I had really hoped to write individual reviews for these films as they are (mostly) worthy of more than a couple of short paragraphs, but such is life and I could see myself just not writing anything about them at all in a desire to tidy things up for the start of a new year. So, here goes:

Doctor Strange:- The newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this was on my must-see list as soon as it was announced, and it did not disappoint. Cumberbatch totally looked the part, and despite the controversy over casting I thought Tilda Swinton was, as ever, awesome. It was tripper and funnier than I expected and made it onto my To Buy list straight away.

Spy:- I hadn’t really seen any of Melissa McCarthy’s work until Ghostbusters, but i was very taken with her as a screen personality, and I had heard that this was a very funny film so it seemed a no-brainer to check this out when it appeared on cable. Haven’t laughed so much in ages. McCarthy very cool, but it’s Jason Statham who makes this film. Hilarious.

Arrival:- I was very keen to see this, more so after I read the short story by Ted Chiang on which it is based (and is wonderful in its own right). A completely absorbing and moving film with excellent performances. I wondered how the story would translate to the screen and I wasn’t at all disappointed. So clever and engaging. And one of the rare occasions when I have liked Jeremy Renner. Again, straight onto the To Buy list.

Independence Day: Resurgence:- It kind of had to be done. I love Jeff Goldblum and was interested how this would all work out twenty years after the original. And I didn’t think it was as awful as some people did, but it was distinctly meh and a real mess. Insufficient Goldblum, at least one superfluous sub-plot and the unnecessary despatching of several characters for no good reason that I could see. A clear example of bigger not meaning better.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:- Loved it. Yes, there are plot and pacing problems; it feels like two unequal stories mashed together, one significantly darker than the other, but it was so well done that it was easy to overlook. I really enjoyed the film; the effects were excellent with some wonderful beasts (I personally would like to own a Niffler, and the Thunderbird was so so cool) and personable characters. My favourite was Queen; she was so sweet. Looking forward to the next film.

Maggie:- I can’t remember if someone recommended this to me or I just heard or read a review somewhere, but however I found out about it I was intrigued by a slightly different take on the zombie genre and a subtle performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I thought it was very good indeed. Low key and affecting. Worth watching.

Limitless:- We really enjoyed the TV series produced by Bradley Cooper (and sadly and wrongly cancelled after only one season) and decided to watch the film that had started it off. I am ambivalent about Mr Cooper – I’ve seen some great performances and some where I didn’t warm to him at all) but he was absolutely ideal for this character and I liked the movie very much, especially as Robert de Niro was being proper Robert de Niro. No real depth but a great Saturday night watch.

Rogue One:- It was brilliant. I’m going to see it again next week and will say more about it then, but I’m excited to see it again.