The Marksman (2021, dir. Robert Lorenz)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Awake (2021, dir. Mark Raso)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Alone (2020, dir. John Hyams)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Cannonball! [AKA Carquake] (1976, dir. Paul Bartel)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Galveston (2018, dir. Mélanie Laurent)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

News Of The World (2020, dir. Paul Greengrass)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Greenland (2020, dir. Ric Roman Waugh)

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.

Here’s the trailer. And here’s another POV.

The Domestics (2018, dir. Mike P Nelson)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Downrange (2017, dir. Ryuhei Kitamura)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Onward (2020, dir. Dan Scanlon)

Mismatched teen brothers in a post-magic fantasy land embark on a quest to communicate with their long-dead father. Straightforward relationship comedy/road movie with plenty of fun detail and some great animation, even if there aren’t any real surprises along the way.

Here’s the trailer.