Marvel Avengers Assemble, Dances with Wolves, Moulin Rouge!: films on TV today

How many superheroes does it take to stop an alien invasion?, Kevin Costner goes native, and Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor are chasing windmills: the Radio Times team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


Marvel Avengers Assemble ★★★★★
8.00-10.15pm BBC1 


The wham-bang superhero blockbuster more definitively known as The Avengers is more coherent than its collection of Marvel icons suggests. Amalgamating Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain America (Chris Evans) with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), writer/director Joss Whedon’s first instalment closes Phase One in the pompously known Marvel Cinematic Universe. The surfeit of cross-pollinated context can be mind-boggling, but there’s nothing to stop you sitting down cold and enjoying this barnstorming supersonic ride, which leavens CGI spectacle with urbane wit. After much bickering, some action on a Helicarrier and Hulk going off in a strop, Loki (Tom Hiddleston, the baddie from Thor) must be prevented from invading Earth in a climactic showdown in Manhattan. Terrific fun.

Dances with Wolves ★★★★★
2.25-5.15pm BBC2 

Kevin Costner’s star may have slipped somewhat, but this is still a towering achievement. A sympathetic, humane redress of how the west was won, it deservedly won seven Oscars.

The Glenn Miller Story ★★★★
1.40-4.00pm 5USA 

This biopic is full of timeless tunes and features a fine performance from James Stewart as the eponymous band leader — he also bears a striking resemblance to the man. If that wasn’t enough, the gorgeous, husky-voiced June Allyson is on hand to distract Miller from trombone duties.

Moulin Rouge! ★★★★
8.00-10.35pm Movie Mix

Jim Broadbent’s version of Madonna’s Like a Virgin threatens to steal the show from Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman and co in Baz Luhrmann’s insanely ambitious “red curtain” musical.

Welcome to the Punch ★★★★
9.00-11.00pm Film Four 

James McAvoy’s emotionally and physically damaged cop gets a second chance at nailing his man when career criminal Mark Strong breaks cover in this edgy crime thriller.


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