Carmen Jones (1954, dir. Otto Preminger)

A free-spirited woman compels a once-clean-cut GI to go AWOL. A World War II-era retelling of Bizet’s Carmen with an all-black cast, retaining the music but with updated lyrics. A film version of a famous stage adaptation; this sacrifices drama for a lighter touch until the third act, but is nevertheless an engaging oddity.

Hard Target (1993, dir. John Woo)

A homeless sailor disrupts a scheme where rich hunters prey on down-and-out Vietnam veterans. This take on The Most Dangerous Game is a B-movie joy: superb stylised action, swaggering villainy, and a glimmer of social conscience.

The Rainmaker [AKA John Grisham’s The Rainmaker] (1997, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

A young lawyer takes down a callous insurance company. Slick, mainstream, and linear legal thriller with no surprises but plenty of feel-good under-dog moments. Damon in Mary Sue mode. A professional, anonymous job from its former genius writer/director.

Mr Right (2015, dir. Pabo Cabezas)

A young woman falls for a hitman trying to redeem himself. Kooky black comedy which hits pretty much all the right notes in delivering on action, jokes, romance, and some surprising moments. Great performances and fine dancing. Recommended.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, dir. David Fincher)

A man’s life runs backwards, from old age to being newborn. Button is overlong, meandering, episodic, and sometimes overly in service to its impressive VFX, but it’s nevertheless an effective though melancholy audience-pleasing tearjerker