The biggest movies at the UAE box office the week of September 12-18
Time Out staff
10 The Conjuring Director: James Wan Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver
So much is thrown at us by today’s hyperventilating horror that stillness has become the scariest move. Actually, that’s always been the case, but it takes a retro-fashioned winner like The Conjuring to remind us that if the creaky, old house ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Styled like a forgotten Nixon-era classic and set in the autumn of 1971, James Wan’s latest sheds all traces of Cabin in the Woods snark: no mobile phones and no sarcasm either, as based-on-real-life heroes Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson), a married pair of self-described demonologists, deliver a college lecture about possession. Joshua Rothkopf
Weekly box office: Dhs153,680 Weekly admissions: 4,328 Total box office: Dhs3,993,255 Total admissions: 108,870
9 Turbo 3D Director: David Soren Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Michael Peña, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader
Elation: That’s what Theo, a garden snail with dreams of race-car-driving glory, feels when, thanks to a nitrous oxide mishap, he becomes a speed demon and a serious contender in the Indy 500 in the process. Deflation: That’s what you’ll feel after sitting through this DreamWorks animated feature that laps the competition in being merely generic.
All Turbo does is give Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L Jackson and Snoop Dogg the easiest pay cheques they’ll ever make we imagine and its corporate overlords the chance to sell a few toys. David Fear
Weekly box office: Dhs252,664 Weekly admissions: 5,576 Total box office: Dhs3,662,060 Total admissions: 84,465
8 No One Lives Director: Ryûhei Kitamura Stars: Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar, Gary Grubbs, Lee Tergesen, America Olivo, Beau Knapp, Lindsey Shaw
So there’s this group of bad guys who think they’re really bad. They rob houses while the owners are away, and the team’s resident psycho (Derek Magyar) will gladly put a bullet in the cranium of anyone who interrupts their spree. But then these bad guys cross paths with an even badder lowlife – an unnamed psychopath (Evans) who’s travelling cross-country with a kidnapped heiress (Clemens) in his trunk. One carjacking and an incredibly inept use of handcuffs later, this criminal crew has been marked for gruesome death via everything from crossbow to wood chipper. Keith Uhlich
Weekly box office: Dhs371,800 Weekly admissions: 10,576 Total box office: Dhs371,800 Total admissions: 10,576
7 2 Guns Director: Baltasar Kormákur Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos
In this star vehicle for Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, the headlights are on full beam but the engine is struggling in second gear. Some will welcome the very notion of an old-school cop movie which hasn’t been CGI-ed up the creek, but they’d welcome it even more if it had a plot we cared about and fresher car chases, shootouts and punch-ups. In Tex-Mex territory teeming with crime cartels, Washington and Wahlberg choose the wrong bank to rob. Complications escalate to a tiresome degree, leeching the fun from the movie, which is slung together with cold competence by Icelandic maverick Baltasar Kormákur (101 Reykjavik). Final tally: 30 mins absolutely primo banter, 80 mins gubbins. Occasionally fun, but those numbers don’t quite add up. Trevor Johnston
Weekly box office: Dhs483,752 Weekly admissions: 12,754 Total box office: Dhs5,468,002 Total admissions: 133,257
6 The Colony Director: Jeff Renfroe Stars: Kevin Zegers, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, Charlotte Sullivan, Dru Viergever, Atticus Dean Mitchell, John Tench
It’s 2045 and human life is reliant on weather machines for survival. When the machines break down it begins to snow, sending the Earth into a new ice age. People are forced to retreat underground and with food becoming increasingly scarce for the disease-afflicted population, things turn increasingly desperate as meanness ensues and cannibalism becomes de rigueur. Two soldiers Briggs and Mason (Fishburne and Paxton) endeavour to control their bunker, Colony 7, in this science fiction horror romp that’s received an icy reception from critics. Peter Feely
Weekly box office: Dhs675,074 Weekly admissions: 18,671 Total box office: Dhs675,074 Total admissions: 18,671
5 Riddick Director: David Twohy Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Raoul Trujillo
A surprise hit on its release in 2000, Pitch Black was touted to kick-off an original sci-fi franchise, and launch Vin Diesel into the Hollywood stratosphere. Sequel The Chronicles of Riddick sputtered on arrival though, while Diesel struggled to establish himself just as the traditional macho tough guys in Hollywood action films were starting to go out of fashion. With Riddick, Diesel – also acting as producer – is trying to inject new life into the series that made his name. The plot, with its inter-planetary combat between Necromongers and Furya, sounds more Battlefield Earth than Star Wars or Blade Runner, but this could provide some pared-back genre appeal à la Dredd last September. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs842,386 Weekly admissions: 21,652 Total box office: Dhs3,725,800 Total admissions: 92,475
4 We're the Millers Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn
The problem with writing an accurate review of We’re The Millers is not trying to interpret the subtle nuances of Jennifer Aniston’s performance. Nor is it offering an informed critique of the film’s thoroughly American brand of multiplex humour. It’s simply finding a way to write about the movie that wouldn’t make your grandmother balk with embarrassment, or your grandfather unleash a torrent against modern-day morality.
