Stan & Ollie (2018, dir. Jon S Baird)

The ageing Laurel and Hardy reunite for a UK theatre tour, hopeful that this will restart their movie careers. Straightforward though handsome and respectful biopic of the black-and-white comedy legends, anchored by two exceptional lead performances and genuine affection for its subjects. Recommended.

The Bleeder [AKA Chuck] (2016, dir. Philippe Falardeau)

The rise and fall of 1970s heavyweight contender and Rocky analogue Chuck Wepner. Well-judged biopic that despite featuring every one of the usual story and character beats, hits every one of them with unassuming skill.

The Whiskey Bandit [AKA A Viszkis] (2017, dir. Nimrod Antal)

Biopic of Hungarian/Transylvanian serial bank robber Attila Ambrus. Overlong but hugely entertaining and well-crafted story, with a great visual sensibility, that takes its time to get to the meat of its purpose. Well worth sticking with.

First Man (2018, dir. Damien Chazelle)

Biopic of Neil Armstrong, from test pilot to Apollo 11 days. An impressionistic, oblique approach doesn’t really penetrate the subject, leaving Gosling free to offer another blank, introverted performance. Impressive rather than good, though with a sterling cast of character actors in support.

We Bought A Zoo (2011, dir. Cameron Crowe)

A widowed father buys a run-down zoo, and battles to have it open in time for the summer. Sunny-enough feelgood comedy/drama/romance with absolutely no surprises but some neat moments and an impeccable – if over-used – soundtrack.

The Greatest Showman (2017, dir. Michael Gracey)

A musical about showman PT Barnum. That rarest of things these days – an original live-action movie musical. You’ll either love it or hate it, that’s for sure. Good-looking and well made, but goes for the simple and easy trick every time. Eyes and teeth!

LBJ (2017, dir. Rob Reiner)

A modest biopic of Lyndon Johnson, focusing on his succession from Kennedy. Straightforward and sympathetic to its protagonist, with good performances from a quality cast – Richard Jenkins comes off best – and only marginally-distracting (though excellent) prosthetics.