The Mule (2018, dir. Clint Eastwood)

An elderly man becomes a drugs runner for a cartel. Crime drama based on a true story. Baggy and indulgent in places, but with some charming moments, and a decent lead performance from Eastwood. The script’s the issue; we never quite get to the heart of the character, despite efforts to tell a rounded story.

The Martian (2015, dir. Ridley Scott)

An astronaut is marooned alone on Mars; he develops a plan to survive. Smart, funny and upbeat space peril movie with winning ensemble performances, clean visuals, and a diligent script from the Andy Weir bestseller. A thoroughly professional and entertaining job all round.

End of Watch (2012, dir. David Ayer)

Two LA patrol cops cross the paths of a street gang keen to make their mark. Excellent contemporary crime drama focusing on cop camaraderie. A semi-improvised approach and use of found footage give the movie texture, as does the rapport between the lead actors. Recommended.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018, dir. Peyton Reed)

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.

12 Strong (2018, dir. Nicolai Fuglsig)

A special forces team is dropped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan to take out an enemy stronghold. Well-shot but uninvolving post 9/11 drama, based on a true story. The usual battle movie cliches, though with occasional interesting Western genre flourishes.

War On Everyone (2016, dir. John Michael McDonagh)

Two bad cops try to snatch heist takings. After The Guard and Calvary, a disappointment from this writer/director. A stylized would-be comic thriller which gets as much wrong as it does right in mistaking context-free excess for fun.