The Old Guard (2020, dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood)

Near-immortal warriors induct a new recruit, while being hunted for their DNA. Patchy superhero-ish flick from a graphic novel. The film can’t decide whose story this is, telling the veteran’s and the newbie’s, rather than focusing. The result is overlong and slow, but with strong moments, a badass declaration of love, and some solid action.

Game Night (2018, dir. John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein)

A competitive couple’s regular game night goes awry. Well-sustained comedy of murder-mystery-meets-real-life errors with a smart cast and generally solid script, plus some pizazz in the execution. Undemanding fun if you go with it.

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Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) [AKA Birds of Prey / Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey] (2020, dir. Cathy Yan)

Harley Quinn, now no longer enjoying The Joker’s protection, is both the target of vengeful Gotham criminals and embroiled in a quest for a diamond. Dayglo spinoff of Suicide Squad with some verve in its playing, direction, action choreography and design. It wants to be a female-led Deadpool, but is let down somewhat by an under-par script.

Lost Bullet [AKA Balle Perdue] (2020, dir. Guillaume Pierret)

An ex-con mechanic runs to clear himself of a cop’s murder by corrupt colleagues. Superior French action thriller, played straight and with some verve in the fight scenes and automotive carnage. Doublecrosses and so on as you might expect between the well-orchestrated mayhem. Doesn’t overstay its welcome, either.

Underwater (2020, dir. William Ewbank)

A deep underwater drilling platform is compromised; survivors try to escape. Derivative but effective SF/horror piece, taking Alien and sequels as its jumping-off point. Well-designed, with some solid jumpscares and a sturdy lead performance. Pleasingly efficient throughout, if by no means a game-changer.

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019, dir. Jake Kasdan)

Spencer and friends – and others – return to Jumanji. Okay threequel (part 4 if you count Zathura) that focuses on action-comedy and on bodyswap gags rather than plot. Oldsters De Vito and Glover add some kvetchy class, and series newcomer Awkwafina is a standout. CG is variable, but interesting design elements and some affection for the characters helps things along.

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Bad Boys for Life (2020, dir. Adil & Bilall)

A veteran detective is targeted for assassination by a face from the past. Slick threequel which, despite having few new ideas of its own (borrowing from Silence of the Lambs, Temple of Doom and John Woo‘s love of trails-bike gangs), delivers in terms of shouty, shooty buddy-cop fun. Don’t be surprised if a Part 4 rolls around soon.

21 Bridges (2019, dir. Brian Kirk)

A detective shuts down Manhattan to find two cop-killers who’ve stumbled across a cocaine stash. Superior action thriller that – while having no real surprises – manages to work both in dramatic and in gunplay terms. A neat sense of scale, a fine cast, plus good direction all support a solid lead performance.

Midway (2019, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Six months after the Pearl Harbour attack, the Japanese and US navies battle in the Pacific. Clunkily-scripted military action-drama that doesn’t have quite the effects budget needed to pull off its ambitious visual ideas. Poor lighting of greenscreen work doesn’t help. A decent cast of hunks and character actors do what they can.

Black and Blue (2019, dir. Deon Taylor)

A rookie New Orleans cop – an Army veteran – witnesses crooked cops committing murder; she has to run. A straightforward but effective action thriller that touches on race, gender, class and deprivation as issues, but still tells its story. Solid genre entertainment for grown-ups.