Galaxy Quest (1999, dir. Dean Parisot)

The former stars of a Star Trek-like TV show are mistaken for genuine space heroes by an alien race searching for saviours. Three Amigos! / A Bug’s Life redux, perhaps, but with excellent casting, a sense of fun, and affection for genre and conventions (of both kinds) throughout.

Ghostbusters II (1989, dir. Ivan Reitman)

The Ghostbusters have to reunite to battle another supernatural threat to New York. As much a remake of the 1984 original as a sequel, this passable reprise lacks the first film’s freshness, but has a few good lines and performances nevertheless.

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.

Wall-E (2008, dir. Andrew Stanton)

A beat-up robot falls in love with a sleek new model. Superior SF comedy/romance from Pixar; the last hour is knockabout fun with an environmental/healthy living message, but the first 30 minutes is a sublime silent (apart from music from Hello, Dolly! of all things) movie of its own.

A Monster Calls (2016, dir. J. A. Bayona)

A creature is summoned to challenge a boy whose mother is dying. Splendid dark fantasy, equal parts The BFG/ET and something more akin to Pan’s Labyrinth, which pulls out all the emotional and VFX stops in its ultimately uplifting tale about the power of stories and truths.

Tomboy (AKA Tomboy: A Revenger’s Tale / The Assignment / (Re) Assignment) (2016, dir. Walter Hill)

A hitman is subjected to forced gender reassignment. A messy hotchpotch of bad taste, worse gender politics, and a standard pulpy noir payback yarn. Tomboy is never uninteresting, but not always for the right genre reasons. A future cult beckons.

Aliens (1986, dir. James Cameron)

57 years later, Ellen Ripley faces the xenomorphs again. Superlative sequel, balancing the body horror shocks of the original with military action, suspense, and a then-voguish Vietnam War aftermath aesthetic.