Out This Week: 19 July 2018

"Based on a True Story" x 4, a musical and a Bollywood romance.

The theme of this weekend’s films is “Based on a True Story”, but if that’s not your cup of tea, then perhaps a musical or a romance? Keep reading and maybe we can help make up your mind about what to expect at the local multiplexes this weekend. 

A Prayer Before Dawn

Directed by: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
With: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm, Panya Yimmumphai
What is it about? The true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand’s most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom.
Heads Up: Based on a true story, here is a film that is a prison drama, a redemption story, and a boxing film at the same time. It also has a stellar 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Equally impressed is our critic Lloyd Bayer, and while he warns in his ★★★★☆ review that this film is not for everyone, he writes: “as a real-life story told with conviction, A Prayer Before Dawn is about humanity’s most defining virtue of persistence even in the most hellish of places“.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Directed by: Ol Parker
With: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Pierce Brosnan, and Meryl Streep
What is it about? Discover Donna’s young life, experiencing the fun she had with the three possible dads of Sophie. Sophie is now pregnant. Like Donna, she’ll be a young mother, and she realizes that she’ll need to take risks like her mother did.
Heads Up: The sequel to the 2008’s hit is long overdue. This one looks like a fluffy joyful singalong filled two hours at the movies, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. This could be the perfect film for a date night, especially if you enjoyed the first film.


Directed by: Kevin Connolly
With: John Travolta, Spencer Rocco Lofranco, and Kelly Preston
What is it about? The story of crime boss John Gotti and his son.
Heads Up? This biopic about the infamous crime boss is one of the worst reviewed films of the year.  Johnny Oleksinski from New York Post wrote in his review “I’d rather wake up next to a severed horse head than ever watch Gotti again“. I would say avoid!

American Animals

Directed by: Bart Layton
With: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, and Ann Dowd 
What is it about? Four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.
Heads Up? This film, based on a true crime story, was critically well received even if it failed commercially. This one intrigues me, as it is the one film based on true events released this weekend that I am looking forward to seeing the most.

Billionaire Boys Club

Directed by: James Cox
With: Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton,  Emma Roberts, and Kevin Spacey
What is it about? A group of wealthy boys in Los Angeles during the early 1980s established a ‘get-rich-quick’ scam that turns deadly.
Heads Up: Ever since the news about Kevin Spacey‘s sexual abuse allegation broke last year, he became overnight a persona non grata. He was fired from his show House of Cards and Ridley Scott reshot all of his scenes in All The Money in The World replacing him with Christopher Plummer (even though the film was finished and weeks away from its release date). As for this film, no one wants to touch it with a 10-foot pole in the US, as the studio is releasing it quietly on VOD then it will get a small theatrical push a month later. It is a shame because the work of 100s of people behind and in front of the camera is being held accountable for one man’s sins. Anyway, this is also based on a true story that was already made as a TV movie in the 80s. I would say wait for the early reviews to see if this film deserves to be seen or not based on its own merits, and not for other reasons.


Directed by: Shashank Khaitan
With: Janhvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khattar, and Ashutosh Rana
What is it about? The love between Madhukar and Parthavi is blossoming, but the disapproval of their societies and families is threatening to tear them apart.
Heads Up: This romance is the starring debut of Janhvi Kapoor, the daughter of the late Sridevi. Whether she has the superstar material of her mother is to be seen. This is an official remake of acclaimed Marathi movie Sairat, and co-stars promising young talent Ishaan Khattar (Majid Majidi‘s Beyond The Clouds). The promos feature good music too. All in all, those into Bollywood should check this film out.

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.