The Iron Giant (1999, dir. Brad Bird)

A boy befriends a massive alien robot. Smart, affecting and upbeat Cold War-era animation, varying the ET template enough to make this adaptation of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man¬†successful in its own right. A good job done all around, with a positive message carefully dramatised.

Ad Astra (2019, dir. James Gray)

An astronaut finds that his long-lost father may be alive on a deep-space vessel now threatening Earth. Defiantly odd Freudian space opera, part First Man, part 2001 wannabe, part Moonraker. And all the better for it, even though the story doesn’t stack up. Glorious-looking throughout, and with mesmerising sound design and soundtrack.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019, dir. Thurop Van Orman)

The birds and the pigs have to work together to prevent their islands from being destroyed by invaders. Okay dayglo sequel that is consistently funny even if it relies heavily on pop-culture gags and on slapstick side-missions nicked from the Ice Age movies.

Leave No Trace (2018, dir. Debra Granik)

A veteran struggles in bringing up his adolescent daughter apart from society. Excellent, sober, and compassionate drama about mental illness, personal freedom and obligation to others. Nothing wasted from first to last frame. Highly recommended.

Bean [AKA Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie] (1997, dir. Mel Smith)

A lowly museum attendant is mistakenly sent to Los Angeles as an art expert. Awkward expansion of the TV series, relying on embarrassment and slapstick in equal measure. Inevitably, some moments work (the supporting cast is great), but too much of this is simply unfunny sentimental gurning.

The House With a Clock in its Walls (2018, dir. Eli Roth)

An orphaned boy comes to live with his warlock uncle. Generally sprightly horror flick for children with good central performances and neat jumpscares from genre stalwart Roth. A bit busy, storywise; could have used some time to breathe. Fun tho.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019, Dir. Dean DeBlois)

Hiccup discovers a second Night Fury dragon and is forced to make some tough choices in this final part of the trilogy. Though not as funny or as dramatic as the previous films, this remains a solid sequel with great animation and real family fun. Definitely one to watch!