What to Watch on PictureBox this Christmas


There are a lot of streaming film services around these days, each offering their own slice of the world’s film catalogue for you to enjoy on the many gadgets you might unwrap tomorrow. Our friends over at PictureBox have a slightly different offering to most as rather than try to offer you the most up to date films or the widest selection they almost do the complete opposite; instead they have a selection of hand-picked films that turn the focus on quality over quantity.

A quick perusal of their list of available films shows this to be a mixed success. There are some great films in the list but a few awful choices have crept in too. Below I have picked out five films that might be worth a watch tomorrow afternoon, some with the whole family and some when the kids have gone to bed.

If any of the films take your fancy you can get a month’s free trial over at www.pictureboxfilms.com (after that a subscription is £4.99 a month.)

Babe: Pig in the City

Babe Pig in the City

I’m not saying that this is the finest film the service has to offer but a light-hearted story of a talking pig travelling to the big city is going to keep any young children briefly entertained in a U certificate way. Having picked this film I can’t quite remember whether I’ve watched it or not and if I did whether I enjoyed it. Who cares? Talking pig!

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother Where Art Thou

One of the Coen Brothers’ finest is this epic retelling of Homer’s Odyssey. Three brothers (including an excellently quaffed George Clooney) are on the run from the law and on the hunt for treasure. The soundtrack comprises of period folk music and gospel singing and this music alone makes this film worth a watch.

The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

We’re heading into 15 certificate territory now. Back in the golden age of Saturday Night Live they had spin-off films that were actually worth watching, nothing like the MacGruber‘s of today. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as two brothers who embark on a mission from God to reunite their old band and raise enough money to save their old orphanage, all whilst on the run from the police. The result is a sublime comedy filled with spectacular car chases and superb musical performances from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and James Brown. Oooh, I want to watch it right now!

The Strangers

The Strangers

Anyone under 15 is definitely in bed now right? They all fell asleep in the 4th hour of this year’s Downton Abbey Christmas special no doubt. While we’re still only at 15 certificate level we’ve reached the second most terrifying film I’ve ever seen. A film made all the more chilling because it relies on no supernatural elements to provide the scares. All we have is Liv Tyler alone at home when three figures in masks start stalking her outside the house. Finally a film that will make you glad your house is filled with relatives as watching this when in an empty house could be a little overwhelming.

In Bruges

In Bruges

Playwright Martin McDonagh surprised the film world back in 2008 by bringing us this stunningly funny film about two hit men lying low in Bruges. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play the pair whose antics had led to them hiding out in Belgium with Ralph Fiennes on their trail. It’s hard to say specifically why this is such and enjoyable film but I think it is largely down to McDonagh’s sharp script which is littered with top quality dialogue. The script is also littered with strong bloody violence, very strong language and hard drug use so definitely make sure all children are in a sugary coma before clicking ‘play’.

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