The Mule (2018, dir. Clint Eastwood)

An elderly man becomes a drugs runner for a cartel. Crime drama based on a true story. Baggy and indulgent in places, but with some charming moments, and a decent lead performance from Eastwood. The script’s the issue; we never quite get to the heart of the character, despite efforts to tell a rounded story.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019, dir. Jim Mickle)

A Philadelphia cop becomes obsessed with a recurring series of crimes, and with the person committing them. Excellent time-travel serial killer cop drama from director Jim Mickle, that touches on all manner of interesting material. Recommended.

Avengement (2019, dir. Jesse V Johnson)

An escaped prisoner holds his gangster brother’s criminal friends hostage. Superior DTV violent martial arts action, with a career-best performance from Adkins and a keen sense both of the strengths and limits of the genre.

Colors (1988, dir. Dennis Hopper)

A veteran and a rookie struggle to work together while patrolling LA’s gang neighbourhoods. Still-influential drama that tries for nuance while establishing the look and tone of two generations of movies. Worth revisiting, not least for its direction, cinematography, and its Herbie Hancock score.

Daughter of the Wolf (2019, dir. David Hackl)

A mother trackers her son’s kidnappers across a snowy wilderness. Okay DTV thriller with some decent production values but a perfunctory plot and awkward action direction. Richard Dreyfuss offers up some enjoyable supporting ham.

Point Blank (2019, dir. Joe Lynch)

A trainee doctor is forced to go on the run with an escaped prisoner. Straightforward chase thriller that holds itself together via its lead performances. The usual double-crosses and switches, though the movie undercuts its committed leads with some awkward comedic juxtapositions and musical cues.

The Happytime Murders (2018, dir. Brian Henson)

A puppet PI and his former partner team up to solve a series of murders. It nearly works, but the emphasis on gross-out humour instead of playing the Roger Rabbit-ish concept means that some good moments, decent playing and undoubted technical expertise all get lost.