Son Of A Gun (2014, dir. Julius Avery)

A young convict gets in over his head with a charismatic bank robber. Generally effective crime drama with a few black comic and slightly pretentious touches. Solid performances and a matter-of-fact approach to the action help.

Here’s the trailer.

After Midnight [AKA Something Else] (2019, dir. Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella)

Struggling with the breakup of a long-term relationship, a man is visited nightly by a monster. Smart romantic drama/horror hybrid, with lots going for it in a lo-fi indie kinda way. Makes you wonder what Gardner and Co will come up with next. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

3022 (2019, dir. John Suits)

A long-haul mission space station crew fractures when Earth is destroyed. Talky SF pic that wants to be both Solaris and Gravity but can’t settle, trying for both thriller and psychological study to variable effect. Some effective use of a decent cast and limited resources, but the scattershot scripting fluffs the ending, which is a shame.

Here’s the trailer.

An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (2018, dir. Jim Hosking)

Disparate eccentrics converge on a hotel where a special event is to take place. Deadpan crime comedy that might very well have been lots of fun to make. Some good moments from a solid cast, but this is an awkward beast that doesn’t really work.

Here’s the trailer.

John Henry (2020, dir. Will Forbes)

A middle-aged former gang member is forced to confront his past. Slow-burn, stylised LA gangland movie that riffs on John Wick, Tarantino, westerns, folk stories and a lot more. Patchy but with impressive elements, and a fine central performance plus great Ken Foree support.

Here’s the trailer.

Ava (2020, dir. Tate Taylor)

A troubled assassin returns to her home city, but complications arise. Neither full-on action thriller or character-led drama, Ava works best simply as a star vehicle for its producer Chastain. A decent if typecast set of supporting players helps, but there’s little fresh brought to the table here.

Here’s the trailer.

The Quarry (2020, dir. Scott Teems)

A man on the run kills a preacher and assumes his identity in a new town. Stark, austere drama-thriller from the Damon Galgut novel, dealing with guilt, regret and inability to communicate. Great performances and a minimalist approach help, though the material and its handling may not be for all. Recommended, nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

Higher Power (2018, dir. Matthew Charles Santoro)

A self-destructive father is targeted because of his unique DNA. Awkward and clumsy low-budget oddball superhero/metaphysical drama. Functions rather better than a CG effects showcase than as a movie, despite reliable villainy from Colm Feore.

Here’s the trailer:

The Devil All The Time (2020, dir. Antonio Campos)

An Ohio family is linked in different ways with a series of tragedies and crimes. Splendid adaptation of the Donald Ray Pollock novel; a brooding back country gothic noir meditating on faith and violence. Not for everyone, but there’s strong work from all concerned here. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015, dir. John Madden)

Sonny and Sunaina are to be married, but complications arise when an expansion plan is threatened. With the hotel residents’ stories pretty much told in the first movie, this sequel struggles to justify itself, lifting instead the plot of a Fawlty Towers episode. Still, fans won’t complain, plus Richard Gere twinkles in support.