A famed general, condemned to death in a coup, seeks revenge on Roman emperor Commodus for the murder of his family. Vivid and muscular historical drama, with excellent performances, solid action, and a keen visual sense. A Hollywood history; the inspirations are less actual events than the epics of the 1950s and early 1960s.
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.
The 2003 re-edit (actually shorter than the 1979 original version) reinstates some scenes, clarifies some plot and character points and removes others (Ash is no longer a recent crew addition, and so the conspiracy element is toned down). By no means essential, but a chance to marvel again at this still-influential movie.
A dramatisation of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. Well-acted, good-looking though insubstantial retelling of a famous case; not quite a serious drama or a straightforward thriller, and the weaker for the indecision.
A commercial space vehicle answers a distress call. Perhaps showing its age in some of its choices, nevertheless Alien is a storming piece of cinema, is outstandingly designed, directed and acted, and remains both relevant and influential 40 years on. A classic.
A CIA operative in the Middle East is caught between conflicting loyalties. Good-looking and well-directed though predictable tale of post-9/11 espionage, with opaque masculine moralities contrasted with a female archetype representing possible redemption.
A deep space colony vessel investigates a strange transmission from an Earth-like world. More Prometheus than Alien, this series entry unevenly balances monster horror and teenagery philosophical musings. Odd, but not uninteresting.
Archaeologists lead a space mission to the creators of life on Earth. Good-looking and packed with great images, this Alien prequel is nevertheless hugely flawed, not least with an abundance of intelligent beings doing really dumb things.