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The Five Best Films

Strangers on a Train (PG)

Robert Walker and Farley Granger swap murders for an accelerating fairground- ride thriller (right). Perhaps the most quintessentially Hichcockian of all Alfred's outings.

Another Day in Paradise (18)

More white-trash junkie madness from low-life chronicler Larry (kids) Clark. Hint: that misleading title comes lathered in irony.

The Third Man (PG)

Carol Reed's perfect Viennese waltz; dancing arm-in-arm with Orson Welles to the busy sounds of Anton Karas's zither.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (12)

Catchphrases, moonbases, groovy babies and crooked dentures. Welcome to the plastic-fantastic landscape of Mike Myers' irrepressible super-spy creation.

Place Vendome (15)

Nicole Garcia's upmarket Parisian thriller provides a velvet-lined showcase for the cut-glass skills of an on-form Catherine Deneuve.

Xan Brooks

The Five Best Plays

The Merchant of Venice (Cottesloe, National, London)

With the magnificent Henry Goodman as Shylock, Trevor Nunn's 1920s-style production finds a rich complexity in a play too often simplified on the stage. In rep to 11 Sept

Look Back in Anger (Lyttelton, National, London)

Five tremendous performances make this revival of Osborne's iconic play utterly riveting. In rep to 11 Sept

Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (Old Vic, London)

Peter O'Toole re-creates his incomparably funny, melancholic portrait of the legendary boozer. To 25 Sept

Antony and Cleopatra (Globe Theatre, London)

Mark Rylance is a persuasive Cleopatra (right) - ironically much less of a drag act than Frances de la Tour in the current Stratford production. In rep to 26 Sept

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Regent's Park, London)

Winning larks in the park with Ian Talbot's revival of Sondheim's Roman- scandals musical. To 31 Aug

David Benedict and Paul Taylor

The Five Best Shows

Bridget Riley (Serpentine Gallery, London)

The classic Op period (right): paintings from the 1960s and 1970s, blazing and shifting in black, white and grey. To 30 Aug

Joseph Beuys: The Secret Block... (Royal Academy, London)

... for a Secret Person in Ireland: 456 beautiful and mysterious drawings using blood, fat, pencil and gold leaf offer clues to Beuys's mythology. To 16 Sept

Disasters of War (Imperial War Museum, London)

Three ages of European war through the etchings of Jacques Callot, Goya and Otto Dix: flashes of horror, mass executions and madness. To 26 Sept

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. To 5 Sept

Visions of Ruin (Sir John Soane's Museum, London )

Small show of follies, fragments and fantasy buildings, detailing the 18th- and 19th-century cult of ruins, in the heart of Soane's house of curiosities. To 28 Aug

Tom Lubbock

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