Which movies best capture the holiday season? Observer film critics choose their sizzling-hot favourites There’s a certain kind of sunshine that kisses everything with gold. And Anthony Minghella’s slick adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith thriller captures it perfectly – that gilded easy privilege of the in-crowd, slumming it during a long, languid summer on the Italian coast. Beguiled by nights hopping with jazz – electric, alive – conman Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) finds himself exquisitely tortured by the fickle enthusiasms and casual cruelty of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law). Perhaps not even Tom can unpick the mess of emotions he feels for Dickie – does he want to have him? Or to be him? He opts for the latter. Wendy Ide “Whoo-ee, it’s gonna be a scorcher today!” During the hottest day of the summer, tensions come to the boil in a pressure-cooker Brooklyn neighbourhood. When first released, Spike Lee’s electrifying drama alarmed some conservative critics, who shrieked that the film was an incitement to riot – a claim previously made of such accepted classics as The Blackboard Jungle (1955). Brilliantly capturing the scorching atmosphere of a Bedford-Stuyvesant district heatwave...