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!

Outlaw/King (AKA Outlaw King) (2018, dir David MacKenzie)

Robert the Bruce rebels against Edward I. Straightforward historical action drama in the Braveheart mould, with plenty of detail, production values aplenty and some gusto in the playing. Blood, mud and a trebuchet/mangonel device.

Molly’s Game (2017, dir. Aaron Sorkin)

The true story of Molly Bloom, who ran high-stakes poker games in New York and LA. Excellent drama, balanced by a fine central performance and swaggering writing, chronicling a perhaps typical rise and fall-style story, but done with class and confidence.

Alternative view here

BlacKkKlansman (2018, dir. Spike Lee)

A black policeman goes undercover to investigate the Klan. Hugely impressive true story, expertly linking the early 70s with the contemporary USA. Highly recommended, with great playing from its leads.

LBJ (2017, dir. Rob Reiner)

A modest biopic of Lyndon Johnson, focusing on his succession from Kennedy. Straightforward and sympathetic to its protagonist, with good performances from a quality cast – Richard Jenkins comes off best – and only marginally-distracting (though excellent) prosthetics.

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.