10 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Director: Timur Bekmambetov Stars: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Marton Csokas, Jimmi Simpson, Joseph Mawle
The storyline is faithful to neither fiction nor reality. Worst of all, the inspiring biopic and the bloody spectacle seem to occupy parallel historical time zones. Nigel Floyd
Weekly box office: Dhs89,690 Weekly admissions: 2,545 Total box office: Dhs2,392,623 Total admissions: 50,612
9 Chernobyl Diaries Director: Bradley Parker Stars: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, Olivia Dudley, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Dimitri Diatchenko, Devin Kelley
If, as some critics have claimed, The Cabin in the Woods made the horror genre obsolete, someone forgot to tell screenwriter Oren Peli. The Paranormal Activity auteur is having none of your sly postmodern chicanery; he’s content here to vaguely sketch a cast of young people and set them loose like rats in a maze. The maze is Pripyat, the radioactive city next to the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, and the maze is laden with traps Director Bradley Parker shakes his camera around a lot. By the end, it’s we in the audience who feel like test subjects, relenting to an unwelcome examination of the flinch reflex. Hank Sartin
Weekly box office: Dhs157,139 Weekly admissions: 3,988 Total box office: Dhs945,810 Total admissions: 25,518
8 The Avengers Director: Joss Whedon Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner
For those unfamiliar with the Marvel canon, the Avengers comics unite superheroes from across the company’s roster who are together tasked with taking on Loki, who plans to flood the world with evil skeleton monsters from outer space. It’s not rare to see a blockbuster skimp on plot, but that tendency is taken to new extremes here: the story is just a bare frame on which Whedon hangs his characters and action sequences. But that – and a few dodgy CGI effects – is the only major fault. This is as close as cinema gets to a fairground ride: it’s shiny, noisy and exhilarating. Whedon directs with a sledgehammer, bashing the audience, with action piled upon action.
The Avengers may not be the Joss Whedon movie everyone remembers in 2012, but it does offer this hugely talented writer-director the opportunity (and the budget) to show what he’s capable of. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs183,277 Weekly admissions: 5,283 Total box office: Dhs24,133,111 Total admissions: 543,341
7 The Lady Director: Luc Besson Stars: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett, Jonathan Woodhouse, Susan Wooldridge, Benedict Wong
Michelle Yeoh plays political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi in this biopic from Luc Besson. Focusing on her relationship with British husband Michael Aris (Thewlis), it tells the story of their enforced separation while the pro-democracy campaigner was under house arrest in Burma. Opening with Michael’s discovery that he has cancer, it unravels the build-up to Suu’s heartbreaking decision not to visit him in Britain, for fear of never returning to the people who elected her their leader.
In many ways it’s the story of the man behind the woman, and terrific performances from both Thewlis and Yeoh help deliver a mature love story. More complex is the telling of Aung San Suu Kyi’s political struggles: while her actions are inspiring, her character and motivations could use more screen time. The English dialogue sounds stilted in parts, not helped by one-dimensional performances from the Burmese baddies. Nonetheless, this is a worthwhile tribute with an awards-worthy performance from Yeoh. Anna Smith
Weekly box office: Dhs244,168 Weekly admissions: 6,676 Total box office: Dhs244,168 Total admissions: 6,676
6 Snow White and the Huntsman Director: Rupert Sanders Stars: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost
The casting of this Snow White story – about the fair maiden and the man ordered to kill her – was the subject of fierce rumours: the role of the huntsman was linked to Viggo Mortensen and Hugh Jackman before Thor’s Chris Hemsworth accepted. Time Out Dubai staff
Weekly box office: Dhs290,991 Weekly admissions: 8,162 Total box office: Dhs8,439,942 Total admissions: 222,136
5 Transit Director: Antonio Negret Stars: Jim Caviezel, James Frain, Elisabeth Röhm, Diora Baird, Harold Perrineau, Sterling Knight, Jake Cherry, Ryan Donowho
The Passion of the Christ star Jim Caviezel is Nate, a husband and father whose camping expedition turns nasty when a gang of thieves uses the family’s station wagon to stash their ill-gotten loot. What follows is a fairly tedious round of car chases, hostage crises and lots of lumbering about in the Louisiana swamps dodging bullets and ’gators. The direction is workmanlike, the editing too busy and the script flat, though the complexity in the family relationships adds interest. The cast is strong – Caviezel is joined by Englishman James Frain and the ever-watchable Harold Perrineau. But ultimately it’s a mess. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs667,851 Weekly admissions: 19,051 Total box office: Dhs667,851 Total admissions: 19,051
4 Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen
The first two Madagascar flicks earned more than Dhs3 billion, so it’s no surprise that the creators of the third instalment have pulled out all the stops on this one, sending Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman on an adventure that spans three continents in eye-popping, neon-bright 3D. While it’s all very impressive, the story zips and zings so quickly from one clever set piece to the next – it’s a heist flick set in Monte Carlo! No wait, it’s a psychedelic circus romance! – that it’s impossible, especially for kids, to catch all the nuances and jokes. And unfortunately, the message of discovering yourself on life’s journey gets lost in the hubbub. Marisa Cohen
