The Rainmaker [AKA John Grisham’s The Rainmaker] (1997, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

A young lawyer takes down a callous insurance company. Slick, mainstream, and linear legal thriller with no surprises but plenty of feel-good under-dog moments. Damon in Mary Sue mode. A professional, anonymous job from its former genius writer/director.

Life On The Line (2015, dir. David Hackl)

Electrical power workers battle their demons, and sometimes, power cuts. Ho-hum drama which can’t decide if it’s interested more in blue-collar soap operatics or in Hawksian camaraderie under pressure, ending up focusing on neither.

Villain (1971, dir. Michael Tuchner)

The fall of a London gangster. Great bit of lowlife Cockney thuggery, with Burton playing a character that has attributes of both Kray twins. Huge strength in depth in the casting, plus lots of quirky detail, and a snarling central performance. Recommended.

Deepwater Horizon (2016, dir. Peter Berg)

Drama based on the true story of a drilling rig disaster. Another effective Berg/Wahlberg collaboration after Lone Survivor (and the subsequent Patriots’ Day) that tells a true-life tale with an emphasis on ordinary people, camaraderie, and a little patriotism.

Octopussy (1983, dir. John Glen)

Bond battles a rogue Soviet general intent on starting a nuclear war. Lacking the restraint of predecessor For Your Eyes Only, this is lesser Bond, with an eye as much on laughs as on thrills or plausibility. Louis Jourdan, though, makes for an elegant adversary.