Get Santa (2013, dir. Christopher Smith)

An ex-con has to restore his relationship with his son by rescuing Santa and Christmas. Modest but quirky Brit festive flick which goes for the usual emotional gubbins but scores with some appealing casting, and decent poo and fart jokes.

Wall-E (2008, dir. Andrew Stanton)

A beat-up robot falls in love with a sleek new model. Superior SF comedy/romance from Pixar; the last hour is knockabout fun with an environmental/healthy living message, but the first 30 minutes is a sublime silent (apart from music from Hello, Dolly! of all things) movie of its own.

Evan Almighty (2007, dir. Tom Shadyac)

God chooses a new senator to build an ark. Bland sequel to Bruce Almighty which scrapes by on slapstick, some decent supporting turns, and on Steve Carrell doing his best against iffy CG backdrops. No surprises; one for the unquestioningly faith-friendly.

National Treasure (2004, dir. Jon Turteltaub)

A treasure seeker is in a race against time to find a fabled hoard. Daft but hugely enjoyable chase and puzzle-based comedy-thriller, riffing off Dan Brown, Indiana Jones, and Mission: Impossible equally. Lots of fun if you’re in the mood.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, dir. JJ Abrams)

Chapter 7 in the Skywalker saga. This rebooted SF/fantasy is a calculated pleasure, riffing on no end of series themes and on the structure of the 1977 movie in particular. Slightly soulless, but a decent reintroduction to the mythos.

A Monster Calls (2016, dir. J. A. Bayona)

A creature is summoned to challenge a boy whose mother is dying. Splendid dark fantasy, equal parts The BFG/ET and something more akin to Pan’s Labyrinth, which pulls out all the emotional and VFX stops in its ultimately uplifting tale about the power of stories and truths.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016, dir. Taika Waititi)

A wayward teen and his foster parent end up on the run. Sparkling comedy-drama which hits all the right story beats, and which is written, directed, and acted throughout with both verve and affection for the story. Recommended.