The Counsellor, The World’s Fastest Indian, The Hired Hand: films on TV today

Michael Fassbender going for broke, Anthony Hopkins going for the record, Peter Fonda on his wife's farm, working as a hireling: 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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The Counsellor ★★★
Premiere

10.50pm-1.05am Film4 

Do watch this inventively violent, stylised contemporary crime thriller set on the Tex-Mex border if you’re a fan of director Ridley Scott, or if you’re interested in seeing the first original screenplay from Pulitzer-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy. The cast is attention-grabbing, too, with Michael Fassbender as a smoothly crooked lawyer, Javier Bardem (typically ridiculous as a drug kingpin with electric-shock hair) and Brad Pitt as a cool, Stetson-wearing middleman. But don’t watch it if you’re a Cameron Diaz fan…her exotic dancer turned moll is made to perform an embarrassingly explicit, protracted dance for Bardem on his car windscreen. She’s better than that. Otherwise, it’s SUVs barrelling into each other in the desert, a lot of juicy threats and an unpleasant execution device that goes around the neck. 


The World’s Fastest Indian ★★★★

3.15-5.15pm BBC2 

The Indian in question is a motorbike and Anthony Hopkins is the Kiwi fixing it up and taking it to the Bonneville Salt Flats in an attempt to break a record. Feelgood with added burning rubber.  


Ashes ★★★

Premiere

9.00-11.05pm Movie Mix

Ray Winstone reminds us how brilliant he can be, as a dad with Alzheimer’s being busted out of hospital by his sensitive, caring son (Jim Sturgess)… who isn’t all he’s making out to be.  


Day of Anger ★★★

10.00-11.45pm Movies4Men 

Lee Van Cleef continued to make great spaghetti westerns after Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy, this being one. He plays the ageing mentor to young gun Giuliano Gemma, striking fear into the local townsfolk.  


The Hired Hand ★★★★

12 midnight-1.50am Yesterday 

Peter Fonda directs himself in this slow-burning post-hippie western about a woman (Verna Bloom) caught between two drifters – Fonda and Warren Oates.   


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