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.

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 Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018, dir. Fede Alvarez)

Lisbeth Salander tracks down a stolen computer program. Well-directed but soulless Nordic thriller with a checklist of plot elements familiar to many; family secrets, code-carrying savant child, computer shenanigans. Oddly action-oriented, which misses the point of the source material.