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  • O.J.: Made in America

    O.J.: Made in America

    ★★★★½

    While the montaged credits and eerie theme tune suggest that this got green-lit because ESPN wanted the closest thing they could find to Making a Murderer, this complex, even-handed and multi-faceted five-part documentary portrait of O. J. Simpson is really an exceptional addition to the recent spate of documentaries about African-American history (The 13th, I Am Not Your Negro), viewing his remarkable story – quite reasonably – through the prism of race.

    It’s all here: exhilarating footage of Simpson at…

  • Awakenings

    Awakenings

    ★★★★

    An effective, sentimental story about awkward, passionate doctor Robin Williams getting a job in a chronic hospital in the Bronx, and realising that the supposed vegetables peopling the ward – including former encephalitis patient Robert De Niro – might be alive in there after all.

    For more than an hour it's like a lighter, extremely entertaining variation on One Flew Over, as Williams fights the authorities for the right to administer untested medication in an attempt to “awaken” these trapped…

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  • Ghost World

    Ghost World

    ★★★★★

    You can take your Juno, your Scott Pilgrim, even your Heathers, and chuck them in a skip, because Ghost World just does it all so much better. Well, all of it that's worth doing. I'm beginning to think this melancholy, bitingly hilarious crystallisation of teen ennui might be the only film I'll ever really need.

  • Sideways

    Sideways

    ★★★★★

    Wine is probably the most boring subject on Earth, so how come Payne’s film about a lonely, bitter best man (Paul Giamatti) taking the soon-to-be-groom (Thomas Haden Church) on a week-long tour of vineyards is so bloody good? Perhaps because of Giamatti’s astonishing characterisation, which imbues an arrogant, self-destructive, self-hating pseud with a completely disarming humanity. Or perhaps because it’s not really about wine at all, but love and friendship and the choices that people make that end up deciding…