Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Due Date, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: films on TV today

The President is on a stake out, Robert Downey Jr hitches a ride, and has 007 put his bachelor days behind him? The RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ★★★★
10.55pm-1.00am Film4 


Unlikely to fall foul of the Trade Descriptions Act, this fantasy makes a virtue of its pounding preposterousness. Here the 16th President of the United States is played by Benjamin Walker (a stage star since cast in Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea), who’s trained as a young man by Dominic Cooper to hunt vampires. Lincoln then uses those skills during his subsequent presidency, thanks to an audacious subplot involving the Civil War and slavery from writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). A cut above the usual hokum, its appeal nonetheless rests upon visceral bombast, fight scenes, CGI, slo-mo, hordes of bloodsuckers and gravity-defying combat. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) rarely takes his foot off the pedal. Fantasy fans will be relieved that it’s unlikely to play on the History Channel. 

Hope and Glory ★★★★★
4.55-7.05pm Movie Mix 

There’s great warmth and charm about writer/director John Boorman’s film, a semi-autobiographical account of growing up during the Blitz.

Due Date ★★★
9.00-10.55pm 5STAR 

Buckle up! This comedy road trip sees the irascible Robert Downey Jr driven around the bend and the back roads of America by human fuzzball Zach Galifianakis.    

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ★★★★
9.00-11.55pm ITV4 

“This never happened to the other fella.” An exciting punch-up on the beach introduces George Lazenby as the successor to the original James Bond, Sean Connery. Leave your prejudice at the door and thrill to one of the best films in the series.      

The Tree of Life ★★★★
1.00-3.50am Film4 

Breathtaking, mindbending but brilliant. Who else but Terrence Malick could combine the origins of life on Earth with a young boy’s loss of innocence in 1950s Texas? Brad Pitt and Sean Penn do well to contend with the metaphysics.


Buy your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2016