The Monster Squad (1987, dir. Fred Dekker)

A group of monster-obsessed pre-teens have to face off against a gallery of Universal Studios villains. Straightforward and very contrived sub-Spielbergian kid adventure post-ET/The Goonies. Some of it works well, and the creature effects evidence love, but too much is perfunctory tick-box stuff that’s being rushed through.

Here’s the trailer.

Rogue (2020, dir. MJ Bassett)

A hostage extraction team is hunted across the East African savannah by vengeful kidnappers, and by a lion escaped from illegal breeders. Efficient DTV actioner with horror elements maximising location shooting production values while cheerfully stealing bits of business from all over: plus a Backstreet Boys running gag.

Here’s the trailer.

The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud [AKA Max Cloud] (2020, dir. Martin Owen)

1990: a Brooklyn teenager is transported inside the 2D platform scrolling game she’s playing. Fun little space-based riff on the Jumanji movies, made with care and with an eye to maximising limited resources. A decent script and performances help, not least DTV action star Adkins enjoying spoofing himself.

Here’s the trailer.

The Dig (2021, dir. Simon Stone)

1939. With England on the cusp of war, an excavator is hired for a private archaeological dig. Good-looking and well-acted though slight reimagining of the Sutton Hoo site discovery, hampered by a busy script that doesn’t care to fillet the source novel to make a film-shaped story.

Here’s the trailer.

Next (2007, dir. Lee Tamahori)

A Las Vegas stage magician with the ability to see into the near future is hunted by both the FBI and terrorists. High concept SF fantasy loosely based on a Philip K Dick story. The plot doesn’t really hang together, but as a series of chases, bluffs, and timey-wimey tricks, this is more than passable escapism.

Here’s the trailer.

Becky (2020, dir. Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion)

A disaffected teenager takes revenge on the neo-Nazi prison escapees who take over her family’s holiday property. Slightly too clever for its own good, the movie nevertheless gets going once its plot is clear, and delivers in terms of splattery grue, even if it’s unsure what to do with loose ends.

Here’s the trailer.

Seized (2020, dir. Isaac Florentine)

A former agent’s son is kidnapped: a series of assassinations is the price of his freedom. It starts shakily, but this DTV spin on the Taken template soon gets motoring, with plenty of well-staged lo-fi fisticuffs and shootouts, good location work, and Mario Van Peebles charismatic in his villainy.

Here’s the trailer.

Class Action Park (2020, dir. Seth Porges & Chris Charles Scott III)

A documentary on Action Park, a notoriously dangerous New Jersey amusement park, and on its charismatic criminal owner. A straightforward and largely enjoyable overview, though one that struggles to balance the human impact of negligence with fond and at times gung-ho 80s nostalgia.

Here’s the trailer.

News Of The World (2020, dir. Paul Greengrass)

An itinerant Civil War veteran volunteers to take an orphaned child to distant family. Handsome, straightforward, elegiac and allegorical Western. Light on story, perhaps, but does what it needs to do at its own pace. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Greenland (2020, dir. Ric Roman Waugh)

An estranged couple and their young son battle to safety during an extinction-level event. Alternately hokey and darkly impressive, this riff on Deep Impact via World War Z succeeds best in its focus on character and on throwing rocks (metaphorical and literal) at its characters. Not bad if you go with it.

Here’s the trailer. And here’s another POV.