Ad Astra (2019, dir. James Gray)

An astronaut finds that his long-lost father may be alive on a deep-space vessel now threatening Earth. Defiantly odd Freudian space opera, part First Man, part 2001 wannabe, part Moonraker. And all the better for it, even though the story doesn’t stack up. Glorious-looking throughout, and with mesmerising sound design and soundtrack.

Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood (2019, dir. Quentin Tarantino)

In 1968 LA, a fading action star struggles with his future prospects. A stunning evocation of late 60s Hollywood, packed with ideas, in-jokes, good ideas, and pop-culture geekery. A shaggy dog story that meanders, but which goes into some startling – and just-about justified – places. Recommended.

Spy Game (2001, dir. Tony Scott)

A veteran spy on his last day at the CIA works to protect a compromised asset. Slick and confident thriller balancing office politics, espionage and action moments. An entertainment in the sense of the kind of film Graham Greene might have directed in the 2000s.

World War Z (2013, dir. Marc Forster)

A UN investigator tracks a zombie virus to its source. The z-movie as big-budget spectacular; not quite action-adventure, not quite horror. A series of linked set-pieces, and not bad, though not for fans demanding a faithful adaptation of its source novel.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, dir. David Fincher)

A man’s life runs backwards, from old age to being newborn. Button is overlong, meandering, episodic, and sometimes overly in service to its impressive VFX, but it’s nevertheless an effective though melancholy audience-pleasing tearjerker