“The Death of Stalin” imagines the brief period in Soviet history between the rule of Stalin and his formal denunciation. It asks the creative questions only comedy can: what if Stalin soiled himself before bursting some artery and dying a slow, solitary death?

“Phantom Thread” opens with Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), a celebrated fashion designer of the 1950s, in his incorrigible routine: an uneventful breakfast, stilted conversation with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville), dealings with his occasionally-royal patrons and a dinner and sleep as tranquil as the breakfast that began the day.

“Light Out” is a movie directed by David F. Sandberg in the style and tone of horror’s most marketable voice, James Wan. Wan’s two “Conjuring” movies may easily be the most influential horror movies to have graced the screen. The “Conjuring” movies are variations on the same tune, that of preternatural terror creeping into the insignificant but secure enclosure of a middle class suburban home. The demon grasps God’s powers within these mortgaged walls, and acts in mysterious ways.

“Train to Busan” is a zombie film that yet again explores our collective anxiety that, just maybe, the person sitting next to you who looks, smells and sounds nothing out of the ordinary may succumb to the universal violent impulse to bite your face off. And like many of its more socially conscious kin, it additionally wonders whether tearing off someone’s face is the preeminent moral standard to which we want to hold our species accountable.

Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!” is about a group of college athlete bros attending six parties over the course of three days before classes begin. It is as if the high school students in Linklater’s comedy gold “Dazed and Confused” are now in college, and is probably the best movie I’ve seen in 2016 so far.

There is probably no premise in existence more charged with contradictory politics and moral ambiguity than that of a war film. Many directors and screenwriters know that embracing this complexity may hamper the accessibility of the film and choose to evade it through different methods. Some, like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” focus on the individual soldier and the slow, steady bloom of his seething madness amidst the amoral chaos of the battlefield.

There is a certain aesthetic that defines the seasonal outpour of movies that more cynical moviegoers scorn as “Oscar-bait”. The camerawork in such films travels the middle road between subtlety and officiousness, and it is just subdued enough to be impressive. The script is usually open to a range of interpretation and emotion on the part of the main actors, often tinged with sentimentality easily understood by an equally accommodating range of audience members.