Spike Island, Taken 2, Braveheart: films on TV today

Teenagers come of age at the legendary Stone Roses gig, Liam Neeson's ex-agent returns to geri-action, and Mel Gibson leads the charge for Scottish independence: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Spike Island ★★★
PREMIERE 10.00-11.40pm BBC2 

I hate to say it, but “I was there!” when legendary Manchester band the Stone Roses defined a cultural youthquake in May 1990 playing to 27,000 ravers at Spike Island in Widnes. Writer Chris Coghill’s fond fictional story of an unsigned local four-piece caught up in the heady anticipation also makes dramatic capital of the gig’s less glorious aspects — desperate non-ticket holders, bottleneck access to the site across a footbridge, stage sound distorted by the wind — while director Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) corrals lively young leads Elliott Tittensor (Shameless), Nico Mirallegro (The Ark) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones). Aimed nostalgically at those old enough to remember the era’s colloquial bravado, comedic street slang and inter-band rivalry, Spike Island ought to have young-adult appeal, too, although the drama lingers too long after the gig is over. Hey, did I mention? I was there!

Taken 2 ★★★
9.00-10.55pm C4 

Midlife crisis or action hero? Liam Neeson serves up more of the same here when the father of a kidnapper killed by Neeson’s ex-CIA agent sets out to wreak his own revenge.

Braveheart ★★★★
10.55pm-2.05am C4 

Director/star Mel Gibson combines epic sweep and mud-caked violence in his myth-laden take on Scottish warrior William Wallace. The battle scenes are staged with savage imagination. 

The Impossible ★★★★
9.00-11.10pm Film Four 

We defy you not to be shaken by the violent opening sequence, re-creating the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and a literally raw, bare bones performance by Naomi Watts.

Amy ★★★★
9.00-11.35pm More4 

Senna director Asif Kapadia’s Bafta-winning documentary charts the rollercoaster career of mercurial singer Amy Winehouse. Whether you are a fan or not, it’s a brilliant portrait of a sublime talent.


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