The Day of the Jackal (1973, dir. Fred Zinnemann)

1963. An international hitman is hired to assassinate Charles de Gaulle; a manhunt ensues. A meticulous and clinical film, almost documentary in its approach, which expertly captures – and in some areas improves on – the bestseller its based upon. Highly recommended.

Side Effects (2013, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

A patient involved in a drug trial murders her husband. Woozy neo-noir that comes at you like a mix of 50s paranoid Hitchcock and 60s New Wave. Lots of fine stuff along the way, even if the plotting isn’t as crystal as in Soderbergh’s best work.

Independence Day (1996, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Aliens invade Earth. Patriotic, team-oriented, and generally satisfactory War of the Worlds update which shoehorns in Wells’ ending and makes space for an ensemble cast having fun plus then-state of the art effects work. Slyly tongue-in-cheek throughout.

The Circle (2017, dir. James Ponsoldt)

A perfect job opportunity at a Facebook-ish company goes awry. Muted adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel that gets some things right (the casting, the production design) but fails in delivering either a propulsive narrative or in nailing the book’s ending.

The Saint (1997, dir. Phillip Noyce)

A professional thief becomes involved in a Russian conspiracy involving cold fusion technology. Below-par star-vehicle thriller some distance from the source material. Good location work and solid support can’t prevent this being a waste of talent.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012, dir. Drew Goddard)

Five students have a weekend away, but nothing is at it seems. Hugely entertaining horror deconstruction, as much about storytelling and the power of myth as it is about pulling apart old tropes for the sake of it. Absolutely recommended.

The Hollow Point (AKA Desert Gun) (2016, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

An Arizona sheriff finds his old hometown involved in a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Mexico. Straightforward borderlands thriller with a couple of good performances and aspirations to be No Country For Old Men, which is no bad thing.