Zodiac, Despicable Me, Prometheus: films on TV today

Jack Gyllenhaal's cryptic killer, Steve Carell's ultimate supervillain and Ridley Scott's return to sci-fi: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Zodiac ★★★★
10.50pm-1.20am BBC2 

Men in shirtsleeves talking on the phone and writing things down has become something of a subgenre, from All the President’s Men to recent best picture Oscar winner Spotlight. Such films are necessarily set in a pre-digital past, when journalism required notebooks and stubby pencils. Although David Fincher’s sublime Zodiac is based on the hunt for the real San Francisco serial killer of that name in the late 1960s and early 70s, its power lies not in the tense and disturbing murder scenes but in the gripping investigations that ensue, courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle crime reporter Robert Downey Jr, Jake Gyllenhaal’s cartoonist-turned-reporter (upon whose book Zodiac is based) and Mark Ruffalo’s detective. The fact that the perpetrator wasn’t officially identified never reduces the tension, as our newshounds apparently close in. Fincher’s suitably moody film – talky but intelligent and shot partly on digital stock – is very long, eerily scored by David Shire, and nothing like standard serial-killer thrillers. And that’s why I love it. 

Despicable Me ★★★★
2.30-4.30pm ITV 

Dastardly villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) plans to steal the Moon, but gets all gooey over three orphaned sisters who prove that even megalomaniacs have a soft side.

Prometheus ★★★★
9.00-11.25pm C4 

33 years after Alien (which follows in tonight’s double bill), Ridley Scott proves he’s still the master of sci-fi horror, as an expedition goes in search of mankind’s alien ancestors. But they might not like what they find.    

Body of Lies ★★★
10.15pm-12.35am ITV 

Never mind the confusing plot, feel the star power as Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe get together with director Ridley Scott for a political thriller set in the Middle East    

In Time ★★★★
10.05pm-12.20am 5STAR 

It’s well worth investing a couple of hours in this Justin Timberlake thriller, set in a world where you must buy your way to a longer life.    


Buy your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2016