A Monster in Paris, Changeling, Back to the Future: films on TV today

Our choice of free-to-air films on TV: picked by RT's film team

A Monster in Paris
4.10pm C4


This period French animated musical – which owes a huge narrative debt to The Phantom of the Opera – re-creates the scratchy, black-and-white elegance of early silent cinema with fetching, affectionate style. (You can imagine Martin Scorsese appreciating its craft.) However, dubbed into English – or, more accurately, into American – it sacrifices a lot of its artistic subtlety. While the august likes of Danny Huston, Catherine O’Hara and Bob Balaban provide fruity tones for the older characters, the principals – a shy projectionist; a cabaret singer; a delivery driver –become brash and loud in the mouths of the younger members of the voice cast. Nonetheless, the operatic tale of a large insectoid monster created in a botanical garden and hidden in polite society is a good one – The Fly meets The Elephant Man – and the creature’s subsequent music-hall stardom wittily recalls Young Frankenstein. Plus the Parisian backgrounds are evocative and the songs (sung by Vanessa Paradis and Sean Lennon) aren’t half bad.

Changeling ★★★★★
10pm ITV3

Clint Eastwood directs, Angelina Jolie stars, and both are on exceptional form in this outstanding true-story tale. In 1920s Los Angeles, a woman is delighted when her missing nine-year-old son is returned home safely. But her joy is short-lived, as she is convinced the boy is not her son.

Spider-Man 3 ★★★
6.25pm C5

Tobey Maguire gives his last hurrah as the web-slinger (only five years before Andrew Garfield took over in The Amazing Spider-Man). And this time, thanks to an alien parasite, Spidey goes over to the dark side as he battles a gaggle of bad guys.

Back to the Future ★★★★★
6.55pm ITV2

This time-travelling classic just never gets old. Michael J Fox gets zapped back to the 1950s, has to play matchmaker to his parents (Lea Thompson and a fabulous Crispin Glover), and still finds time to invent skateboarding.

Tarzan ★★ 
4.40pm C5


Showing for the first time on Freeview, this 1999 Disney movie was the first cartoon to feature the vine-swinging hero. It’s action-packed (maybe even a bit too action-packed), but it’s entertaining enough and there are some catchy tunes from Phil Collins.