X-Men: First Class, The Dark Knight, The King’s Speech: films on TV today

A mutant reboot, a stammering King and Batman's greatest adversary: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 

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X-Men: First Class ★★★★
9.00-11.35pm C4 

The latest helping in the $3.8 billion-grossing Marvel mutant-superhero franchise, the imminent X-Men: Apocalypse, is unlikely to buck the trend of making more money than the previous one. First Class, the fifth film and first prequel, made $350 million in 2011, which is small change compared to Days of Future Past, which took $747 million. In many ways, the former is more lovable, as it’s a sweepingly rewarding origins story, tracing – under the sure direction of Matthew Vaughn – the roots of founder Professor X (played with wry English suavity by Scot James McAvoy), and his future nemesis, Magneto (a lithe, teeth-gritting Michael Fassbender). Going back to Nazi-occupied Poland in 1944 for a striking opening sequence, the action moves to the early 1960s for some effective, witty training sequences, and a climactic clash off the coast of Cuba (yes, they’ve audaciously co-opted the actual Missile Crisis). Nicholas Hoult and then-rising star Jennifer Lawrence give personality to the youthful cast.  


The Dark Knight ★★★★★
10.15pm-12.55am ITV 

Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his scarily intense portrayal of The Joker, who here brings chaos to Gotham and manages to rattle Christian Bale’s normally unflappable Batman.    


GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra ★★★★
11.35pm-1.50am C4 

If you like the comic-book spectacle of Transformers, look no further than this action-packed elite-soldier adventure, packed with gadgets and nano-weapons that threaten the planet.    


Back to the Future ★★★★★
6.55-9.15pm ITV2 

Cross-dimensional high jinks ensue when teenager Michael J Fox travels through time to his parents’ high-school heyday in this hit 1980s comedy. 


The King’s Speech ★★★★
9.00-11.20pm Film4 

Colin Firth set tongues wagging with his impressive performance as introverted stammerer, King George VI, in this handsome period drama.    


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