The Independent Recommends
Get Carter (18)
Mike Hodges's gangland picture retains a seedy allure, thanks to bleak locations, spare dialogue, and a performance of near-heroic unpleasantness from Michael Caine.
A Simple Plan (15)
Cult horror director Sam Raimi makes a dramatic entry into the mainstream with this chilling, snowbound thriller about a $4m windfall that brings nothing but ill. Bill Paxton, Bridget Fonda and Billy Bob Thornton star.
Set in New Jersey, Todd Solondz's second film (right) is a dark comedy of loneliness and sexual deviancy that reaffirms this young writer- director's talent.
Best Laid Plans (15)
Brit director Mike Barker's first American movie neatly rolls a warped love story and a blackmail thriller into one, and features strong performances from Alessandro Nivola and Reese Witherspoon.
Peter Mullan's darkly comic tale of four siblings and a funeral movingly captures the emotional stresses of bereavement over the course of a storm- tossed Glaswegian night.
The Five Best Plays
The Real Thing (Donmar Warehouse, London)
Tom Stoppard's witty, thoughtful disquisition on love looks even better now than in 1982, helped by an immensely attractive and subtle performance from Stephen Dillane. To 7 Aug
Holy Mothers (New Ambassadors Theatre, London)
Blocked lavatories and a last-minute beheading are on the menu in this extravaganza of bad taste (right) by Werner Schwab, Austria's answer to Joe Orton. To 3 Jul
Money (Olivier, National Theatre, London)
The courtship scene between Roger Allam's misery-guts and Patricia Hodges's witty aristo is not just the funniest stretch of this fine revival of Bulwer-Lytton's Victorian comedy; it's the most amusing thing on the London stage. To 15 Sept
Volpone (Swan Theatre, Stratford)
Comedies don't come funnier or more astringent than Ben Jonson's dissection of avaricious egotism. To 9 Oct
Oroonoko (The Other Place, Stratford)
There's political indignation but a refreshing lack of political correctness in Biyi Bandele's powerful dramatisation of 17th-century writer Aphra Behn's look at the slave trade. To 6 Oct
The Five Best Shows
Rembrandt by Himself (National Gallery, London)
The self-portraits. The first and most searching autobiography in paint. The great pictorial statements of honesty and mortality, of the human depths. Thirty paintings. To 5 Sept
Morandi and His Time (Estorick Collection, London)
Mr Twentieth-Century Still Life: 19 of his table-top pictures (right), with their close but tense families of bottles, jugs and pots - plus work by contemporaries. To 19 Sept
Shape of the Century (Salisbury Festival)
One hundred years of British sculpture - and they're all here: Epstein, Gill, Moore, Caro, Hepworth, Frink, Long, Kapoor, Gormley, Whiteread. To 19 Aug
Presence (Tate Gallery, Liverpool)
Figurative Art at the End of the Century: from a monumental Lucian Freud nude to Ron Mueck's giant, super-real model of a gawky girl in a swimsuit. To 5 Sept
John Coplans (Dean Gallery, Edinburgh)
Portrait of the artist as a fat old naked man? Coplans' photo-tableaux of close-ups of his body present flesh beyond classification, vulnerable and monumental. To 25 Jul
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 Germanwings crash: Descent may have been 'deliberate, suicidal choice' by pilot, claims experts
- 4 Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
- 5 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
Jeremy Clarkson says it 'isn't hard' to create another Top Gear
James May hints Top Gear days are over following Jeremy Clarkson's BBC suspension
Mark Gatiss on playing 'prince of darkness' Peter Mandelson in Channel 4's Coalition
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Council tenant wins right not to be sent to Milton Keynes