The New Mutants (2020, dir. Josh Boone)

A young woman finds herself in a secure institution with four other teens, each with mutant powers. Horror-infused X-Men spinoff with a young adult spin: OK as far as it goes, though it’s talky, unfocused, and doesn’t really have a plot. Feels more like a TV series pilot than a self-contained movie (two sequels were planned).

Here’s the trailer.

Excalibur (1981, Dir. John Boorman)

Superior telling of the Arthurian legend with a fine cast, beautiful cinematography and strong direction from Boorman. Perhaps a tad over romanticised, but fabulous performances from the likes of Williamson and Byrne hold this together creating something very special.

Excalibur (1981, Dir. John Boorman

The Christmas Chronicles, Part 2 [AKA The Christmas Chronicles 2] (2020, dir. Chris Columbus)

Two years on, and an unhappy Kate Pierce is kidnapped by a cast-out elf aiming to get revenge on Santa. Sprawling grab-bag sequel, mashing up Milton, Gremlins and a hundred other properties. Messy and uncoordinated, though Kurt Russell is having fun, plus he gets another Blues Brothers-ish singalong set piece.

Here’s the trailer.

Dolittle (2020, dir. Stephen Gaghan)

A reclusive naturalist and doctor voyages to find a fabled fruit so he can save the life of the young Queen Victoria. Genuinely terrible revisioning of the Hugh Lofting talks-to-animals character: a movie assembled from multiple reshoots and dubbing sessions. Michael Sheen is fun as the villain, but that’s about it.

Here’s the trailer.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Here’s Xussia’s review.

Fatman (2020, dir. Eshom Nelms & Ian Nelms)

A spoiled child takes out a contract on Santa, who is struggling with responsibilities and finances. Odd black comedy mix of action, fantasy and character study that works if you go with it, though not for all. Still, it’s well-made, with plenty of interesting ideas, and not self-conscious about its cult potential.

Here’s the trailer.

The Craft: Legacy [AKA Blumhouse’s The Craft: Legacy] (2020, dir. Zoe Lister-Jones)

A teenager moves with her mother to a new town and a new step-family, and finds she has latent magical powers. Belated sequel to The Craft that has some fun with the high school witch stuff, but which struggles to settle down and tell a story, though there’s a couple of nice moments along the way.

Here’s the trailer.

Beyond The Gates (2016, dir. Jackson Stewart)

Chalk-and-cheese brothers encounter a mysterious VHS board game that may be linked to their father’s disappearance. Jumanji meets From Beyond, kinda, in this modest 80s-throwback fantasy-horror. Starts slow, and doesn’t have the resources to realise its premise, but fun for genre fans nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

Brave (2012, dir. Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman, with Steve Purcell)

A headstrong tomboyish princess battles with her mother when she is to be betrothed for political reasons. Perhaps the most Disneyish Pixar movie to date, Brave benefits from its focus on mother/daughter relationships and from a dark magical turn that sits awkwardly with the knockabout stuff elsewhere.

Here’s the trailer.

The Witches (2020, Dir. Robert Zemeckis)

New likeable version of Roald Dahl’s story. A change of setting and Anne Hathaway heading up a cast having a lot of fun. Some great moments, occasional poor VFX, but otherwise fun family territory. I prefer the 1990 version but this is still worth a watch!

Onward (2020, dir. Dan Scanlon)

Mismatched teen brothers in a post-magic fantasy land embark on a quest to communicate with their long-dead father. Straightforward relationship comedy/road movie with plenty of fun detail and some great animation, even if there aren’t any real surprises along the way.

Here’s the trailer.