VICTORIA (15)138 mins) Starring Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski and Burak Yigit.

THIS tense thriller is made even more so by Nils Frahm's metronomic score which increases our pulses as the eponymous heroine faces life or death decisions, surrounded by armed police, who could end her life with a single nervous pull of a trigger.

The film opens in a strobe-lit nightclub where a Spanish girl called Victoria (Laia Costa) is dancing prior to her morning shift at a cafe. As she leaves, Victoria encounters four rowdy men - Sonne (Frederick Lau), Boxer (Franz Rogowski), Blinker (Burak Yigit) and Fuss (Max Mauff) - who persuade her to join them for a drink on the rooftop of a nearby building.

She enjoys a flirtation with Sonne and he accompanies her to the cafe, where Victoria agrees to make him a mug of hot chocolate before they go their separate ways.

The romantic mood is shattered when Boxer, Blinker and Fuss arrive to collect Sonne to carry out a job on behalf of a sadistic gangster called Andi (Andre Hennicke).

Their plan goes awry and Victoria agrees to help her new friends to carry out their illegal plan before the sun rises.

Anchored by a luminous central performance from Costa, Victoria is a nail-biting exercise in technical brio that remains uncomfortably close to the characters as events spiral sickeningly out of control. Action set pieces are orchestrated with aplomb including a clash with police that propels us to the edge of our seats.