The best films on the box this week
ALIEN (1979) (Film4, 11.10pm)
THIS 1979 horror sci-fi classic pits the crew of an industrial vessel against an ever-growing alien threat, brought on board attached to doomed crewman John Hurt. Director Ridley Scott’s stylish, much-imitated assault on the nerves is brilliantly sustained, while Sigourney Weaver is perfect as one of sci-fi’s few true heroines. The special effects are a tour-de-force of gore and HR Giger’s jaw-dropping designs, including the infamous “chest-burster” scene.
SATURDAY MUPPETS MOST WANTED (2014) (BBC One, 2.45pm)
THE world’s most deadly criminal, Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel) – who bears an uncanny resemblance to Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) - escapes from his Siberian prison. Commander Nadya (Tina Fey) and her men give chase and mistakenly arrest Kermit, believing him to be the amphibian mastermind. While Kermit languishes behind bars, Constantine orchestrates a series of daring robberies with the help of his second-incommand (Ricky Gervais).
SUNDAY THE BIRTH OF A NATION (2016) (Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.40am) Premiere
SLAVE owner Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) believes he is more tolerant than many of his neighbours, as his mother Elizabeth (Penelope Ann Miller) raised him with a slave boy called Nat (Nate Parker) as his playmate. Nat falls for another slave, Cherry (Aja Naomi King), but when she is assaulted by white slavers, he begins to question the order of his unforgiving world and eventually leads a rebellion.
MONDAY BAJIRAO MASTANI (2015) (C4, 1.50am) Premiere
SWEEPING Bollywood romance set in the days of the Maratha Empire. Feared warrior Bajirao I (Ranvir Singh) rises through the ranks, winning the admiration of the men above and below him. With the support of his beautiful wife Mastani (Deepika Padukone), Bajirao I becomes the hereditary leader of the empire and affects the course of his people’s history.
TUESDAY SOUTHPAW (2015) (Film4, 9pm) Premiere
THIS rousing parable of triumph over adversity stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy Hope, a giant of the boxing ring who celebrates retaining his championship belt with wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and precocious daughter Leila (Oona Laurence). Tragedy strikes and Leila is wrested away from Billy by the courts after he sinks into alcoholism. To reunite his family, Billy must prove he can be a responsible parent – and to earn enough to provide a home for Leila, he must head back into the ring.
WEDNESDAY THE GREEN MILE (1999) (Film4, 9pm)
THE equilibrium of a 1930s Death Row block is disrupted by the arrival of gentle giant John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted of raping and murdering two 10-yearold girls. Over time, the new inmate befriends one of the guards, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), who suspects Coffey may be innocent of the heinous crime. The Green Mile is a heartbreaking drama which builds in pace and tension, drawing to an earth-shattering close.
THURSDAY ROBIN Hood (2010) (Film4, 6.15pm)
FEARLESS archer Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) and his friends returns to England after King Richard (Danny Huston) is slain on the battlefield. To secure safe passage, Robin poses as slain knight Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge). He continues the ruse with Loxley’s widow Marion (Cate Blanchett), to help her keep the family estate, but any chances of romance are threatened by treacherous Godfrey (Mark Strong).
Nate Parker as Nat Turner in The Birth Of A Nation