Green Zone, Silver Linings Playbook, Pusher: films on TV today

Matt Damon invades Iraq, Jennifer Lawrence wins her Oscar and an East End dealer hits the skids: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Green Zone ★★★★
11.25pm-1.35am C4 


Reuniting the star and director of the best Bourne films, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, the big-budget Green Zone can be filed alongside Lions for Lambs, Redacted, Battle for Haditha and In the Valley of Elah under: “Noughties Films Addressing America’s Post-9/11 Military Operations in the Middle East.” Greengrass takes his trademark hand-held cameras into Baghdad (as played by Spain and Morocco), and drops us into a diplomatic firestorm, with a cleverly worked plot by screenwriter Brian Helgeland (from journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s superb non-fiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City). Damon plays the principled army officer who, on a tip-off from Brendan Gleeson’s CIA agent, doubts key “intel” about WMDs and clashes with Greg Kinnear’s sleazy, Pentagon martinet. Although a relative flop at the box office, and accused by some of being anti-American, Green Zone is a smart, questioning action movie whose meaty cast also includes Jason Isaacs, Amy Ryan and Igal Naor – who played Saddam Hussein in the 2008 TV drama House of Saddam.

On the Waterfront ★★★★★
 2.00-3.45pm BBC2 

Marlon Brando is unforgettable as brooding misfit Terry Malloy in director Elia Kazan’s Oscar-winning crime drama about corruption, murder and redemption in New York’s docks.    

Silver Linings Playbook ★★
Premiere 9.00-11.25pm C4 

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have become something of a double act (American Hustle, Serena). In this first movie together they are both terrific as troubled souls who form an unlikely bond.

Spider ★★★★
11.20pm-12.55am BBC2 

An intense slow-burner from director David Cronenberg, starring Ralph Fiennes in one of his best performances as a down and out in London’s East End remembering how it all went so badly wrong for him.  

Pusher ★★★
Premiere 10.40pm-12.25am Film4

A likeable drug-dealer’s life of easy-come, easy-go suddenly shifts into a hellish gear in this vivid British remake of the 1996 debut that made the name of Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. 



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