Weekly box office: Dhs928,582 Weekly admissions: 24,507 Total box office: Dhs13,626,560 Total admissions: 319,341
3 Ice Age: Continental Drift Director: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier Stars: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Nick Frost, Queen Latifah
Blue Sky Studios’ series of family-friendly cartoons about the adventures of three prehistoric chums – Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabre-tooth tiger – gears up for a fourth instalment. Its predecessor, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, is currently the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time, making this follow-up wholly inevitable. This time, the movie is setting out to sea, as the continents begin to shift and our heroes are set adrift on a floating iceberg, where they encounter pirates, sea monsters and discover a new country. Time Out Dubai staff
Weekly box office: Dhs2,411,351 Weekly admissions: 59,882 Total box office: Dhs8,773,289 Total admissions: 203,821
2 Bol Bachchan (Hindi) Director: Rohit Shetty Stars: Ajay Devgn, Asin and Abhishek Bachchan
Director Rohit Shetty returns with yet another action-packed comedy and the result is more laughs and even more agonising loud SFX-laden action sequences. All the familiar tropes from Shetty’s popular Golmaal series are here: fights with numerous flying and rolling bodies and cars, dialogues filled with puns, an ensemble cast and a screenplay so crammed with gags that the story takes a back seat. This time around, Shetty’s tried-and-tested formula has a bunch of new faces including Abhishek Bachchan.
Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) arrives in Ranakpur with his sister, Sania (Asin), and immediately lands himself in a mess when he hides his Muslim identity from his stern boss, Prithviraj (Ajay Devgn). Soon he’s spinning a whole web of lies with the help of his friend, Ravi (Krishna Abhishekh), cooking up a new mother (Archana Puran Singh) and a lookalike step-brother – Bachchan himself as a gay kathak dance teacher (original indeed). To give the ladies something to do, Prithviraj’s ex bears an uncanny resemblance to Sania, while Prithviraj’s sister Radhika (Prachi Desai) romances Abbas. The game of deception goes on until Shetty and his dialogue writers Farhad-Sajid run out of jokes.
Bol Bachchan is less concerned with weighty issues of secularism and more engrossed in tickling the funny bone at all costs. This is a Shetty film so the audiences will figure out the conclusion by the halfway mark but may well stay on to listen to the jokes, the best of which are allotted to Devgn, whose character spouts inane English translations of Hindi phrases. Suhani Singh
Weekly box office: Dhs2,518,984 Weekly admissions: 77,482 Total box office: Dhs2,518,984 Total admissions: 77,482
1 The Amazing Spider-Man Director: Marc Webb Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Campbell Scott
It’s web 2.0. Five years since Sam Raimi hung up his ‘I Love NY’ cap and Tobey Maguire ditched the Spandex in Spider-Man 3, it’s the turn of director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and British actor Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) to turn back the Spidey-clock and start again. Memories are short in Hollywood, and generations are measured in dog years.
This version of the Marvel Comics staple is an origin tale (dead dad, classroom bullying, spider-bite) which is low on psychological trauma and high on teen woes. Again we learn how Peter Parker (Garfield) lost his parents and gained a mask. But the evolution into a swinging city vigilante is framed by recognisable adolescent awkwardness and romantic troubles involving his schoolmate and new girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Stone), daughter of the city’s chief of police (Denis Leary). Garfield is more robust and charming than Maguire, and he forms a pleasing Brit-acting axis with Rhys Ifans, who plays his adversary Dr Curt Connors, later The Lizard.
Webb and the film’s writers have done a smart job of making a snappy blockbuster with few pretensions: The Amazing Spider-Man is light on its feet and feels both intimate and expansive, smoothly making the transition from hanging out in school corridors to hanging off the sides of buildings. Webb offers no radical rethink about how to craft a comic-book movie, but he delivers a enjoyable rush over a patchwork of genres – romance, action, sci-fi, horror and comedy – while avoiding bumps at the joins. The action sequences are gripping and have a bouncy, parkour-style giddiness to them. Garfield gets the best lines and is a comic, often slapstick, presence for much of the movie as he learns how to cope with his new powers.
Spidey is the ultimate New York superhero, and this is full of nods to the city’s movie heritage. There’s a touch of Woody Allen to some of Garfield’s twitchy scenes, while King Kong looms over Spidey’s skyscraper-top encounter with The Lizard. There’s even a scene where Parker mopes down the street with his shoulders hanging low like De Niro in Taxi Driver. This lone gun with a red sock over his head also feels an urge to clean up the streets – but his New York is mostly benign, a place where crane drivers and cops wave him on his way and the skyline sparkles in approval. Soft, yes, but also satisfying. Dave Calhoun
Weekly box office: Dhs10,515,868 Weekly admissions: 230,126 Total box office: Dhs10,515,868 Total admissions: 230,126