End of Watch (2012, dir. David Ayer)

Two LA patrol cops cross the paths of a street gang keen to make their mark. Excellent contemporary crime drama focusing on cop camaraderie. A semi-improvised approach and use of found footage give the movie texture, as does the rapport between the lead actors. Recommended.

Casablanca (1942, dir. Michael Curtiz)

A US expat nightclub owner has his neutrality threatened in wartime Morocco when confronted by his ex-lover. Splendid wartime romance/film noir/political allegory balancing cynicism, comedy and menace in equal measure. Loads of fun.

I Kill Giants (2017, dir. Anders Walter)

A misfit teen may or may not be protecting her town from marauding giants. Quirky but generally effective fantasy drama that neatly balances difference and magic. Unusual design and a great central performance, plus unsentimental handling all help.

Brief Encounter (1945, dir. David Lean)

Two otherwise-married people consider an affair. Deft romantic drama with its tongue partially in cheek in places; flirtations with film noir and German expressionism as well as with slice-of-life across-the-classes melodramatics.

Leave No Trace (2018, dir. Debra Granik)

A veteran struggles in bringing up his adolescent daughter apart from society. Excellent, sober, and compassionate drama about mental illness, personal freedom and obligation to others. Nothing wasted from first to last frame. Highly recommended.

Apostle (2018, dir. Gareth Evans)

A vengeful brother tries to rescue his kidnapped sister from an island cult. Splendid British Western/The¬†Wicker Man hybrid, parts folk horror and grand guignol. Not for everyone, that’s for sure, but great if you go with it.

Want a second opinion? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s point of view.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012, dir. Colin Trevorrow)

A reporter and two interns investigate a classified advert promising time travel. Lo-fi comedy that doesn’t outstay its welcome. Charming enough, with just a hint of sci-fi, and with fine performances all round.