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Top films to watch on TV this week


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Channel 4, Saturday

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Channel 4, Saturday

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Channel 4, Saturday

Saturday - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Channel 4, 9.15pm.

Writer-director Martin McDonagh's blackly comic thriller pits one vigilante parent against her local police force in a fictional midwestern town.

Impeccably scripted and blessed with a blistering lead performance from Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a near perfect film. McDonagh's explosive morality tale is fuelled by the righteous anger of a spirited woman, who believes her concerns are being ignored by men in power and will not rest until all lines of inquiry has been exhausted in the pursuit of justice.

Her rebel yell sparks sickening violence that may divide audiences, including one scene in a dentist's surgery that leaves jaws truly dropped, but brutality always serves the lean, muscular narrative. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell also star.


X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Channel 4, 10.00pm

In a dystopian 2023, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his kin, including Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), stand on the precipice of extinction. The Sentinel programme, conceived by scientist Dr Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), has almost wiped out the mutant population and any human sympathisers using an army of highly skilled automatons attuned to mutant DNA. One glimmer of hope remains: if Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) can harness her abilities and propel Wolverine's consciousness back to 1973, they might be able to stop alluring shape-shifter Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Trask. X-Men: Days of Future Past is a solid and highly enjoyable chapter in the long-running mutant saga that doesn't get too bogged down in bamboozling science.


Crimson Tide (1995) ITV4, 9.00pm

A Russian nuclear missile base falls into ultra-nationalist hands, and a US strategic submarine is ordered to prepare for a pre-emptive strike if the rebels begin fuelling their weapons. With the world poised on the brink of war, tensions are running high, and the vessel's veteran captain clashes with his new by-the-book first mate over what course of action to take when they can't confirm their attack orders. Tony Scott's claustrophobic thriller has so much tension you could cut it with a knife. Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington are superb as the US Navy officers whose difference of opinion leads to mutiny and a life-or-death battle of wills over the crew. Hans Zimmer's electronic orchestration takes the tense atmosphere to a whole new level. With Matt Craven, George Dzundza and Viggo Mortensen.

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