The Dark Knight, 300, Frenzy, Rocketeer, Unknown: films on TV today

Men in capes, a necktie murderer and a rocket-fuelled backpack: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

The Dark Knight ★★★★★
9.00pm-12 midnight ITV2


These days writer/director Christopher Nolan has entered a new orbit with mindbending sci-fi epic Interstellar, but his journey into other dimensions really began with the earthbound Batman Begins, which de-camped the caped crusader. First sequel in the trilogy, The Dark Knight takes that seriousness to the next level, recasting the Joker as a psychopathic terrorist, played with jerky, sadistic unpredictability by the late Heath Ledger (who won a posthumous Oscar for his efforts). He forces Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman to consider retiring, allowing “White Knight” DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to take up the crime-fighting slack. While this essentially administrative storyline doesn’t exactly sing with dramatic potential (and a romantic subplot underuses Maggie Gyllenhaal), there are brilliantly handled, explosive set pieces and the whole film is suffused with violent menace. I still find Begins more elegant, but the grandiloquent third part The Dark Knight Rises makes this one seem almost understated, and the sheer excess actually improves it.

300 ★★★★
10.40pm-12.45am ITV

Taught never to retreat, never to surrender: Gerard Butler and his Spartans resist the might of the Persians in this stunning blockbuster adaptation of Frank (Sin City) Miller’s graphic novel.

Frenzy ★★★★
11.30pm-1.25am BBC2

One of director Alfred Hitchcock’s later works, telling the story of a serial killer in London. Perhaps not his best film, but still a cut above.

Rocketeer ★★★★
6.50-9.00pm Film4

Billy Campbell straps on a jet pack and makes himself a superhero. Jennifer Connelly goes google-eyed over him — or else, it’s just the fumes.

Unknown ★★★
9.00-11.15pm More4

Liam Neeson cements his rep as a middle-aged action hero, here waking up in Berlin to find that nobody remembers him. You’ll want to know more…


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