Back to the Future, Mercury Rising, Old School, Black Swan, The Girl Who Played with Fire: films on TV today

Boys will be boys and girls poised for action: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Back to the Future ★★★★★
7.30-9.45pm ITV2


The loss of Michael J Fox from our screens — he entered semi-retirement in 2000 to concentrate on managing his Parkinson’s disease and to campaign for a cure — was keenly felt by millions. He was one of the brightest and most likeable stars to be forged in the youthful white heat of the 1980s, when TV made him famous. Fox’s boyish demeanour, pocket-sized stature and crackling wit made him a natural to carry this Steven Spielberg-produced, Robert Zemeckis-directed time-travel fantasy, in which baseball-jacketed teenager Marty McFly zooms back to the 50s in a DeLorean time machine courtesy of mad professor Christopher Lloyd. There, having prevented his parents meeting and potentially rewriting history, he must engineer their romance, along the way inventing rock ’n’ roll. The film was such a hit, it spawned two sequels, both respectable, but this remains the best — it’s deftly plotted, frantic with comic energy and supercharged by Fox.

Mercury Rising ★★★
10.40pm-12.45am ITV

Bruce Willis is the FBI agent (a bit of a maverick, apparently) called upon to protect an autistic boy who has cracked a top security code.

Old School ★★★
11.50pm-1.20am BBC1

Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn relive their youth in a comedy that’s designed to appeal to your inner frat boy.

Black Swan ★★★★
1.05-2.50am C4

Natalie Portman’s feathers are well and truly ruffled as a ballerina competing for the lead in Swan Lake.  And that’s an Oscar, in the bag.

The Girl Who Played with Fire ★★★
1.20-4.00am Film4

Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist return in the second movie based on Stieg Larsson’s electrifying trilogy. You’re left hanging for the final episode.


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