See which movie is the premium offering at the cinema this week
Time Out Dubai staff
10 The Bourne Legacy Director: Tony Gilroy Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Donna Murphy, Michael Chernus
No offence to Matt Damon, whose sinewy physicality provides its own kind of charisma, but do action heroes come any duller than amnesia-stricken supersoldier Jason Bourne? The more this humourless cipher learned about his mysterious past, over the course of three brisk, mechanically efficient chase pictures, the less interesting he became. So it’s a relief, not a liability, that the titular operative makes only a photographic cameo in The Bourne Legacy, which passes the torch to a new CIA lab rat gone rogue.
Introduced in the middle of Alaskan training, chemically enhanced field agent Aaron Cross immediately registers as a more vulnerable and sympathetic protagonist than his predecessor. Much of that has to do with the fact that he’s played by Hurt Locker headliner – and the Mission: Impossible franchise’s new leading man – Jeremy Renner, who lends a human heartbeat to a franchise that has long trafficked in coldly impersonal spy games.
After a crowded first act, partially set during the events of 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum and featuring enough global setting changes to give audiences jet lag, Cross discovers he’s a marked man. Going on the run from his makers, he eventually joins forces with a government scientist (Weisz) also on the execution list.
Director and series screenwriter Tony Gilroy makes these familiar plot points feel fresh again, staging the requisite set pieces – rooftop escape, metropolitan car chase – with a new-found clarity that’s a long way from the handheld incoherence of Paul Greengrass’s Bourne films. A too-abrupt ending lays the groundwork for more Bourne adventures, but that’s not such a depressing proposition, if we can expect future sequels to be as satisfying as this one. AA Dowd
Weekly box office: Dhs265,428 Weekly admissions: 6,122 Total box office: Dhs5,381,360 Total admissions: 136,541
9 The Illusionauts Director: Eduardo Schuldt Stars: Kathy Borland, Abraham Vurnbrand
The latest Peruvian family animation from established kids’ director Eduardo Schuldt, who this time has 3D to play with. The adventures of Aristóteles, Nicole and Petit Pan have a scientific twist, but it’s mainly fantasy. TO
Weekly box office: Dhs329,857 Weekly admissions: 7,468 Total box office: Dhs329,857 Total admissions: 7,468
8 Hope Springs Director: David Frankel Stars: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Jean Smart, Ben Rappaport, Marin Ireland, Patch Darragh, Brett Rice
In Hope Springs, Omaha couple Kay (Streep) and Arnold (Lee Jones) reinvigorate their 31-year marriage by flying to Maine and attending two weeks of intensive counselling under the guidance of patient analyst Steve Carell. This isn’t a psychologically acute study of characters with real depths and tics struggling to understand each other. No, Hope Springs insists on maintaining just enough comedy to keep the project commercial, which essentially means reducing two protagonists with a long-shared history to caricatures. Ben Kenigsberg
Weekly box office: Dhs284,319 Weekly admissions: 7,974 Total box office: Dhs284,319 Total admissions: 7,974
7 The Campaign Director: Jay Roach Stars: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Katherine LaNasa, Sarah Baker, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, Brian Cox, Karen Maruyama
In politics, the wisdom goes, we want a narrative – the one about the shining city on a hill or a town called Hope. In comedy, not so much. Director Jay Roach has two brilliant improvisers on hand, but The Campaign suffers from a compounded sense of fatigue, plotwise. First, you’ve seen these characters before, and better: Will Ferrell’s scruples-free North Carolina congressman is a shoutier version of his legendary take on George ‘Dubya’ Bush, and no old gag goes unhatched (schoolroom grammar errors?). Meanwhile, Zach Galifianakis is getting dangerously close to turning his twittering quasi-prig – here, an underdog contender for office – into a cliché, after two Hangover movies and Due Date.
