IT has been five years since Jodie Foster appeared in a feature film. There ought to be a law against such things, but there we are. Her presence in Hotel Artemis is reason enough to check out Drew Pearce’s artful and stylish science-fiction thriller set in Los Angeles 2028.

The hotel of the title is a place where criminals come for emergency medical treatment. Ruler of the roost is The Nurse (Foster), who has been in with the bricks for years. With the help of her assistant, the aptly named man mountain Everest (Dave Bautista of Guardians of the Galaxy fame), she keeps the patients in line and alive.

On this particular night, Nurse is being kept busy by a rush of new arrivals, among them a bank robber (played by Sterling K Brown from TV’s This is Us) whose brother has been shot, and an international assassin (Sofia Boutella) who seems to have been on the wrong end of a bullet this time. Outside, LA is in flames, with rioters protesting about the private company in charge of the water supply cutting off services.

As time ticks by the place fills up to capacity, but there is one customer who cannot be refused: the man who owns the joint, and goes by the name of The Wolf King. It is his arrival that lights the blue touch paper on the night’s events.

The robber, the owner, the assassin, the nurse; Pearce, writer of Iron Man 3 screenplay and here making his feature directorial debut, lines up his characters as if making some dystopian version of an Agatha Christie country house mystery. Who is the truly guilty party in such a gathering of bad boys and girls?

Like John Wick, the Keanu Reeves-led series of shoot-em-ups, Hotel Artemis is heavy on design and designer violence. Most of the characters are straight from comic book central casting, save for The Nurse. Foster puts in a star turn as the little old grey haired lady who shuffles in and out of rooms practising A&E medicine like the hottest of hotshot consultants. Having experienced trauma in her own life, The Nurse is frightened of no-one. She is, however, terrified of stepping out the front door.

Where another actor might dip a toe in looking old, Foster goes for it, cramming in the wrinkles, her skin parched, cracked and grey. Pearce’s camera drinks it all in and keeps coming back for more. Underneath it all, however, there is no mistaking the double Oscar-winner and that fierce intelligence of hers that shines through in every part she plays.

The rest is sheer fluff but no less enjoyable for that. Slyly funny in parts, with a story that’s nicely twisty, Hotel Artemis tears along at a cracking pace. Coming in at just 94-minutes, it doesn’t hang around for long. If you are in the mood for the movie equivalent of fast food, tuck in.

The story of an RAF legend is set out in fine style in Spitfire (PG) ****. Though the aircraft featured in Ewan McGregor’s recent TV programme on the RAF, David Fairhead and Anthony Palmer’s documentary digs deeper into the development of the plane. Better still are the interviews with the handful of pilots who are still around, all of whom speak movingly and modestly about their war experiences. Fairhead and Palmer make thrilling use of footage from cameras embedded in the wings of some of the planes. This is the Spitfire in action as never seen before. An unashamedly affectionate tribute to an aircraft that was both a thing of beauty and, as one contributor reminds audiences, a killing machine.

Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! (U) *** is one for the younger school holidays crowd. In David Stoten’s good natured animated adventure the little engine develops itchy wheels and sets off to see the world, making friends along the way. It is not much of a thrill ride, despite all those exclamation marks in the title. As for Thomas and his determination to do right by his passengers, would he consider a transfer to ScotRail?