10 Lamo Akhza Director: Amr Salama Stars: Ahmed Dash, Kinda Aloush
A comedy Arabic film directed by Amr Salama. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs181,586 Weekly admissions: 4,881 Total box office: Dhs181,586 Total admissions: 4,881
9 Open Grave Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego Stars: Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Josie Ho
A man wakes up in a deep open grave among a pile of dead bodies, with no recollection of how he got there, or what he’s doing there. As the film unravels he meets others, who like him, have a bout of amnesia, and he must work out if they are the killers or survivors and what brought them all together. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs206,339 Weekly admissions: 5,714 Total box office: Dhs206,339 Total admissions: 5,714
8 Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy Director: Peggy Holmes Stars: Mae Whitman, Christina Hendricks, Tom Hiddleston
Goody two-wings Tinker Bell (who’s had a personality transplant since JM Barrie wrote her as a sneaky little minx in Peter Pan) is back for another Disney cartoon adventure. This time around Mad Men star Christina Hendricks is the voice of rebellious Zarina, a fairy with a Tina Turner haircut who steals the gang’s pixie dust and runs away to join the pirates. Tom Hiddleston gives it some welly as the voice of young James Hook, not yet a captain and still in possession of both hands. For a kids’ film, this has an unnecessarily twisty plot that Christopher Nolan would be proud of (expect a lot of ‘Who’s that?’ and ‘Why is she up there?’ from five-year-olds). But there are some gorgeous Disney touches, rabble-rousing songs on the pirate ship and the usual ‘best friends for ever’ message. Cath Clarke
Weekly box office: Dhs604,395 Weekly admissions: 14,768 Total box office: Dhs604,395 Total admissions: 14,768
7 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo & Joss Whedon Stars: Chris Evans, Frank Grillo, Sebastian Stan
With his biceps and righteousness pumped to the max, Chris Evans’s superhero Captain America is an enjoyable square peg in the round hole of the sleek Marvel universe. That continues in this involving sequel to 2011’s WW2-set Captain America: The First Avenger, placing the character in an unusually shady political landscape.
We’re in present-day Washington, DC, a faintly utopian place where glass buildings gleam and Steve Rogers (Evans) can befriend former army supersoldier Sam (Anthony Mackie) during a pleasant morning’s jog. But it’s also the site of a massive military build-up: three huge ‘helicarriers’ are stored under the city’s river, primed to pry into people’s privacy a bit too impressively. Surveillance anxieties in a spandex-clad comic-book blockbuster?
Just as you’re savouring the hint of an ethically compromised, eye-patched Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), along comes the film’s secret weapon. Robert Redford plays against lefty type as an ominous high-ranking official thrilled by his new toys. Too quickly to generate proper suspense (yet causing plenty of giddy disbelief), The Winter Soldier nods to ’70s classics The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor. It results in a vertiginous, turned-over action epic where US senators whisper allegiance to terrorist organisation Hydra and good guys are on the run.
