Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker [AKA Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker] (2019, dir. JJ Abrams)

Forces align for a last battle between the resistance fighters and the Empire to prevent a Palpatine victory. Patchy finale to the nine-film arc which, despite stirring stuff, plus effective comic moments and detail, fails to convince in its lack of climactic story and its course-correction rewriting of the previous movie. A shame, as the new crew have earned some affection.

The Dead Don’t Die (2019, dir. Jim Jarmusch)

Zombies take over a small US town. Deadpan comedy-horror with a few meta touches. Not all of it works, and the approach is wry rather than outright funny, but there are some good ideas and images, and everyone involved seems to be having fun.

Logan Lucky (2017, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Two down-on-their-luck brothers plan a heist at a Nascar race. Massively confident and entertaining crime comedy, which takes the hoariest of premises (breaking out of prison to commit the perfect crime) and has lots of fun with it. Polished entertainment.

BlacKkKlansman (2018, dir. Spike Lee)

A black policeman goes undercover to investigate the Klan. Hugely impressive true story, expertly linking the early 70s with the contemporary USA. Highly recommended, with great playing from its leads.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi [AKA Episode VIII: The Last Jedi] (2017, dir. Rian Johnson)

The last remnants of the rebellion flee the First Order. Superior eighth instalment of the space opera, daring to ring a few changes on the template re-established by its predecessors while bringing new characters further to the fore.

Other opinions? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s, and here’s Xussia’s.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, dir. JJ Abrams)

Chapter 7 in the Skywalker saga. This rebooted SF/fantasy is a calculated pleasure, riffing on no end of series themes and on the structure of the 1977 movie in particular. Slightly soulless, but a decent reintroduction to the mythos.