A desert planet with a fabled resource is given new custodians: a messiah figure may be among them. Impressive if slightly po-faced partial adaptation (Part Two is to come) of the Frank Herbert allegorical SF classic. Takes its time: the pacing is televisual rather than cinematic. However, it looks great, and a good cast plays to their strengths.
The origins of an independent spy agency, set against the Great War. Messy and inconsistent prequel, showcasing series strengths (brio, some startling moments) and weaknesses (tonal awkwardness) in equal measure. A freewheeling approach to both history and emotion throughout render this flashy, but empty.
A troubled war hero about to be redeployed struggles with life in America. Its glossy direction and staging notwithstanding, this is an at-times awkward drama that doesn’t offer much new except in its good intentions and immaculate technical credits. Perhaps an indication that not all novels are translatable to film.
A science teacher is recruited to fight a war that won’t happen for thirty years. Overlong, derivative (everything from Saving Private Ryan to The Thing gets pillaged) and at-times clunky SF/horror/war flick. The action is terrific throughout (and worth watching once for that alone), but the movie doesn’t know when to stop.
Thorin is driven mad by gold-lust as warring factions converge on Mt Erebor. The concluding part of the prequel trilogy is pretty much for fans only by this stage, though it’s nevertheless an impressively-mounted and extravagant action fantasy.
A remote US facility in 2006 Northern Afghanistan is attacked by Taliban forces. Based on true events, this is a generally even-handed attempt to tell a base-under-siege story (from the Jake Tapper book): strong on camaraderie and on the chaos of conflict, using pseudo-documentary elements to add clarity.
The formation and later misadventures of a Kent coastal village’s Home Guard platoon during WWII. Opened-out version of the BBC sitcom (filmed between series 3 and 4): while not as subtle as the TV version, nevertheless an affectionate portrait of class in wartime with a peerless cast of character actors.
A young police officer is co-opted into an elite SWAT team on a behind enemy lines mission in Mosul against Daesh. Compelling rookie’s eye view of a single day of combat, rendered in semi-documentary style. Plenty to appreciate, not least the refusal to overly Westernise the movie. Recommended.
A US soldier in Afghanistan is pressurised by a new sergeant into complicity in the murder of Afghan civilians. Developed from writer/director Krauss’s own documentary of the same name, this is a low-key but effective study of morals v camaraderie. No real surprises, but solid nevertheless.
A veteran Soviet submarine commander is sent on a final classified mission to test new technology. Okay Cold War flick that does nothing new, but which revels in the subgenre (!) to pleasing one-ping-only effect. Makes maximum use of an old Russian vessel for its principal location.