The Gray Man (2022, dir. Anthony Russo & Joe Russo [AKA The Russo Brothers])

A CIA assassin is targeted for elimination: a global manhunt ensures. Very straightforward action thriller, heavily reliant on star charisma and on ‘splodey excess over much in the way of well-staged sequences. One-note throughout, with diminishing results over time.

Here’s the trailer

Prey (2022, dir. Dan Trachtenberg)

1719: a young Commanche woman determined to become a hunter combats an alien presence. Smart, thrilling riff on the Disney/Pixar princess archetype: this is Brave or Moana meets Apocalypto, basically. A lean, effective thrill ride blending action, gore, and character-focused storytelling well, with a few neat nods to the wider Predator franchise.

Here’s the trailer.

Bullet Train (2022, dir. David Leitch)

Multiple gangsters and assassins with varying motives are aboard the same shinkansen. Too-pleased-with-itself slapstick thriller, adapted from the novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka. Some early stuff works, but there’s little control over the premise, so it falls apart despite committed work from star Brad Pitt and others. A hack approach to Japan doesn’t help.

Here’s the trailer.