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.

Miss Bala (2019, dir. Catherine Hardwicke)

A young woman caught up in a nightclub shooting has to go undercover against a cartel. While its focus on people rather than action is perhaps commendable, this US remake of the 2011 Spanish-language original isn’t dramatic enough to deliver suspense, or feisty enough to please gunplay fans, despite a committed central performance.

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.

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.

10 to Midnight (1983, dir. J Lee Thompson)

A veteran cop is determined to bring a multiple-murder suspect to justice. Lumpen sub-Dirty Harry horror-thriller, blending police procedural with slasher pic. Despite an interesting approach to its villain, this is straightforward exploitation fare, its director’s and star’s former glories notwithstanding.

Joker (2019, dir. Todd Phillips)

A clown with mental health issues tries to be loved and recognised. Well-shot but superficial origin story, heavily reliant on its stylistic and plot inspirations (early Scorsese movies, Bernhard Goetz). Sometimes impressive, sometimes misguided, but anchored by a committed central performance nevertheless.