Last Night in Soho (2021, dir. Edgar Wright)

A struggling new-in-London fashion student hallucinates that she’s in the 1960s. While there’s bags of confidence and style in this psychogeographic timeslip giallo-ish flick, and some fine performances, the storytelling’s awry: a rushed third act flails to get matters both properly set up and then clarified.

Here’s the trailer.

Old Henry (2021, dir. Potsy Ponciroli)

1906. A farmer finds a wounded man and takes him in, hiding him from the team that’s hunting him. Excellent early 20th century Western, which manages to do a lot with modest resources and clear intent. Plenty to appreciate, not least Tim Blake Nelson in the lead.

Here’s the trailer.

Bull (2021, dir. Paul Andrew Williams)

A gangster’s lackey returns after a decade presumed dead to get revenge. Excellent, bleak, driven thriller/horror hybrid. Strong on blending blue-collar realism and genre thrills, so much that its potential excesses are entirely justified in-world. The best movie of its kind since Dead Man’s Shoes or Killing Me Softly.

Here’s the trailer

The Sugarland Express (1974, dir. Steven Spielberg)

A wife helps her husband escape jail: a chase and media circus develops as they cross Texas to be reunited with their child. Excellent road movie/crime drama hybrid with comic and bittersweet touches, and full of directorial promise. Loads to recommend here.

Here’s the trailer:

Death On The Nile (2022, dir. Kenneth Branagh)

Hercule Poirot joins a wedding party in Egypt: murder follows. This second Branagh Agatha Christie adaptation suffers like its predecessor from plasticky production values, over-direction, and a too-serious approach to the material. It livens up eventually, but the Ustinov version is still way more fun.

Here’s the trailer:

KIMI [AKA Kimi] (2021, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

A tech home worker with agoraphobia and anxiety comes across evidence of a murder. A confident, contemporary Rear Window for the Alexa generation. A lean, assured, confident thriller, doing a simple thing impeccably in 90 minutes. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

A Violent Man (2022, dir. Ross McCall)

A troubled lifer gets a new cellmate and an unexpected family contact. Claustrophobic prison drama – almost entirely set in a single cell – working well to maximise star Fairbrass’s trademark physicality. A touch long and repetitive maybe, but impressive and well-sustained nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

Castle Falls (2021, dir. Dolph Lundgren)

A failed MMA fighter, a desperate cop, and drug dealers converge on a building set for demolition where’s there’s cash stashed. It takes ages to get going, but there’s enough lo-fi action in the last 40 minutes to keep Adkins fans happy. The premise isn’t maximised, but there’s a sense of blue-collar necessity driving matters.

Here’s the trailer.

Copshop (2021, dir. Joe Carnahan)

A rookie cop gets caught between a hitman and a conman in a locked-down police station. Fun little action thriller that doesn’t focus enough to be a minor classic, even if there’s some badassery and two great performances. Almost there, but not quite.

Here’s the trailer.

Carry On Matron (1972, dir. Gerald Thomas)

Thieves try to steal contraceptive pills from a maternity hospital. Fourth and last of the medical-themed Carry On flicks, this is a very straightforward farce with every pregnancy gag in the book ticked off, and with crossdressing opportunities cheerfully embraced.

Here’s the trailer.