Out This Week: 21 January 2016

Among the 5 films released this weekend, one is a Palm d'Or winner!

This weekend witnesses the release of a slew of films, from Hollywood we have a lackluster of January dump month releases, mixed with a couple DIFF international titles, and one big Bollywood action drama. So let’s check them out:

Our Brand is Crisis

Our Brand is Crisis Poster

Directed by: David Gordon Green
With: Sandra Bullock, Anthony Mackie, and Billy Bob Thornton
Heads up: A battle-hardened American political consultant is sent to help re-elect a controversial president in Bolivia, where she must compete with a long-term rival working for another candidate. Director David Gordon Green‘s films have been always a hit or miss, and it seems this one is a real mess. Still if you are a Sandra Bullock fan, that would not deter you, but I recommend you skip it.

 Dirty Grandpa

Dirty Grandpa Poster

Directed by: Dan Mazer
With: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, and Zoey Deutch
Heads up: Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break. I am not hating on this film because of Robert De Niro, he is a legend, and I am not hating on it because of Zac Efron, who can be funny and charming. I am hating on it because the trailer promises a bland by-the-number unfunny film. I URGE YOU (WITH CAPS-LOCK TO SKIP IT)!!!

The Idol

The Idol Poster

Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad
With: Tawfeek Barhom, Ahmed Al Rokh, and Hiba Attalah
Heads up: A film about the popular Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, from childhood to adulthood, and his life in Gaza until he won the Arab idol. This film was screened in DIFF 2015 and reviewed favorably by our critic Faizan Rashid. In his 3.5 stars review he wrote, “I wish the latter half had the same energy and patience as the former but despite this complaint, the film does what it sets out to do – continue the director’s crusade of defiance using cinema as a tool, and for that reason alone, it deserves to be seen”.


Dheepan Poster

Directed by: Jacques Audiard
With: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, and Claudine Vinasithamby
Heads up: To escape the civil war in Sri Lanka, a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl pose as a family. They end up settling in a housing project outside Paris. They barely know one another, but try to build a life together – as the threat of escalating gang violence looms over their lives. This film was shown in DIFF 2015 and garnered a luminous 4.5 stars review by Faizan Rashid, and in it he wrote: “The sign of any films greatness is in making you care and relate to what you see. I was curious at the start of Dheepan, became more interested as it proceeded and finally found myself caring immensely about what happened to these three wonderful people who circumstances had brought together. Ultimately the films real beauty is in showing us the gradual change that all of them go through, transforming, as we watch, from pretending to be a family to actually becoming one.


Airlift Poster

Directed by: Raja Menon
With: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, and Feryna Wazheir
Heads up: In 1990, Iraq invades Kuwait, leaving approx 1,70,000 Indians trapped. This is a true story of how Ranjit Katyal and India facilitate the largest human evacuation. Based on a true story, this action drama promises a thrilling ride. I’m curious to check it out and see how Bollywood handles such a subject and how they recreate the horror of Kuwait’s invasion in the early 90’s, with its repercussion echoing still in our present, that is why I’d like to check this one out on big screen, and hoping it delivers.

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.