Stan & Ollie (2018, dir. Jon S Baird)

The ageing Laurel and Hardy reunite for a UK theatre tour, hopeful that this will restart their movie careers. Straightforward though handsome and respectful biopic of the black-and-white comedy legends, anchored by two exceptional lead performances and genuine affection for its subjects. Recommended.

White Boy Rick (2018, dir. Yann Demange)

The true story of Rick Wershe, drug dealer and teen FBI informant. Intriguing spin on the rise-and-fall story, focusing on the latter; good performances, and director Demange again shows he can handle drama, action, genre, character actors and period detail.

Avicii: True Stories (2017, dir. Levan Tsikurishvili)

DJ Tim Bergling/Avicii’s rise to fame, and struggles with physical and mental health issues, as well as with overbearing management and commercial pressures. A fascinating and ultimately poignant behind-the-scenes documentary detailing the mu.ltiple stressors acting on a popular artist’s life.

The Bleeder [AKA Chuck] (2016, dir. Philippe Falardeau)

The rise and fall of 1970s heavyweight contender and Rocky analogue Chuck Wepner. Well-judged biopic that despite featuring every one of the usual story and character beats, hits every one of them with unassuming skill.

The Whiskey Bandit [AKA A Viszkis] (2017, dir. Nimrod Antal)

Biopic of Hungarian/Transylvanian serial bank robber Attila Ambrus. Overlong but hugely entertaining and well-crafted story, with a great visual sensibility, that takes its time to get to the meat of its purpose. Well worth sticking with.

First Man (2018, dir. Damien Chazelle)

Biopic of Neil Armstrong, from test pilot to Apollo 11 days. An impressionistic, oblique approach doesn’t really penetrate the subject, leaving Gosling free to offer another blank, introverted performance. Impressive rather than good, though with a sterling cast of character actors in support.

Entebbe [AKA 7 Days in Entebbe] (2018, dir. Jose Padilha)

Dramatization of an infamous 1976 plane hijacking, and the subsequent rescue mission. Even-handed but glum retelling which doesn’t know how to approach its subject, meaning the end result is neither political allegory, action drama or straight history. Disappointing.