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.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019, dir. Michael Dougherty)

The Russells and others fight the emerging Titans; and work to support Godzilla. Decent if slightly over-serious continuation of the 2014 rebooted cycle with a canny cast of character actors and a genuine sense of the spectacular. Light on story, but heavy on Kyle Chandler reaction shots, plus monster-fu aplenty.

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.

Cat People (1942, dir. Jacques Tourneur)

A Serbian woman in New York fears she cannot love because of an ancient curse. Tremendous noir/horror hybrid, taking inspiration from werewolf archetypes. Huge amounts of fun, breathtaking in its economy, and with some great suspense set-pieces. Highly recommended. A sequel – The Curse of the Cat People – followed in 1944.

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.

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.