Spending too long on the couch? You'll be welded to it watching these.

1) Read My Lips (Sur Mes Lèvres) (2001)


 

What seems on the surface to be a story of polar opposites (Emmanuelle Devos and Vincent Cassel) finding solace in each other goes right off in the opposite direction as A Prophet director Jacques Audiard probes just how far people will go to get what, and who, they want.  Audiard cranks up the tension, sexual and otherwise, until you can't decide who's hustling who, or if they're both in it for more than a financial pay-off. A brilliant screen pairing  that deserves you as a partner in crime.

2) Good Time (2017)

Enthralled by Uncut Gems earlier this year? Then try this diamond from its writer-director duo Benny and Josh Safdie, which sees Robert Pattinson living the desperate hours in a film determined to wring the most out of its 'one crazy night' set-up. Those who like their movies rough and gritty will have plenty of opportunities to get some dirt under their fingernails watching Good Time. With rarely a pause for breath, it charges through the nocturnal demi-monde - the thrill being that you really don't know what's going to happen next.

3) Intimate Strangers (Confidences Trop Intimes) (2004)

Something lighter. Tax lawyer William Faber (Fabrice Luchini) leads a dull life in his office-apartment, until the day Anne Delambre (Sandrine Bonnaire) walks in. She doesn't realise he's not the psychiatrist who practises next door, and he's too interested to point her in the right direction... Unlikely couples always make the screen's best ones and Luchini and Bonnaire are superb in this story of loneliness, longing and the desire to start over. It manages to be both very funny and very moving, before becoming a little scary.

4) Arbitrage (2013)

In his feature debut, writer-director Nicholas Jarecki made the movie that Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps should have been, bringing the best out in Richard Gere as the hedge fund magnate whose life goes into freefall. Arbitrage is effortlessly slick, packed with bedroom, boardroom and courtroom tension and makes viewers question their own integrity and just how far they'd go to stay one step ahead. As the joke goes, if honesty is the best policy, then it follows that dishonesty is the second-best policy. You'll get plenty of the latter here, and a lot more besides.

5) No Way Out (1987)

How's this for decorum? When No Way Out opened in Irish cinemas the listings in the newspapers kindly asked "patrons" not to reveal the surprise ending. They didn't, and a good time was had by all. Three decades later that's still guaranteed. Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman are perfectly cast in a perfectly paced cat-and-mouse struggle for survival, running through the corridors and onto the streets of Washington DC. Heart-in-mouth stuff - if you pride yourself on spotting twists have at it.

6) Wind River (2017)

Sicario and Hell or High Water writer Taylor Sheridan's directorial debut will leave a chill in your bones in more ways than one. Jeremy Renner plays the tracker helping Elizabeth Olsen's rookie FBI agent as she investigates a murder on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Like the snow, the mystery here deepens by the minute, driven by the superb screen chemistry between Renner and Olsen, and the delivery of another great score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - they also soundtracked Hell or High Water. As in that movie, there is plenty of action, but the examination of race, gender and grief here proves just as compelling as any stand-off.

7) The Parallax View (1974)

"There will be no questions" is the chilling diktat in director Alan J Pakula's conspiracy classic. From the get-go you'll have plenty. Warren Beatty plays the Jack the Lad journalist who puts himself in the crosshairs of the masters of deception. He's smart - but is he as smart as them? If anything, The Parallax View has become all the more terrifying with age, its montage sequence yet to be bettered. Don't look the other way.

8) Red Lights (Feux Rouges) (2004)

Remember when you did the driving test and left the imprint of your body on the seat? It's the same here. Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Carole Bouquet play the warring couple heading south to pick up their kids from summer camp. When he pulls in for another drink she says she'll be gone when he comes out... With Nuages from Debussy's Nocturnes scoring the drama, director Cedric Kahn takes you deep into a lost night, where one drunk man must face more than just his own demons - and an audience waits with ever-increasing dread for the morning after.

9) Frailty (2001)

The late, great Bill Paxton made his feature directing debut with this out-there flashback story, which plays like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone. At its core are questions of spirituality, the paranormal and the bonds between family, all wrapped up in a plot that makes you more anxious with every scene. With Paxton himself in the central role, you'll spend the whole film trying to guess whether his character has found the truth or lost his reason. By the time you get your answer the story has been twisted in multiple directions - and there's still another shock to come.

10) The Silent Partner (1978)

As excellent as it is obscure, this Canadian battle of wits is worth shouting about from your front window. Elliot Gould plays the teller who figures out that his bank branch will soon be robbed by Christopher Plummer's career criminal and decides to take matters into his own hands... Gould plays the misfit to perfection, while Plummer makes for such a terrifying villain that you'll never watch The Sound of Music in the same way again. Still not convinced? The Silent Partner has been compared to Hitchcock; the screenplay was written by LA Confidential director Curtis Hanson; the score is by Oscar Peterson and John Candy also works in the bank.