New Year 2015: best films on TV today, New Year’s Day

The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn, The Dark Knight, Quartet, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Godfather: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn ★★★
Premiere 4.25-6.05pm BBC1 


Steven Spielberg’s motion capture version of the strip cartoon by Hergé is rollicking fun from beginning to end. It involves the numerous, thrilling adventures of intrepid reporter Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell), his fox terrier Snowy and the bulbous-nosed, gloriously alcoholic sea captain Archibald Haddock (Andy Serkis) as they go in search of a model ship containing a map giving clues to the whereabouts of hidden pirate treasure. On the same trail is Haddock’s arch enemy Sakharine (Daniel Craig), who will stop at nothing to beat them to it. In a superb use of animation and flashback we see, for instance, the dunes of the desert turning into rolling ocean waves as villain and heroes pursue one another and we learn the history of the model ship and the enmity between Haddock and Sakharine. Also involved are a couple of cops called Thomson (Nick Frost) and Thompson (Simon Pegg). One ingenious idea follows another and the action never lets up.

The Dark Knight ★★★★★
Premiere 9.00-11.55pm ITV 

Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his scarily intense portrayal of The Joker, who here brings chaos to Gotham and manages to rattle Christian Bale’s normally unflappable Batman.

Quartet ★★★★
Premiere 9.00-10.30pm BBC2 

Dustin Hoffman’s delightful directorial debut sees feathers fly at a home for retired opera singers. Maggie Smith leads a cast that any other rookie could only dream about.   

Snow White and the Huntsman ★★★
8.00-10.30pm C4 

Kristen Stewart is a sullen Snow White (surprise, surprise) so it’s left to Charlize Theron’s evil queen to liven up this gloomily beautiful fairy tale.

The Godfather ★★★★★
12.35-3.30am C4 


Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film has lost none of its power. Nominally a crime drama it is, at its dark and bloody heart, a story about family. And The Family.