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RoboCop, Despicable Me 2, The Ides of March, After Earth, About a Boy: films on TV today

Bad robots, political puppets, space cadets and a casanova: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Published: Friday, 19th February 2016 at 11:01 pm

PREMIERE RoboCop ★★★★
9.00-11.20pm C4


A surprisingly self-justifying remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 dystopian satire (and thus a reboot of the franchise), the new RoboCop is darker, noisier and less subversive, in line with developments in technology in the intervening years. (Both RoboCop and The Terminator felt dazzlingly original in the 1980s, now they are the norm.) Brazilian director José Padilha, hot from the violent Elite Squad films, is a dab hand with the 2028-set action, as Joel Kinnaman’s Detroit cop is blown up in the line of duty and rebuilt as a law- enforcement cyborg by Gary Oldman’s boffin. Amid the CGI-reliant armoured mayhem, debut screenwriter Joshua Zetumer delivers both social comment about corporate might and an emotional story involving RoboCop’s wife and child. And some of the acting from Oldman, Michael Keaton (as a wicked CEO) and Broadchurch’s Marianne Jean-Baptiste elevates the wham-bang material to a higher plane. A sequel has been spoke of. Hope it’s better than the original RoboCop 2.

Despicable Me 2 ★★★★
PREMIERE 5.00-7.00pm ITV

Now that Gru is no longer so despicable, the real stars of this sequel are his Minions – little, yellow and cute (but you probably shouldn't stroke them)

The Ides of March ★★★★
11.00pm-12.35am BBC2

George Clooney directs and stars as a charismatic politician who's on his way to the White House. Or is he, once staffer Ryan Gosling uncovers some dirt?

After Earth ★★
PREMIERE 7.45-9.45pm ITV2

Will and Jaden Smith star as a father and son (a bit of a stretch…) who land on Earth 1,000 years after humans evacuated. It's hitting free-to-air for the first time tonight.

About a Boy ★★★★
9.00-11.00pm Film4

Scourge of the tabloids, Hugh Grant, is in fine fettle as a slacker who uses single-parent support groups to pick up women. Nicholas Hoult (in his awkward-looking adolescent phase) soon changes his mind.


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