THE FIVE BEST FILMS

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My Name is Joe (15)

Pure-blood Loach. Inner-city blues, dole fraud, drink, drugs and football. Turn a blind eye to the routine set-up and fix your gaze instead on award-winning Peter Mullan - utterly riveting as the tale's resilient alcoholic. See review, right.

Antz (PG)

Woody Allen's deft delivery adds a little comedic soul to Dreamworks' virtuoso exercise in digital animation. Antz proves sharp enough for adults, fun for kids. See review, right.

Velvet Goldmine (18)

A posturing tart of a movie. Exuberant, shamelessly OTT, it confirms Haynes as one of the most iconoclastic film-makers around.

Funny Games (18)

Too harsh to watch at times, Funny Games couches its full-on assault on screen violence within a stock stalk-and-slash plotline. Arno Frisch and Frank Giering ooze menace as the tale's deferential young psychopaths.

The Exorcist (18)

Friedkin's 25-year-old treasure is more subtle and layered than its reputation would have us believe, with Linda Blair's pea-soup spewing antics counterbalanced by the quiet anguish of Jason Miller's Jesuit shrink.

THE FIVE BEST AT THE LFF

Henry Fool (today 1pm, Odeon West End)

This is Hal Hartley's best film, bar none; a spry, supple tale of a lowly garbage man (James Urbaniak) who pens an erotic masterpiece. More charming that Trust, better paced than Simple Men, this is an instant, iridescent classic.

Festen (Fri 9pm, Odeon West End)

One of the main pics from Denmark's garbled "Dogme" movement (don't ask), Festen proves an absurdist, docu-drama-type thing, which traces a moneyed, middle-class get-together going hideously haywire.

Pi (Mon 4pm, Odeon West End)

Films of ideas rarely work; Pi is the exception that proves the rule. A dazzling slice of black-and-white weirdery, it charts an oddbod mathematician's slide into a nutty religion. Everything's a clue, a sign, a signal.

The Apple (Thur 2pm & 6.30pm, NFT1)

Shot by the then 17-year-old daughter of Iranian auteur Mohsen Makhmalbaf, The Apple serves up a haunting child's-eye fable. A tad heavy on the old symbolism at times, yet always effective.

Strangers on a Train (Wed 6pm, NFT1)

An ever-welcome return visit to Hitchcock's carousel-dash of a thriller, with Farley Granger and Robert Walker as the chance acquaintances who swap "criss-cross" murders.

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