After her films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s name is pretty much synonymous with “hard hitting”, and she doesn’t pull any punches with this dramatisation of a little-known chapter in America’s history. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is the cop caught in the middle of a police raid on a local motel, with Will Poulter turning in an unsettling turn as a racist lawman. Unmissable.
ROUGH NIGHT ★★★
Comparisons with Bridesmaids are inevitable, but this raucous black comedy plumbs dark depths Kristen Wiig wouldn’t dream of. Scarlett Johansson stars as the bride-to-be whose bachelorette weekend is marred by the accidental death of a stripper, leading to a shambolic misadventure that’s the definition of bad taste. This was a moderate hit in the States, but the Bridesmaids crown remains unchallenged.
AMERICAN MADE ★★★
Tom Cruise’s other 2017 movie, The Mummy, unravelled on release both critically and commercially, so it was lucky he had this real-life CIA thriller in his back pocket. Cruise plays a 70s pilot recruited to tackle the Communist threat in Central America, and with his Southern twang and cool-in-a-crisis charisma, the A-list action man ensures that, while American Made is far from original, it successfully blots out the memory of that Mummy misfire.