The Death of Stalin (2017, dir. Armando Iannucci)

A power struggle ensues in the USSR when Stalin dies suddenly. Frantic black comedy which plays totalitarianism as a dark farce. Hugely impressive, with a great cast clearly having fun throughout, while making a few satirical points along the way. Recommended.

American Made (2017, dir. Doug Liman)

The story of Barry Seal, who smuggled for the CIA and the cartels in the 80s. Swaggering rise and fall biopic in the GoodFellas mould; hugely impressive and entertaining, while offering a reminder of another of the US’s recent murky pasts.

Another perspective? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s take.

All The Money In The World (2017, dir. Ridley Scott)

A dramatisation of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. Well-acted, good-looking though insubstantial retelling of a famous case; not quite a serious drama or a straightforward thriller, and the weaker for the indecision.

Spacewalker [AKA The Age of Pioneers] (2017, dir. Dmitriy Kiselev)

An account of the first Earth orbit with a spacewalk, the 1965 Voskhod 2 mission with Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev. Excellent true-life drama; a counterpart to The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 in its mix of mythic modern heroism and actual space danger. Recommended.

The Lady In The Van (2015, dir. Nicholas Hytner)

A writer finds he has no option but to allow an old lady to live in a van in his drive. Charming and semi-fantastical comedy-drama which makes much of its strong lead performances, and offers some neat asides about writing and processes of adaptation along the way.

Frost/Nixon (2008, dir. Ron Howard)

Peter Morgan’s adaptation of his own play about the 1977 David Frost/Richard Nixon TV interviews. A riveting docudrama which plays like a thriller, anchored by two standout performances in the title roles, supported ably by a strong cast. Recommended.