Kick-Ass, Black Death, From Hell: films on TV today

Chloe Grace Moretz gets all potty mouthed in a superhero romp, Eddie Redmayne tries to avoid the sniffles, and gore blimey, it's Johnny Depp daaan the East End: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY 
Kick-Ass ★★★★
10.00pm-12.20am C4

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On its release in 2010, this witty, stylised, ironic superhero caper enjoyed pre-publicity money cannot buy, whipped into a flurry of controversy by the media as moral guardian. Adapted by Matthew Vaughn (who also directs) and Jane Goldman from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s lively graphic novels, it depicts a teenage New York comic-book nerd (Aaron Johnson) who buys a wetsuit online and sets himself up as a masked superhero, his first heroic act going viral on YouTube. He teams up with Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), an old head on 11-year-old shoulders, whose single use of the c-word in the film proved the flashpoint for outrage. The Daily Mail’s film critic called it “shamelessly irresponsible”, but make up your own mind. I find it smart and self-effacing, its violence literally comic book, and I believe it to have been responsibly certificated at 15. The sequel was a letdown, but the franchise isn’t done yet.


Black Death ★★★★
11.40pm-1.15am BBC2 

Flavour of the month Eddie Redmayne stars here as a medieval monk who accompanies knight Sean Bean to investigate how just one small village has managed to avoid being touched by the plague. They’re up to no good, you can be sure – especially sorceress Carice van Houten, who has a trick or two up her baggy sleeve.


Dead Birds ★★★
9.00-10.55pm Movie Mix 

The American Civil War isn’t a familiar backdrop for supernatural horror tales, but it works well here as a dodgy bunch consisting of army deserters and an escaped slave take refuge in an abandoned mansion only to discover this ol’ house has some dark secrets.


Cloverfield ★★★
10.50pm-12.25am Film4 

We’ll trash Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island too. A largely unseen monster lays waste to New York in this effective sci-fi horror tale. The Blair Witch shaky-cam style has a lot to answer for, but it works well here as we get thrown into the thick of the action.


From Hell ★★★★
10.55pm-1.20am Movie Mix 

Johnny Depp gives us his best cockney copper in this Jack the Ripper tale based on the terrific graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. I’m pretty sure prostitutes in Victorian London didn’t scrub up quite as well as Heather Graham, but this is still a superbly crafted and chilling tale.


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