The Marvel faithful will turn up for the action scenes, and the directors, brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, add an uncommon sharpness to sequences of urban warfare – Heat-grade bullet volleys have a real ping to them. But unlike the magically well-balanced The Avengers (2012), there’s a touch of character bloat here: the title actually alludes to a vicious steel-armed threat (Sebastian Stan) who never quite develops into a distinct opponent. Scarlett Johansson doesn’t have a hard time commanding attention as Black Widow, though you’d think she would have earned a more complex role by now. Still, this instalment delivers a heavy and welcome dose of paranoia, administered between fleetly paced smackdowns. Joshua Rothkopf
Weekly box office: Dhs771,091 Weekly admissions: 16,576 Total box office: Dhs14,027,802 Total admissions: 296,949
6 Transcendence Director: Wally Pfister Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman
Computers are clever, right? Well, we’d better hope they don’t get any cleverer. In this directorial debut for Dark Knight cinematographer Wally Pfister, Rebecca Hall plays a scientist and academic whose deceased husband’s consciousness (a non-corporeal Johnny Depp) is now housed in a state-of-the-art computer. But as controversy grows worldwide about the ethics of building a machine that can outthink a human, will Dr Kate ever get her beloved back again? This sounds like popcorn thrills with a sharp techno-thriller edge, and the impressive cast also includes Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, and Cillian Murphy. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs724,451 Weekly admissions: 17,027 Total box office: Dhs2,428,940 Total admissions: 52,558
5 In the Blood Director: John Stockwell Stars: Gina Carano, Cam Gigandet, Danny Trejo
A wife’s dream holiday in the Caribbean turns becomes a nightmare when her husband goes missing. Gina Carano, an actress who made her name as a muay Thai kickboxing fighter, plays a hard-hitting woman on a mission who will stop at nothing to find out what happened to her other half, even if it means taking down every man that gets in her way. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs701,061 Weekly admissions: 18,127 Total box office: Dhs701,061 Total admissions: 18,127
4 Brick Mansions Director: Camille Delamarre Stars: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA
One of the saddest things about any actor’s untimely death is watching their final films emerge into cinemas, and wondering if each one is going to be a fitting tribute or a pitiful travesty. Brick Mansions could be either. Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker, killed in a fatal crash last year, stars as Damien Collier, an undercover cop who infiltrates a street gang (we really have been here before) to get his hands on the boss’ neutron bomb (okay, that’s new). It’s a remake of the French film District 13, and was written and produced by Luc Besson, whose track record hasn’t exactly been stellar of late. Perhaps luckily, this won’t be Walker’s final screen appearance – that’s the entirely fitting Fast & Furious 7, out next summer. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs867,682 Weekly admissions: 24,301 Total box office: Dhs3,457,905 Total admissions: 90,755
3 Snowpiercer Director: Joon-ho Bong Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
Eight years have passed since Korean director Bong Joon-ho stumbled upon the French comic serial La Tranceperceneige, and spotted the cinematic potential in its tale of the sole human survivors of an apocalyptic ice age living aboard a high-speed train in perpetual motion. In the time it’s taken him to bring the project to fruition, he’s polished off two features (including 2006’s The Host) and a short that have cemented his reputation as one of his country’s premier auteurs.
The film’s ambitious scale – the special effects team conjures up some of the most gorgeous hyperborean landscapes ever to hit the screen – may go some way to explaining the prolonged gestation period; but in other respects the film feels a tad rushed and unfocused (indeed, the radical cuts made to the US release suggest creative conflicts of interest behind the scenes). The trenchant social critique of the original is diluted by the action scenes, while certain characters – including that played by Bong regular Song Kang-ho – are left underdeveloped. Yet with every dreamlike visual set-piece, the beautiful absurdity of this Noah’s Ark scenario is reinforced to haunting effect. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,163,382 Weekly admissions: 27,507 Total box office: Dhs1,163,382 Total admissions: 27,507
2 Rio 2 Director: Carlos Saldanha Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement
Carlos Saldanha is all heart. From the Ice Age series, which the Brazilian co-directed, through to the Rio franchise, every movie he makes is stuffed with warmth, charm and lessons about responsibility and friendship. Sure, they can tip over into sentimentality – there’s a lullaby scene in Rio 2 that’ll have cynics reaching for sick bags – but there’s no denying the integrity.
Rio 2 finds our avian hero Blue (voiced by Eisenberg) living happily with his wife and chicks in Brazil. But when an entire flock of their rare species, the Spix’s Macaw, is discovered deep in the Amazon, Blue and his brood swoop off to investigate.
The middle hour runs perilously close to the story of Meet the Parents, and a subplot involving a talent show feels a little calculating. But the characterisation is feisty and memorable, the song sequences intricate and bright, and it’ll charm the socks off little people. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs1,445,550 Weekly admissions: 32,233 Total box office: Dhs8,623,531 Total admissions: 196,319
1 The Other Woman Director: Nick Cassavetes Stars: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton
When Carly (Cameron Diaz) discovers her boyfriend is married, she forms an unlikely bond with his wife as his catalogue of cheating and bad behaviour unravels. But rather than getting mad the women join forces to get even. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,720,715 Weekly admissions: 38,386 Total box office: Dhs1,720,715 Total admissions: 38,386