Vice (2018, dir. Adam McKay)

A satirical biopic of GW Bush’s vice-president Dick Cheney. Soberer than The Big Short, this thematic sequel offers an accessible overview of Cheney’s rise to silent power and his ultimate betrayal of himself. The film doesn’t get inside its protagonist, but is revelatory nevertheless.

Point Blank (2019, dir. Joe Lynch)

A trainee doctor is forced to go on the run with an escaped prisoner. Straightforward chase thriller that holds itself together via its lead performances. The usual double-crosses and switches, though the movie undercuts its committed leads with some awkward comedic juxtapositions and musical cues.

Contagion (2011, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

A new disease spreads; an epidemic ensues. Excellent and sober intelligent action flick with the understated tone of a documentary. A genre movie handled with precision and the director’s trademark craft.

The Happytime Murders (2018, dir. Brian Henson)

A puppet PI and his former partner team up to solve a series of murders. It nearly works, but the emphasis on gross-out humour instead of playing the Roger Rabbit-ish concept means that some good moments, decent playing and undoubted technical expertise all get lost.

Shaft (2019, dir. Tim Story)

A preppy junior FBI agent teams up with his estranged and unreconstructed PI father. Shaft 2019 is a scattershot culture-clash comedy, with action beats, a predictable plot, and a late nod to the 70s original trilogy. Tries to do everything, and ends up not meaning anything.

Incoming (2018, dir. Eric Zaragoza)

Escaped terrorists take over the ISS, now a CIA black site. High-concept low-budget prison escape movie with an SF twist. Unfortunately, despite Adkins’ professionalism and some ambition, this is a tatty effort that doesn’t even deliver in its fight sequences.

All The Devil’s Men (2018, dir. Matthew Hope)

A manhunt for a rogue CIA operative. Utterly rote action flick that aspires for grittiness, but is hampered by a clunky script more focused on working around a meagre budget than on being inspired into creativity by it, and by a po-faced lead performance. A guesting Bill Fichtner enlivens things early on.