Official Secrets Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival
Official Secrets, Netflix
Kiera Knightly puts in a stripped back performance as real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun in Gavin Hood's film, which considers the personal risks Gun and her asylum seeker husband (Adam Bakri) took in the name of the truth. Hood goes at the complex material - surrounding a memo which basically urges the gathering of information by British intelligence services that could be used to blackmail smaller nations into voting for war in Iraq - at a brisk pace. In doing so he keeps the focus on the moral quandary Gun found herself while ratcheting up the tension via subplots involving a journalist (Matt Smith) working to confirm Gun's story and a lawyer (Ralph Fiennes) working on her potential defence. Read our full review.
The Bourne Identity, 8pm, ITV4, Monday, July 5
There's thrills of a more fictional kind in Doug Liman's thriller which gallops its way across Europe with Matt Damon's amnesiac CIA operative Jason Bourne as he tries to remember who he is while staying one step ahead of his former bosses. It may be formulaic to a degree, but Liman keeps his foot on the throttle and breathes some fresh life into old fashioned fisticuffs and car chases along the way. The film is given additional gusto by Franka Potente as a smatter than usual potential love interest. Read our full review.
Raising A School Shooter, BBC4, Wednesday, July 7
The subject of school shootings has spawned countless documentaries, most of which focus on the attacks themselves or the victims. This latest from Frida and Lasse Bakfors (Pervert Park) is fresh from its world premiere at CPH:DOX earlier this year and considers the long-term fallout for the parents of the perpetrators. The directors offer an empathetic space to allow the testimony of a mother and two fathers unfold through interviews as they talk through their emotions - encompassing shock, grief and guilt - and societal issues such as gun control in a bid to consider what led to these tragic events. Read our full review.
District 9, 10pm, Great! Movies (Freeview Channel 33), Tuesday, July 6
Neill Blomkamp's grungy apartheid allegory sees an alien invasion end not in warfare but with the aliens carted off to a ghetto named District 9. There, decades pass and xenophobia mounts, until it's decided that they must be resettled to somewhere even more remote. Charged with the job is Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley, in a role that catapulted him to international fame), who following an accident finds himself teaming up with an unlikely ally. Blomkamp offers plenty of food for thought regarding attitudes to refugees, not just in South Africa but globally, but it's all firmly embedded in the action - some might even find its descent into a shootout a bit frustrating after the more cerebral elements that have come before. But there is care and attention to detail here. Blomkamp has kept working during the pandemic, shooting horror film Demonic, which is slated for release Stateside in August. Read our full review.
Le Week-end, 1.55am, Film4, Wednesday July 7
A trip to Paris takes emptynesters Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) out of their comfort zone, forcing them to confront each other and themselves. Duncan gets between the lines of Hanif Kureishi's script to offer a performance that is built as much on glances as words and she and Broadbent succeed in bringing bounce to the dialogue even when it threatens to become stodgy. Speaking about writing for an older cast, Kureishi said: ""With older people, the stakes are so high. You've got a little time left now, what are you going to do with it? And, how have you lived? What have you done? I find that complexity much more interesting than writing about someone of 21." Read our full review.
Red, 11.40pm, Channel 4, Saturday, July 10
The concept of older folk becoming action heroes has become increasingly popular in recent years and this is one of the more enjoyable additions to the sub-genre. Retired block ops vet Frank Moses (Bruce Willis, who else?) finds himself targeted by his former employers and calls on a group of old friends (Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox and Helen Mirren) to help him stay alive and discover why. Deliberately tongue-in-cheek, it may be silly but the one-liners are sharp, and if the all-star cast know this is all a load of hokum, they have such a great time selling the scenario it's hard not to be carried along for the ride. Read our full review.
The Man Who Fell To Earth, midnight, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview channel 81), Friday, July 9
Jennie Kermode writes: Nobody could bring together the epic and the intimately human like Nicolas Roeg, and this film stands as one of his greatest creations, a counterpart for his other study of rock n' roll culture, Performance. It follows a lonely alien who arrives on Earth with nothing but a string of gold rings and builds a business empire through which he hopes to save his dying homeworld, but whilst his superior technological knowledge overwhelms the markets on Earth, its culture overwhelms him, and he gradually loses his way. As he does so, Roeg layers and complicates the narrative, inviting viewers to question everything they have seen. David Bowie is perfectly cast in the ambiguous central role, a madman or a genius, theoretically powerful but easily exploited. Beautifully shot by Anthony B Richmond, this is a portrait of indulgence which nevertheless acquires a tragic cast and a moral weight which make it impossible to forget. Read our full review.
We're stepping back in time for our short selection this week - for Ted Parmelee's animated Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Tell-Tale Heart, narrated in sinister style by James Mason.