Clear and Present Danger, The Bucket List, Joy Ride - best films on TV tonight

Whether you're seeking action, laughter or suspense, it's all in our top film picks tonight Thursday 26 June

Clear and Present Danger, The Bucket List, Joy Ride - best films on TV tonight
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Clear and Present Danger - 6:20pm, Film4

It's no wonder that three first-rank screenwriters were hired to adapt this sequel to Patriot Games, as there is so much plot in Tom Clancy's original novel that it's a minor miracle they managed to squeeze it all in. It takes the picture some time to gather momentum but, once the links between the Colombian drugs barons and some top US officials are established, it's action all the way. Harrison Ford is on commanding form for his second outing as CIA troubleshooter Jack Ryan and director Phillip Noyce makes a much better job of this than he did of The Saint.

The Bucket List - 9pm, 5*

In this mild comedy about confronting the inevitable, two cancer patients escape their hospital room and set out to cross every entry off a "bucket list" (things they want to do before they kick the bucket). That the two men are Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is the only good reason to see this sentimental tale that's shot through with good intentions. A neatly packaged look at what everyday life can leave undone, it's charming, if predictable, and certainly doesn't hang about trying to make its point - the boys are in hospital, then they're driving race cars, then they're in Tibet, and then... Well, let's retain what surprises there are. Still, it is money well spent to see Freeman and Nicholson perform, and while they are not a natural double act, they handle even a soppy little number like this with aplomb.

Joy RIde - 11:25pm, Film4

This was a return to form for director John Dahl after the disappointments of Rounders and Unforgettable. College kid Paul Walker is on a road trip to pick up pal Leelee Sobieski, after taking a detour to bail his reckless brother (Steve Zahn) out of jail. Unfortunately, a late-night prank with their CB radio gets the brothers on the wrong side of unseen trucker "Rusty Nail", and it's not long before they're being chased by the clearly unhinged driver. This nicely paced and suspenseful teen movie combines elements of Duel and The Hitcher with a smart script, solid performances and enough tension to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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