The best films on the box this week

ALIEN (1979) (Film4, 11.10pm)

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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.


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

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