The Damned United, BBC Two, 11.30pm

Based on David Peace's controversial book, The Damned United chronicles a tempestuous period in the professional life of football manager Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) during the 1974-75 season. The film opens in July 1974 with Clough travelling to West Yorkshire to succeed Don Revie (a perfectly cast Colm Meaney) as manager of Division One champions Leeds United. An impromptu television interview, in which Clough openly criticises Revie’s tactics, is seen as a declaration of war against senior squad members including Billy Bremner (Stephen Graham), Johnny Giles (Peter McDonald) and Norman Hunter (Mark Cameron). An enthralling valentine to the former darling of Nottingham Forest, which shoots and scores on many levels, although fans of Peace’s novel may miss some of the darkness.


Film of the Week

Trainspotting 2, Film 4, 11.45pm

Danny Boyle’s belated 2017 follow-up to his iconic 1996 film finds Renton (Ewan McGregor) returning to Edinburgh from Amsterdam, where he has been living since the events which ended the first film – his theft of the £16,000 drug money which was supposed to have been divided between him, Begbie (Robert Carlyle), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Spud (Ewen Bremner).

Renton arrives at Spud’s high-rise flat in time to save him from a suicide attempt and then visits Sick Boy. He finds him running his aunt’s old pub and indulging in a spot of blackmail as a side hustle, a scheme in which his partner, Bulgarian sex worker Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova), is an active participant. While Spud is pleased to see Renton, Sick Boy is not. He doesn’t forgive the betrayal, though after a fight which ends up with Renton unconscious on a pool table their best buddies act resumes. Or does it? Unknown to Renton, Begbie has escaped from prison and when he learns from Sick Boy that their former friend is back, they hatch a plan to exact revenge. Or Begbie does: Sick Boy doesn’t have much choice but to go along with it.

Based on Irvine Welsh’s 2002 novel Porno, which checks in with Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie a decade after the events of Trainspotting, Boyle’s film is pleasingly cartoonish and makes a great deal more of its Edinburgh setting than its predecessor. There’s a chase sequence taking in the High Street, Victoria Street and Cockburn Street which could grace any action movie (and has in fact graced several, including Avengers: Infinity War) and inter-cutting the present-day action are scenes and montages from Trainspotting. So T2, as it’s known, is an exercise in filmic nostalgia as much as it is a story about old friends meeting up in unusual circumstances to relive a difficult shared experience.

There are cameos for Trainspotting alumni Kelly Macdonald as Diane (now a high-flying lawyer) and Shirley Henderson as Gail (Spud’s long-suffering girlfriend and mother to his son, Wee Fergus) and the soundtrack, as you would hope and expect, is excellent. Edinburgh’s Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers are all over it and of course there’s space for Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life. We even see the iconic hands-on-the-bonnet-of-the-car moment recreated, but along the other end of Princes Street this time. Good stuff.


Horns (2013) (Channel 4, 1am)

Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is dumped by his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple) – and the following morning, police discover her lifeless body below her favourite treehouse and a drunk and dishevelled Ig in his car with no memory of the night before. A voracious media scrum descends and Merrin’s father Dale (David Morse) makes it clear that he believes Ig is the killer. After a night of excessive booze, Ig regains consciousness and discovers that he has a pair of horns growing out of his head. The devilish outcrops compel locals to confess their sins and Ig realises he can exploit his new-found powers of persuasion to uncover the circumstances of Merrin’s death and unmask a murderer. Horns is a quirky supernatural thriller, blessed with one of Radcliffe's best screen performances.


Frances Ha, Film 4, 10.45pm

Greta Gerwig delivers another luminous performance in Noah Baumbach’s 2012 indie comedy, shot in crisp black and white on location in New York. Twenty-seven-year-old dancer Frances (Gerwig) lives in a cosy Brooklyn apartment with her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner). After many happy months together, Sophie decides to leave the apartment to live with her boyfriend. Frances is faced with a momentous decision: has the time finally arrived to embrace adulthood and find a place of her own? Unsure what to do with her life, Frances drifts from one potential flat-share to the next and even makes a brief sojourn to Paris. However, reality keeps biting and eventually Frances must return to the real world, where she seeks guidance from her mother and father.


Phantom Thread, BBC Two, 11.20pm

Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is the creative dynamo of a luxury fashion house in 1950s London. His sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) presides over the seamstresses and also manages Reynolds's romantic vacillations. During a seaside break between commissions, "confirmed bachelor" Reynolds embarks on a whirlwind affair with waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps). Alma's swift introduction to Reynolds's life in the capital puts her on a collision course with Cyril and her lover's impossibly demanding nature. Phantom Thread is an artfully stitched and slow-burning study of competing obsessions. Day-Lewis delivers a typically fine, complex performance (reportedly his last before self-imposed retirement), while his sister is played with scorching intensity by Oscar-nominee Manville.

And one to stream …

Army Of The Dead, Netflix

Mashing together scraps of The A-Team, Escape From New York, District 9 and (because it’s a crime caper set in Las Vegas) Ocean’s Eleven, Justice League director Zack Snyder takes that hoary old favourite the zombie apocalypse and turns out a horror-comedy which is sprawling, incoherent, violent and often predictable but ultimately great fun.

The film opens with two newly-weds bombing down an empty Nevada road at sunrise while Mrs performs on Mr a manoeuvre you won’t find in any Driver’s Handbook. This causes them to collide with a heavily-armed army unit travelling fast in the opposite direction. The resulting pile-up lets loose the top secret item the unit is escorting: a well-muscled uber-zombie who makes a quick breakfast of the soldiers and then mounts a hill where he stands overlooking Las Vegas. You know what’s going to happen next, right? The opening credits, when we finally reach them, show the resulting carnage and are played entirely for laughs to a cover of Viva Las Vegas by Richard Cheese (think John Shuttleworth but American and backed by a lounge band rather than a Bontempi organ).

A few months later Las Vegas has been fenced off and is about to be nuked. That’s bad news for shady casino owner Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) who has $200 million in cash sitting in his bank vault. And so he does what any self-respecting gangster would – he finds someone to put together a team and bring out the money. That man is Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), a Las Vegas zombie massacre survivor who knows a thing or two about ‘shamblers’, as the zombies are known. The team he assembles includes a maverick helicopter pilot (of course), an eccentric German safecracker, a couple of unexpected blow-ins – one being Scott’s estranged daughter, Kate – and, because a trope’s a trope, an untrustworthy addition in the shape of Tanaka’s, er, security advisor. British actress Ella Purnell (pictured below) is Kate, and this being a Netflix production with eyes on every territory possible the rest of the cast is bewilderingly multi-national. Oh, and there are zombie tigers from Siegfried and Roy’s show, which is a neat touch.