Star Wars [AKA Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope] (1977, dir. George Lucas)

An orphaned farmhand finds he is the chosen one to lead an intergalactic rebellion. Splendid and modest SF/fairy story hybrid, unfairly weighed down by later expectations. In its own terms, a sprightly and successful adventure, nothing more.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

A replicant assassin uncovers a decades-old conspiracy. A worthy follow-up to the Ridley Scott classic; 2049 is deliberately-paced, but stunning in places and gorgeous to look at throughout. Recommended.

Fancy another 255 opinion? Here’s Xussia’s take.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, dir. JJ Abrams)

Chapter 7 in the Skywalker saga. This rebooted SF/fantasy is a calculated pleasure, riffing on no end of series themes and on the structure of the 1977 movie in particular. Slightly soulless, but a decent reintroduction to the mythos.

Patriot Games (1992, dir. Phillip Noyce)

Or, Jack Ryan v. bits of the IRA. Awkwardly-conceived thriller which tries to have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists (this was pre-9/11; the IRA tended to be romanticised in US popculture). Some decent set-pieces, and a picture-postcard view of the UK.

Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989, dir. Steven Spielberg)

Jones goes in search of his lost father, and the Holy Grail. The third Jones adventure is a sparkling comedy with heaps of good set-pieces and a tongue-in-cheek sensibility. Some iffy early CG and plotting aside, this is rip-roaring stuff, though the lightest in the series.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, dir. Steven Spielberg)

An American archaeologist races Nazis to a mystical artefact. Peerless action-adventure, expertly balancing thrills, romance, danger, comic moments, old-school stunt work and still-impressive visual effects. Still the state of this particular art.

Return of the Jedi (1983, dir. Richard Marquand)

The Rebel Alliance battles another Death Star. The last part of the original trilogy works hard to include something for everyone (all points from slavery to teddy bears) as well as to wrap up its soap-opera character arcs. For fans only, tho,