The Martian (2015, dir. Ridley Scott)

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 Island (2005, dir. Michael Bay)

After discovering the truth about their existence, two clones escape their high-tech facility. Okay near-future (set in 2019) chase thriller that takes a while to get going, but then delivers in the kinetic style typical of its director.

National Treasure (2004, dir. Jon Turteltaub)

A treasure seeker is in a race against time to find a fabled hoard. Daft but hugely enjoyable chase and puzzle-based comedy-thriller, riffing off Dan Brown, Indiana Jones, and Mission: Impossible equally. Lots of fun if you’re in the mood.

Drone (2017, dir. Jason Bourque)

A bereaved father vows to get revenge on the drone operator who killed his family. Flawed (too soapy in places) but nevertheless interesting drama about the moralities of surveillance, drone usage, and private military contracting. Strong performances throughout.

Patriot Games (1992, dir. Phillip Noyce)

Or, Jack Ryan v. bits of the IRA. Awkwardly-conceived thriller which tries to have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists (this was pre-9/11; the IRA tended to be romanticised in US popculture). Some decent set-pieces, and a picture-postcard view of the UK.