The Batman (2022, dir. Matt Reeves)

A reclusive vigilante meets his nemesis. Skilful if lengthy revisiting of the caped crusader, here early in his career and focused at least in part on actual detective work. Impressive and never less than proficient throughout in a Seven-ish kinda way, if not exactly necessary. A confident walk down a well-worn path.

Here’s the trailer.

X (2022, dir. Ti West)

A porn shoot in a remote Texas location goes awry. Smart, effective late 70s-set horror that’s playful, gleeful, and respectful of the genre in equal measure. Nods along the way to everything from Psycho to The Shining via Texas Chain Saw Massacre while doing its own thing: X continues West’s mastery of the slow burn.

Here’s the trailer

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022, dir. Sam Raimi)

Strange and America Chavez travel the multiverse, trying to stop Scarlet Witch attaining a grimoire. Raimi brings superheroic and horror-comedy skillsets to bear on a confident slice of Marvel shenanigans: the format and aesthetics are as restricting as ever, but there’s gleeful moments nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer

Last Night in Soho (2021, dir. Edgar Wright)

A struggling new-in-London fashion student hallucinates that she’s in the 1960s. While there’s bags of confidence and style in this psychogeographic timeslip giallo-ish flick, and some fine performances, the storytelling’s awry: a rushed third act flails to get matters both properly set up and then clarified.

Here’s the trailer.

Last Seen Alive [AKA Chase] (2022, dir. Brian Goodman)

A woman goes missing at a truck stop: her estranged husband searches. Perfunctory thriller that’s unsure what to do with its Breakdown-ish setup, opting for linearity over complexity: there’s never doubt that Gerry Butler – for it is he – is anything other than a good guy. Stops rather than ends: a bit of a disappointment.

Here’s the trailer.

Shark Bait [AKA Jetski] (2022, dir. James Nunn)

Students on spring break are menaced by a great white when their stolen jetskis malfunction. Solid little group jeopardy thriller with horror elements, maximising its well-worn premise through decent direction and not-bad production values. Achieves all of its intentions.

Here’s the trailer.

Scream [AKA Scream 5] (2022, dir. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett)

25 years after the original Woodsboro killings, a new series of murders. Cheerily meta sequel / reboot / remake, better with the self-aware jokes than with real suspense, despite a couple of inventive moments. Hard to care about the new cast or the murder-mystery element though, which robs the movie of impetus.

Here’s the trailer.

The Matrix Resurrections (2021, dir. Lana Wachowski)

A computer games designer discovers he’s in a simulation. Meta belated sequel with some fun ideas about reboots, too much clumsy cod philosophy, and plenty of decent performances. However, poor action staging, awkward recasting of key roles, and weak storytelling undo good intentions.

Here’s the trailer.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022, dir. David Yates)

With Grindelwald rising, Newt Scamander and friends try to stop a war between magicals and muggles. Plot-tastic third instalment of the inconsistent Harry Potterverse prequel series. More fan service this time around, plus a focus on getting the series wrapped up in case the projected Parts 4 and 5 disapparate. Zippy, but for diehards only really.

Here’s the trailer.

Moonfall (2022, dir. Roland Emmerich)

A conspiracist discovers the moon is on a collision course with Earth. Cheerfully shambolic SF disaster flick, cribbing from across the genre from Contact to The Core as well as from the director’s back catalogue. A sturdy cast of B-listers helps, with John Bradley being especially good value.

Here’s the trailer.