Escape from New York, Die Hard 2, Open Range: films on TV today

John Carpenter's cult actioner, Bruce Willis Dies again, and Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner do what men gotta do: 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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Escape from New York ★★★
9.00-11.05pm ITV4 

Get over the fact that John Carpenter’s dystopian thriller is set in 1997, and it really is fun to revisit his and co-writer Nick Castle’s dark vision of New York, in which the island of Manhattan has been walled off and converted into a maximum security prison. Kurt Russell is supercool as gone-bad Special Forces agent “Snake” Plissken (still one of the great all-time movie character names), who’s sent in to rescue President Donald Pleasence after Air Force One crashes inside the vast, lawless penitentiary-state. Ernest Borgnine, Lee Van Cleef and singer Isaac Hayes bulk up a cultish cast amid the nonstop action, and Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s synth score is gloriously early 80s. Avoid the sequel. 


Die Hard 2: Die Harder ★★★★

9.00-11.20pm Film4 

Washington is under threat from terrorists and heavy snow on Christmas Eve, but Bruce Willis will insist on stripping down to his vest. Prepare for bracing action.    


Jumper ★★★

9.00-10.50pm 5STAR 

How would you use the ability to “jump” around the world in the blink of an eye? Hayden Christensen robs banks, but a law-abiding “Jumper” isn’t far behind.    


Ashes ★★★

10.55pm-1.00am Movie Mix 

A cool two-handed thriller that keeps its cards close to its chest but hands a prime acting role to Ray Winstone, as a man with Alzheimer’s being sprung from his nursing home by son Jim Sturgess.   


Open Range ★★★★

11.05pm-1.50am ITV4 

This well-crafted western about a land in transition is a pleasure to watch. Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner are the old cowpokes looking to protect their way of life.    


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