War of the Worlds, I Never Sang for My Father, The Two Faces of January: films on TV today

It's Tom Cruise v the Martians, Gene Hackman against his father and Oscar Isaac taking on both Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 

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War of the Worlds ★★★★
10.55pm-1.15am 5STAR 

Though true to the basic premise of HG Wells’s original 1898 novel – the arrival on Earth of malevolent Martian invaders – the action in Steven Spielberg’s noisy remake is necessarily moved from the book’s Surrey to New Jersey. (Necessary for the sake of international box office at any rate.) Here, Tom Cruise manages to conveniently use the imminent destruction of the human race to mend his relationship with his estranged wife (Miranda Otto) by delivering their children (Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin) to Boston. The battle sequences are truly terrific, especially when the aliens first emerge, moving about in towering tripods, incinerating humans with death rays and blowing up everything in their path (except Tom and the kids). But further thrills are produced when the game of hide and seek begins and clues to the aliens’ Achilles heel sought. What stayed with me was one spine-tingling sequence in which a creepy burning train rattles past.


I Never Sang for My Father ★★★★

5.05-7.10pm Movie Mix 

Before Gene Hackman won an Oscar for The French Connection, he picked up a nomination for this tale of a college professor dominated by his elderly father.    


Wolf Creek ★★★★

10.45pm-12.45am Horror Channel 

A cross-country road trip turns into a hellish Texas Chain Saw Massacre-style ordeal in one of the best horror films to come out of Australia in decades. 


Tin Cup ★★★

11.15pm-1.55am ITV4 

Kevin Costner is the golfer on the skids, Rene Russo the therapist helping him put the swing back in his life in this unusual but effective mixture of sports drama and romance.  


The Two Faces of January ★★★★

11.35pm-1.30am Film4 

Intrigue and slow-burn suspense rather than frantic action as Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac get embroiled in murder in 1960s Athens.    


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