The Tree of Life, Jurassic Park, Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story: films on TV today

Brad Pitt prepares his children for an unforgiving world, Richard Attenborough builds the ultimate theme park, and Vince Vaughn has to save his struggling gym: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Andrew Collins: FILM OF THE DAY 
The Tree of Life ★★★★
10.45pm-1.25am Film Four  

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Many will find director Terrence Malick’s fifth film in almost 40 years ponderous and indulgent, but too much modern cinema is efficient and focus-grouped, and this is closer to art. This slow, metaphysical piece hymns the origins of life on Earth, anchored by flashbacks to 1950s Texas, where sequences geological, botanical and astronomical are offset by equally memorable fragments of Brad Pitt (seen in more conventional mode in Fury, out this week) as a frustrated, disciplinarian dad who screws up his eldest son, played in rebellious adolescence by Hunter McCracken and haunted adulthood by Sean Penn. Meanwhile, Pitt’s wife (Jessica Chastain) is so ethereally presented she could be a living saint. It’s atmospheric cinema of the highest order – if you’re in the mood. 


Jurassic Park ★★★★★
6.30-9.00pm ITV2 

Steven Spielberg hit the family viewing jackpot again with this prehistoric romp that sees Jeff Goldblum and his tour party at the mercy of Richard Attenborough’s theme-park dinosaurs. The combination of tension and humour is just right. 


Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story ★★★
9.00-10.55pm 5★ 

Fitness slob Vince Vaughn collects a team of misfits together in a battle to save his run-down gym from the clutches of tycoon Ben Stiller in this boisterous sports comedy.


Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House ★★★★
9.20-11.10am Movies4Men  

Nobody faces the trials of life like Cary Grant; here his quizzical city slicker fights a losing battle against a ruin in the country with all the style and charm that you could ask for.


Ladybird Ladybird ★★★★
1.25-3.35am Film Four 

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Ken Loach’s slice of life drama is served almost raw, with a harrowing  performance from Chrissy Rock as Maggie, a big-hearted, short-fused Liverpudlian, whose need to win her children back from care is as strong as social services’ wishes to keep her away from them.