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The Best Movies On TV This Christmas

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Devour the turkeys and gobble up the crackers with our guide to the best films showing on the television over the 2010 festive period.

Stock up on the popcorn now, or else it'll be leftover sprouts to munch on...



Christmas Eve - Friday, 24 December

160x120 - Narnia's Cronicles Prince Caspian
Kick off the magical day with a very special and entrancing movie for all the family in the shape of The Fox And The Child (10am, BBC2) - but have a few tissues on standby! The same could apply to any anti-monarchists who encounter the beguiling charms of Helen Mirren as The Queen (3pm, ITV1), a dramatic tour de force that also features Michael Sheen in familiar guise as Tony Blair.

If solid Christmassy fare is needed, then check out the classic Alastair Sim version of Scrooge (4pm, Channel 5). Or if you don't want any young relatives 'bah humbugging' for the rest of the day, then plonk them in front of the CS Lewis fantasy The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (5.15pm, BBC1).

If you've yet to see the biggest grossing film ever, then check out Avatar (8pm, Sky Movies Premiere) and figure out how engaging those blue aliens are away from big screens and 3D effects. Equipped with an ever so slightly smaller budget than James Cameron's opus is Uncle Buck (9pm, ITV3). It features the late, great John Candy on fine form - along with the legendary Macaulay Culkin!

Finally, if you plan on staying up all night to catch some fat alchie in a garish costume climbing down your chimney then switch on Dead Calm (1.40am, ITV1) - a brilliant nautical thriller with Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane.



160x120 Shrek 3
Christmas Day - Saturday, 25 December

Once the presents have been unwrapped and the novelty value of the gifts has perished, flick on the telly for some classic movie treats! The phrase 'spoilt for choice' has never been so valid, as there's The Muppet Christmas Carol (8.50am, Channel 4), Santa Claus: The Movie (10.50am, ITV1) and Singin' In The Rain (11.15am, BBC2).

Lunchtime must be spent in the company of Bill Murray and the legendary Scrooged (1pm, Channel 4), before moving onto some less cynical satire for the premiere of Shrek The Third (3.15pm, BBC1). Continue the laughter with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in Meet The Parents (6.10pm, Sky Modern Greats), before moving onto blockbusting action with Bruce Willis having a very bad (and sweaty) day in Die Hard (9pm, Film4).

Nighttime poses a dilemma of Cleesetastic proportions, as A Fish Called Wanda (12.25am, BBC1) and Clockwise (1.40am, ITV1) both clash. On the basis that only Wanda features Michael Palin with French Fries inserted up his nostrils, that's the one to go for.




Boxing Day - Sunday, 26 December

Slumdog Millionaire
Most people will wake up feeling hungover and stuffed - and perhaps barely on speaking terms with the relatives! So movie immersion is a wise call, with the wacky fantasy of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (9.45am, BBC1) the perfect tonic. More family friendly fun ensues with Antonio Banderas in Spy Kids (11.25am, BBC1), although technophobes with a craving for nostalgia (and Jenny Agutter) should switch over for weepy staple The Railway Children (12:15pm, ITV1).

A spot of Stanley Kubrick is called for in the afternoon as the formidable Dr. Strangelove (3.15pm, Sky Movies Indie) is in the house. If worrying about bombs isn't your scene, then far lighter humour and a mesmerising turn from Amy Adams can be located in Enchanted (3.25pm, BBC1). Sickly confectionary could well be off the menu after too many indulgences over the festive period, so Tim Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (4.10pm, ITV1) could be a stern test.

The evening features the most recent sequel to The Mummy, which is so risible that it would be cruel and callous to print when and where it's being shown. Instead, check out a couple of Oscar winners in the shape of Slumdog Millionaire (9pm, More4) and Up In The Air (10.45pm, Sky Movies Premiere). Finally, if you can stay up late enough, round off the night with a tribute to the late, great Leslie Nielsen by catching his sublime first big screen outing as Lieutenant Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun (3.10am, Sky Movies Comedy).

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