Don’t Look Up (2021, dir. Adam McKay)

Astronomers struggle to get the government and the media to engage with an extinction-level event. Patchy and overlong Trump-era satire: when it hits, it hits hard, but there’s about 45 minutes too much baggy stuff here. More focus needed: that said, there are some game performances and a great song.

Here’s the trailer.

The Hunt (2020, dir. Craig Zobel)

A group of strangers find themselves being hunted. Okay The Most Dangerous Game variant with a few plot wrinkles, not all of which work. Stronger on splatter gore moments than as the intended satire, but there’s some fun to be had, and Betty Gilpin is great in badass mode.

The Day Shall Come (2019, dir. Chris Morris)

A deluded preacher is set up by the FBI as an active terrorist. While there are some solid performances and a few great moments, this is a bit of a mess, lacking the focus and heart of the superficially-similar Four Lions. A shame, as there’s talent on display, and Morris is a dark genius.

Bushwick (2017, dir. Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion)

A student and an ex-Forces janitor cross a city during a martial law clampdown. Smart, political action thriller, shot as though in one take and in more-or-less real time. Maximises its low budget with good location work and a committed approach by its leads.

Assassination Nation (2018, dir. Sam Levinson)

Four high school girls are targeted by a vigilante posse after a data hack tears a town apart. Stylish and confident Trump-era satire, equal parts The Purge sequels and God Bless America. More set-up than an actual fully-fledged movie, this nevertheless has lots to recommend it if you go with it.

The First Purge (2018, dir. Gerard McMurray)

Staten Island is chosen as a Purge trial zone; residents have to fight to survive the night. Effective prequel (and fourth in the series), upping the social commentary and overtly satiric elements while drawing also on blaxploitation and action/horror tropes. Perhaps the best in the series yet.

The Death of Stalin (2017, dir. Armando Iannucci)

A power struggle ensues in the USSR when Stalin dies suddenly. Frantic black comedy which plays totalitarianism as a dark farce. Hugely impressive, with a great cast clearly having fun throughout, while making a few satirical points along the way. Recommended.

The Founder (2016, dir. John Lee Hancock)

A middle-aged salesman has a burger-bar epiphany. Sly biopic of McDonald’s eminence grise Ray Kroc, which tricks you into thinking it’s all apple pie and big smiles, when the movie’s really somewhere between Raging Bull and Elmer Gantry. Recommended.