Backdraft 2 (2019, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

A Chicago arson investigator tracks down the causes of a series of fires intending to cover a larger crime. While the reveal doesn’t quite work, this is mostly a superior DTV sequel which improves on the soapy early 90s original. And yep, Donald Sutherland pops up again, in a slightly enhanced reprise of his Lecter-ish firebomber.

Anna (2019, dir. Luc Besson)

A lost young woman becomes an elite model by day, a KGB assassin by night. It’s Besson-by-numbers in this straightforward Europacorp espionage/action thriller, lifting bits from La Femme Nikita and in so doing aping the recent Red Sparrow. Decent setpieces, some lazy tech-related anachronisms, and reliable character actors slumming.

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2018, dir. Henry Dunham)

Seven members of a Texas militia meet at their headquarters in the aftermath of a mass shooting. Excellent and absorbing single-location thriller, which wears its touches of Pinter lightly. A hugely impressive debut feature; highly recommended.

Hellboy (2019, dir. Neil Marshall)

Hellboy battles an ancient sorceress from Arthurian legend. Famously-troubled shooting and post-production bedevilled this fantasy horror series reboot, which as a consequence is all over the place. Some good stuff, but its awkward storytelling is patched with flashbacks, dubbed dialogue, variable FX, overlength; the works. A shame.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019, dir. Robert Rodriguez)

In a post-apocalyptic world, a reactivated cyborg finds she has advanced military capabilities. Generally solid though straightforward action-adventure, with manga and cyberpunk influences. Slightly hobbled by an excess of backstory and by awkward reliance on green screen, but well-designed, with some genuine imagination on display.

Midsommar (2019, dir. Ari Aster)

A bereaved student in a failing relationship becomes part of a group visit to a Scandinavian commune. Contrived but watchable Kubrick-does-The-Wicker-Man folk horror. Does exactly what you’d expect, at some length, but has mesmerising sequences even if you might not quite buy what’s going on.

Another view? Here you go.

The Laundromat (2019, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

A widow investigates an insurance company; a complicated web of financial fraud unravels. Superficially similar to The Big Short and Vice in its mix of drama, comedy and mockumentary, The Laundromat offers a clear and accessible primer to the Panama Papers scandal, and to Mossack (Oldman) and Fonseca (Banderas), both gleeful at its heart.