The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016, dir. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan)

Sidequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, minus the first film’s lead. Oddball attempt to craft a continuation; good casting in depth helps a bit, but the story’s a secondhand grab-bag of old tales that have been better retold by others.

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.

What We Do In The Shadows (2014, dir. Taika Waititi)

A documentary crew follows a band of New Zealand vampires over several months. The mock-doc format is the weakest element here, but this is a funny and inventive flick made with real affection and a sense of depth in the characterisations. Recommended.

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.

Fantastic Four (2015, dir. Josh Trank)

Five young scientists gain superpowers after opening an interdimensional portal. Unnecessary reboot/origin story which takes an age to get going and doesn’t really have a plot. A strong and well-chosen (though hardly teenage) cast wasted on rote material and some variable FX.

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.