Natasha Romanoff reunites with her estranged fake family to disrupt a post-Soviet Russian agent programme. Patchy Marvel SF/spy adventure (the first Phase 4 movie) awkwardly balancing dysfunctional familial bickering and action set-pieces. A strong cast helps, as does a relatively low-stakes approach and some attempts at character.
A young woman finds herself in a secure institution with four other teens, each with mutant powers. Horror-infused X-Men spinoff with a young adult spin: OK as far as it goes, though it’s talky, unfocused, and doesn’t really have a plot. Feels more like a TV series pilot than a self-contained movie (two sequels were planned).
Peter Parker, on a European school trip with his classmates, comes into contact with both elemental monsters and a new superhero, Mysterio. Upbeat if overlong blend of teen road trip comedy and standard heroic action thrills, acting as a coda to Avengers: Endgame. Well-played and likeable, if episodic on several levels.
An alien warrior works to prevent a rival species from gaining a foothold on 1995 Earth. Slow-starting but generally entertaining superhero origin flick, wisely not overdoing its nostalgic comedy; the film’s hampered somewhat by the low-stakes storyline.
Miles Morales is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superpowers, but he’s not the only Spider-Man. Visually impressive and engaging (though overlong) comic book story that emulates the reading experience as well as offering both fan service and deconstruction. Huge fun for the most part, though.
The remaining Avengers plan an elaborate time heist to recover the infinity stones and undo the events of the recent war. Crowd-pleasing sequel/series endpoint that succeeds in narrative closure and fanservice terms. It’s TV by this stage, but impeccably done.
Journalist Eddie Brock is infected by an alien parasite; an uneasy alliance is formed. Mostly fun horror-comedy with a whiff of the first Quatermass story. A clunky third act and obvious subplots slow matters down, but the scuzzy ambience and Hardy’s performance help.
Lang, Hank Pym and Lana re-team, this time to find Pym’s wife, long thought lost in the quantum realm. Superior Marvel adventure, all the better for its modest scale, humour, and invention in blending 3D, action and the conceit of the size-changing tech.
After the death of his girlfriend, Deadpool finds redemption in protecting a young mutant. Confident sequel with the same approach as before, mixing cartoony violence, baroque language and metatextual gags.
Another comic adaptation from Marvel as space symbiote Venom merges with a troubled Tom Hardy to fight the greater good. A misfire, that can’t measure its comedy and lacks cohesion. It’s neither funny nor likeable.