Elf (2003, dir. Jon Favreau)

One of Santas’s elves discovers he’s human; he journeys to New York to find his father. Generally solid Christmas comedy which keeps its single joke going for a good hour before a plot is hastily bundled in (the usual “save Christmas” one).

Demon Knight [AKA Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight] (1995, dir. Ernest Dickerson)

A remorseless demon stalks an immortal holding the last key to humanity’s survival. Under-appreciated siege horror-comedy linked (vaguely) to the EC comics. A game diverse ensemble cast of character things jolly things along, supported by excellent direction. Unpretentious fun.

Logan Lucky (2017, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Two down-on-their-luck brothers plan a heist at a Nascar race. Massively confident and entertaining crime comedy, which takes the hoariest of premises (breaking out of prison to commit the perfect crime) and has lots of fun with it. Polished entertainment.

Dark Shadows (2012, dir. Tim Burton)

An ancient vampire is resurrected; he vows to restore the family fortunes. Gothic comedy-horror revival of the 60s TV series. Initially very funny, but soon collapses as there’s not much story, and the film runs out of culture-clash gags. Looks great, though. Minor Burton, alas.

Paranoid Park (2007, dir. Gus Van Sant)

A teen skateboarder may be a murderer. Lo-fi, ambient movie adapted from the Blake Nelson novel, which effectively conveys young adult disaffection, blankness and disconnection from others. Tight but loose; doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Mandy (2018, dir. Panos Cosmatos)

A rural couple is kidnapped by cultists, triggering a revenge spree. Dazzling and trippy horror/road movie hybrid, set in a stylised 1983. A movie with its own rules that fully rewards going with it and its excesses, in both narrative and visuals. Recommended.

The Greatest Showman (2017, dir. Michael Gracey)

A musical about showman PT Barnum. That rarest of things these days – an original live-action movie musical. You’ll either love it or hate it, that’s for sure. Good-looking and well made, but goes for the simple and easy trick every time. Eyes and teeth!