The Lego people take on Will Ferrell and Robocop at the turnstiles
Time Out Dubai staff
10 Gladiators of Rome Director: Iginio Straffi Stars: Luca Argentero, Laura Chiatti, Julianne Hough
In this animated film set in ancient Rome, Young Timo is an orphan of Pompeii’s terrible eruption. Timo is adopted by general Chirone and raised in the most famous Gladiator’s Academy in Rome. Unfortunately Timo has not acquired his step-father’s gladiatorial skills, and is more interested in hanging out with his friends. Timo goes to great lengths to avoid his stepfather’s training sessions until he meets Lucilla and falls in love, and in order to marry her, he must first win the tournament at the grand opening of the Colosseum. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs155,759 Weekly admissions: 4,471 Total box office: Dhs580,865 Total admissions: 16,686
9 Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon Director: Eric Styles Stars: Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren, Yi Huang
This straight-to video-China set action flick is well received with a cinematic release in Dubai. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs180,545 Weekly admissions: 5,138 Total box office: Dhs180,545 Total admissions: 5,138
8 Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie Director: Oliver Jean-Marie
A full length feature spin off from the popular French kids’ cartoon. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs288,769 Weekly admissions: 8,287 Total box office: Dhs288,769 Total admissions: 8,287
7 American Hustle Director: David O. Russell Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner
You’ll want to love Irving (Christian Bale), the half-smart schmo first seen finessing an elaborately glued comb-over in the mirror – and you’ll hate Richie (Bradley Cooper), the aggro Fed who, with a flick of his hand, ruins it. These are but initial impressions: American Hustle, a dynamite crime comedy and identity meltdown that can rekindle one’s faith in movies, will no doubt jostle allegiances like tourists in the back of a cab. There’s still the matter of Sydney (Amy Adams) – or maybe she’s Lady Edith Greensly, a British financier clad in plunging 1970s couture.
All of them are in on a scam (and a love triangle) that takes them from the storage space of a dry cleaner to the undulating dancefloor of Studio 54, and even the hotel-room buggings of the Abscam sting. The scope of the script (by Eric Warren Singer and director David O Russell) is amazingly wide for what always felt like a grubby chapter of post-Watergate malfeasance.
But Russell has figured out how to make his performers fly – the actors are all playing actors, basically – and he’s brought back his original neuroticism to boot.
Does American Hustle have heart – does it have importance? Such naive questions: It has Jennifer Lawrence blowing up a microwave. When Hollywood is made to go blazingly fast like this, it’s an offence to try to complain. Joshua Rothkopf
Weekly box office: Dhs363,609 Weekly admissions: 9,218 Total box office: Dhs1,578,316 Total admissions: 37,566
6 RoboCop Director: José Padilha Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Douglas Urbanski, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton
Try as we might, we just can’t get behind this remake of Paul Verhoeven’s ultra-violent 1987 classic about a cyborg law enforcer. Perhaps it’s the fact that Verhoeven’s film still stands up, 27 years on – the effects look great, the action sequences are flawless, and the satire still bites. Or perhaps it’s the fact that director Jose Padilha’s previous work – notably Elite Squad and its sequel – while perfectly solid, never really got the pulse racing. Still, the cast is strong – we’re not totally sure what to expect from Swedish newcomer Joel Kinnaman, but having Gary Oldman and Samuel L Jackson on board does help sweeten the pill. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs474,342 Weekly admissions: 12,146 Total box office: Dhs5,485,630 Total admissions: 119,772
5 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Director: Adam McKay Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Judah Nelson
It should have been the top story, but instead it’s been bumped to the back of the hour: ‘...and in other news, the Anchorman sequel is perfectly adequate’. Yes, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is not the disaster some feared it might be, but neither is it the endlessly quotable, deliciously idiotic follow-on so many of us were optimistically anticipating. This may be the first time in history that the marketing campaign has proven more entertaining than the movie itself.
The story is unnecessarily convoluted, following San Diego’s finest news source Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his nemesis-turned-muse Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) as they battle, break up, reunite, and navigate the new world of 24-hour reporting. It’s a joy welcoming Ron back into our lives, and it’s Ferrell’s fierce, edge-of-excessive performance that once again holds the movie together. Yet somewhere in the plot-heavy mid-section, Anchorman 2 crosses that fine line between enjoyably effortless and just plain lazy.
