The pick of this week’s films is The Lighthouse, an atmospheric black-and-white maritime thriller starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, and directed by Robert Eggers.
At the other end of the spectrum is A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, a touching portrait of children’s entertainer Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks).
Queen & Slim is a black-power twist on the Bonnie and Clyde story, led by Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith.
Two veteran directors return, with Terry Gilliam finally bringing The Man Who Killed Don Quixote to screens after 30 years of trying, and Clint Eastwood profiling another misunderstood American hero in Richard Jewell.
Finally, The Rhythm Section is a thrill-a-minute spy tale with Jude Law and Blake Lively.
The Lighthouse ★★★★★
Lighthouse keepers Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go mad in this ferociously entertaining maritime shocker from writer-director Robert Eggers (The Witch). With its Oscar-nominated black-and-white cinematography, gale-force-10 performances and atmosphere sluiced on by the stormload, it’s one of 2020’s first essential cinematic experiences.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood ★★★★☆
Tom Hanks is note-perfect as kindly US television icon Mister Rogers in Marielle Heller’s quietly dazzling biographical drama.
Queen & Slim ★★★☆☆
A Black Lives Matter take on Bonnie and Clyde from the director of Beyoncé’s Formation video: Melina Matsoukas’s debut feature lives up to that billing, despite its meandering style. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith star.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote ★★★☆☆
It took ex-Python Terry Gilliam more than 25 years to realise this tumbledown passion project, in which Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce play modern-day incarnations of Cervantes’s famous questing double act. The result is a slapsticky, anarchic muddle but, as ever with Gilliam, that’s the charm of it.
Richard Jewell ★★★☆☆
Director Clint Eastwood tackles the case of the loner security guard (Paul Walter Hauser) on whom the FBI, with minimal evidence, tried to pin the 1996 Atlanta bombing. It’s an honourably enraged account of big government railroading.
The Rhythm Section ★★☆☆☆
Blake Lively trains to kill with the help of Jude Law’s ex-MI6 mentor, in an effortfully gritty spy thriller.
Have you watched any of the “must-see” films on this list? We want to hear what you thought of them in the comments section below.