Paradise Now (2005, dir. Hany Abu-Assad)

Two Palestinian friends are recruited for a next-day suicide mission into Tel Aviv. Intelligent drama with a few darkly comic touches; everyone has their reasons. The film works hard not to moralise, focusing on depiction and explanation, without asserting wider truth-value to its characters’ actions and beliefs.

Night Hunter [AKA Nomis] (2018, dir. David Raymond)

An obsessed detective and a former judge work together to track an abductor of young women. Messy blend of a hundred different thrillers, bolstered by a great cast doing good work in wintry conditions. Watchable, but curious; the script on paper must have been greater than the end result.

Hold Your Breath [AKA Dans La Brume / Just A Breath Away] (2018, dir. Daniel Roby)

A toxic gas of unknown origin fills Paris; an estranged couple with a sick daughter try to survive. Clever and surprisingly emotional apocalyptic thriller, making the most of its premise and the chance to focus on relationships as much as plot-driving missions. Well worth your time.

Overdrive (2017, dir. Antonio Negret)

Two car-criminal brothers have to steal a rare sports car to repay a debt. Glossy, slick, and glamorous escapist entertainment made with some skill. Indebted to Gone in 60 Seconds / Fast & Furious flicks, with a dash of Europacorp-ish South of France style. Fun while it’s on, and good-looking throughout.

Inside Man (2006, dir. Spike Lee)

An embattled detective tries to work out how an unorthodox bank robbery became a hostage situation. Smart heist/siege movie that works as an intelligent genre piece and a sly political commentary on post-9/11 America. Lots to enjoy, with clever performances all around and plenty to think about. Recommended.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014, dir. Matthew Vaughn)

A cockney youth is inducted into an elite British secret agency. Confident spy comedy from the graphic novel series, both spoofing and celebrating Bond and The Avengers in equal measure. Stylised and violent; not for everyone in its laddish glee. A sequel, expanding the universe, soon followed.

Backdraft 2 (2019, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

A Chicago arson investigator tracks down the causes of a series of fires intending to cover a larger crime. While the reveal doesn’t quite work, this is mostly a superior DTV sequel which improves on the soapy early 90s original. And yep, Donald Sutherland pops up again, in a slightly enhanced reprise of his Lecter-ish firebomber.