DVD reviews

Wall Street: Collector's Edition
A collector's edition of the film that inspired a generation of Wall Street wannabes. In a bonus documentary, those once bushy-tailed traders, now fat cats in their fifties, talk unremorsefully about how Michael Douglas's bad-boy investor Gordon Gekko was like a god to them – slick-haired, tough talking, all-powerful. Greed was good then (and mobile phones laughably large).

Date Night
This smart-cookie rom-com could be renamed "When Steve met Tina", so adored are its protagonists. Steve Carrell and Tina Fey are the Fosters, a New Jersey couple sick of their "date night" routine. When they break from the norm and gatecrash their way into a rip-off seafood joint in the City, they end up pulling an involuntary all-nighter thanks to gun-toting hard men, a heist in Central Park, a semi-naked Mark Wahlberg, and a truly hilarious pole-dance.

I Am Love
Epic and luxuriantly shot, I Am Love could be Visconti's The Leopard transposed to modern-day Milan. On a dark, snowy night we meet the Recchis, a dynasty of factory-owning aristos, in their formidable modernist residence. Tilda Swinton is wife and mother, a Russian-born beauty whose immaculate composure falters at the discovery of her daughter's sexuality and the arrival of her son's new friend. A powerfully sensual film.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: Collector's Edition
The age of one's prime is an idea that continually sparks debate. Muriel Spark's Edinburgh schoolmistress Jean Brodie never divulges how many candles, yet she is most adamantly in her "praim" (as pronounced by the young Maggie Smith). Elegant and original, Smith's Brodie has her nose in the air, the best interests of her "girrrrls" at heart, and a thorough disdain for the curriculum. Marvellous.

Surely the best film about psychosis ever made, Polanski's Repulsion centres on Catherine Deneuve's young French beautician, alone in an apartment during a sweaty London summer. As men buzz around the ravishing yet implacable Carole, the atmosphere grows heavy with menace. In a city of impenetrable shadow and blinding sunlight, with a soundtrack of bells, clocks and telephones, we become disconcerted too: is Carole her own worst enemy? Thrilling.

Rendez-vous in Paris
This triptych of trysts is a vehicle for Rohmer to delight in a quintessential Parisian pursuit: wandering aimlessly à deux while pontificating on la vie and l'amour – principally l'amour interdit . The city's flirting hotspots – a Beaubourg café, the Luxembourg gardens and the Musée Picasso – provide the perfect settings for these artful vignettes. The style is realism par excellence: white skies, wonky camerawork and that trademark whiff of ennui.

A Single Man
"Too perfect!" exclaimed some about Tom Ford's adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's melancholy tale about a gay professor in 1960s America. I know what they mean: the aesthetics – the Mad Men suits, vintage cars and retro-grainy cinematography – are painfully spot-on. But Colin Firth's masterly performance as protagonist George and Julianne Moore's dazzling turn as his ageing Chelsea girl neighbour add depth and soul.

Up in the Air
The stylish opening credits – a slideshow of patchwork aerial landscapes – reassure you that this isn't your average midlife crisis comedy. George Clooney (doing middle age rather too well) is Ryan, a slick, soulless automaton of a man who is hired to fire. Preferring a no-strings-attached existence of business lounges and account cards, he has happily opted out of life with a capital L. Until he is brought back to earth, literally. Quirky, sharp and thoroughly enjoyable.

The Road
If haven't already seen this post-apocalyptic tale about a father and son struggling to survive in a ravaged landscape stripped of life, apart from marauding cannibals, you might be wondering if there is ever a good time to. Well, there isn't: this 111-minute adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's eponymous novel is bleak, tense and at times, unwatchable. But it is also a discordant hymn to hope, love and the human spirit.

Nowhere Boy
"Mother, you had me, but I never had you," sang John Lennon in 1970. Artist Sam Taylor-Wood's first feature film turns these lyrics into a poignant biopic about the young Beatle's relationship with the two women in his life: his upright guardian Auntie Mimi (Kristin Scott-Thomas – wonderful), and his flamboyant, unhinged mother (Anne-Marie Duff – even more wonderful). Aaron Johnson's Lennon is a heady mix of adolescent swagger, burning intelligence and undeniable magnetism. Marvellous.