Out This Week: 11 January 2018

Another weekend with a mix of awards season films.

Another weekend with a mix of typical January releases and awards season films. Let’s see what’s out and navigate through them.

The Commuter 

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
With: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, and Sam Neill 
What is it about? A businessman is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.
Heads Up: January is the month when we usually get the obligatory Liam Neeson thriller, and he is teaming up with director Jaume Collet-Serra who directed him before in Unknown, Non-stop, and Run All Night. This one has a stellar cast and a Hitchcockian premise, so even if it turns out to be disposable and forgettable, I think it will be an enjoyable ride.

Darkest Hour

Directed by: Joe Wright
With: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ben Mendelsohn 
What is it about? During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Heads Up: We in Filmphoria are split on this film, which we watched during DIFF2017. Some of us enjoyed it, and some of us disliked it a lot. In his negative 2-stars review, our Shariq Madani wrote: “Darkest Hour is a movie only concerned with fitting into a genre and fulfilling an external purpose, i.e. Oscar bait“. That said, I think it deserves your consideration if only to marvel in Gary Oldman‘s delicious performance.


Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
With: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, and Will Poulter
What is it about? Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.
Heads Up: From Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), comes this thriller drama which depicts a difficult time in US history. The reviews are mostly positive, but the film is already out on DVD, so there is no reason to see it on the big screen really.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Directed by: Adam Robitel
With: Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Julie Walters, Vanessa Redgrave 
What is it about? A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.
Heads Up: Another DIFF2017 that divided our Filmphoria team, but they agree that Annette Bening gave an awards caliber performance. It is, however, a film that you can wait and see in the comfort of your home.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Directed by: Simon Curtis
With: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, and Kelly Macdonald
What is it about? A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.
Heads Up: This PG rated family drama is yet another DIFF2017 film, which has appealing leads and mostly favorable reviews. It is not, however, a movie the begs to be seen on the big screen.


Directed by: Amit Masurkar
With: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, and Anjali Patil
What is it about? A government clerk on election duty in the conflict ridden jungle of Central India tries his best to conduct free and fair voting despite the apathy of security forces and the looming fear of guerrilla attacks by communist rebels.
Heads Up: This highly acclaimed Indian art-house dramedy comes to us as a part of DIFF365 program showing only in one screen in Vox MoE. The movie was also India’s entry for the Oscar race (it didn’t make the shortlist). It also stars Rajkumar Rao, who is now spoken of in the same the breath as Nawazuddin Siddiqui, such has his recent performances been. That said, the movie is already streaming on Amazon Prime, so decide accordingly.


Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
With: Rajesh Tailang, Shreedhar Dubey, Zoya Hussain, and Anurag Kashyap
What is it about? A lower caste boxer struggles to make his mark on the boxing world.
Heads Up: From director Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday, Bombay Velvet, Gangs of Wasseypur, Gulaal, Dev D) comes this sports drama. Kashyap‘s name is almost always a good enough a reason to watch a movie, but this is one of those rare instances to watch his movie in the cinema. Don’t wait, coz it may not play more than the opening week!

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.