It’s unfortunate that for the anniversary of September 11, none of the networks is airing United 93 or anything close to it to honor the events of that day. (We did a pretty thorough combing of the schedules, just to make sure, even checking for possible late updates.) Failing a more appropriate title, recommending Tropic Thunder or something similar just didn’t seem right, so we kept tonight’s recommendation a family event before moving on to the remainder of the week’s movie highlights. Let’s proceed. As always, all times listed are ET:
One of the most delightful of the CGI-based animated films produced in recent years, Ratatouille is about … well, a rat. But not just any rat — Remy is a rat with a gourmet palate and a talent for cooking that just might help his new friend Linguini hold down the job of Remy’s dreams, and help Linguini get the girl — if only Linguini can manage to keep the secret under his hat. This is that rare family film that really is fun for all ages. Disney XD, 7:30pm ET
The Bourne Identity (2002)
“Who am I? And why do I have this gun and this stack of false passports?” Most of us should be glad we don’t have Jason Bourne’s problems. Matt Damon stars as the trained killer and amnesiac who, after being fished out of the sea, begins a quest for his own identity and to find out the reason that he’s simultaneously being hunted. USA Network HD, 8:30pm ET
Gangs of New York (2002)
Martin Scorsese’s epic detailing the struggles of rival gangs in 19th-century Five Points, New York, is somewhat troubled and uneven in its casting — Cameron Diaz fits in the milieu as naturally as an ill-fitting set of dentures, and it’s far from Leonardo DiCaprio’s best moment — but it remains an impressive visual spectacle and worth seeing for Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscar-nominated turn as the brutal Bill “The Butcher” Cutting. IFC, 8pm ET
Eddie Murphy is at his best in this film based on the musical that serves as a sort of composite biography of ’60s girl groups like The Supremes, The Shirelles and The Marvelettes, but it’s Jennifer Hudson who steals the show with her Oscar-winning performance. With plenty of musical numbers, more than its share of drama and an incredible amount of big hair, it’s the kind of movie that could draw in just about anybody. ABC HD, 8pm ET
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Will The Wonders never cease? That’s the question in this Tom Hanks-directed send-up of ’60s pop groups and the industry that chewed them up and spat them out. Tom Everett Scott and Liv Tyler are at the center of this very different sort of coming-of-age story. Funny, sharp and you get to hear The Wonders play the namesake song enough times that you’ll be playing it in your head for a week. Remember to look for Hanks’ Bosom Buddies pal Peter Scolari — he’s in there! FOX Movie Channel, 8pm ET
Get Smart (2008)
No one could possibly replace the lethally funny combination of Don Adams and Mel Brooks in the original series, but Steve Carell fans can still enjoy his re-invention of the role in this film — and Anne Hathaway in the Barbara Feldon role of Agent 99. But look out for Bernie Kopell (who played the original 86’s arch-nemesis Siegfried) in a brief appearance. Cinemax HD, 6:30pm ET
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Baz Luhrmann’s rekeying of the Orpheus legend features Ewan McGregor as the tragic poet who falls for courtesan Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. But the incredibly lavish sets, costumes and visual effects are the real stars of this film, in addition to a reasonably cleverly integrated soundtrack. It tries a little too hard for reinvention of the movie musical, and while it doesn’t completely succeed, it definitely gets an “A” for effort. Stunning imagery.
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