Ford v Ferrari [AKA Le Mans ’66] (2019, dir. James Mangold)

Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles collaborate on a car to take on Ferrari for Ford at Le Mans. Old-fashioned, well-made and undeniably stirring, this is nevertheless a conventional sports drama that can’t quite convince in its attempt to tell an underdog story. Still, it’s fun, has a great if showy Christian Bale performance, and is blokey as hell.

Padre [AKA The Padre] (2018, dir. Jonathan Sobol)

A young Columbian woman partners with an English conman in exchange for help with getting into the US. Decent little road movie/chase thriller with some quirky aspects and excellent location shooting. No game-changer, but a solid cast keeps things moving along.

I, Daniel Blake (2016, dir. Ken Loach)

A middle-aged carpenter falls foul of the UK benefits system. Clear-eyed if slightly dogmatic black comedy-drama which effectively details various struggles in the context of an unwieldy civil service, public sector cuts, the grey economy, and inflexible officialdom. Touches of Kafka counterpoint Loach’s social realist directorial approach.

Into The Ashes (2019, dir. Aaron Harvey)

A former criminal’s past life catches up with him, when old associates track him down and kill his wife. Effective low-key and slow-burn thriller with a solid cast of character actors making the most of the material. A good sense of blue-collar life, and of the inevitable consequences of revenge.

Uncut Gems (2019, dir. Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie [AKA The Safdie Brothers])

A New York jeweller juggles debtors and a long-cherished opportunity with a smuggled opal. Tremendous thriller balancing multiple pressure points, gambles, crises and conflicts. Absurdly tense from its first frame, with a revelatory star performance. Plus, no-one stares a man down like Eric Bogosian here. Recommended.

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.

1917 (2019, dir. Sam Mendes)

Two soldiers are given orders to deliver an urgent message to prevent a massacre. Works better as a race-against-time action movie than as an anti-war flick, but sustains itself impeccably and looks great throughout. The single-shot/more-or-less real-time aesthetic just about justifies itself, though can be distracting in quieter moments.