The deeper, more discouraging problem; the time is ripe for a seriously funny Tea Party satire, and if these guys can’t do it, who can? The Will Ferrell Talladega Nights formula is beginning to seem watered down. Joshua Rothkopf
Weekly box office: Dhs355,241 Weekly admissions: 8,548 Total box office: Dhs1,356,491 Total admissions: 33,011
6 Hit and Run Director: David Palmer, Dax Shepard Stars: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Rosenbaum, Jess Rowland, Carly Hatter, Steve Agee
Dax Shepard plays Charlie Bronson, a former thief living in witness-protection with his girlfriend, Annie (Bell, aka. Mrs Dax Shepard). But when the lady gets a job opportunity in LA, our hero’s chequered past – which includes a vengeful gangster wannabe and a buried satchel of money – comes back to haunt him. Interminable scenes of macho posturing and mock-Tarantino dialogue mark time between a number of ineptly staged car chases. Keith Uhlich
Weekly box office: Dhs308,356 Weekly admissions: 8,885 Total box office: Dhs308,356 Total admissions: 8,885
5 ParaNorman Director: Chris Butler, Sam Fell Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Tucker Albrizzi, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch
Soulfully voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In, The Road), 11-year-old Norman sees dead people, though most of them are as friendly as Casper. His deceased grandmother, for example, is now a chatty green cloud that’s settled permanently in front of the TV. Norman’s real problem is that his ghost-whispering ways have made him a town pariah; like Coraline, which was produced by the same animation company, this is a 3D adventure headlined by an unusually lonely child protagonist.
It’s also a throwback to a bygone era of less-sanitised kiddie fare, when movies of this sort were allowed to be kind of gross and a little scary. Dense with verbal and visual humour, ParaNorman builds to a surprisingly moving climax that advocates letting go of your grudges and forgiving life’s bullies. It’s a vital takeaway for young viewers still battling the monsters of childhood, or for the adults still haunted by them. AA Dowd
Weekly box office: Dhs349,464 Weekly admissions: 9,094 Total box office: Dhs1,110,492 Total admissions: 27,424
‘Sharks in a supermarket’ was how the producer sold this Aussie thriller to fresh-faced director Chris Brown. That four-word synopsis is all you need to know: a freak tsunami floods the store, leaving a couple trapped inside with a couple of hungry man-eaters – which makes them Bait. And as if Piranha 3D and Shark Night 3D hadn’t gouged the format enough, it’s in tooth-tastic 3D. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs871,126 Weekly admissions: 18,424 Total box office: Dhs871,126 Total admissions: 18,424
3 Resident Evil: Retribution Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Stars: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Bingbing Li, Boris Kodjoe, Johann Urb, Robin Kasyanov
A cacophony of abstract action-horror mayhem, this fifth entry in the video gameinspired franchise finds superheroine Alice (Jovovich) massacring zombies as per usual as she attempts to escape an underwater complex. Retribution’s story brings back familiar places and faces, including Michelle Rodriguez’s resurrected angel of death, and makes little sense. No matter, though; from the opening viewed-in-rewind set piece to the sweeping final image of apocalyptic warfare, director Paul WS Anderson utilises slow-motion 3D to hyperbolic effect while again casting Jovovich as the epitome of badass femininity. It’s a late franchise entry that distills genre elements down to their beautiful-nightmare aesthetic core. We’re really not sure how long they can keep this series up, though. Nick Schager
Weekly box office: Dhs810,811 Weekly admissions: 18,542 Total box office: Dhs3,665,336 Total admissions: 79,133
2 Freelancers Director: Jessy Terrero Stars: 50 Cent, Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker, Malcolm Goodwin, Ryan O'Nan, Anabelle Acosta
What on earth is acting royalty Robert De Niro doing larking about with rapper 50 Cent in this New York cop fodder? The story follows a slain NYPD officer’s son who falls in with his father’s former partner and a team of rogue cops. ‘The only way out is the sound of body bags and bagpipes,’ growls De Niro. Or, save your cash and don’t go in for this nonsense in the first place. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs927,141 Weekly admissions: 23,214 Total box office: Dhs927,141 Total admissions: 23,214
1 Premium Rush Director: David Koepp Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Sean Kennedy, Anthony Chisholm, Ashley Austin Morris, Wolé Parks
The idea behind the film is genius. Who watches a city car chase in a movie and believes it? The average traffic speed in the centre of most cities rarely reaches 10kph. But on a bike: now you’re talking.
This wildly fun New York chase movie runs on adrenaline rather than plot. Bike courier Wilee (Gordon-Levitt) has an envelope to deliver and a bad guy (Shannon) wants to stop him. It’s fast and furious. Cyclists, you’ll be watching with your hands over your face as Wilee bounces off opening taxi doors.
The action scenes hum, because they look real, performed by stuntmen riding real bikes on real streets – including a knockout turn by Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill (look him up immediately on YouTube if you’ve never seen him in action). A blast. Cath Clarke
Weekly box office: Dhs1,281,225 Weekly admissions: 31,840 Total box office: Dhs1,281,225 Total admissions: 31,840