The best movies in cinemas and on TV this Easter (and some that aren't)
Just because the days are brighter, the daffodils are flowering and the egg hunts have started doesn’t mean we’ll be spared the April showers this Easter, so have a Plan B prepared in case your egg hunt is a wipe out with a seasonal movie or two to keep the kids (and the adults) entertained.
On the big screen:
From biblical blockbusters to rebellious rabbits, there is a lot out at your nearest cinema this Easter. Here’s what you can catch over the Bank Holiday weekend:
Tomb RaiderIn theatres 16 March
Lara Croft is back and this time she’s trying to solve the disappearance of her father on a mythical island. Based on the original computer game, this action movie-reboot starring Alicia Vikander looks set to be a box office smash. But whether it’s better than the 2001 Angelina Jolie version, you can be the judge.
Peter Rabbit In theatres 16 March
Beatrix Potter’s beloved characters have been given a Hollywood facelift that looks set to divide (older) fans across the country. The feature film includes all of Potter’s magical characters – Mr McGregor, Cottontail, Mopsy, Flopsy, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and of course, the mischievous Peter Rabbit. It’s got an all star cast too including Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Rose Byrne, James Corden and even pop star Sia.
Mary MagdaleneIn theatres 23 March
If it’s light entertainment you’re after this Easter, Mary Magdalene probably isn’t the movie for you but if biblical dramas are your thing then this film looks set to be quite the offering. Starring Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ, the film tells the ‘untold story’ of Jesus Christ’ life and death through the eyes of a woman – his confidant, Mary Magdalene.
A Wrinkle in TimeIn theatres 23 March
Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time is the latest helping from Disney. The live-action, science fantasy adventure film which stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine is about a young girl who tries to rescue her scientist father in a distant universe with the help of three astral travelers, her brother and a new friend.
For both kids and parents alike, we’d all be lost without on-demand television and Netflix, so check the Wifi connection and let the kids tune in:
The Prince of Egypt (1998)For some good Old Testament fun, The Prince of Egypt is one of the best for all the family. This animated musical has an all star cast featuring Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Danny Glover, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart and Helen Mirren and is of epic standard. It’s an adaption of the Book of Exodus and tells the story of Moses’ life – from being a prince to following his destiny to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land through the Red Sea. It also includes a stunning score by legendary film composer, Hans Zimmer.
Hop (2011)It’s one of the few child friendly Easter themed films on the market and one suitable for even the smallest of bunnies. Starring Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie and Hank Azaria, Hop tells the story of the Easter Bunny’s son, E.B, who moves to Hollywood to swap the chocolate eggs for the drumsticks and become a rock and roll star.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)Technically not an Easter film but who doesn’t love Wallace and Gromit? Especially when there’s a giant bunny lose on the verge of wrecking Tottington Hall’s annual Giant Vegetable Competition. The legendary man-dog duo are a brilliant watch at any time of the year, so if you ever needed an excuse to tune in it’s to see what’s behind this monstrously sized bunny rabbit!
Classic videos to dig out:
These Easter classics might not be the most family friendly, but they’ll certainly get you thinking about more than chocolate over the Bank Holiday weekend:
Ben-Hur (1959)Not just an Easter classic, this Charlton Heston epic is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. Judah Ben-Hur (Heston) is a Jewish prince who falls out with his close Roman friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) when he refuses to promote Roman rule over his people — his mother and sister are imprisoned and he is enslaved. After three years under lock and key, Ben-Hur sets out to gain revenge. Ben-Hur scooped an incredible 11 Academy Awards in 1959 - and deservedly so, too.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)Based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice Broadway musical of the same name, this rock opera charts the final weeks of Jesus’ life and features no spoken dialogue. The story of Christ’s (Ted Neely) last week on Earth is told by a group of travellers who arrive in modern-day Jerusalem on a tour bus. Events are seen from the perspective of Apostle Judas, who betrayed Jesus to the Judaic religious leaders in return for 30 pieces of silver. Songs include I Don’t Know How To Love Him, Hosanna, Herod’s Song and the now-classic theme tune.
The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988)Directed by movie maestro Martin Scorsese, this is one of the most controversial “re-tellings” of Jesus’ life. Like the novel on which it is based, the film depicts the life of Jesus and his struggle with various forms of temptation including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust. Willem Dafoe stars as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas Iscariot, Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene, David Bowie as Pontius Pilate and Harry Dean Stanton as Paul.