The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Films

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The Acid House (18)

A trio of interrelated shorts culled from the stories of Irvine Welsh. Debut director Paul McGuigan turns this into a bit of a triumph, adapting his style well to the shifting landscape of Welsh's tales. A cracker, all told.

The Dream Life of Angels (18)

Erick Zonca's remarkable debut draws its strength from the contrasting personalities of Isa (Elodie Bouchez) and Marie (Natacha Regnier), whose friendship comes alive amid the drab environs of Lille.

Mulan (U)

In Disney's animated tale, a girl disguises herself as a soldier to spare her ailing father from certain death in combat. This movie has it all, and is one of the most visually innovative films that Disney has ever made.

Out of Sight (15)

Steven Soderbergh's tale of love on opposite sides of the law knocks spots off previous Elmore Leonard adaptations, and boasts in Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney the swooniest cinematic pairing of the year.

My Name is Joe (15)

All that one would expect from a Ken Loach film - humour, indignation, emotional sympathy - driven by Peter Mullan's scarily intense performance as a recovering alcoholic (above).