Thunder Force (2021, dir. Ben Falcone)

Mismatched former best friends become superheroes after a laboratory mishap. Perhaps the most perfunctorily-plotted movie in recent history. McCarthy reprises her brash/embarrassed working class schtick, and there’s a few decent song-based jokes. A strong cast helps: Jason Bateman’s enjoying himself.

Here’s the trailer.

Seaspiracy (2021, dir. Ali Tabrizi)

A documentary filmmaker investigates whaling, to uncover a global network of criminal and climate-challenging practices liked to commercial fishing. Seaspiracy doesn’t really connect the dots (there isn’t a conspiracy – it’s just plain greed) or land all of its punches, but there’s some interesting material and footage presented, even if the subject matter doesn’t fit with the film’s structure.

Here’s the trailer.

Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb (2020, dir. James Tovell)

A documentary covering a season’s dig at Saqqara outside Cairo, focusing on the tomb of Wahtye. Excellent, compassionate, and detailed overview of an archaeological dig, keen to emphasis the humanity of the participants and links between Egypt’s ancient past and its present. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Sentinelle (2021. dir. Julien LeClercq)

A combat veteran struggling with PTSD seeks to avenge a near-fatal assault on her sister. Lean, austere, minimalist thriller with interesting lead character notes and brisk action. An effective star vehicle that reemphasises the qualities of both its lead and its writer/director.

Here’s the trailer.

Klaus (2019, dir. Sergio Pablos)

The wastrel son of a postmaster is given a challenging remote office to run as a final opportunity. Oddball but charming Santa Claus origin variant story, with some fine gags and great animation and design throughout. A welcome spin on the lets-save-Christmas storyline.

Here’s the trailer.

American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020, dir. Jenny Popplewell)

An archive documentary time-lining the 2018 murder of Shannan, Celeste, and Bella Watts by Shannan’s husband Christopher, and the subsequent police investigation. Grim and compelling, and well-assembled from news coverage, social media posts, police and court interview videos, and from text conversations.

Here’s the trailer.

Enola Holmes (2020, dir. Harry Bradbeer)

Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister Enola investigates their mother’s disappearance. Handsomely-produced but wildly inconsistent Victorian teen detective romp. A strong cast and good production values help, but a weak and smug script scuppers the enterprise as a whole, despite fun moments.

Here’s the trailer.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020, dir. McG [Joseph McGinty])

Two years after the traumatic events of the first film, Judah finds himself still struggling to be believed. Zippy sequel that expands on, rather than rehashes, its predecessor (which it’d be useful to see immediately prior). More gore slapstick than horror flick, this is a fun and pleasantly inconsequential ride.

Here’s the trailer.

Lost Bullet [AKA Balle Perdue] (2020, dir. Guillaume Pierret)

An ex-con mechanic runs to clear himself of a cop’s murder by corrupt colleagues. Superior French action thriller, played straight and with some verve in the fight scenes and automotive carnage. Doublecrosses and so on as you might expect between the well-orchestrated mayhem. Doesn’t overstay its welcome, either.

Mercy Black (2019, dir. Owen Egerton)

A newly-released former psychiatric patient comes to believe her childhood phantom is real. Straightforward autumnal horror with folk, invented mythos and viral sensation aspects. Some good ideas, not all of them given their due, though twists are piled on for their own sake in Act 3.