Law of Tehran to Clueless: the seven best films to watch on TV this week

A tough cop hunts a crime kingpin in an ace Iranian thriller, plus the triumphant and hilarious 90s romcom starring Alicia Silverstone

Pick of the week

Law of Tehran

A drama in which a tough cop hunts a crime kingpin is the stuff of classic movies and TV shows, from Heat to The Wire. What’s fascinating here is the location: Iran. Writer-director Saeed Roustayi crafts a gripping police procedural about a little seen aspect of life there, with a surprisingly candid focus on the widespread problems of drug use and poverty. Payman Maadi channels the gruff anger of Al Pacino as detective Samad, who works his way doggedly from pavement to penthouse in pursuit of a drug lord. En route, there are affecting scenes of the devastation caused by addiction, and the Canute-like attempts of cops and judges to tackle it.
Saturday 10 June, 9pm, BBC Four



Stacey Dash and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.
Totally buggin’ … Stacey Dash and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. Photograph: Cinetext/Paramount/Allstar

Amy Heckerling triumphantly transposes the Regency era of Jane Austen’s Emma to a Beverly Hills high school in her seminal 1995 romcom. Alicia Silverstone plays teenager Cher, privileged and cliquey but sweet and guileless. When she takes new girl Tai (Brittany Murphy) under her wing, she comes to realise that she doesn’t actually know what’s best for others – or even herself. It’s a terrifically funny film, with a spot-on performance from Silverstone as a girl at ease in her own bubble but comically out of place almost everywhere else.
Sunday 11 June, 2pm, Channel 4


The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Impeccable … The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Photograph: Cinetext Bildarchiv/20th Century Fox/Allstar

“Let’s do the time warp again!” Feel free to indulge in some audience participation (costumes, callbacks, throwing toast) from your sofa as the rock musical with impeccable singalong credentials returns. A pastiche of 50s B-movie sci-fi horror, this Frankenstein revamp stars Tim Curry as Dr Frank-N-Furter, the archetypal mad scientist bent on creating his ideal man. Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon are sacrificial lambs Brad and Janet, suburban virgins drawn into his realm of malleable sexuality and legality, set to wonderfully catchy tunes by Richard O’Brien. SW
Sunday June 11, 10pm, BBC Two



Guy Pearce in Ravenous.
Feverish … Guy Pearce in Ravenous. Photograph: Cinetext/20 Century Fox/Allstar

For fans of Yellowjackets, another story of people in the wilds of the Rockies losing their sanity and discovering that the flesh is weak (especially in a nice stew). This one is set in the 1870s, with Guy Pearce’s PTSD-afflicted Captain Boyd sent to a remote, wintry Sierra Nevada fort. It’s a boring posting with a ragtag bunch of idle soldiers, until Robert Carlyle’s Scottish traveller Ives turns up with a tale of cannibalism. Antonia Bird’s blackly comic thriller twists and turns feverishly, and Carlyle has great fun as the wild card in the mix.
Tuesday 13 June, 11.15pm, Talking Pictures TV


Birds of Passage

Birds of Passage.
Stunning and dream-like … Birds of Passage. Photograph: Pimienta Films/Allstar

Ciro Guerra’s mystical Colombian drama – co-directed by Cristina Gallego – shares the stunning imagery and dreamlike atmosphere of his previous film, Embrace of the Serpent. It delves into the roots of the country’s drug trade – in this case marijuana – from the 1960s to the 1980s, through the changes wrought on one indigenous desert clan. Tradition and family overlap uneasily with the modern world as lives are destroyed by escalating violence and defiled customs.
Wednesday 14 June, 1am, Film4


Anaïs in Love

Anaïs Demoustier and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in Anaïs in Love.
Life-changing … Anaïs Demoustier and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in Anaïs in Love. Photograph: Karl Colonnier/Magnolia Pictures

The French effortlessly turn out romantic dramas about the self-obsessed middle class that feel both comforting and challenging. Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s debut feature is a seductive example, following literature student Anaïs (Anaïs Demoustier) as she rushes through life with abandon. That is until she meets and falls for an older woman, author Emilie (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), who is the partner of a middle-aged publisher with whom Anaïs is having an unsatisfying fling. Emilie is a wiser head with a more nuanced view of love and desire, and the interplay between the two is captivating.
Thursday 15 June, 11.20pm, Film4


The Lost King

Sally Hawkins on The Lost King.
Which way to the car park? … Sally Hawkins in The Lost King. Photograph: Warner Bros/Graeme Hunter

The Philomena team of director Stephen Frears and actor-writer Steve Coogan work their magic on another true-life underdog tale. The hunt for the grave of Richard III is told through the eyes of Philippa Langley (Sally Hawkins), an Edinburgh office worker with a demure exterior but a determination bordering on obsession to locate the vilified monarch’s last resting place. A hallucination of Richard (Harry Lloyd) nudges her in the right direction – which turns out to be a car park in Leicester.
Friday 16 June, 7.05am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere


Simon Wardell

The GuardianTramp

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