Armageddon (1998, dir. Michael Bay)

A crack team of misfit oil drillers is sent into space to blow up an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Bombastic basic training/mission action flick with some comic moments and all of the director’s penchant for wearying excess when unrestrained.

The Saint (1997, dir. Phillip Noyce)

A professional thief becomes involved in a Russian conspiracy involving cold fusion technology. Below-par star-vehicle thriller some distance from the source material. Good location work and solid support can’t prevent this being a waste of talent.

Okja (2017, dir. Joon-ho Bong)

A South Korean girl fights to keep her pet super-pig from the hands of a multinational corporation. Utterly enthralling ET/Pete’s Dragon variant for adults, drawing on Gilliam, Jeunet et Caro, early Besson, Buster Keaton and Studio Ghibli, yet is an original too.

Evolution (2001, dir. Ivan Reitman)

A pair of misfit science teachers find an Arizona meteor strike hiding an alien invasion. OK SF comedy modelled on Reitman’s earlier Ghostbusters, down to a gunge/giant monster/Dan Ackroyd finale. Julianne Moore on sprightly pratfall form.

Red Planet (2000, dir. Antony Hoffman)

The first manned mission to Mars goes awry. Straightforward SF disaster/bodycount movie with the usual nods (astronaut called Bowman etc), though more contrivances than usual. Seriously, guys, don’t take a robot with its “military” mode enabled.

Red Heat (1988, dir. Walter Hill)

A Soviet cop comes to Chicago to extradite a prisoner. Dated but effective and brutal mismatched buddies thriller with comic touches, this doesn’t recapture the magic of Hill’s 48 Hrs, but makes great use of Arnie and of Chicago locations.

Lone Survivor (2013, dir. Peter Berg)

A covert US incursion in Afghanistan goes awry. Effective mission-gone-bad thriller which sensibly avoids close scrutiny of politics, focusing on Hawksian camaraderie and on delivering a sensational sustained action set-piece.