The Impossible, ParaNorman, The Last Stand and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: films on TV today

Tsunami true story, supernatural toonery, Indy's next-to-last crusade, plus Arnie's back: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


PREMIERE The Impossible ★★★★
9.00-11.15pm C4 


Though a fan of disaster movies, I approached this only partially fictionalised account of the real-life 2004 Boxing Day tsunami with a degree of trepidation. Part of the vicarious fun of The Poseidon Adventure or Armageddon is that they’re not real; the tsunami killed around 230,000 people and the story on which this movie focuses actually happened to the holidaying Alvarez-Belon family from Spain. They are magically English in director Juan Antonio Bayona’s ambitious re-creation of the tidal wave itself and the waterlogged aftermath, when mum Naomi Watts, severely injured, is separated with her eldest son (a brilliant Tom Holland) from husband Ewan McGregor and the other children. Their fraught search to reunite drives the Hollywood-style narrative. The flood is created partly by CGI but also through use of water tanks, and it shows. It’s a harrowing experience, but well made, and you will particularly feel the pain of an Oscar-nominated Watts.

ParaNorman ★★★★
PREMIERE 4.50-6.35pm C4 

A bit like The Sixth Sense except animated, with less whispering and more jokes. Let Me In star Kodi-Smit McPhee voices the clairvoyant kid in what is, in many ways, a spirited adventure.

The Last Stand ★★★
PREMIERE 9.00-11.30pm C5 

If you love Arnie doing what he does best – which, arguably, isn’t being the governor of California – then you’ll love this movie, his first after bowing out of politics. He plays a cop who comes up against a Mexican drug lord.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ★★★★★
8.00-10.00pm BBC3 

Harrison Ford and Sean Connery make an unlikely but effective comedy double-act in the third instalment of the tomb-raiding franchise, 19 years before Spielberg blew the cobwebs off for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (showing tomorrow). 

Renoir ★★★
PREMIERE 9.30-11.15pm BBC4 

If you believe in suffering for your art, you probably won’t mind sitting through the lulls in this otherwise sumptuous film portrait of the great impressionist painter. 


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