Five Fabulous Flicks (Plus Two)

by Karl J. Paloucek

There’s a worthy film for every night of your week. Here are our picks for April 12-18. Remember, all airtimes are ET.

April 12
The Departed (2006)
He’s done better films by far, so it’s a little disappointing that this effort — a remake of a 2002 Hong Kong thriller — was the one to bring Martin Scorsese Academy gold, but it definitely has his fingerprints all over it. Solid performances from Martin Sheen, Matt Damon and even Leonardo DiCaprio make this a knuckle-biter you’ll want to see again … if you can stand the tension. FX, 7:30pm ET

April 13
The Letter (1940)
William Wyler directs W. Somerset Maugham’s tale of a woman accused of murder whose claim of self defense may crumble when she’s blackmailed with a letter that may belie her innocence. A shining noir moment for Bette Davis and for Wyler, both of whom received Oscar nominations for their work. TCM, 8pm ET

April 14
Juno (2007)
It’s the movie that put Diablo Cody and Ellen Page on the map and confirmed Michael Cera as the undisputed champion of awkward, geek-chic teen roles. When the precociously witty Juno finds out she’s pregnant, she finds a family willing to adopt the child — and then things get weird. Cinemax, 8:15pm ET

April 15
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Second in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy, this time the Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) forms a partnership with Col. Douglas Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef) to track down the evil bandit El Indio. But are they really after him for the same reason? One of Leone’s best, immediately preceded by A Fistful of Dollars. AMC, 8pm ET

April 16
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Quentin Tarantino’s ode to Chinese martial arts films of the ’70s is a nonstop comic-book of a journey through the Valley of Death and beyond. With its trademark witty soundtrack and performances from Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox and just the suggestion of David Carradine, it’s pop culture at its purest while still being all nasty and bad. Lots of fun. Followed immediately by the sequel, Kill Bill: Vol. 2. TNT, 9pm ET

April 17
Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
It may not be the best of the series, but it’s the starting point of George Lucas’ 30-plus-year cinematic obsession. Employing an incredible array of special effects in the telling, the film describes the origins of the little boy who would become Darth Vader. Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones follows. Spike, 9pm ET

April 18
The Graduate (1967)
Dustin Hoffman stars in this awkward coming-of-age story of a bright young man, Benjamin Braddock, with a brand-new college degree and little ambition who is seduced by the much older Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). As their torrid affair continues, Ben falls in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, making for an ugly situation full of hilarity. And, of course, the film features a timelessly enchanting soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel. TCM, 10pm ET