Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
“You could choke a dozen donkeys on that! And you’re haggling over one hundred pound? What d’you do when you’re not buying stereos, Nick? Finance revolutions?”
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie’s first and finest feature film, just gets better with age. A sharp, stylish insight into London’s gritty underworld, the film made a household name of its director and kick-started the acting careers of ex-driver Jason Statham and a former footballer by the name by Vinnie Jones – who proved he could be just as intimidating on screen as he was on the pitch. Witty, pacey and packed full of poster-worthy one-liners – “If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it. You know what I mean, Nick?” – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is the best British gangster flick of the past quarter-century – know what I mean, Nick?
Chosen by Richard Brown, editorial director
About a Boy (2002)
Having invented a son to impress single mum Rachel (Rachel Weisz), wealthy bachelor Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) faces a conundrum when she invites him, and his fictional child Ned, to a playdate. Enlisting the help of misfit teenager Marcus (Nicholas Holt), Will unwittingly enters into a relationship that forms the basis of this coming-of-age tale, which touches on themes of friendship, suicide and teenage anxiety. In Nick Hornby’s original novel, the story is set in Islington, but the film adaptation is shot across the capital, with Will’s apartment located in Clerkenwell, his local supermarket in Richmond, his hair salon in Westbourne Grove and his favourite restaurants (Otto Dining Lounge and Hakkasan) in Maida Vale and Hanway Place respectively. And let’s not forget Regent’s Park, the scene of Marcus’s accidental crime involving a duck and a stale loaf of bread…
Chosen by Ellen Millard, deputy editor