Moneyball (2011, dir. Bennett Miller)

A baseball team manager tries an unorthodox approach to player selection. Based on the Michael Lewis non-fiction account, this is a riveting sports drama from perhaps unpromisingly uncinematic – though excellent – source material. A smart script, understated playing, and keen observational direction make this a modern classic. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Tomorrow War (2021, dir. Chris McKay)

A science teacher is recruited to fight a war that won’t happen for thirty years. Overlong, derivative (everything from Saving Private Ryan to The Thing gets pillaged) and at-times clunky SF/horror/war flick. The action is terrific throughout (and worth watching once for that alone), but the movie doesn’t know when to stop.

Here’s the trailer.

Onward (2020, dir. Dan Scanlon)

Mismatched teen brothers in a post-magic fantasy land embark on a quest to communicate with their long-dead father. Straightforward relationship comedy/road movie with plenty of fun detail and some great animation, even if there aren’t any real surprises along the way.

Here’s the trailer.

The Kid (2019, dir. Vincent D’Onofrio)

A brother and sister, on the run from their vengeful uncle, cross paths with both Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid. Deliberately-paced Western focusing on character playing, landscape, and on actorly performances as much as on its narrative approach to an oft-told bit of genre history.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018, dir. Anthony Russo & Joe Russo)

The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy team up with others to prevent Thanos obtaining all the infinity stones. Dayglo all-star Marvel tag-team mash-up. For series fans only; tho it’s kinda fun while it’s on, CG fights get dull. TV, not a movie.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018, dir. J. A. Bayona)

A mission to rescue dinosaurs from Isla Nublar turns out to be a double-cross. Awkward sequel which doesn’t make a lick of sense, being a string of chase and rescue set-pieces stitched together; the third act is the best, with a horror movie feel to it.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017, dir. James Gunn)

Peter Quill meets his father. Somewhat underpowered sequel, relying on soap operatics and the banter between crewmates plus audience goodwill to mask a weak narrative. Some fun while it’s on, but this is no great shakes; a disappointment, really.

The Magnificent Seven (2016, dir. Antoine Fuqua)

A band of hired guns seek redemption by protecting a town from a robber baron. An enjoyable nth version of Seven Samurai, this throwback western references Tombstone and Pale Rider as much as its nominal source material; all involved seem to have fun.