David (Sudeikis) is something of a failed entrepreneur, peddling a particular product to the same clients he has had since he was in college. His neighbour Rose (Aniston), well let’s just say she works in a bar. When David is robbed by some teens, he’s left owing the kingpin of his supply chain big-time – and is asked (okay, forced) to take a trip to Mexico in comeuppance. He decides his expedition will attract less heat if he poses as a Middle American family going on their summer hols, and so grabs the neighbourhood teen dork (Will Poulter) and a homeless waif (Emma Roberts, yep, Julia’s niece), and hits the road in a lumbering motor home that provides their cover.
This central conceit is pure silliness, and what follows comes comfortably from the school of farce. But there’s enough brains to lift this above your typical post-Hangover road trip gross-out, and despite some misfires of taste, the script is littered with genuine laugh out loud moments. But what puts this a cut above the obvious is a great supporting cast – Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn make the movie as the fellow family of road-trippers they encounter – and the human beating heart at its core. There’s something resembling chemistry between Aniston and Sudeikis, and when the journey ends inevitably with Hollywood idealism, it feels like the satisfying conclusion of a familiar homecoming, rather than another road trip down Hackneyed Avenue. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs1,115,171 Weekly admissions: 26,543 Total box office: Dhs3,064,520 Total admissions: 72,809
3 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Director: Thor Freudenthal Stars: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Anthony Head
In theory, the idea of populating one of history’s greatest imaginative landscapes with the cast of America’s Brattiest Teens isn’t so crazy. Put a filmmaker with some wit in charge – Joss Whedon springs to mind – and the result could be a charming clash of cultures. Sadly, no-one involved with Sea of Monsters seems to possess much humour: this is a witless, heartless, imagination-free slice of kiddy bait.
We find our half-Greek-god hero (Lerman) at a rustic summer camp for the cast-off children of Olympian deities – imagine an austerity-slashed Hogwarts. But when this mythic holiday camp comes under attack from a pack of preening prep-school types, Percy is forced to seek out the Golden Fleece. There’s really nothing to recommend Sea of Monsters: the young cast are smug and forgettable; the action sequences barely get going before they’re over; and the whole affair is riddled with product placement and pop cultural references – one girl even seems to possess a magic iPad. Keep the kids at home. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs1,546,956 Weekly admissions: 33,301 Total box office: Dhs1,546,956 Total admissions: 33,301
2 Planes Director: Klay Hall Stars: Carlos Alazraqui, Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, John Cleese
This simple, amiable Disney animation is a spin-off from Pixar’s Cars films and, like them, features no humans at all – just talking planes with big eyes and grins, as well as the odd truck and train. It’s an endearing enough David-and-Goliath tale, aimed squarely at younger kids, as small town, crop-dusting plane Dusty (Dane Cook) leaves behind the day job to enter a global aerial race that takes him from the US to Iceland, from India to Mexico. Dusty is assisted by some long time mechanical buddies and coached by a retired warplane. His fellow contestants include Bulldog (Cleese), a Brit with a stiff upper nose cone, and Ripslinger, a sly American who can’t bear the thought of being beaten by Dusty. Planes isn’t a Pixar film, even if it’s related to one (Disney bought Pixar in 2006), and there’s nothing groundbreaking about the animation or script. That said, the characters and story still offer low-key charms. David Calhoun
Weekly box office: Dhs1,560,857 Weekly admissions: 36,459 Total box office: Dhs1,560,857 Total admissions: 36,459
1 Getaway Director: Courtney Solomon Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Paul Freeman, Bruce Payne, Velislav Pavlov, Dejan Angelov
Speaking over the phone, a mysterious villain (Voight, seen primarily in mouth close-ups) orders former racing superstar Brent Magna (Hawke) to steal an armoured hot rod and, with said vehicle’s owner (Gomez) in tow, complete a series of daredevil missions if he ever wants to see his kidnapped wife again. That sort of ludicrous premise should be ripe for outrageous B-movie thrills. Unfortunately, this genre cheapie – no relation to the Jim Thompson novel of a similar name or its 1972 Steve McQueen-Sam Peckinpah adaptation – is, despite a constant focus on auto mayhem, a lumbering dud incapable of getting out of first gear.
Civilians are put in harm’s way. Fireballs are escaped. Beaucoup cop cruisers are flipped. Yet director Courtney Solomon pours on the surveillance-cam POVs and edits his set pieces so manically that reckless thrills are sabotaged. That’s a near-fatal flaw, as Getaway cares little about plot and even less about credibility (cue a pouty-mouthed Gomez spouting nuggets of wisdom about computer servers and ISPs). If you can’t even deliver blatant car-nography, what’s the point? Nick Schager Weekly box office: Dhs2,141,593 Weekly admissions: 53,011 Total box office: Dhs2,141,593 Total admissions: 53,011