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.
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.
A tech billionaire finances a vigilante squad dedicated to removing threats to global peace. Well-made fun-but-dumb action-comedy playing to the director’s trademark obsessions and strengths in mashing up Michael Mann and Tony Scott. An auteurist work; spectacular in both the Debordian and the blowing-shit-up-good senses.
A Philadelphia cop becomes obsessed with a recurring series of crimes, and with the person committing them. Excellent time-travel serial killer cop drama from director Jim Mickle, that touches on all manner of interesting material. Recommended.
Four young teens at summer camp have to thwart an alien invasion. Deliberately throwback 80s kids’ SF adventure which is pleasing in the moment, though it struggles with an overly-knowing tone and with schematic and formulaic plotting and character development, while ticking off a slew of movie references.
After setting a trap to catch Santa, two squabbling siblings have to help him save Christmas. Patchy Yuletide offering with few surprises. Russell does what he can with an indifferent script, but this is no classic.
Two friends on a hunting holiday in the Scottish Highlands fall foul of the locals after a tragic accident is covered up. Incredibly well-made and tense thriller, with loads to recommend it, not least in its handling of suspense and of quiet (and not so quiet) menace. A must-see!
An alien invasion provokes an investigation led by a biologist. Sombre SF/horror with whiffs of Arrival and Solaris in its makeup. Genre thrills are underplayed in favour of introspection and aftermath; interesting rather than good, with a perhaps divisive ending.
A veteran LA cop partners with the first orc officer; they find themselves in the middle of an ancient magic war. While the procedural and mismatched partners stuff is great, Bright is saddled with too much backstory and a daft third act. Feels like a big-budget TV series pilot.
A South Korean girl fights to keep her pet super-pig from the hands of a multinational corporation. Utterly enthralling ET/Pete’s Dragon variant for adults, drawing on Gilliam, Jeunet et Caro, early Besson, Buster Keaton and Studio Ghibli, yet is an original too.