Firefox (1982, dir. Clint Eastwood)

A Vietnam veteran pilot is tasked with stealing a high-tech Soviet fighter plane. Slightly clunky Cold War-meets-SF thriller, though with strength in depth in its casting, and with then-groundbreaking visual effects, plus a splendid Maurice Jarre score.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969, dir. Peter Hunt)

Bond again battles Blofeld; this time up to germ warfare. Despite the awkwardness at times of lead Lazenby, this is perhaps the best all-round Bond; bags of action, some self-aware humour, lovely design work and excellent direction and editing.

Annihilation (2018, dir. Alex Garland)

An alien invasion provokes an investigation led by a biologist. Sombre SF/horror with whiffs of Arrival and Solaris in its makeup. Genre thrills are underplayed in favour of introspection and aftermath; interesting rather than good, with a perhaps divisive ending.

Black Panther (2018, dir. Ryan Coogler)

The new king of a hitherto secret technologically-advanced African nation faces a range of challenges to his accession. Supremely confident addition to the Marvel cinematic canon, which tells its origin story in an Afrofuturist way, ringing many changes on the template.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979, dir. Robert Wise)

The newly-refitted Enterprise answers a call from space. The first film adventure in the cycle has an intriguing conceit, but struggles to balance 2001-style spectacle and grandeur with post-Star Wars popcorn thrills. A slow misfire, but not without its moments.

Alien (1979, dir. Ridley Scott)

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.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017, dir Taika Waititi)

Thor and Loki must battle their forgotten sister to regain Asgard. Hugely entertaining and impressively throwaway piece of popcorn tosh. Everyone is having a whale of a time, even if there’s minimal actual story or incident. Lots of fun all round though, especially in the details.

Another perspective? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s take.