Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

7 films to watch this week in the UAE

Our pick of old and new movies to watch on little or big screens

'Free Solo' shows Alex Honnold making the first free solo ascent of El Capitan's Freerider in Yosemite National Park, CA. National Geographic
'Free Solo' shows Alex Honnold making the first free solo ascent of El Capitan's Freerider in Yosemite National Park, CA. National Geographic


Sunday, 6.15pm, OSN Disney

Robert Stromberg’s dark fairy tale puts Angelina Jolie in the lead role in this retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the titular villain. Jolie’s performance as she transforms from flittering winged fairy to malevolent horned beast is a high point, as well as the special effects and costumes, which picked up an Oscar, and audiences absolutely loved the movie. Despite mixed reviews and critical predictions that a “dark fairy tale” would only appeal to a select group of Tim Burton fans, the tickets kept on selling, and Maleficent became Jolie’s highest-grossing film, taking more than $700 million (Dh2.5 billion) at the global box office.

'The Breadwinner'

Monday, 11.20am, OSN Movies First

Nora Twomey’s bleak, Angelina Jolie-produced 2D animation follows the travails of Pavan, an 11-year-old Afghan girl who is forced to disguise herself as a boy and go out to work to feed her family when her father is thrown in jail by the Taliban. If your preferred form of animated movie is a heartwarming Disney romp, you may be put off by the lo-fi animation mixed with folk-art styles and undeniably depressing tone, but the film tells a vital piece of genuine history that affected many Afghan families during the Taliban’s five-year rule.


Tuesday, 9pm, Star Movies

Zack Snyder turns his hand to adapting possibly the greatest comic book written: Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The project was 23 years in the making, with directors including Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, Tim Burton and even Michael Bay attached to the project, which also passed through the doors of virtually every major Hollywood studio before Warner Bros / Paramount finally turned out a physical product in 2009. The film has its flaws, but given the complexity of the source material, Snyder does an impressive job of interpreting Moore’s meticulous deconstruction of the very essence of a superhero.

'Avengers: Endgame'

In cinemas from Wednesday, 3am

We usually focus on TV, streaming and indie releases for these listings, rather than multiplex fare, but it seems inconceivable to fail to mention the biggest cinema release of the year, and quite possibly ever. No official tracking figures are available yet for the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and concluding part of this part of the story, but, with Chinese release now confirmed for April 24, in line with most of the rest of the world, industry figures are predicting a record breaking opening in the region of $800-900m, and a $2bn+ global take ultimately. Will Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man et al manage to undo the events of 'The Snap,' which wiped out half of the universe? It seems likely, but you'll have to venture into a cinema to be sure.

'Free Solo'

Wednesday, 7.31pm and 9.46pm, Cinema Akil

The Image Nation Abu Dhabi-produced, Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo gets an outing at Dubai’s leading independent cinema space this week. It tells the story of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock, the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope. It’s a fascinating story of dedication and determination.

'Reign Of Fire'

Friday, 1.25pm, OSN Movies Action

Keep the Game of Thrones vibe going all week with this story of a post-Apocalyptic UK that has been destroyed by dragons. Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale star as the leaders of two separate parties of surviving humans 20 years after a construction crew mistakenly awoke the slumbering mythical beasts while tunnelling under the streets of London. Despite their opposing world views and many differences, the two must work together for the future of humanity.

'The Truman Show'

Saturday, 9pm, Star Movies

He doesn’t know it, but everything in the life of Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is part of a massive TV set. Executive producer Christof (Ed Harris) orchestrates The Truman Show, with his every move captured by hidden cameras. Cristof tries to control Truman’s mind, even removing his true love from the show and replacing her in a bid for better ratings. As Truman gradually discovers the truth, however, he must decide whether to act on it.


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Updated: April 21, 2019 04:19 PM