THE FIVE BEST FILMS

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The Independent Culture
Sideways (15, Alexander Payne, 123mins)

Two men go on a trip to sample the Californian vineyards before one of them gets married in this cracking, beautifully toned movie. Nationwide

Vera Drake (12A, Mike Leigh, 125mins)

A film of remarkable quality, with Imelda Staunton as the 1950s Londoner who helps out women with their unwanted pregnancies. Nationwide

Million Dollar Baby

(12A, Clint Eastwood, 137mins)

Hilary Swank gives a Golden Globe-winning performance as a white- trash contender in the ruthless world of women's boxing. Nationwide

Z2046 (12A, Wong Kar Wai, 129mins)

The director delivers a fantastically seductive sequel to his swooning 2000 psychodrama, In the Mood for Love. Nationwide

Closer (15, Mike Nichols, 104mins)

Two London couples variously engage and disengage in this chilly version of Patrick Marber's stage play. Nationwide

AND ONE TO AVOID...

Meet the Fockers (12A, Jay Roach, 115mins)

You'll wish you hadn't. This sequel to Meet the Parents sees Robert De Niro further drifting into inconsequentiality.

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