10 to Midnight (1983, dir. J Lee Thompson)

A veteran cop is determined to bring a multiple-murder suspect to justice. Lumpen sub-Dirty Harry horror-thriller, blending police procedural with slasher pic. Despite an interesting approach to its villain, this is straightforward exploitation fare, its director’s and star’s former glories notwithstanding.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985, dir. George Miller & George Ogilvy)

Max Rockatansky encounters a fledgeling civilisation in the desert. The third (though chronologically fourth, after Fury Road) Mad Max flick is glossier, talkier and generally lighter than its predecessors, but nevertheless works as a hugely detailed action fantasy riffing on Peter Pan and Riddley Walker while delivering a fantastic chase sequence.

Gladiator (2000, dir. Ridley Scott)

A famed general, condemned to death in a coup, seeks revenge on Roman emperor Commodus for the murder of his family. Vivid and muscular historical drama, with excellent performances, solid action, and a keen visual sense. A Hollywood history; the inspirations are less actual events than the epics of the 1950s and early 1960s.

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.

Ice Station Zebra (1968, dir. John Sturges)

A US submarine is tasked with a rescue mission to the Arctic, in part as cover for a covert operation. Oddly talky Cold War drama, through with solid technical credits and some fun performances, not least from McGoohan. The relative lack of action is compensated for in part by some great model work and an anti-militaristic angle.

Fractured (2019, dir. Brad Anderson)

A woman and daughter go missing in an ER. Crisp, clean paranoid conspiracy thriller engaging with the director’s recurring themes of guilt and paranoia. The kind of professional, lean, efficient movie they don’t make too many of any more. Recommended.

Bushwick (2017, dir. Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion)

A student and an ex-Forces janitor cross a city during a martial law clampdown. Smart, political action thriller, shot as though in one take and in more-or-less real time. Maximises its low budget with good location work and a committed approach by its leads.