Attack the Block, Hard Target, Black Narcissus: films on TV today

A council estate overrun by aliens, a human big game hunt, and forbidden passions in a convent: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today



Attack the Block ★★★★
9.00-10.50pm E4 

Establishing Joe Cornish, formerly of radio duo Adam and Joe, as a writer/director to watch, Attack the Block brings the Gremlins-style creature caper bang up to date with the tale of a socially excluded, patois-slinging gang of hoodies on a south London council estate. When their “block” is targeted by sharp-toothed alien invaders (largely unseen for budgetary reasons), they must find the hero within amid breakneck siege action around the estate’s walkways, garages and bins. Cornish does not patronise his young protagonists, drawing on his local cast’s ear for authentic street language. Acting ballast comes from Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost as an avuncular drug dealer. If the argot, petty crime and inner-city setting put some audiences off, it still emerges as a socially conscious, energetic sci-fi caper that’s scary and very funny. One of its young unknowns, John Boyega, is about to go interstellar in the new Star Wars film, while Cornish is adapting 1990s fantasy novel Snow Crash.

Hard Target ★★★
11.10pm-12.50am ITV 

John Woo’s Hollywood debut sees a bemulleted Jean-Claude Van Damme take on wealthy, amoral hunters who tire of big game and look for human prey.

Black Narcissus ★★★★★
2.45-4.50pm Film Four 

Powell and Pressburger’s haunting and visually beautiful British film from 1946 transcends its time. Deborah Kerr lends dignity to the story of simmering passions among the nuns at a convent in the Himalayas.

White Men Can’t Jump ★★★★
9.00-11.25pm Movie Mix

Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes make a fabulous double act as basketball hustlers working the courts of LA in this lively comedy drama.

Yojimbo ★★★★★
12.55-3.15am Film Four 

Akira Kurosawa’s timeless samurai tale about a wandering warrior who sells his skills to both sides in a local feud acted as a the basis for Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, and the rest is history. Toshiro Mifune is charisma personified in the role that would later make Clint Eastwood a superstar.    


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