Out This Week: 09 January 2020

A mix of Oscar front-runners and commercial offerings.

This weekend is quite busy at the cinemas, as many Oscar front-runners and hopeful are arriving in our screens, in addition to the usual January fares. So keep reading to know more.


Directed by: Sam Mendes
With: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch
What is it about: Two young British soldiers during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldier’s brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap.
Heads Up: Coming from a big win this week at the Golden Globes where it won the awards for Best Film Drama and Best Director, this war drama, directed by Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall, Spectre) is one of 2019 most acclaimed films, lauded for its marvelous cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins. The filming of it was accomplished with long takes and elaborately choreographed moving camera shots to give the effect of one continuous take. This is for sure a must-see, preferably in an IMAX screen.

Richard Jewel

Directed by: Clint Eastwood
With: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, and Kathy Bates
What is it about: American security guard Richard Jewell saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the press who falsely reported that he was a terrorist.
Heads Up: Clint Eastwood is directing yet another film about American heroic figures. Despite the controversy about unverified accusations against a deceased journalist who can’t defend herself (played in the film by Olivia Wilde), the film got generally good reviews, and some award season buzz. Anyhow, Clint Eastwood is a reliable director, so I am interested in seeing this one.


Directed by: William Eubank
With: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, and T.J. Miller
What is it about: A crew of aquatic researchers work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. But the crew has more than the ocean seabed to fear.
Heads Up: The Sci-Fi horror film looks eerie, claustrophobic, and terrifying. Underwater horror sci-fi is a mix bag of some good (The Abyss) and many bad (Sphere, Deep Rising) movies. I am hoping this will be good, but not holding my breath for it. In such an incredibly busy week with a slew of new releases. I’m waiting for the first word of mouth on this before I dive in (pun intended).

Like a Boss

Directed by: Miguel Arteta
With: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, and Salma Hayek 
What is it about: Two friends with very different ideals start a beauty company together. One is more practical while the other wants to earn her fortune and live a lavish lifestyle.
Heads Up: I really like the three actresses in the leading roles, so even though I cringed through most of the trailer, I am willing to give this the benefit of the doubt, which means watching out for the first batch of reviews and not judge it solely based on its mediocre trailer.


Directed by: Meghna Gulzar
With: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey, and Madhurjeet Sarghi
What is it about: The trials and triumphs of Malti, an acid attack survivor. From the investigation of the attack to the court proceedings, the medical treatment to the emotional healing.
Heads Up: This drama based on real events is directed by Meghna Gulzar who has a track record of strong films (Raazi, Talvar), so even though I don’t know how Deepika Padukone well in her thirties can play a 15 years old, I would not get hung up on that too much because of the importance of the subject.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Directed by: Om Raut
With: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Jagapathi Babu, and Sharad Kelkar
What is it about: Set in the 17th century and based on the life of Tanaji Malusare, who was the military leader of King Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. Ready to lay down his life for his King and country, this Braveheart went to war, armed with a few Maratha soldiers to get back the Kondana Fort, against the Mughal army headed by Udaybhan.
Heads Up: Another historical war drama with big stars in the leading roles. If you are not already fatigued of those, then by all means, knock yourself out.


Directed by: A.R. Murugadoss
With: Rajinikanth, Sunil Shetty, and  Nayanthara
What is it about: A police officer on a chase to hunt down a dreaded gangster for fulfilling his own secret agenda.
Heads Up: Darbar sees Rajinikanth team up with AR Murugadoss (Ghajini) for the first time – a potent combo that is sure to please fans of the superstar. Rajinikanth returns in a role of a police officer for the first time in decades and a rowdy one at that going by what little we have seen in trailers. This one appears to have all the ingredients of a pot-boiler with the sole purpose of fan service and it looks like it will be lapped up gleefully.

Masameer: The Movie

Directed by: Malik Nejer
With: Abdulaziz Alshehri, Mazroa Al-Mazroa, Ibrahim Alkhairallah, and Shahad Alahmari
What is it about: Danah, a Saudi girl with a passion for artificial intelligence embark on a journey to create good in the world using robotics. Meanwhile, three friends Saad, Saltooh and Kalb hit rock bottom and go on a journey of their own to prove themselves to society by becoming crime fighting superheroes.
Heads Up: The feature film based on very popular Saudi YouTube series Masameer (which means nails). If you are curious about the Saudi animation and comedy scene, then here is your chance.

About Abdullah Y

Abdullah Y is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is an avid consumer of everything Pop Culture; movies, TV, music, photography, podcasts, and social media. He loves to travel and to share his experiences.