Out of the blue I sat through a pair of wowser thrillers last night, both mature and well-measured and absolutely not aimed at the popcorn hooligans, and one of them, surprisingly, was a formula-adhering Liam Neeson film.

There’s nothing like the pot high of suddenly seeing a good movie or two on an unexpected (or not necessarily anticipated) basis, and just feeling more and more ripped as they proceed. And you know that most of the low-lifes out there will ignore these films or give them short effing shrift.

These are just iPhone jottings…I’ll expand in a few hours.

Steven Zallian’s Ripley (Netflix, 4.4) is a stunning work of visual art — one of most beautiful monochrome films I’ve seen this century or ever. All hail dp Robert Elswit! I watched episode #1 last night. (Eight episodes in all.) Haunting, quietly eerie and creepy and deliciously atmospheric. A knockout performance by Andrew Scott, and fascinating cameo performance by Kenneth Lonergan. It’s a completely gourmetlevel serving, and I loved the careful attention to period detail. (It’s set around the time of Rene Clement’s Purple Noon, which opened in France in March 1960.)

Set during “the troubles” (‘74 or thereabouts), In The Land of Saints and Sinners (which isn’t an especially good title) is a way-above-average Liam Neeson film. Restrained and solemn and well-plotted, and it gets better and better as it moves along. Directed by longtime Clint Eastwood producer Robert Lorenz, it follows the basic Neeson-flick formula but the writing and particularly the character-sculpting are of a very high calibre, and the magnificent Kerry Condon delivers one of the greatest female villain characters ever — a feisty, take-no-shit-from-anyone IRA firebrand. What an actress!