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.

Gemini Man (2019, dir. Ang Lee)

An elite assassin on the verge of retirement is targeted for execution. A good-looking action flick that takes ages to tell us what the poster does. One great action sequence aside, it’s underpowered, though a game support cast of Brit character actors do their best with none-more-90s material.

Alien Resurrection (1997, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

200 years after the events of Alien 3, Ripley is cloned by military scientists eager to weaponise the xenomorph. Good-looking and humorous Part 4 with an excellent cast of character actors; tonal inconsistency and a wayward third act destabilise the storytelling. The compulsion to find new twists undoes some of the excellent earlier material presented here.

Event Horizon (1997, dir. Paul WS Anderson)

A search and rescue vessel investigates a fabled spaceship, thought lost. Generally effective Alien/The Shining¬†mash-up, grounding its horror shenanigans with working guy space freighter ordinariness. Doesn’t make a lick of sense once the plot kicks in, but works just fine as a gory rollercoaster ride.

The Martian (2015, dir. Ridley Scott)

An astronaut is marooned alone on Mars; he develops a plan to survive. Smart, funny and upbeat space peril movie with winning ensemble performances, clean visuals, and a diligent script from the Andy Weir bestseller. A thoroughly professional and entertaining job all round.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019, dir. Jim Mickle)

A Philadelphia cop becomes obsessed with a recurring series of crimes, and with the person committing them. Excellent time-travel serial killer cop drama from director Jim Mickle, that touches on all manner of interesting material. Recommended.

Species II (1998, dir. Peter Medak)

The first Mars mission returns an alien infection to Earth. Trashy and at times bad taste sequel which – a couple of knowing/funny moments aside – focuses on female nudity, cut-price creature effect-based gore, rape fascination, and shouty characters doing dumb things. For Martian completists only.