The Laundromat (2019, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

A widow investigates an insurance company; a complicated web of financial fraud unravels. Superficially similar to The Big Short and Vice in its mix of drama, comedy and mockumentary, The Laundromat offers a clear and accessible primer to the Panama Papers scandal, and to Mossack (Oldman) and Fonseca (Banderas), both gleeful at its heart.

10 to Midnight (1983, dir. J Lee Thompson)

A veteran cop is determined to bring a multiple-murder suspect to justice. Lumpen sub-Dirty Harry horror-thriller, blending police procedural with slasher pic. Despite an interesting approach to its villain, this is straightforward exploitation fare, its director’s and star’s former glories notwithstanding.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985, dir. George Miller & George Ogilvy)

Max Rockatansky encounters a fledgeling civilisation in the desert. The third (though chronologically fourth, after Fury Road) Mad Max flick is glossier, talkier and generally lighter than its predecessors, but nevertheless works as a hugely detailed action fantasy riffing on Peter Pan and Riddley Walker while delivering a fantastic chase sequence.

The Frighteners (1996, dir. Peter Jackson)

A conman psychic who can see the dead has to confront an undead serial killer. Fast, funny and inventive supernatural comedy, with a great central performance from Fox and still-effective (and then-groundbreaking) CG effects work.

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.

Carmen Jones (1954, dir. Otto Preminger)

A free-spirited woman compels a once-clean-cut GI to go AWOL. A World War II-era retelling of Bizet’s Carmen with an all-black cast, retaining the music but with updated lyrics. A film version of a famous stage adaptation; this sacrifices drama for a lighter touch until the third act, but is nevertheless an engaging oddity.

The Iron Giant (1999, dir. Brad Bird)

A boy befriends a massive alien robot. Smart, affecting and upbeat Cold War-era animation, varying the ET template enough to make this adaptation of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man successful in its own right. A good job done all around, with a positive message carefully dramatised.