BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Marvel Avengers Assemble ★★★★★
Here’s the set up: the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his nasty followers have broken through a portal in space with intent to conquer the world. They seem unbeatable but happily espionage chief Samuel L Jackson can round up Marvel Comic’s finest to take them on. And these Avengers are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Loki’s brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth). What follows is the inevitable (but very good of its kind) crash-bang, superhero epic, full of fights, explosions, impressive special effects, chases and vast destruction of property. Mercifully,however, all this nonstop action is leavened by unusually smart dialogue, humour and excellent performances all round.
The Dirty Dozen ★★★★
Lee Marvin leads a dangerous mission into Nazi territory, but rather than elite soliders his squad is comprised of vicious criminals — including Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes and Donald Sutherland.
Rise of the Guardians ★★★★
12 noon-1.30pm CBBC
This charming animated adventure will have kids cheering at the screen thanks to one of the greatest line-ups in cinema history, as Santa, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and The Sandman teaming up to take down the evil Bogeyman. Who needs The Avengers?
Public Enemies ★★★★
Michael Mann’s directorial flair and Johnny Depp’s starring charisma combine to dazzling effect in the story of 1930’s gangster and folk hero John Dillinger.
War of the Worlds ★★★★
Alien invasion shenanigans as Martian hordes come a-calling in Steven Spielberg’s epic take on the HG Wells classic.
Buy your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2016