Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014, dir. Matthew Vaughn)

A cockney youth is inducted into an elite British secret agency. Confident spy comedy from the graphic novel series, both spoofing and celebrating Bond and The Avengers in equal measure. Stylised and violent; not for everyone in its laddish glee. A sequel, expanding the universe, soon followed.

Spy Game (2001, dir. Tony Scott)

A veteran spy on his last day at the CIA works to protect a compromised asset. Slick and confident thriller balancing office politics, espionage and action moments. An entertainment in the sense of the kind of film Graham Greene might have directed in the 2000s.

Red Sparrow (2018, dir. Francis Lawrence)

A Russian ballerina is recruited by her uncle into an elite spy training programme. Good-looking but deathly slow melodrama which pretends the Cold War is ongoing. Plenty of solid character actors with silly accents in European cities doing double-crosses.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017, dir. Matthew Vaughn)

Kingsmen join with their American equivalent to battle a virus-wielding drug lord. Gleeful but over-stuffed, overlong and indulgent sequel, magnifying the first film‘s good points and its issues. Some fun to be had, tho, and Mark Strong gets a crowning moment of awesome.

Central Intelligence (2016, dir. Rawson Marshall Thurber)

A mild-mannered accountant teams up with a spy on the eve of their school reunion. Patchy action comedy, veering between sentimentality, shoot-em-up scenes, and improvised moments.