A wife helps her husband escape jail: a chase and media circus develops as they cross Texas to be reunited with their child. Excellent road movie/crime drama hybrid with comic and bittersweet touches, and full of directorial promise. Loads to recommend here.
A struggling rancher takes a Mexican boy to Chicago, pursued by vengeful cartel members. Straightforward but effective thriller with action elements, with the feel of a Clint Eastwood vehicle that got recast. No surprises, but not bad in its way, and with a couple of lovely supporting performances.
A dysfunctional mother tries to protect her unique child after a freak event which prevents people from sleeping. Patchy Bird Box/Children of Men variant that struggles to tell its miniseries story within a movie running time. A decent (if not always well-used) cast and a few nicely weird moments help, tho.
A woman taking a cross-country journey to begin a new life becomes the focus of a predator. Terrific, lean, assured thriller: a stripped-back pure beast of a movie. A story you’ve seen a dozen times before, but seldom – if ever – so well-sustained. Highly recommended.
Various racers compete – and cheat – in a trans-American car race. Enjoyably ramshackle road comedy typical of the subgenre packed with lo-fi vehicle stunts, sly humour, and cameo appearances from Roger Corman’s phone book: everyone from Martin Scorsese to Sylvester Stallone shows up.
A dying criminal finds himself on the run with a young woman. Smart, low key hardscrabble crime drama from the Nic Pizzalatto novel. Can’t quite decide to go for arthouse or for jailhouse, but worth your time nevertheless.
An itinerant Civil War veteran volunteers to take an orphaned child to distant family. Handsome, straightforward, elegiac and allegorical Western. Light on story, perhaps, but does what it needs to do at its own pace. Recommended.
An estranged couple and their young son battle to safety during an extinction-level event. Alternately hokey and darkly impressive, this riff on Deep Impact via World War Z succeeds best in its focus on character and on throwing rocks (metaphorical and literal) at its characters. Not bad if you go with it.
A dysfunctional couple travel across post-apocalyptic America through territory populated by rival murderous gangs. Interesting small-scale action/horror hybrid with an unusual focus on character development and on telling detail. Plenty to appreciate despite the familiarity of its Mad Max-meets-The Purge setup.
A carload of young adults are trapped on a deserted road by a sniper. Excellent and well-sustained horror/thriller hybrid. Act three is slightly fudged, but overall this is an impressive bit of genre filmmaking that plays fair, maximises the potential of its premise, and delivers in gore and thrills terms. Recommended.