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Top films to watch on TV this week

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Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the lavish 1994 blockbuster Interview with the Vampire (Friday, BBC1, 10.45pm)

Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the lavish 1994 blockbuster Interview with the Vampire (Friday, BBC1, 10.45pm)

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne and Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons in the explosive thriller Jason Bourne (Monday, Film4, 9pm)

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne and Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons in the explosive thriller Jason Bourne (Monday, Film4, 9pm)

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Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the lavish 1994 blockbuster Interview with the Vampire (Friday, BBC1, 10.45pm)

Wednesday: King of Thieves (2018) Channel 5, 10pm - Career criminal Brian Reader (Michael Caine) is devastated by the death of his wife, and commiserates in the company of friends and associates, including technical wizard Basil (Charlie Cox).

Basil claims to have insider knowledge about the security system and layout of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd, which holds millions of pounds in cash and uncut diamonds in its subterranean vault.

One of several dramatisations of the April 2015 Hatton Garden robbery, King of Thieves offers an expletive-laden version of events masterminded by screenwriter Joe Penhall.

Director James Marsh's film is curiously devoid of suspense. However, the rich source material and Oscar-calibre cast, which includes Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon, make it worth at least one look.

Thursday

The Core (2003) Film4, 6.20pm

It's the end of the world as we know it in this big-budget actioner starring Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank and a scene-stealing Stanley Tucci.

For reasons unknown, the Earth's inner core has stopped rotating, causing the gradual deterioration of the planet's vital electromagnetic field. A team of scientists and NASA experts are hastily convened to figure out a solution to the dilemma, resulting in six of them volunteering to travel 3,000 miles below the surface of the Earth in a bid to avert global meltdown.

From the opening set piece involving a space shuttle in peril to the explosive finale, this is hugely enjoyable. Scientifically, the film is incomprehensible, but as a diverting couple of hours, director Jon Amiel's movie delivers its payload.

Friday

Interview with the Vampire (1994) BBC1, 10.45pm

Tom Cruise is a wonderful pain in the neck in this lavish blockbuster based on Anne Rice's bestselling novel. He plays Lestat, a vampire whose history is revealed by a fellow bloodsucker (Brad Pitt) during an interview with a journalist (Christian Slater).

Cruise's casting as the immortal vampire was a controversial decision. Many of the novel's fans were up in arms and made their feelings known to the studio, but initial fears were unfounded. Anne Rice even went so far as to take out a two-page newspaper advert praising both Cruise and the movie. Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas also star, along with director Neil Jordan's regular collaborator Stephen Rea.

Saturday

Spartacus (1960) ITV4, 4pm

Stanley Kubrick's epic about Roman slaves in revolt won four Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actor for Peter Ustinov. He joins an all-star cast including Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton and Jean Simmons.

The slave Spartacus (Douglas) is spared from a death sentence by the wily Batiatus (Ustinov), who trains the condemned man at his academy as a gladiator, to fight to the death for the entertainment of the rich and the powerful including Gracchus (Laughton) and his scheming successor Crassus (Olivier).

Enraged by how little the Empire values human life, Spartacus leads an uprising with Antoninus (Tony Curtis) at his side but the valiant slaves are no match for Crassus, who desires Spartacus's wife Varinia (Simmons).

Sunday

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Film4, 9pm

A clumsy English fop seems destined to always be the best man at weddings and never get married himself. However, he finally finds the stirrings of true romance after a one-night stand with a beautiful American. After going their separate ways, he realises he wants to be with her - but fate seems to intervene at every turn.

The first collaboration between writer-director Richard Curtis and actor Hugh Grant was the movie that put them both on the map. This hilarious romantic comedy makes full use of Grant's natural charm and boasts a superb cast giving their best. What's more, Rowan Atkinson pops up in a laugh-out-loud cameo.

The budget for the film was reportedly so small that the extras had to bring their own suits to the weddings. With Andie MacDowell, John Hannah, Charlotte Coleman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Simon Callow.

Monday

Jason Bourne (2016) Film4, 9pm

Director Paul Greengrass breathed new life into the spy thriller genre when he made The Bourne Supremacy in 2004.

Three years later he re-teamed with Matt Damon for The Bourne Ultimatum, what many believed to be the closing chapter. While Jeremy Renner did a good job with spin-off The Bourne Legacy, fans were desperate for Damon's Bourne and Greengrass to reunite.

They finally did in 2016 for this slick, explosive thriller which never outstays its welcome. The eponymous ex-government operative has been in hiding for a dozen years after exposing a sinister CIA operation. However, he is soon hunted down when a former CIA operative gone rogue acquires top secret information - including details of Bourne's father's involvement in a covert scheme. Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Riz Ahmed and Julia Stiles also star.

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