Out This Week: 15 December 2016

Rogue One. Need we say anymore?

Now That DIFF 2016 is over (you can read all about it in our DIFF 2016 extensive coverage), we will resume our weekly article with the latest releases, so brace yourself cause it’s gonna be a doozy!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


Directed by: Gareth Edwards
With: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, and Forest Whitaker
What is it about? The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.
Heads Up: This space opera, one of the Star Wars spin-offs, and the closing film for DIFF 2016 had a difficult highly publicized production problems that deemed it a failure before anyone even saw it. Thankfully, most of the reviews are in and they are very strong. So for me, it’s a must see!

Collateral Beauty


Directed by: David Frankel
With: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Kate Winslet, and Helen Mirren
What is it about? Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Heads Up: Despite a star studded cast, I was turned off by its trailer. It’s the kind of drama that pops up on holiday seasons and usually get award buzz, but this one has none, and the reviews are almost unanimously negative. I’d say avoid it, even if you are a fan of Will Smith.  

Miss Sloane


Directed by: John Madden
With: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw
What is it about? In the world of political power-brokers, Sloane takes on the most powerful opponent of her career and will do whatever is required to win.
Heads Up: This is one of the films that screened in DIFF 2016 then got a quick release in general screens across the UAE. There is a great buzz revolving around Jessica Chastain performance as the titular Miss Sloane who was just nominated for a Golden Globe this week. Seeing her slaying the role would be the main reason to watch the film.

Eshtebak (Clash)


Directed by: Mohamed Diab
With: Nelly Karim, Hani Adel, El Sebaii Mohamed
What is it about? Set entirely in an 8m police truck, a number of detainees from different political and social backgrounds are brought together by their inevitable fate, during the turmoil that followed the ousting of former president Morsi from power.
Heads Up: Egypt official submission to the 2017 Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film category; a drama that documents the current events in Egypt that was screened in Canned and has been very positively received. We rarely feature Egyptian films in our articles unless they are worth mentioning, and this one is.


The Girl with All The Gifts


Directed by: Colm McCarthy
With: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, and Sennia Nanua
What is it about? A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.
Heads Up: This film based on the bestselling novel by Mike Carey has been received very well critically. Watching the trailer, it had similarities to 28 Weeks Later and Children of Men, two British dystopian thrillers that I adore. Now that DIFF2016 is out of the way, I think you ought to make room for this film.



Directed by: Aditya Chopra
With:  Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor, and Elisa Bachir Bey
What is it about? Set in Paris, Befikre is a free spirited, contemporary love story of Dharam and Shyra, who find love in an impulsive, engaging series of experiences. Doused in the spirit of Paris, it celebrates love- sensual, carefree and focused on living life to the fullest.
Heads Up: There was a backlash against the trailer for being so salacious, and while an adult storytelling is not a problem in itself if the story warrant it, we only see flesh in it, but no actual meat. One critic described as “a vapid film that is relentless in its audio-visual assault”. I would say avoid!

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.