Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022, dir. Sam Raimi)

Strange and America Chavez travel the multiverse, trying to stop Scarlet Witch attaining a grimoire. Raimi brings superheroic and horror-comedy skillsets to bear on a confident slice of Marvel shenanigans: the format and aesthetics are as restricting as ever, but there’s gleeful moments nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer

Scream [AKA Scream 5] (2022, dir. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett)

25 years after the original Woodsboro killings, a new series of murders. Cheerily meta sequel / reboot / remake, better with the self-aware jokes than with real suspense, despite a couple of inventive moments. Hard to care about the new cast or the murder-mystery element though, which robs the movie of impetus.

Here’s the trailer.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022, dir. David Yates)

With Grindelwald rising, Newt Scamander and friends try to stop a war between magicals and muggles. Plot-tastic third instalment of the inconsistent Harry Potterverse prequel series. More fan service this time around, plus a focus on getting the series wrapped up in case the projected Parts 4 and 5 disapparate. Zippy, but for diehards only really.

Here’s the trailer.

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (2022, dir. Richard Linklater)

The imaginative son of a NASA administrator reminiscences about his late-1960s Florida suburban childhood. Gentle, charming, if slight rotoscoped semi-autobiographical movie. The space mission stuff is pretty much simply a hook to hang the nostalgia on. Not that this is a bad thing in this case. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Turning Red (2022, dir. Domee Shi)

An adolescent girl finds she carries an ancient curse. Parts are great, but the central idea – a form of lycanthropy as metaphor for puberty – is bungled, and there’s a sense we should focus on the mother, not on protagonist Mei. That said, there’s some fun Backstreet Boys parodies and an ending riffing on Ghostbusters II.

Here’s the trailer.

The Adam Project (2022, dir. Shawn Levy)

A bullied 12-year-old is visited by his older self, now a time fugitive. Cheerful if overstuffed SF comedy, brazen in its lifts from everything 80s from ET to Firefox via Return of the Jedi. A decent cast play to their strengths and the movie gets by on its own through having its heart more or less on its sleeve throughout.

Here’s the trailer.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021, dir. Andy Serkis)

Eddie Brock unwittingly infects a condemned killer with a symbiote. Shouty sequel which is at least brief, splashy, and has a committed central performance. Plus, it feels like a comic. Unfortunately, it’s also unfunny, nigh plotless, and wastes some considerable onscreen (mostly Brit) talent.

Here’s the trailer.

Black Friday (2021, dir. Casey Tebo)

Workers at a big box toy store come under siege from alien-infested zombie-ish shoppers. Sprightly modest 80s horror-comedy homage to The Thing and The Blob via Romero. Doesn’t quite hang together, but there’s some decent jokes plus game playing from DTV legends Bruce Campbell and Michael Jai White.

Here’s the trailer.

Where Time Began [AKA Journey to the Centre of the Earth] (1978, dir. Juan Piquer Simon)

A professor and friends seek to trek to the Earth’s core via a volcano. Tatty Spanish-made version of the Jules Verne classic, with a slumming Kenneth More and a few threadbare puppet/man-in-suit monsters. Livens up later when the creatures show up, but this is talky, penny-pinching stuff throughout.

Here’s the trailer.

The King’s Man (2021, dir. Matthew Vaughn)

The origins of an independent spy agency, set against the Great War. Messy and inconsistent prequel, showcasing series strengths (brio, some startling moments) and weaknesses (tonal awkwardness) in equal measure. A freewheeling approach to both history and emotion throughout render this flashy, but empty.

Here’s the trailer.