20. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Are you one of those people who continually asks what’s going on during a film? If so, please, please do your friends and family a favour: stay away from the TV while they’re trying to enjoy this hugely stylish but occasionally confusing Cold War spy thriller. There’s nothing that ruins the tense, quiet brilliance of John Hurt’s performance like someone piping up with “so is he the bad guy then?” from the other end of the sofa.
19. Side Effects
This is one of those films that feels a bit like a high-end German car: everything in it looks and feels expensive. The first half is a bit slow, but stay with it and there’s a change of pace that will make you very glad you did.
More after the break...
18. Rex the Runt (S1-2)
One of Aardman Animation’s less well-known franchises, Rex follows four plasticine dogs on a series of surreal adventures. It’s not as well-made as Wallace and Grommit but it’s funnier, with most episodes featuring a well-chosen comedy guest star (Eddie Izzard and Bob Monkhouse are both particularly good).
17. Win Win
Did you like Sideways? Of course you did, everyone liked Sideways, it’s got Paul Giamatti in it, and he’s great in everything. Well, Win Win is a bit like Sideways but with a completely different story, but there’s Paul again and he’s a great actor. Oh, and Amy Ryan, too - remember, the lady cop from series two of The Wire? She’s great too. So relax, you know it’s gonna be good.
16. Parks & Recreation (S1-3)
You can catch clumps of Parks & Recreation episodes on BBC iPlayer, but if you’ve not seen it before it’s well worth getting comfortable for a weekend and bingeing your way through the first three series.
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