The Way Way Back (2013) FILM4, 7.00PM ★★★★
This coming-of-age story feels like familiar terrain, but it’s agreeably done. Duncan (Liam James) learns about life, love and self-esteem from a gang of water-park employees, including the excellent Sam Rockwell, when forced to go on holiday with his mother (Toni Collette) and her boyfriend (Steve Carrell). The script flows and there’s enough melancholy and edge to the overall comic tone for its charm to prevail.
The Island (2005) 5STAR, 9.00PM ★★
Michael Bay’s sci-fi flop humbled Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks. Not only was the original script scrapped, the film only just recouped the $126million it cost to make, though it’s still a stylish offering. It stars Ewan Mcgregor as a human clone who lives in a controlled facility and dreams of going to “The Island”, the last uncontaminated place on Earth. Scarlett Johansson and Sean Bean buoy up the cast.
Cliffhanger (1993) ITV4, 12.40AM★★★
Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Renny Harlin directs.