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Top films to watch on TV this week

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Ian Malcolm (played by the ever entertaining Jeff Goldblum) runs from a T-Rex in Jurassic Park (Sunday, ITV, 5.45pm), still packing a punch after 27 years

Ian Malcolm (played by the ever entertaining Jeff Goldblum) runs from a T-Rex in Jurassic Park (Sunday, ITV, 5.45pm), still packing a punch after 27 years

Ian Malcolm (played by the ever entertaining Jeff Goldblum) runs from a T-Rex in Jurassic Park (Sunday, ITV, 5.45pm), still packing a punch after 27 years

Wednesday: The Martian (2015) Film4, 9p.m.

The six-strong crew of the Ares 3, led by Commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain), are gathering samples on Mars when sensors pick up an approaching storm. Lewis gives the order to evacuate and during the trek back to the ship, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is hit by flying debris.

Believing him to be dead, the rest of the crew blasts off without him. Little do they realise that back on Mars, Watney is alive. Meanwhile on Earth, the Nasa top brass cut corners to let Mark know the cavalry is coming - but can he last until they arrive?

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Andy Weir, Ridley Scott's film is a riveting survival thriller set 140 million miles from home, which bears obvious similarities to the Oscar-winning Gravity in both set-up and execution.

Thursday

Pulp Fiction (1994) Sony Movies, 10.50p.m.

Following his ultra-hip debut Reservoir Dogs, writer-director Quentin Tarantino delivered an equally confident and more ambitious second film. Multiple storylines interweave as characters from one thread bump into those of another, introducing us to a brutal Los Angeles milieu populated by gangster junkies, honest thieves and tender murderers.

Mob boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) entrusts low-rent hit men Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L Jackson) to collect a stolen briefcase. He also pays ageing boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) to throw his next fight.

The fates of these characters collide after Marsellus asks Vincent to entertain his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) in his absence and the cool cats head down to Jack Rabbit Slims for a hip-swivelling turn on the dance floor.

Friday

Spotlight (2015) BBC2, 11.20p.m.

Down in the basement of the Boston Globe newsroom, Walter 'Robby' Robinson (Michael Keaton) presides over the Spotlight investigate team - Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy), who invest thousands of man hours following leads. Their work is valuable, but costly, and incoming editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) makes it clear he is willing to make difficult cuts.

However, the team is mired in a potentially explosive story. An attorney claims to have documents that prove a cardinal knew about child abuse within the diocese and did nothing. As the reporters dig deeper, they find the situation is worse than they could have imagined...

This Oscar-winning fact-based drama boasts strong performances across the board as the horrific stories of shattered innocence come to light.

Sunday

Jurassic Park (1993) ITV, 5.45p.m.

Steven Spielberg's monster blockbuster sees a group of scientists (including Sam Neill and Laura Dern) being given a sneak preview of a safari park set up on a remote island by an eccentric tycoon (Richard Attenborough).

The creatures on display are genetically engineered dinosaurs and it isn't long before something goes wrong and the prehistoric beasts escape their cages. Now that the dinosaurs are free to roam the island, the visitors become prey for a multitude of carnivorous critters.

The plot may be a rehash of author Michael Crichton's earlier hit Westworld, but at the time this was one of the greatest shows on earth. In 2020, it still packs a punch, not least because of great effects, sound design, action scenes and Jeff Goldblum's wonderful performance as a swaggering 'chaotician'.

Monday

Paddington 2 (2017) BBC1, 7p.m.

Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is happily installed in the attic of 32 Windsor Gardens, family home of the Browns. During a visit to antiques dealer Mr Gruber (Jim Broadbent), Paddington unearths a valuable pop-up book of London, which would make the perfect gift for Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton). But hilariously vain, fading actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) steals the rare edition and Paddington is unfairly sentenced to 10 years for the crime.

Paddington 2 is an unabashedly sweet, wholesome and crowd-pleasing sequel that promotes compassion and understanding as the foundations of a truly great Britain. The entire cast (including Brendan Gleeson as a fearsome prisoner) is great, but Grant steals the film as well as the picture book by playing his scheming theatrical ham to the comic hilt.

Wexford People