1917 (2019, dir. Sam Mendes)

Two soldiers are given orders to deliver an urgent message to prevent a massacre. Works better as a race-against-time action movie than as an anti-war flick, but sustains itself impeccably and looks great throughout. The single-shot/more-or-less real-time aesthetic just about justifies itself, though can be distracting in quieter moments.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011, dir. David Yates)

Matters converge: a final stand at Hogwarts against Voldemort. The last part of the eight-film cycle delivers in terms of epic action sequences, resolutions for characters followed over multiple movies, and a decent coda; no real surprises, and nothing for outsiders, which is perhaps as it should be.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010, dir. David Yates)

Harry and friends, now on the run, must destroy the magical items sustaining Voldemort. The first half of the final novel – more or less – is a decent chase adventure, with a darker tone than before; the splitting of the source material allows for pacing to be improved, through the structure necessitates a forced cliffhanger bridge to Part 2.

Deepstar Six (1988, dir. Sean S. Cunningham)

An undersea naval facility disturbs a monstrous sea creature. Slightly tatty Alien clone trying to steal The Abyss‘s thunder at the late 80s box office. A cast of TV faces and some fun-though-budget model and creature effects help pass the time. One great jumpscare, mind you, and some interesting character details in passing.

Leviathan (1989, dir. George Pan Cosmatos)

A deep-sea mining team encounters a sunken Soviet ship harbouring a mutant organism. Cheesy Alien/The Thing hybrid/ripoff, made to piggyback the release of The Abyss. Perfunctory direction and script, but a couple of neat Stan Winston-designed monster moments and a fine cast of character actors offer some entertainment.

True Romance (1993, dir. Tony Scott)

A pop-culture geek finds true love and a suitcase of cocaine. A modern fairy story, an ode to the movies, and a movie nerd’s fantasy script come together; riffing on Malick’s Badlands and wearing its references on its sleeve, True Romance stands up well to this day, and has a cast of up-and-comers and veterans to die dor.

Pledge (2018, dir. Daniel Robbins)

Five outsiders find themselves undergoing a bizarre hazing ritual to join a college fraternity. Well-sustained minor horror flick that maximises a small cast and a single location. Doesn’t have much to say, and it’s not exactly fun, but a useful calling-card pic; there’s some potential on show here.