The Independent Recommends: Film

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IN DAVID MAMET'S intricate thriller The Spanish Prisoner (right), Joe Ross (Campbell Scott) develops a top-secret formula. His boss (Ben Gazzara) is demanding his signature to secure loyalty. Meanwhile, an enigmatic new acquaintance (Steve Martin) warns Joe that he is about to be swindled. Who should he trust? This is a playful exercise in twisting plausibility, and expectations, until they seize up; there is a scientific detachment about the way Mamet explores every permutation of a scenario which ping-pongs between the Kafkaesque and the Hitchcockian. While Mamet's paranoid fantasies retain a sinister edge, they have the vitality of new fairytales; they are about seeing the world over again, through other eyes.

On general release

The Last Days of Disco is a cerebral portrait of a sensual situation: the club scene of the early 1980s. It is dry and a little sad; Chloe Sevigny, who has the look of a wounded animal, is especially good.

On general release

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