Rampage (2018, dir. Brad Peyton)

A zoologist and a renegade scientist team up to stop genetically-enhanced animals rampaging. Perfunctory and slightly po-faced monster mayhem, with only Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s man in black entering properly into the tongue-in-cheek fray.

Proud Mary (2018, dir. Babak Najafi)

A crime syndicate-affiliated Boston hitwoman starts a gang war after protecting a child. A good central performance and some OK action anchor this very straightforward thriller in need of a stronger script less eager to make its protagonist sympathetic.

Deadpool 2 (2018, dir. David Leitch)

After the death of his girlfriend, Deadpool finds redemption in protecting a young mutant. Confident sequel with the same approach as before, mixing cartoony violence, baroque language and metatextual gags.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation [AKA National Lampoon’s Winter Holiday] (1989, dir. Jeremiah Chechik)

The Griswolds invite their extended family for Christmas, triggering an escalating comedy of errors. The best of the Vacation movies, this balances slapstick and subversion, with enough dark moments to give the movie substance.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946, dir. Frank Capra)

A suicidal man is shown there’s hope by an angel-in-training. Peerless Christmas fantasy riffing on A Christmas Carol. Just about note-perfect throughout.

We Bought A Zoo (2011, dir. Cameron Crowe)

A widowed father buys a run-down zoo, and battles to have it open in time for the summer. Sunny-enough feelgood comedy/drama/romance with absolutely no surprises but some neat moments and an impeccable – if over-used – soundtrack.