Starter for 10, Welcome to the Punch, Little Nicky, War of the Worlds: films on TV today

A double dose of James McAvoy, raising hell the Adam Sandler way, and Tom Cruise has an unwelcome close encounter: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Starter for 10 ★★★★
11.20pm-12.50am BBC2


David Nicholls’s first bestseller Starter for 10 seems quaint compared to his ambitiously structured, life-and-death saga One Day. But while I had problems with the screen adaptation of the latter, the former worked for me. Aimed squarely at the nostalgia crowd, it uses TV quiz show University Challenge as the basis to explore the various prejudices, pretensions and romantic entanglements that ensue when working class James McAvoy aims to woo posh Alice Eve at Bristol University in the 1980s. The dazzling young cast also includes James Corden, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall, with Catherine Tate as McAvoy’s mum and Mark Gatiss perfect as quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne. A few historical inaccuracies aside, it’s bags of fun.

Went the Day Well? ★★★★★
11.00am-12.50pm Film4 

Brilliant, and at times chilling, wartime drama in which the resolve of the inhabitants of an English village is tested when Nazi soldiers infiltrate their cosy idyll.    

Little Nicky ★★★
8.00-9.45pm 5★ 

Adam Sandler is the runt of Satan’s litter setting out to save his dad (Harvey Keitel) from a fate worse than eternal damnation in a comedy stuffed with famous-name cameos.    

Welcome to the Punch ★★★★
Premiere 9.00-11.00pm Film4 

It’s that James McAvoy again, here playing an emotionally and physically damaged cop who gets a second chance at nailing his man when career criminal Mark Strong breaks cover. A first chance to see on Freeview.    

War of the Worlds ★★★★
9.45pm-12 midnight 5★ 

Alien-invasion shenanigans as Martian hordes come a-calling in Steven Spielberg’s epic take on the HG Wells classic. Tom Cruise puts a very human face on the unfolding disaster.



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