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A trifecta of the best films on DIRECTV

If BC on TV could be sure of a screening with English subtitles, the German Holocaust drama-thriller Phoenix (9pm FoxCin) would surely have got a pick, though not the top spot.

Today’s Number One Film:

Picture Courtesy Amazon PrimeThe Sixth Sense BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 3.52pm HBO. Watch this if you liked The Others, The Shining or The Usual Suspects. One of the greatest endings in cinema fits one of the most original American horror films since Wes Craven’s groundbreaking A Nightmare on Elm Street. The whole thing stands up to repeated viewings but, if you’re lucky enough never to have seen it before, it is striking in its originality. A real treat but far spookier than its PG-13 rating suggests; expect very bad dreams for them if you let young ones watch it. The major criticism of M Night Shyamalan may very well be true: that every film he made since has been a step down from this, his first; but that does not take into account how very high he set his own benchmark. Directed by M Night Shyamalan/ 1999/ USA / Horror-Thriller-Mystery/ 107 mins/ PG-13 for intense thematic material and violent images.

Also watch:

Picture courtesy wikimediaMan on Fire 9pm Fox Action Ch 561. Watch this if you liked Gone Baby Gone, Training Day or Prisoners. After the very ordinary Out of Time and the dreadful John Q, Denzel Washington needed a decent action flick role; he got one as a bodyguard giving all for his child charge. Tony Scott’s direction and rock solid performances from Washington, Christopher Walken and beauty Radha Mitchell make this not just closer to Scott’s good films, like True Romance or Beverly Hills Cop than his bad or mediocre ones like Enemy of the State but that rare thing: an American version of a foreign (in this case, French) film that is actually better. Anyone who can deal with the very hard scenes of violence should love it. Directed by Tony Scott/ 2004/ USA/ Action-Crime-Thriller/ 146 mins Rated R for language and strong violence.

Keanu, 8.40am HBO Plus Ch 526. Watch this if you liked Nine Lives, Pineapple Express or the TV comedy series Key & Peele. Picture courtesy WikimediaKeegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele might be the funniest people in the world under age 40. Their combination of off-the-wall humour and scathing self-deprecation may also be the closest American comedy has ever got to its British sibling. What’s certain is that their first feature film uses all the strengths of their TV show as a springboard into an outrageous action comedy. And it stars a cat in a lead role, as the kitten every gangster wants. Hilarious, tense and even touching in all the right parts, it’s a real treat. Directed by Peter Atencio/ 2016/ USA/ Action-Comedy / 100 mins/ Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity.


**Black Mass (Crime-Drama-Thriller), 9pm MaxP; **The Revenant (Action-Adventure-Western), 6.30pm FoxAct; **The Wrestler (Drama-Sports), 9pm DTV; Chariots of Fire (Drama-Sports), 11.55am FoxClas; Inside Out (Animated-Family), 2pm MaxU; Burn After Reading (Comedy-Drama), 8.20am HBO2.

BEST Pay Per View BET: Doctor Strange Ch 502.


Action/Adventure: Ant-Man (Superhero), 8.05am MaxP; The Dark Knight Rises, 3.49pm Spac

Art House/Independent: St Vincent, 10.45am FoxCom

Biography: Rudy, 8.20am MaxU

Children/Family: Where the Wild Things Are, 7.45am HBO

Classic: Macarthur (Biodrama), 4.35pm FoxClas

Comedy: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (Family), 8.40am FoxClas

Drama: The Remains of the Day, 9.30am Max

Foreign: Phoenix, 9pm FoxCin

Horror: The Birds (Hitchcock), 7.25am Max

Sci-fi-Fantasy: Alice in Wonderland, 7.10pm MaxU

Thriller: The Taking of Pelham 123 (Travolta/Denzel), 3.10pm Prmt

War: The Battle of Midway, 6.45pm FoxClas

Western: The Sons of Katie Elder, 6.35am FoxClas

*Starred films have been chosen in the last year. ** Double-starred films have been chosen in the last three months. Particularly strong Also Ran choices are bolded.

Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.