Ralph Breaks The Internet (a.k.a Wreck It Ralph 2) (2018, Dir. Phil Johnston, Rich Moore)

Ralph and co return to explore the internet and friendships in a confusing sequel. Not as slapstick or fun as the first film and runs out of ideas and characters about half way through. Disappointing to say the least.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation [AKA National Lampoon’s Winter Holiday] (1989, dir. Jeremiah Chechik)

The Griswolds invite their extended family for Christmas, triggering an escalating comedy of errors. The best of the Vacation movies, this balances slapstick and subversion, with enough dark moments to give the movie substance.

We Bought A Zoo (2011, dir. Cameron Crowe)

A widowed father buys a run-down zoo, and battles to have it open in time for the summer. Sunny-enough feelgood comedy/drama/romance with absolutely no surprises but some neat moments and an impeccable – if over-used – soundtrack.

Toy Story 3 (2010, dir. Lee Unkrich)

Woody, Buzz and the others are donated to a nursery when Andy leaves home for college. The franchise goes for a fascinating prison break twist in its story focus, while both pulling on heartstrings and getting good laughs. Recommended.

The Christmas Chronicles (2018, dir. Clay Kaytis)

After setting a trap to catch Santa, two squabbling siblings have to help him save Christmas. Patchy Yuletide offering with few surprises. Russell does what he can with an indifferent script, but this is no classic.

Elf (2003, dir. Jon Favreau)

One of Santas’s elves discovers he’s human; he journeys to New York to find his father. Generally solid Christmas comedy which keeps its single joke going for a good hour before a plot is hastily bundled in (the usual “save Christmas” one).

The Greatest Showman (2017, dir. Michael Gracey)

A musical about showman PT Barnum. That rarest of things these days – an original live-action movie musical. You’ll either love it or hate it, that’s for sure. Good-looking and well made, but goes for the simple and easy trick every time. Eyes and teeth!