THE FIVE BEST FILMS

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The Independent Culture
VERA DRAKE

(12A, Mike Leigh, 125mins)

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

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

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

ZLA NINA SANTA

(15, Lucrecia Martel, 103mins)

An erotically charged, controlled study of sudden sexual self-awareness, starring Maria Alche as the religiously inclined 16-year-old. Limited release

2046 (12A, Wong Kar-Wai, 129mins)

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

AND ONE TO AVOID

OCEAN'S TWELVE (12A, Steven Soderbergh, 125mins)

George Clooney's dark suit-white shirt combo is the tightest thing about this flabby, sun-dappled globetrot.

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