Jurassic World: Dominion (2022, dir. Colin Trevorrow)

Dearing and Grady enlist Grant and Sadler to rescue a girl holding the secret to preventing ecological collapse. A loosely-plotted series of chases, escapes, and fan service this time out. Fun while it’s on but doesn’t cohere, lifting bits from across the franchise as well as from Damien: Omen II and sundry Bond flicks.

Here’s the trailer.

The Contractor (2022, dir. Tarek Saleh)

A discharged veteran with money problems reluctantly takes on a private contracting job. Terse thriller with action elements: the cast’s good, the action is handled in a no-nonsense manner, and there’s a pleasing downbeat tone. No surprises, but a decent programmer with subtext about post-military lives.

Here’s the trailer.

Blacklight (2022, dir. Mark Williams)

A veteran FBI agent becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving the murder of a politician. Straightforward thriller with a couple of minor plot wrinkles and some decent lo-fi action and stuntwork. No game-changer, but works well enough within its self-imposed limitations.

Here’s the trailer.

The King’s Man (2021, dir. Matthew Vaughn)

The origins of an independent spy agency, set against the Great War. Messy and inconsistent prequel, showcasing series strengths (brio, some startling moments) and weaknesses (tonal awkwardness) in equal measure. A freewheeling approach to both history and emotion throughout render this flashy, but empty.

Here’s the trailer.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions [AKA Escape Room: No Way Out] (2021, dir. Adam Robitel)

Two survivors of a murderous escape room decide to take on the corporation masterminding the games. Okay sequel that does much the same as before, though which seeks to expand on the franchise. Not all of it works, but this is brisk and sometimes creative fun for subgenre fans (an extended version adds another subplot).

Here’s the trailer.

Beckett (2021, dir. Ferdinando Cito Filomarino)

An American tourist in Greece goes on the run after he becomes embroiled in a conspiracy. Somewhat baggy old-school (think Frantic) Euro-thriller mixing up kidnapping, corrupt cops, and political protests. The location work is great, but there’s a lack of urgency and – Boyd Holbrook aside – no sense that this is a genre movie.

Here’s the trailer.

Fear Street: 1666 [AKA Fear Street Part Three: 1666] (2021, dir. Leigh Janiak)

The final part of the trilogy: events and characters between 1994 and 1666 are linked. A messy finale saddled with an offstage villain, variable accents, a weird lack of interest in its potentially-good ideas, and an hour of padding. Not great at all: precisely one interesting visual moment.

Here’s the trailer.

The Empty Man (2020, dir. David Prior)

An ex-cop investigates the disappearance of a friend’s teen daughter. Dazzling in parts, this long, uneven but ambitious and compelling horror-ish movie is well worth your time and patience. Genre fans will know where it’s going, but there’s great stuff throughout, and James Badge Dale is as terrific as ever.

Here’s the trailer.

Outland (1981, dir. Peter Hyams)

A new mining post security chief on a Jupiter moon investigates a series of deaths. A weak script and iffy science undermine this great-looking SF thriller (emulating Alien and clearly influential on early James Cameron). Doesn’t really deliver on its High Noon in Space promise.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers [AKA Halloween 6] (1995, dir. Joe Chapelle)

Michael’s niece has a child: the baby is at the centre of a cult’s attempts to harness the energies compelling Michael Myers. Some distance from the linear plotting of the first films, this conclusion to the arc begun in Part 4 is soapy, scrappy, scattershot: only for indulgent series and Paul Rudd completists.

Here’s the trailer.