Spenser Confidential (2020, dir. Peter Berg)

A Boston ex-cop, fresh from jail, partners with his new roommate to unravel the conspiracy that led to his imprisonment. A loose adaptation of a post-Robert B Parker Spenser novel, and not a good one. A by-the-numbers comedy thriller that doesn’t do its characters justice, despite a decent cast.

Padre [AKA The Padre] (2018, dir. Jonathan Sobol)

A young Columbian woman partners with an English conman in exchange for help with getting into the US. Decent little road movie/chase thriller with some quirky aspects and excellent location shooting. No game-changer, but a solid cast keeps things moving along.

Into The Ashes (2019, dir. Aaron Harvey)

A former criminal’s past life catches up with him, when old associates track him down and kill his wife. Effective low-key and slow-burn thriller with a solid cast of character actors making the most of the material. A good sense of blue-collar life, and of the inevitable consequences of revenge.

How Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018, dir. Marielle Heller)

A desperate writer turns to forging literary letters. Excellent melancholic comedy-drama, anchored by two great central performances and by sensitive writing and direction. Lots to appreciate, though the tone might be too downbeat for some.

True Romance (1993, dir. Tony Scott)

A pop-culture geek finds true love and a suitcase of cocaine. A modern fairy story, an ode to the movies, and a movie nerd’s fantasy script come together; riffing on Malick’s Badlands and wearing its references on its sleeve, True Romance stands up well to this day, and has a cast of up-and-comers and veterans to die dor.

Domino (2019, dir. Brian De Palma)

A Copenhagen detective tracks down the terrorist responsible for his partner’s death. By-the-numbers thriller with a few flourishes typical of its director (a Vertigo reference here, a fascination with screens and technology) but also a flat script and a lack of enthusiasm for its rote story and characters throughout.

Inside Man: Most Wanted (2019, dir. MJ Bassett)

Hostage negotiators work to resolve a heist-turned-hostage situation at New York’s Federal Exchange building. Slick DTV sequel with an all-new cast of comparatively unfamiliar faces, and a few shout-outs to the original. Not bad within its limitations, though the likes of Denzel Washington are inevitably missed.