Which ghostly comic hero is riding high at the movies?
Time Out Dubai staff
10 Ekk Deewana Tha Director: Gautham Menon Stars: Prateik, Amy Jackson and Babu Antony
Celebrated Bollywood director Guatham Menon – who has made films in both Hindi and Tamil – returns with this potentially controversial story of a Mumbai filmmaker who falls in love with a woman from a strict Christian family. The film stars English actress Amy Jackson, whose debut was as a British Governor's daughter in the 2010 1940s-set Indian movie Madras Town. Good cinematography and great locations in Kerala make for a visual treat. But this Hindi remake does not live up to Menon's smash hit Tamil original Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya.
Weekly box office: Dhs230,072 Weekly admissions: 7,560 Total box office: Dhs230,072 Total admissions: 7,560
9 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Directed by: Brad Peyton Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, Kristin Davis, Luis Guzmán, Anna Colwell, Michael Beasley
More adventures for teen Jules Verne fan Sean (Josh Hutcherson) in this sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. With basic dialogue and predictable plotting, most pleasures are visual (especially in 3D), though some CG creations are better than others. It’s a harmless family film with an old-fashioned spirit of adventure, but the writing doesn’t live up to the promise of the premise. Anna Smith
Weekly box office: 344,753 Weekly admissions: 7,669 Total box office: Dhs4,487,179 Total admissions: 95,736
8 The Grey Director: Joe Carnahan Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts, Nonso Anozie, Joe Anderson, Ben Bray, James Badge Dale
Liam Neeson’s shift into marquee action-man territory has at best resulted in fun junk like Taken, at worst in Eurotrash drivel like Unknown. With The Grey, he’s broken the slump: the film was developed for Bradley Cooper, but it’s hard to imagine his pretty face at the centre of this terse, solid survival thriller.
Neeson is Ottway, a hard-bitten hunter stranded at an oil outpost. When his plane back to civilisation crashes in the frozen wastes, Ottway must lead a ragtag band of survivors to safety. But surviving blizzards and scaling ravines is one thing, dealing with timber wolves quite another.
After the excesses of The A-Team, this is Carnahan stripping it back to basics. The action sequences thrill, the shocks are effective and the film has a streamlined, Hawksian narrative drive which carries it through the rough spots. Best of all, though, is Big Liam: sharp, surly and mean, he’s as close as we’ll get to a modern John Wayne. Who saw that coming? Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs323,505 Weekly admissions: 7,763 Total box office: Dhs1,983,948 Total admissions: 52,581
7 Chain Letter Director: Deon Taylor Stars: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif, Madison Bauer, Mark S. Allen
Low-rent horror/thriller which only enjoyed a limited release back in the US. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs312,753 Weekly admissions: 9,790 Total box office: Dhs312,753 Total admissions: 9,790
6 Big Miracle Director: Ken Kwapis Stars: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, John Pingayak, Ahmaogak Sweeney, Ted Danson
A year before the fall of Communism in the USSR, three California grey whales found themselves stranded in Barrow, Alaska, five miles from the open sea with only a hole in the ice to breathe through. This kicked off a major rescue attempt, with Inuits, Greenpeace, journos, tourists, the oil industry, the US government and, most significantly, a Russian ice breaker all helping out. Many agreed the exercise was a fine example of what can be achieved when opposing parties set aside their differences for the benefit of a common cause.
TV director Ken Kwapis (who helmed some of the US version of The Office) milks that idea for all it’s worth in this dramatised reconstruction, which pitches a diligent Greenpeace activist (Drew Barrymore) against a mean-spirited oil baron (Ted Danson) while attempting to liven up a series of repetitive events with some romance and punch-the-air moments. By-the-book dialogue and lame performances do the film no favours but, hey, worse things happen at sea. Derek Adams
Weekly box office: Dhs431,825 Weekly admissions: 12,971 Total box office: Dhs431,825 Total admissions: 12,971
5 Beauty and the Beast Director: Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White
Back upon its release in 1991, Beauty and the Beast saw Disney animation take a huge stride forward, embracing the stunning technical advances of computer-generated imagery and updating the traditional dependent heroine. This 3D revamp has lost none of the sparkle.
Weekly box office: Dhs617,253 Weekly admissions: 13,048 Total box office: Dhs617,253 Total admissions: 13,048
4 Omar Wa Salma 3 Director: Mohammad Samy Starring: Tamer Hosny, May Ezzedine
In the second sequel to the popular Egyptian comedy, husband and wife Omar and Salma learn that their daughters have been kidnapped by the Mafia in South Africa, before getting caught up in a series of adventures in the country.
Weekly box office: Dhs607,740 Weekly admissions: 18,055 Total box office: Dhs4,438,643 Total admissions: 128,343
3 The Vow Director: Michael Sucsy Stars: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, Jessica Lange, Jessica McNamee, Wendy Crewson, Tatiana Maslany, Lucas Bryant
Credit the appealingly paired McAdams and Tatum for making this Valentine’s hokum watchable. They’re photographed like gods descended to earth and have a sweetly tentative chemistry that is unfortunately overwhelmed by a number of ridiculously half-baked story complications. Keith Uhlich
Weekly box office: Dhs688,965 Weekly admissions: 18,156 Total box office: Dhs1,546,765 Total admissions: 42,109
2 Safe House Director: Daniel Espinosa Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepard, Brendan Gleeson
Daniel Espinosa’s slick, hacky thriller alternates between hyperactive skulduggery and moody men-on-a-mission existentialism. A going-through-the-motions Washington acts the conveniently prescient Zen master to Reynolds’s colourlessly strapping tenderfoot. Keith Uhlich
Weekly box office: Dhs1,129,024 Weekly admissions: 29,991 Total box office: Dhs3,337,205 Total admissions: 86,361
1 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Director: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, Fergus Riordan
Spirit of Vengeance lacks a solid gimmick to unify its transgressive gambits. Yet there’s still enough craziness here to suggest that resuscitating a franchise requires sending it up in flames. Ben Kenigsberg Weekly box office: Dhs2,851,808 Weekly admissions: 59,206 Total box office: Dhs2,851,808 Total admissions: 59,206