Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix): blending the perfume commercial aesthetics of 'Riverdale' with a compelling story about adolescence, change and identity, this unexpectedly captivated me to the point of binge-watching the entire show in a couple of days. Kiernan Shipka is great.
Titans (DC Universe / Netflix): for the first time, DC gets Gotham City completely right with a Christopher Nolan-esque tale of frustrated teenagers, jaded superheroes and supernatural doom and gloom. Mixing genres (horror, thriller and superhero movies, to name but a few), this flawed cocktail is often effective and addictive. Let's hope they make more. It reminded me of the first two X-Men movies, you know - the good ones.
Riverdale (CW / Netflix): Netflix's prodigal child returns with more of the same, which is fine. After a long and exhausting second season that didn't quite hit the mark in terms of storytelling, this third season shows promise. I'm confident the second half which debuts this Wednesday will hit the ground running.
Killing Eve (BBC): James Bond meets psychopathic blonde. Based on Luke Jennings's Codename Villanelle novella series, the show successfully puts the viewer in the shoes of the bad girl, who roams the earth hunting her next target. It's alluring, dangerous and well made.
Altered Carbon (Netflix): how do I even start to describe this show? It's Blade Runner on TV, a dystopian science fiction cyberpunk muder mystery. Watch it now.
Honourable mention for Love (Netflix): the most honest and accurate depiction of being in love in your mid to late 20s - hopeless, lost, monotonous and riddled with passive-aggressive friends and foes. After two strong seasons, the series ends in a satisfactory if predictable way.
The Other Side of the Wind - dir. Orson Welles: it took more than 40 years for this film to be completed, with footage pieced together using Welles' notes and storyboards. The result is sharp, entertaining and trashy. If Citizen Kane had been made in the 70s, this would have been the result. One of the Master's finest works.
The Old Man and the Gun - dir. David Lowery: an unexpectedly gentle, thrilling and stylish caper with stunning performances by Redford, Affleck and Spacek. I especially enjoyed the film's attention to detail with Super 16 cinematography, controlled editing and its calm, cool pace. What a joy.
Blackkklansman - dir. Spike Lee: despite disappointing politics ('racism is bad!'), the film is so funny, charming and goofy that it wins you over in the end. Many scenes are fictional in nature and deviate from the protagonist's real-life story. Strong performances by leads such as Adam Driver propel the film.
Deadpool 2 - dir. David Leitch: this time, the sequel actually exceeds its predecessor. It's bigger, funnier and more re-watchable. Ryan Reynolds and co. clearly understand the character. My favourite line: 'I'm Batman!'
Bohemian Rhapsody - dir. Bryan Singer: it puzzles me to think that reviews for the film have been so negative. Whilst understandably edited to appeal to the broadest possible audience, the film doesn't willingly offend Mercury's memory and, although sanitized to some extent, presents him in his essence, i.e. the greatest rock 'n' roll frontman. Considering rock biopics are scarce and often uninteresting, what is there to be so angry about?
Cold War - dir. Paweł Pawlikowski: although bordering on cliche, Pawlikowski's beautiful romance is simultaneously hard-hitting, delicate and elegant. I really identified with these two lost souls who happen to fall in love despite less than ideal circumstances. The film also doesn't shy away from showing these characters' flaws, which makes them all the more endearing.
Mandy - dir. Panos Cosmatos: a cocaine-fuelled, blood-drenched carnage starring Nicolas Cage. That's about all you need to know.
Unsane - dir. Steven Soderbergh: in this low-budget indie thriller, Soderbergh channels Hitchcock, De Palma and the horror genre. The result is at times underwhelming, however the film's strong aesthetics, daring camera angles and relentless storytelling paper over the plot holes and offer a thought-provoking movie.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout - dir. Christopher McQuarrie: having rewatched it, I would now say this is the strongest instalment in the franchise. The reason for this? It's the first M:I film to become self-aware, taking into account Hunt/Cruise's penchant for dangerous stunts, as well as his advancing age. What we get is a more personal story about the protagonist's 'killer' job, his allies and his life.
Halloween - dir. David Gordon Green: this is an unexpected entry in my list. I realise it's also a questionable one. After all, David Gordon Green's sequel cum soft reboot is the latest in a string of largely uninteresting and dull movies. This particular movie, however, is perhaps the only one as good as the original. In a similar fashion to M:I Fallout, it's the first entry in the franchise to take its protagonist seriously.