Out This Week: 15 March 2018

A summary of the releases this week, and few to recommend.

This is a weekend with not that many big releases, and certainly nothing on the level we saw in the last few weeks. That said, we have summed up the main attractions, so keep reading:

Tomb Raider

Directed by: Roar Uthaug
With: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, and Kristen Scott Thomas
What is it about? Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.
Heads Up: The reboot of the franchise based on the very popular video game isn’t exactly a highly anticipated event, even with Alicia Vikander reprising the role that was first played by Angelina Jolie 17 years ago. Given the slim-pickings this weekend, I’m inclined to give this one a go.

The Lodgers

Directed by: Brian O’Malley
With:  Charlotte Vega, David Bradley, and Bill Milner
What is it about? A family curse confines orphaned twins Rachel and Edwards to their home as punishment for their ancestors’ sins.
Heads Up: The reviews of this Irish horror film are mixed, but not very bad for its genre, so check it out only if you need your horror fix.

In Syria

Directed by: Philippe Van Leeuw
With: Hiam Abbass, Diamand Bou Abboud, and Juliette Navis
What is it about? A mother attempts to keep her family safe as war rages and a sniper lies in wait outside her home. This nerve-wracking study of life in Damascus won an Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Heads Up: We have seen several films in recent years tackling the humanitarian crisis in Syria like the short documentary The White Helmets, and the feature length documentary Last Man in Aleppo (both were nominated for Oscars in their respective categories), but this film is different because it is a narrative drama. It’s a film that won a bunch of awards and its reviews are strong, so I say if you have the stomach for such a grim topic, you should watch it.

The Arabian Warrior

Directed by: Aymen Khoja
With:  Amir El-Masry, Ayman Samman, and Patrick Fabian
What is it about? After studying at university and excelling in soccer, a young Saudi is torn between the traditions of his father and the freedom he experiences in the U.S.
Heads Up: This Saudi film is tackling the issue of young Arabs who are torn between their traditions and roots from one side and Western lifestyle from the other side, which is a worthy subject. That said, the trailer is promising a film with not much nuance. It might be a worthy film if we are grading on a curve, but I don’t think it will impress serious cinephiles.


Directed by: Raj Kumar Gupta
With: Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla, and Ileana D’Cruz
What is it about? The story of a fearless Income Tax officer who carries out a non-stop raid at the mansion of the most powerful man in Lucknow
Heads Up: This film is based on real events and starring one of Bollywood’s most bankable stars Ajay Devgn and directed by Raj Kumar Gupta who has a solid track record (Aamir, No One Killed Jessica). Even though the marketing has been low, when Devgn picks thrillers, he seems to pick them well. The film should be a safe bet for fans of Bollywood.

5 Rupees

Directed by: Piyush Panjuani
With:  Shabana Azmi, Ziya Azizi,  Yohaan Panjuani
What is it about? when a poor but loving grandmother loses the 5 rupees she has been saving to give her 7 years grandson on the morning of Eid, a chain of events start that end up with grandmother and grandson discovering hidden sides to each other.
Heads Up: DIFF365 and VOX MoE are bringing back this film which screened last december in DIFF2017. This is a small Indian arthouse starring one of India’s most precious actress Shabana Azmi. One of the Filmphoria crew (Shariq) having watched it at DIFF notes: It adapts a beloved short story into a short movie, but layers it with so much melodrama that you may want to wear your sunglasses and cotton-in-your-ears to reduce the tonal audio-visual blast this movie assaults you with. Or just stay away.

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.