Inside Man, The Vikings, Red Dragon: films on TV today

Clive Owen plans a bank job, Kirk Douglas leads a Viking raid, and Anthony Hopkins does new things with Chianti and fava beans: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Inside Man ★★★★
10.00pm-12.40am ITV4 

Far and away the most financially successful Spike Lee movie, this is also his most conventional. Lacking the usually racially-motivated political thrust of much of his best work, it is nonetheless utterly convincing on its own level. Clive Owen is the criminal mastermind behind a Manhattan bank robbery – told in flashback, involving a number of hostages – and he’s seemingly one step ahead of the authorities at every turn; Jodie Foster is the fixer with a corporate agenda sent in as a negotiator; and Denzel Washington (Lee’s de facto muse) and Chiwetel Ejiofor are the detectives on the outside. Slick, smart and talky, it’s an entertaining piece that almost feels like it could have been made in the 1970s – Dog Day Afternoon springs to mind – if only for the moral ambiguity of the piece. You’re invited to root for Owen and hiss the bank’s founder, Christopher Plummer, for instance.

The Vikings ★★★★★

1.40-4.00pm 5USA 

Legs-athwart, big-sweep 1950s Hollywood, with Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh among the warlike Scandinavians waging war on anyone who looks at them askance.  

Hairspray ★★★★

7.30-9.50pm E4 

This remake of the John Waters musical set in white-sliced early 1960s America sees John Travolta slipping into a fat suit as heroine Tracy Turnblad’s mother. And doesn’t he love it…    

The Sweeney ★★

9.00-11.15pm Film Four 

“Put your trousers on, you’re nicked.” A couple of lines familiar from the 1970s original survive in this bracing outing for Ray Winstone and Ben (Plan B) Drew as DI Jack Regan and sidekick George Carter.  

Red Dragon ★★★

10.00pm-12.30am ITV2 

Anthony Hopkins sinks his teeth into the role of Hannibal Lecter for the third time in this adapation of Thomas Harris’s first novel about everyone’s favourite cannibal.    


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