Inside Man (2006, dir. Spike Lee)

An embattled detective tries to work out how an unorthodox bank robbery became a hostage situation. Smart heist/siege movie that works as an intelligent genre piece and a sly political commentary on post-9/11 America. Lots to enjoy, with clever performances all around and plenty to think about. Recommended.

Aquaman (2018, dir. James Wan)

Aquaman/Arthur Curry reluctantly agrees to help prevent a war between the Atlanteans and humanity. Glossy and fun – though overlong and CG-tastic – superhero origin flick. Ugly greenscreen cinematography gets in the way of some decent performances and Wan’s capable direction.

The Boondock Saints (1999, dir. Troy Duffy)

Two Boston Irish brothers become vigilantes. Tatty post-Pulp Fiction gangster pic, more a series of set pieces than an actual linear movie. Some OK ideas along the way, and a couple of interesting performances, but this is three parts undisciplined mess to one part film.

Murder On The Orient Express (2017, dir. Kenneth Branagh)

Hercule Poirot must investigate a killing on a sumptuous cross-Europe train. Handsome and starry, this Agatha Christie adaptation struggles to showcase its cast or its plot, so while not-entertaining, feels a bit mechanical.

Platoon (1986, dir. Oliver Stone)

An idealistic volunteer learns the brutality of war the hard way. Simplistic but undeniably effective Vietnam War morality play, with a soldier’s-eye perspective throughout; an excellent ensemble cast supports the drama.

Clear and Present Danger (1994, dir. Phillip Noyce)

Jack Ryan v the drug cartels. Second and better of the Ford/Noyce Tom Clancy adaptations, Danger works well as both a procedural thriller and an action piece, and isn’t afraid to make the good guys complicit.

The Great Wall (2016, dir. Zhang Yimou)

Two European brigands help China defend its empire from monsters. Intermittently undeniably spectacular, with some keen use of 3D, this is nevertheless a very straightforward fantasy siege movie which feels oddly bland, secondhand, and compromised.