Heat’s Top 10 films on TV this Christmas!

Skyfall! The Lego Movie! Avengers Assemble! Frozen! Heat’s film editor Charles Gant picks the top movie treats on TV


by Charles Gant |
Published on

Toy Story 3, BBC1, Christmas Eve, 6.25pm

Virtually the whole Pixar canon is on BBC1 this festive season, including classics such as Wall-E,* Monsters, Inc*, Ratatouille and Up. It’s a tight race, but Toy Story 3 is our favourite – a brilliant third instalment in a film franchise that has never put a foot wrong. We’re particularly looking forward to Lotso the pink bear and that cymbal-banging monkey.

Skyfall, ITV, Christmas Eve, 8pm

Fact: with over £100m at the UK box-office, Skyfall is the biggest-grossing movie ever in the UK, with double the takings of immediate predecessor Quantum Of Solace. That’s partly because it is genuinely the best of the Daniel Craig flicks, and possibly the best Bond ever. It’s also because the filmmaking team (including director Sam Mendes) cleverly managed to make it appeal to everyone who had ever liked a James Bond film, with modern and retro touches. More reasons to see: great cast additions, and a big focus on Judi Dench as the embattled M.

The Lego Movie, Sky Movies Premiere, Christmas Eve, 8pm

As the year began, Chris Pratt was best known as amiable doofus Andy on TV sitcom Parks And Recreation. He ends 2014 as the star of two giant hits: Marvel sci-fi comedy Guardians Of The Galaxy, and this wonderful animation about an everyday guy tasked to save the world from an evil adversary. It’s from the same guys that gave us the 21/22 Jump Street movies, so it’s really no surprise that it’s so clever and funny.

Frozen, Sky Movies Premiere, Christmas Day, 7pm

I’m actually in the endangered minority that thought this film was a perfectly decent Disney animation, elevated by a funny talking snowman and some songs that reminded me of Wicked – but it was hardly one of the greatest animated films ever made. What did I know? Clearly I had taken leave of my senses the day I watched Frozen, at least according to a billion Let It Go-singing Frozen fans. Anyway, it’s Sky on Christmas Day.

Avengers Assemble,BBC1, Boxing Day, 8.30pm

We loved Iron Man. Thor and Loki made a pretty good double act. And Captain America, well, he was the not-so-interesting character in the Marvel universe. Bringing all these characters together – and adding Incredible Hulk and Black Widow – might have been a case of too much of a good thing, with an unwieldy plot trying to give them all their moment to shine. But it wasn’t. Sequel Age Of Ultron is going to be huge next year – so get in the mood with Marvel’s original Avengers team-up.

Her, Sky Movies Select, Boxing Day, 8pm

A film that couldn’t be much further from Avengers Assemble, although it does exist in a science-fiction universe, is this brainy drama from Spike Jonze. If you don’t fancy the sound of Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with his device’s operating system (voiced amazingly by Scarlett Johansson), I won’t be offended. But this was one of my mad favourites of 2014, and the film enjoys a 90/100 score on MetaCritic and a high 8.1/10 by users on Internet Movie DataBase – so I’m not the only one. The cast also includes Amy Adams and – him again! – Chris Pratt.

ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, ITV, Sunday 28 Dec, 3.20pm

If Christmas is time to feel cosy with a beloved classic, well, they don’t come much more classic or more beloved than Steven Spielberg’s 1982 family adventure. Containing one of cinema’s most iconic images and one of its best known catchphrases, this one goes deep into our collective soul.

The Muppets,BBC1, Monday 29 Dec, 6,20pm

We were a bit mixed on 2014’s follow-up film Muppets Most Wanted (the one with Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey), but this one – which rebooted the Muppets film series in 2012 – is a classic. Jason Segel (also the film’s main screenwriter) stars as a Muppet fan who tries to reunite the gang, with Amy Adams contributing her warm geniality at every turn.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, ITV, Tuesday 30 Dec, 8pm

Beginning in 2001 and ending in 2011, the Harry Potter film franchise has been with heat almost ever since the magazine’s existence, and we can’t help feeling a bit soppy about the boy wizard who grew up alongside us. Deathly Hallows Part 1 is also on ITV (Saturday 27 December, 7pm), but this one – including the final showdown with Voldemort – is the biggie.

The Dark Knight, ITV1, New Year’s Day, 9pm

Let’s face it: New Year’s Day is rarely a day when you want to go out. Chances are you’ll be lucky if you stray far from your sofa as you charge up your batteries before returning to work the next day. And what better way to do so than watching the biggest and best of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, featuring Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as the Joker?

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