Knives Out (2019, dir. Rian Johnson)

A famed mystery writer is killed; an unconventional detective arrives. Sharp, witty and well-constructed comedy-thriller, a love letter to Agatha Christie and to the likes of Deathtrap and Sleuth. Bags of fun, with a game cast of character actors all enjoying themselves. Recommended.

Spenser Confidential (2020, dir. Peter Berg)

A Boston ex-cop, fresh from jail, partners with his new roommate to unravel the conspiracy that led to his imprisonment. A loose adaptation of a post-Robert B Parker Spenser novel, and not a good one. A by-the-numbers comedy thriller that doesn’t do its characters justice, despite a decent cast.

Top Hat (1935, dir. David Sandrich)

An identity mix-up complicates the lives of a dancer and a couturier’s muse, both visiting London. Charming and witty musical comedy with elements of screwball farce and a keen sense of knowing camp, with several dance sequences that have become iconic. A Depression-era fantasy, still effective as escapist nonsense of the highest order.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019, dir. Kevin Smith)

Jay and Silent Bob take another road trip to Hollywood to stop a remake of a movie about their lives being completed. Sequel/reprise of 2001’s … Strike Back, with more cameos, callouts to other Askewniverse movies, and to fan culture more generally. Fans only, inevitably, but there’s some heart and a couple of decent jokes and neat obscurities among the references.

The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot (2018, dir. Robert D. Krzykowski)

The man who killed Hitler is called upon in old age to track down Bigfoot. Defiantly quirky comedy-drama with horror elements, held together by Sam Elliott’s deadpan central performance and by a sense of confidence throughout. Inevitably not for all, but if you go with it there’s plenty to enjoy.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018, dir. Rob Marshall)

A generation after the events of Mary Poppins, the magical nanny returns to the Banks family, this time to help them save their home. Despite care and affection for the original, this is a reprise rather than a sequel. Emily Blunt lacks the lightness of touch of Julie Andrews, and the songs tend to the unmemorable.

Mary Poppins (1964, dir. Robert Stevenson)

In Edwardian London, a magical nanny aids a family in need. Solid musical comedy with then state-of-the-art animation/live-action hybrid sequences and practical effects. Some great songs, a sense of playfulness, and an iconic central performance. A sequel was made in 2018.