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.

Dragged Across Concrete (2018, dir. S. Craig Zahler)

Two suspended detectives needing money plan to hijack the proceeds of a crime. Slow-burn minimalist neo-noir procedural thriller that takes time with its characters, allowing you to understand – if not agree with – their actions. Long, but enthralling, and brutal at times. Recommended.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017, dir. S. Craig Zahler)

A mechanic turned drug mule has to battle the prison system to save his pregnant wife from the dealers he owes. Slow-paced but inexorable, this crime drama/horror mash-up isn’t for everyone, but is both brilliant and brutal if you can go¬†with it.

Vengeance [AKA Vengeance: A Love Story] (2016, dir. Johnny Martin)

A driven cop seeks redemption by hunting four rapists. Low-key drama which can’t make up its mind about its being a character piece or a vigilante flick. Some great incidental moments (the lighting, the stunt-work), but this is ultimately a compromised and unfocused piece.

Cold In July (2014, dir. Jim Mickle)

After killing an intruder, a family man’s life spirals out of control. Splendid 80s-set thriller with a John Carpenter vibe, this version of an early Joe R Lansdale novel consistently wrong-foots the audience while meditating on the effects of violence.