Sunshine (2007, dir. Danny Boyle)

A last-ditch effort to restart the Sun through deploying a nuclear device goes awry. Handsome though derivative SF that can’t decide if it’s an arthouse piece or a mainstream thriller. In trying to be both, and in quoting from Alien, 2001, 2010, Silent Running, Event Horizon, Dark Star and others along the way, it struggles for clarity and distinctiveness.

The Wolf’s Call (2019, dir. Antonin Baudry)

A French sonar expert is pivotal in an international submarine warfare scenario. Solid French technothriller of the Tom Clancy sort, with something to say about camaraderie and the limits of the rules of engagement. Delivers as a genre piece, too, with a couple of gleeful daft moments and plenty of shouting in confined spaces.

The Company You Keep (2012, dir. Robert Redford)

A long-underground former radical has to go on the run when his new identity is revealed. Well-made, intelligent political thriller with a cast of character actors to die for. A little low-key for some, maybe, but this is a movie that delivers well on its own terms. Recommended.

21 Bridges (2019, dir. Brian Kirk)

A detective shuts down Manhattan to find two cop-killers who’ve stumbled across a cocaine stash. Superior action thriller that – while having no real surprises – manages to work both in dramatic and in gunplay terms. A neat sense of scale, a fine cast, plus good direction all support a solid lead performance.

The Last House on the Left (2009, dir. Dennis Iliadis)

A holidaying young woman is raped by an escaped prisoner; later, he and his crew happen across her parents. Overlong horror remake with handsome production values which problematise the movie; prurient direction doesn’t help, so confused messages abound, impacting on the potential for the movie to be, you know, entertaining.

Prom Night (2008, dir. Nelson McCormick)

A murderous obsessive escapes his facility on the night of his target’s senior prom. Keeping only the geography and one of the storylines of the 1980 original, this is a perfunctory slasher, startling only in its plot simplicity. Some depth in casting featuring The Wire alumni adds interest, but that’s about it.

Black and Blue (2019, dir. Deon Taylor)

A rookie New Orleans cop – an Army veteran – witnesses crooked cops committing murder; she has to run. A straightforward but effective action thriller that touches on race, gender, class and deprivation as issues, but still tells its story. Solid genre entertainment for grown-ups.