Phil Lord and Christopher Miller can obviously nail a keen visual style but as with their successful live action re-boot of 21 Jump Street, they have an acidic tongue too.
What do you get when you put Ralph Fiennes, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman together in a picturesque mountainside hotel, amongst a large ensemble cast of even more famous faces? The answer isn't just big screen magic, it's itchy feet.
Set during the war in Afghanistan, Lone Survivor charts the failed United States Navy SEALs mission Operation Red Wings. Four Navy Seals are sent on a covert mission to neutralise a high ranking Taliban operative.
Chris Pine ticks all the boxes as the fourth big screen incarnation of Tom Clancy's CIA analyst. Kevin Costner is excellent as his mentor; Keira Knightley gives a good American accent, and director Kenneth Branagh is solid as the villain.
One of my New Year's Day rituals is to go through all the films I saw in cinema the previous year and compiling a list of top 10 titles. Yes, I realise I'm a bit late posting this, but here are my favourite films from 2013:
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is, by many standards, a good film. Sure, it follows all of the predictable plot beats that any given "money and drugs in the Eighties" flick entails, but it makes up for its lack of narrative surprises with its strong central performances and highly stylised depictions of excess.
I often get asked what Pakistan is like. There's a lot of interest in this country, for obvious reasons: Taliban terrorizing, drones blasting, Osama lurking, law and order dissipating, Malala emerging...etc.
Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards and nominated for the BAFTAs and the Oscars, Paolo Sorrentino's 'The Great Beauty' is mesmerising with a tour-de-force performance from Toni Servillo.
Excess is the driving force behind Martin Scorsese's energetic, entertaining but ultimately hollow epic. Leonardo Di Caprio bravely gives it his all as the amoral Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort who made a million dollars a week ''selling garbage to garbage men''.
Frozen looks terrific (I saw the 2D version), boasts great songs (Let It Go belted out by the peerless Idina Menzel is an instant classic), and features some witty touches.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a story of the ultimate greed and excess in wealth that led Jordan Belfort (played exquisitely by Leonardo DiCaprio), showing us how the journey that he makes from a lowly sales caller to a top tier stock broker.
Few films will impact you like 12 Years a Slave. It's brutal, tragic and an unflinching account of slavery. But such is the talent through every aspect of this production that the film is also gripping and eminently watchable.
'The Missing Picture' is adapted from the autobiographical sections of Rithy Panh's 2013 book 'The Elimination' exploring the story of his family before and after the Kymer Rouge entered Phnom Penh.
The characters, as always, are a well-realised and charismatic bunch, although the dwarves outside of Thorin, once again suffer due to the sheer number of them running about.
Having sat through the enormous letdown that is The Hobbit 2, I feel like I have breathed the dwarves' air; lived part of their life and was happy to have done so... for about two hours.
'Fill the Void' tells an emotional and compelling story that allows us to glimpse into a very unique and complex world. It's a remarkable debut feature from Rama Burshtein.