Croupier: Clive Owen's breakthrough film, from the director of the original Get Carter. A noir-infused tale of gambling and crime. Owen perfectly plays the detached, cool, maybe-dangerous protagonist, an aspiring writer and skilled croupier. Was a critical success upon its release in America a decade ago, but deserves even more attention.
The Last Wave: Peter Weir's less heralded, but almost as effective follow-up to Picnic at Hanging Rock. Stars Richard Chamberlain as a white lawyer assigned to defend natives suspected of murder. He begins to explore the Aboriginal way of life, including the concept of dreamtime, and has frightening, apocalyptic dreams. Weir has said the core question of this creepy, slow-burning thriller is, “What if someone with a very pragmatic approach to life experienced a premonition?”
Young Adam: A subtle, very atmospheric suspense/mystery film set in '50s Scotland. Stars Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan, and Emily Mortimer. McGregor plays a drifter, Joe, with a sinister past. Mullan and Swinton are the bored married couple whose barge Joe finds employment on. Terrific, understated acting from the four principal stars, a deliberate and effective pace, and a dark, dreamy score (& songs) by David Byrne of Talking Heads. Builds to an UNFORGETTABLE conclusion, at least in my opinion.