There are giggles throughout – a hefty percentage of them provided by Steve Carell as congenital moron Brick Tamland – but precious few big laughs. Too many of the gags involve racial misunderstandings that might have worked three decades ago, and too many talented cast members – notably Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig – are squandered. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs643,516 Weekly admissions: 16,087 Total box office: Dhs643,516 Total admissions: 16,087
4 The Lego Movie Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller Stars: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
Family-friendly fun for kids that love the little plastic bricks. In this animated film a LEGO figure is caught up in a case of mistaken identity and is believed to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, and is recruited to join a mission to stop the evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the entire universe together. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs763,178 Weekly admissions: 18,059 Total box office: Dhs3,236,581 Total admissions: 75,164
3 The Monuments Men Director: George Clooney Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban
What price art? George Clooney’s true-life WWII adventure puts the question up front, as curator and conservationist Frank Stokes (Clooney) lays it all out for US President Roosevelt: Hitler and his cronies have stolen tons of the great works (Picasso, Vermeer, Van Eyck), and it’s imperative to retrieve them. ‘If you destroy an entire generation of people’s culture, it’s as if they never existed,’ he says to a skeptical Roosevelt, who’s more concerned with flesh and blood than he is with oil on canvas. Still, the President permits Stokes to convene a ragtag team of operatives to salvage what they can as US forces push in from Normandy.
You might think you’re watching Stripes as opposed to Saving Private Ryan, as the group gathers for a broadly comic basic-training sequence. Here are the out-of-shape Americans (Bill Murray, John Goodman and Bob Balaban). There is the Englishman (Hugh Bonneville) tempted by drink, the Frenchman (Jean Dujardin) with the slyly salacious grin, and the German expat (Dimitri Leonidas) who proves himself a battlefield asset. And finally comes an especially bland Matt Damon, as an art restorer trying to woo resistance fighter Cate Blanchett.
Things don’t exactly improve once the action shifts to Europe. Ostensibly funny interludes like Murray and Balaban’s culture-clash encounter with a rogue SS soldier bump uneasily against sentimental scenes, such as a remember-home montage cringingly scored to ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. Yet Clooney gets great work from Downton Abbey’s Bonneville – notably in an emotionally charged scene revolving around Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges – and has a fine monologue himself, in which Stokes dresses down a high-ranking German commander (a moving encapsulation of the American spirit at its best). The rest of the film is otherwise content to be another slipshod and banal, if always watchable, Hollywood co-opting of history. Keith Uhlich
Weekly box office: Dhs890,616 Weekly admissions: 21,578 Total box office: Dhs890,616 Total admissions: 21,578
2 Pompeii Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Stars: Dylan Schombing, Jean-Francois Lachapelle, Rebecca Eady, Kiefer Sutherland, Sasha Roiz, Jean Frenette, Joe Pingue
Action master Paul WS Anderson (Death Race, Alien vs Predator) takes the directorial helm, and Game of Thrones hunk Kit Harington steps into the lead role of Milo, a slave turned gladiator who must rescue his lady love as Vesuvius erupts around them. The trailers showcase some mighty vistas and explosive volcano effects – but don’t expect historical realism to be high on Anderson’s agenda. If this can give us characters to care about even a little bit, it should be a fun slice of old-school mullets ’n’ sandals entertainment. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,446,281 Weekly admissions: 22,655 Total box office: Dhs1,446,281 Total admissions: 22,655
1 3 Days to Kill Director: McG Stars: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Amber Heard, Tómas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel
Facing a terminal disease, spy Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) has decided to give up his dangerous, high-stakes life in order to rebuild his relationship with his estranged wife and daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), whom he previously pushed away to keep them out of harm’s way. However, in exchange for a potentially lifesaving drug, he must complete one final mission: apprehend one of the world’s most ruthless terrorists while looking after his teenage daughter in her mother’s absence. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs2,049,865 Weekly admissions: 49,153 Total box office: Dhs2,049,865 Total admissions: 49,153