Battle Los Angeles, In Our Name, The Ruins: films on TV today

LA faces disaster from above, a soldier struggles with civilian life, and tourists in Mexico face some bloodthirsty plantlife: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Battle Los Angeles ★★★
9.00-11.20pm E4 

With Los Angeles devastated by an earthquake in new cinema release San Andreas, this disaster epic finds Hollywood’s backyard under siege from above rather than below. In this heavily militarised sci-fi nightmare, what’s initially perceived as a meteor shower affecting several coastal cities turns out to be a wave of alien spacecraft intent on colonising Earth. As with any cinematic catastrophe, the overwhelming, apocalyptic action needs a human focus, and here it’s Aaron Eckhart’s Iraq veteran, who’s pulled out of retirement to save the city. He’s tasked with escorting another vet in Bridget Moynahan’s animal doctor, as well as three kids and dad Michael Pe–a, before the military begin carpet-bombing the area. Michelle Rodriguez adds further combat muscle in a game of alien-and-mouse set around a ruined Santa Monica. With a touch of Aliens about it, albeit mostly in broad daylight, it’s a satisfying if grimly relentless adventure that may require the use of earplugs.

In Our Name ★★★
11.00pm-12.30am BBC2 

This well-acted, low-key drama stars Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt as a soldier returning from Iraq who finds it hard to adjust to being a wife and mother again.

The Ruins ★★★
11.50pm-1.15am BBC1 

Killer vines prey on tourists in a Mayan temple in a creepy and gruesome shocker that boasts more intelligence than your average horror.

Total Recall ★★★★
11.10pm-1.15am ITV 

Lashings of black humour along with the snazzy visuals and ultra-violence means this sci-fi caper is hard to forget. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a big impression, too.    

Exam ★★★
9.00-11.10pm Movie Mix 

It’s the selection process from hell for eight candidates in this inventively dark psychological thriller. Faced with blank sheets, the problem is what is the question, rather than what’s the answer. And are they expected to work as a team, or is it every man (or woman) for themselves in the survival of the fittest? It’s all slickly done with an ever increasing feeling of claustrophobia.


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