Movies

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To cel­e­brate the re­lease of Whiplash, we count down our top ‘far-bet­ter-than-they­have-any-right-to-be’ movies...

[01] The 40-Year-Old Vir­gin It’s a com­edy about a mid­dle-aged man who hasn’t lost his vir­gin­ity yet. HA­HAHA. Yet what sounds like a crude, bawdy pub-nap­kin plot turns out to be a sweet bro­mance and Judd Apa­tow’s best di­rected movie yet. [02] Sec­re­tary Boast­ing a poster straight out of a jazz mag em­po­rium, and billed an ‘erotic ro­mance’, Sec­re­tary had the hall­marks of a stinker. In­stead, Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal and James Spader hyp­no­tised with a sur­pris­ingly sweet S&M love story. [03] Guardians of the Galaxy Vin Diesel play­ing a war­rior tree that can only speak three words. A gun-tot­ing rac­coon. A lead­ing man known for be­ing ‘the tubby, funny one’. The writer of ScoobyDoo 2 di­rect­ing. It should’ve been a mess. It was ge­nius. [04] Dawn of the Dead (2004) You’d think you’d have to be a mad­man to try to re­make the most iconic zom­bie of all time. Thank­fully, Zack Sny­der’s the crazy man for the au­da­cious job, and cre­ated a fresh, adrenalised take on a then-shuf­fling genre. [05] The LEGO Movie What should’ve been lit­tle more than a soul­less cash-grab be­came one of 2014’s big­gest gross­ing movies thanks to a glee­fully mad­cap script, and a whole LEGO buck­et­full of imag­i­na­tion. LEGO Bat­man FTW.

Look­ing Sea­son 1 Disc While Look­ing has been lazily la­belled ‘the gay Girls’, the re­al­ity is far cu­ri­ouser. The awk­ward ad­ven­tures in love and life of three gay friends liv­ing in San Francisco, it’s got nar­ra­tive con­fi­dence galore (no doubt in part thanks to ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer An­drew ‘Week­end’ Haigh). Even when un­like­able character traits frus­trate, they’re ul­ti­mately what make the show so re­lat­able. Like your real bud­dies, this is a show that grows on you.

The Fall Se­ries Two Disc Hands up who likes se­rial killers? Now a show of hands for who likes SEXY se­rial killers? We thought so. The Beeb’s de­li­ciously dark drama The Fall should be applauded for many rea­sons, not least its na­tion­wide moral­ity al­ter­ation. Ev­ery­thing fans loved about the first se­ries is back (sul­try, emotionally stunted Gil­lian An­der­son, sexy mur­deris­ing by Jamie Dor­nan), only more in­tense and pacier than ever, as two sea­sons of cat-and­mouse games come to a dra­matic con­clu­sion.

Frank Net­flix It’s a brave movie that hires an A-List ac­tor known for his rugged hand­some­ness and pierc­ing eyes (Michael can Bend our Fass, etc) and then hides it all be­hind a gi­ant pa­pier-mâché head mod­elled on an ob­scure Bri­tish 80s com­edy character. Therein lies Frank’s pur­posely mad ge­nius, craft­ing a sur­pris­ingly af­fect­ing re­flec­tion on men­tal ill­ness, fame and ego, all wrapped up in a 100% bonkers and surreal com­edy.

Mean Girls Net­flix The best teen movie of its decade comes to UK Net­flix and it’s ex­actly as amaz­ing as you re­mem­ber. Tina Fey’s snarky, sparkling and end­lessly quotable script is bol­stered by equally as sassy per­for­mances from a pre-melt­down Lind­say Lo­han, stand-out turns from old-school Lizzy Ca­plan, Rachel McA­dams and Amy Poehler. Also in­cludes the best bus ac­ci­dent this side of Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion.

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