John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019, dir. Chad Stahelski)

Wick, now excommunicado, seeks a way back. Part 3 expands on the series mythology and develops both the character’s backstory and the action choreography. Not all of the plot makes sense, but for the main part, this is exhilarating physical entertainment with some dark humour.

Avengers: Endgame (2019, dir. Anthony Russo & Joe Russo)

The remaining Avengers plan an elaborate time heist to recover the infinity stones and undo the events of the recent war. Crowd-pleasing sequel/series endpoint that succeeds in narrative closure and fanservice terms. It’s TV by this stage, but impeccably done.

Casablanca (1942, dir. Michael Curtiz)

A US expat nightclub owner has his neutrality threatened in wartime Morocco when confronted by his ex-lover. Splendid wartime romance/film noir/political allegory balancing cynicism, comedy and menace in equal measure. Loads of fun.

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.

Death on the Nile (1978, dir. John Guillermin)

Hercule Poirot holidays in Egypt; murder is soon afoot. Quasi-sequel to Murder on the Orient Express. Breezy escapist fun with a rich cast of character actors and bright young things hamming/preening respectively, though its clumsy treatment of non-whites plays as racist rather than as innocent comic relief.

Brief Encounter (1945, dir. David Lean)

Two otherwise-married people consider an affair. Deft romantic drama with its tongue partially in cheek in places; flirtations with film noir and German expressionism as well as with slice-of-life across-the-classes melodramatics.

Mom and Dad (2017, dir. Brian Taylor)

An electronic virus drives parents to kill their children; one family home becomes a battleground. Brisk bad taste horror-comedy that gets in and out fast. Everyone is on fine form, and there’s the best use ever of a Erasure song in the movies.