel and Geoffrey Rush as her foster father Hans provides some much needed warmth.

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