Gladiator (2000, dir. Ridley Scott)

A famed general, condemned to death in a coup, seeks revenge on Roman emperor Commodus for the murder of his family. Vivid and muscular historical drama, with excellent performances, solid action, and a keen visual sense. A Hollywood history; the inspirations are less actual events than the epics of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Deep Rising (1998, dir. Stephen Sommers)

A salvage boat crew, thieves, and sundry passengers try to escape a liner under attack from sea creatures. Splendid pulpy B-movie with its tongue in its cheek, played with verve by an impeccable cast of character actors.

The Island (2005, dir. Michael Bay)

After discovering the truth about their existence, two clones escape their high-tech facility. Okay near-future (set in 2019) chase thriller that takes a while to get going, but then delivers in the kinetic style typical of its director.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017, dir. Guy Ritchie)

A fantasy-oriented retelling. The second act is fine swashbuckling nonsense, but this version is stuck with lumpen first and third acts which set up unnecessarily complex (and irrelevant) backstory. Still, some fun to be had, and there’s one very neat idea about Excalibur.