Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011, dir. David Yates)

Matters converge: a final stand at Hogwarts against Voldemort. The last part of the eight-film cycle delivers in terms of epic action sequences, resolutions for characters followed over multiple movies, and a decent coda; no real surprises, and nothing for outsiders, which is perhaps as it should be.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010, dir. David Yates)

Harry and friends, now on the run, must destroy the magical items sustaining Voldemort. The first half of the final novel – more or less – is a decent chase adventure, with a darker tone than before; the splitting of the source material allows for pacing to be improved, through the structure necessitates a forced cliffhanger bridge to Part 2.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005, dir. Mike Newell)

Harry is mysteriously selected to take part in a wizarding tournament at Hogwarts. Fourth and perhaps the best of the sequence, balancing a stand-alone story with the developing Voldemort narrative. Little for series entrants, but a confident and well-made movie for fans of the books and the films to date.

Holmes & Watson (2018, dir. Etan Cohen)

A celebrated detective battles a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria. A great cast, handsome production values and enthusiastic playing can’t save this mess, seemingly compiled from extensive on-set improvisations rather than a script. Inevitably, some fine moments, but this is a skit stretched to 90 minutes.

Red Dragon (2002, dir. Brett Ratner)

An FBI agent comes out of early retirement to catch a serial killer. Competent adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel (already filmed asĀ Manhunter), here styled as a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs. Over-familiar material means diminishing returns though, despite good work from cast and crew.

Skyfall (2012, dir. Sam Mendes)

Bond battles a former MI:6 agent intent on revenge on M. Superior series entry with lots to recommend it, not least a back-to-basics siege third act. A couple of wobbly moments (beware the oddly-empty tube car), but apart from those, this is superior genre entertainment.

Spectre (2015, dir. Sam Mendes)

A political attempt to neuter M16 is found to be the work of an enemy organisation. The first two acts work well, but the last hourĀ falls apart through trying to stitch the Craig-era Bond films into a single narrative with an awkwardly-revealed Blofeld at its centre.