Looper, The Simpsons Movie, The American: films on TV today

Bruce Willis gives himself the run around, Homer sends Springfield toxic, and hitman George Clooney is a marked man: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 
Looper ★★★★★
9.00-10.50pm BBC2 

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Rian Johnson is at the top of his game, confirmed to write and direct Star Wars Episode VIII. It’s been quite an ascent. After an arresting debut with high-school mystery Brick and a lamentable misfire, The Brothers Bloom, he rediscovered his form with this intricately plotted time-hopping sci-fi thriller. Loopers, we quickly discover, are hitmen paid in gold bars to assassinate victims sent back in time by crime bosses 30 years in the future, when time travel has been invented. (Stay with me, it’s worth the effort.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one such, hired to bump off someone who turns out to be himself from the future – played by Bruce Willis. You’ll soon find yourself going along with the mindbending parallel timelines, each having a bearing on the other, but at heart it’s a character-driven cat-and-mouse tale, with warm performances from the leads, Paul Dano and Emily Blunt. Up there with Twelve Monkeys, so Star Wars is in good hands.


Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang ★★★★
4.40-6.40pm 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.    


The Simpsons Movie ★★★★
4.50-6.30pm C4 

Homer flees to Alaska after causing an environmental disaster, in this feature-length outing for the cartoon family. All together, now: “Spider-pig, spider-pig, does whatever a spider-pig does.”    


The Expendables 2 ★★★
9.00-10.55pm C5 

If you like old school action and even older action heroes, you’ll get a kick out of this caper with Sly Stallone, Arnie and Bruce Willis.


The American ★★★
11.05pm-1.00am C4 

George Clooney’s hardworking hitman lies low in Italy after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life in this brooding thriller. Think of it as a sort of art-house Bond film.


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