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20th Dec 2020

The best movies on each night from Christmas right through to New Years

Rory Cashin

We’ve picked the very best movie on each night from December 23rd right up to January 1st!

Deciding which movies to watch over the Chrimbo Limbo (that lost time around Christmas and New Years when days stop meaning anything) can be very difficult, with the sheer wealth of options on show likely paralysing you with potential buyer’s remorse.

Thankfully, we’ve done most of the hard work for you, as we’ve gone through what is on offer for each and every day from December 23rd right up to January 1st, and picked the very best movie on TV for each of them.

Wednesday, December 23 – Phantom Thread – BBC Two – 10pm

Daniel Day-Lewis has stated that this will be his final ever acting role, which should be reason enough for you to watch it. Additional reasons include DDL re-teaming with the director of There Will Be Blood, and the fact that what at first appears to be a stuffy period romance slowly morphs into something much funnier and, importantly, much darker.

Thursday, December 24 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi – RTE Two – 6.20pm

After the soft reboot that was The Force Awakens, the Star Wars series had two ways to go: either stay safe and just sort of remake The Empire Strikes Back, or go off in a brand new direction. The Last Jedi represents the second of those options, which is why 50% of Star Wars fans think it is the best of the bunch, while the other 50% hate it with all of their being. Love it or hate it, The Last Jedi is definitely not boring.

Friday, December 25 – Black Panther – RTE Two – 10pm

Before he sadly passed away in August this year, most of the movie-loving world was introduced to Chadwick Boseman when he appeared front-and-centre of his own Marvel movie, representing a massive cultural landmark for modern cinema. He appeared previously in Captain America: Civil War, but it was finally getting to see the ins and outs of Wakanda, as well as pitting Boseman against a top-tier antagonist (portrayed by the brilliant Michael B. Jordan) that helped make this MCU entry stand out.

Saturday, December 26 – Dunkirk – BBC One – 9.05pm

Before he kind of lost the run of himself with Tenet, writer/director Christopher Nolan gave us this ticking-clock-thriller disguised as a war movie, with an all-star cast (including Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and plenty more) attempting to escape the titular beach before the invading forces catch up to them. Epic and nail-biting.

Sunday, December 27 – Avengers: Infinity War – RTE Two – 9pm

The movie that the MCU was gearing towards ever since Iron Man first arrived, the scale of this blockbuster was unprecedented, with the heroes of 20 movies coming together to take on Thanos and his single-minded desire for the destruction of 50% of all living beings. Up there with Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the best movie in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Monday, December 28 – Mandy – FilmFour – 11.25pm

Okay, considering that most of the other films on here are a movie for the entire family, we figured it only right that we give you at least one Just For Adults pick. To that end, we have to go with this off-the-wall horror movie starring Nicolas Cage, who gives the most Nicolas Cage-y performance of his career here, starring as a man getting revenge on a group of demonic bikers who have kidnapped his wife. It truly is quite unlike anything else you’ll watch this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 29 – Forrest Gump – FilmFour – 9pm

Did it deserve to win the Best Picture Oscar over The Shawshank Redemption or Pulp Fiction that year? Absolutely not. But don’t let that be the reason why you pass this movie over, as it still tells a clever, funny, and touching story of how one man (played by Tom Hanks) somehow managed to be present for every major event in American history over several decades.

Wednesday, December 30 – The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart – Sky One – 8pm

A brand new HBO documentary on the enduring appeal of the hit band, it is a proper exploration of the history of the Bee Gees, featuring revealing interviews with oldest brother Barry Gibb, and archival interviews with the late twin brothers Robin and Maurice. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will sing along.

Thursday, December 31 – Paddington – Channel 4 – 5.15pm

The movie equivalent of a big warm hug, we follow Paddington from the jungles of Peru, all the way to London where he is adopted by a new family, only for an evil museum taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) to set her sights on him. We love this movie and its just-as-good sequel as much as Paddington loves marmalade sandwiches. Which is A LOT.

Friday, January 1 – Pulp Fiction – Dave – 10pm

If you’re still smarting over that Forrest Gump pick, then we’ve got some good news for you! Kick off 2021 with this violent and hilarious drama epic from Quentin Tarantino, with an all-star cast criss-crossing across each other’s lives, bringing nothing but mayhem along the way.

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