The Grey, John Carter and Far from the Madding Crowd: films on TV today

Liam Neeson strays from the wolf pack, Taylor Kitsch turns Martian, while Julie Christie is a wanted woman: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
The Grey ★★★
10.00pm-12.15am C4 

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Kevin Costner may have danced with wolves, but Liam Neeson shoots them in this chilly, sharp-toothed B-movie. Neeson’s over-50s action-hero renaissance has taken him from Taken to the recent Run All Night, and here he plays a grizzled hunter with issues, tasked with protecting oil company workers from grey wolves in Alaska. After a plane crash in the snowy wilderness, he leads the motley, bickering survivors back to civilisation; a running buffet for a salivating pack of lupines. Director Joe Carnahan (Narc, The A-Team) creates knife-edge tension and capitalises on the unyielding terrain of what is actually British Columbia. Neeson is as imposing and melancholy as usual, but which of the all-male supporting cast will get eaten first? Will it be Dermot Mulroney or James Badge Dale (World War Z), British actor Nonso Anozie (Ender’s Game) or Dallas Roberts? Place your bets, folks.


Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang  ★★★★
2.40-4.45pm ITV 

This marvellous sequel sees Emma Thompson’s dentally challenged nanny return to help another parent plagued with naughty children. A spoonful of sugar is not on the menu, though.  


John Carter  ★★★
6.00-8.00pm BBC2 

Forget the sniffy crits and bad box-office figures, this mega-budget yarn is a veritable entertainment extravaganza, as our American Civil War hero (played by Taylor Kitsch) is transplanted to a distant world ravaged by conflict.  


The Talented Mr Ripley  ★★★★
1.10-3.30am C4 

A pre-Bourne Matt Damon takes a shine to playboy Jude Law’s lavish lifestyle in this stylish tale of murder and identity theft based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel.    


Far from the Madding Crowd  ★★★★
10.00pm-12.40am BBC4 

Thomas Hardy’s romance was recently remade with Carey Mulligan, but it failed to match this sumptuous adaptation from the 1960s, which stars Julie Christie as eligible estate-owner Bathsheba Everdine.


  

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