Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002, dir. Chris Columbus)

Harry and friends search for a hidden part of Hogwarts. Second and perhaps the least of the Rowling adaptations, this mimics the structure of the first, though adds enough novelty to please fans, and begins to develop the series mythology.

Clueless (1995, dir. Amy Heckerling)

A rich high school student determines to become a matchmaker. So specifically of its time it’s practically a documentary on the mid-90s, this loose reworking of Jane Austen’s Emma nevertheless delivers; a strong cast helps throughout.

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.

Men In Black (1997, dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)

An NYPD cop is recruited into a secret anti-alien taskforce. Brisk SF comedy-thriller with some good moments and neat odd-couple playing from its leads, but too concerned with sub-Ghost Busters slapstick than with exploring the potential of its premise.

Cooties (2014, dir. Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott)

Teachers are held under siege when their summer-school pupils contract a deadly virus. Serviceable horror-comedy which gets some mileage out of a game cast and script, and from its gleeful approach to child-centric gore.

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.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017, dir. Luc Besson)

Two elite agents work to uncover a dark secret at the heart of a gigantic space station. Clunkily-scripted and unevenly-acted but undeniably spectacular and well-designed SF fantasy; a $200m auteur piece, for good or ill, and all the better for its distinctiveness.

Another view? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s thoughts.