THE FIVE BEST FILMS

The Spanish Prisoner (PG)

David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner is as cool and calculating as his other film work - a crafty little thriller which gives the brain a two-hour work-out. Bonus points for hiring Steve Martin to play sinister.

Love and Death on Long Island (15)

Anyone insulted by what Visconti did to Death in Venice should turn to Richard Kwietniowski's tentative love story for comfort. John Hurt is the fuddy-duddy who falls for an American teen idol (Jason Priestley).

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (18)

A film that uses Vinnie Jones to represent its moral centre might be considered misguided or seriously depraved. But this British crime movie is just a nostalgic black comedy that acts hard but has a soft heart.

The X Files (15)

Mulder and Scully's first big-screen outing is no great progression from the television series, though what you get is expertly woven tension - even if it does finally add up to just another conspiracy theory.

Zero Effect (15)

Bill Pullman is a hoot as Daryl Zero, the world's greatest private investigator, in this comedy from 22-year-old Jake Kasdan (son of Lawrence). His performance is manic, even seething, yet brimming with compassion.

FIVE BEST REVIVALS

Psycho (18)

What was Hitchcock's most perfectly conceived and executed work? Psycho is in the running: 38 years on, it is still blackly funny, effortlessly chilling and a pretty succinct encapsulation of the joys of cinema.

La Grande Illusion (U)

Renoir's haunting and poetic study of a blossoming friendship between two French PoWs (Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay). Made in 1937, its profound vision and generosity still endure today.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (U)

What most modern adventure films lack is the sense of fun that makes this 1938 swashbuckler such a breeze to watch. Errol Flynn is the quintessential dashing hero, while Basil Rathbone is eminently hissable.

Out of the Past (PG) NFT Tues

Jacques Tourneur's brooding 1947 thriller is one of the most disturbing film noirs ever made. Robert Mitchum tries to get the duplicitous Jane Greer out of his head, but do you think he can?

The Little Mermaid (U)

This was the film that, in 1990, rejuvenated the Disney studio's then-ailing animated output. Adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story, it is bright, entertaining and peppered with memorable songs.

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