Out This Week: 18 January 2018

The theme for this weekend is "Based on a true story" (with one exception).

The theme for the films that are opening this weekend is “based on a true story”, but there is an exception. Keep reading to find out!

The Post

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
With: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Sarah Paulson, and Bruce Greenwood
What is it about? A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.
Heads Up: One of this year’s awards season front-runners, and with Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair, Streep and Hanks in the leads roles, and the timely subject of journalism confronting the men in power, it is a film that must be seen, plain and simple.


Directed by: Alexander Payne
With: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, and Kristen Wiig
What is it about? A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor.
Heads Up: The films of director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, Nebraska) have always been critical darlings but not necessarily commercial hits. Downsizing, however, is not exactly exciting critics this time, and it failed miserably to gain any traction at the US box-office. Our critic Lloyd Bayer was quite disappointed by it. In his 2-star review, he writes:”Sadly, and after all this film has to say about the current state of socio-political and environmental issues, visual effects with convincing sense of scale, strong performances from the leads, Downsizing is equivalent to a marksman firing dead centre at a target, the bullet hitting the bullseye, but falling to the floor without penetrating. Not even a scratch“.

12 Strong

Directed by: Nicolai Fuglsig
With: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, William Fichtner, and Michael Peña
What is it about? The story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.
Heads Up: This time of year we became accustomed to the obligatory “based on true story” war or tragic event film (American Sniper, Lone Survivor, Patriots Day) which are made to evoke a certain sense of “patriotism” among the American population, but are usually disinterested in the other side’s plight or story. I for one never bothered with any of these films, and I don’t think you should either.

The Pirates of Somalia

Directed by: Bryan Buckley
With:  Evan Peters, Barkhad Abdi, Melanie Griffith, and Al Pacino
What is it about? A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.
Heads Up: Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past, TV’s American Horror Story) is a charismatic young actor, and from the trailer he and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) seem to have good chemistry, and it doesn’t hurt that Al Pacino is in the mix as well.  The reviews are mostly kind if not too glowing, so I’m curious.

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.