This engaging geek-makes-good US high-school drama is well played – leads Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller are all excellent – and goes beyond the clichés of the genre to deal with the darker material beneath: sexual experimentation, drugs, abuse, loneliness and mental illness. Oh, and it also has the best use of Come On Eileen that you're ever likely to see in a Hollywood movie.
Ginger & Rosa (12)
Annette Bening, Timothy Spall and Mad Men's Christina Hendricks join newcomers Elle Fanning and Alice Englert in Sally Potter's vaguely autobiographical coming-of-age tale set in early 1960s Britain. Fanning and Englert play two girls looking for excitement but, as the threat of nuclear war ramps up, worried that their world won't be around long enough.
The Lickerish Quartet (18)
Here's what erotic cinema looked like in the decade when sexual liberation was all the rage. Released in restored form by Arrow Video along with two of his other films – Camille 2000 and Score – Radley Metzger's 1970 bizarre softcore romp found favour on release with Andy Warhol and New York Times critic Vincent Canby. It turns on a ménage a quartre between a family of wealthy European aristocrats and a woman they pick up at a carnival.
Beasts 0f the Southern Wild (12)
Extraordinary and visionary first feature set in a sort of parallel world bearing some resemblance to the watery Louisiana bayou. Quvenzhane Wallis plays five-year-old Hushpuppy, a girl struggling with a rising water level and the failing health of her father. Wallis is already the youngest Oscar nominee in the Best Actress category and will make history if she wins the Academy Award later this month. Barry Didcock