The Interpreter, The Cotton Club, Desperado: films on TV today

Curiosity could kill Nicole Kidman, Richard Gere blows his own trumpet, and Antonio Banderas... well, he just blows everybody away: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




The Interpreter ★★★
9.00-11.35pm ITV4 

Nicole Kidman, an interpreter at the United Nations, overhears a plot to assassinate the Robert Mugabe-like dictator (liberator turned genocidal maniac) of the African country where she was born. That’s bad enough but, even worse, the plotters might have seen her. She tells the American Secret Service what she knows and they send agent Sean Penn to investigate and protect her. But he doesn’t believe her. Not at first, anyway. Something nasty in her background makes him suspicious and he knows about nasty backgrounds because he has one, too. It’s all a little overwritten but the story’s gripping enough with plenty of suspects and a good ration of action and thrills. Nice performances, authentic backgrounds and neat direction by Sydney Pollack.

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief ★★★
6.30-9.00pm Film Four 

A normal schoolkid discovers he’s the demigod son of Poseidon in this wham-bam adventure decorated by the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan (giving it the full Alan Partridge).

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters ★★★
9.00-10.50pm 5★ 

The young siblings from the old Grimm fairy tale have grown up to be anything but sweet as candy in this dark “what if” action fantasy from the director of Dead Snow. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton give killer performances as the tooled-up steampunk slayers.

The Cotton Club ★★★
9.00-11.00pm True Entertainment 

Francis Ford Coppola’s attempt to give life to Harlem’s hottest jazz joint has plenty of 1920s pizzazz but isn’t quite the classic epic you’d expect from the director of The Godfather films. Still, Richard Gere gets to show off his real-life horn-playing skills and there are memorable turns from Bob Hoskins and Fred Gwynne (of Munsters fame).

Desperado ★★★★
10.50pm-1.00am Movie Mix 


This stylish, bloody tale of a guitar-player’s revenge made Antonio Banderas a star. Sultry Salma Hayek gives him a run for his money in the smouldering stakes.