11 films to see in UAE cinemas this Eid weekend

As well as the usual Hollywood fair, the Eid Al Adha holidays also herald anticipated regional and international films

Bela Padilla in The Day After Valentine's. Courtesy Viva Films
Powered by automated translation

The holidays are here, and there are plenty of great new movies to see you through the rest of the time off, and the weekend.

From a Mark Wahlberg blockbuster to Pakistan's answer to Top Gun and a smart young adult film, here are the films that are hitting the big screen today, tomorrow and over the weekend.

Head here for 48 other things to do over the Eid weekend, from family-friendly activites to food deals, and fireworks.

El Badla (Egypt)

Egyptian pop star and heart throb Tamer Hosny has a habit of dropping his films during the holiday season. In his latest romantic comedy, he plays Akram, who after dressing up as a police officer for a costume party, ends up in load of trouble that involves gangsters, local cops and real guns. The film also stars Majed El Masry and Akram Hosni.

Out now

Darkest Minds (US) 

This YA thriller is set in a dystopian future where 98 per cent of the world’s children have been killed by a mysteri­ous disease. The two per cent that survived have developed inexplicable psychic powers, and are consequently viewed as an enemy of society. Amandla Stenberg’s character, Ruby, has escaped a child detention camp and joins a band of fellow escapees searching for freedom.

Out on Thursday

Mile 22 (US) 

For big-screen explosions this Eid, you can't look past Mile 22. The action-thriller stars dependable box office stalwart Mark Wahlberg, who leads a crack team of paramilitary officers to extract a man wanted by both authorities and a cavalcade of international terrorists. The film has a strong supporting cast, including Oscar winner John Malkovich and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey.

Out now

Parwaaz Hai Junoon (Pakistan)

The "Pakistani Top Gun", the lavish-­looking Parwaaz Hai Junoon doesn't hide its intention in paying tribute to the Pakistan Air Force. The film follows a group of friends (Ahad Mir, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Hania Amir and Kubra Khan) who rise from basic training in the academy, complete with a stern but lovable instructor, before facing a big battle. But this is Lollywood, so expect a colourful wedding scene and plenty of colourful dance sequences, too.

Out now

Papillion (US)

This film is the second adaptation of the 1969 prison novel written by Henri Charriere. The first film, also titled Papillon, was released in 1973 and was hailed a classic, with great performances by Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. This time around, we have Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek and Charlie Hunnam in the lead roles as Papillon follows the exploits of an inmate attempting to escape a notorious prison located in a penal colony on Devil's Island in French Guiana.

Out now

Charming (US) 

One for the kids, from the producer of Shrek, this is another comedy fairy-tale. It follows the exploits of Prince Charming, a young dashing prince whose attempts to get married results in a trail of broken hearts. Tired of his antics, the king informs the prince that he must find his princess before his 21st birthday or he will relinquish his place in line for the throne. Ashley Tisdale and Wilmer Valderrama, as well as pop star Demi Lovato, lend their vocal talents to the movie.

Out now

Bou Oyoun (Kuwait)

This film could be a Gulf cult classic for being either great or terrible (or perhaps both). The low-budget comedy stars an ET-looking alien who, after crashing his spaceship on a farm in Kuwait, befriends farm owner Saker. He provides him protection while the alien – who is named Abou Oyoun – becomes a source of comfort for the lonely Saker. But authorities and a few opportunists are on the hunt for the purple creature.

Out on Thursday

Mazinger Z (Japan) 

This will surely excite those of a certain age: in the late 1980s to early 90s, the Arabic-­dubbed version of Japanese animated series Mazinger was mandatory after-school viewing. Now we can relive those former glories on the big screen courtesy of the movie Mazinger Z. Dubbed in English (and with Arabic subtitles), the new Japanese production sees the super-robot and his handler Koji saving the world from the destruction wreaked by mad scientist Dr Hell.

Out on Thursday

Happy Phir Baag Jayegi 2 (India)

The first instalment, which was released in 2016, took Bollywood by surprise and went on to become a sleeper hit. In part one, titled Happy Bhag Jayegi, the character Happy (played by Dina Penty) ran away from her marriage in Amritsar to end up in Lahore, Pakistan. The new film sees Happy now in trouble in China, and her friends on their way to the rescue (the film stars Jimmy Sheirgill and Sonakshi Sinha).

Out on Thursday

The Day After Valentine's (Philippines)

This is the ultra-sweet type of romance drama that Tagalog films specialise in. Popular Filipino television actor JC Santos stars as Kai, a heart broken man whose fortunes turn around upon meeting Lani (television host and model Bela Padilla). Her charm and fire revitalises him so much that he calls her Ms Repairman. But will their friendship blossom into something deeper? Well, obviously.

Out on Thursday

Christopher Robin (US) - Sensory Friendly Screening

In what is an important initiative, a sensory friendly screening of the Walt Disney film Christopher Robin will be shown in Vox Cinemas in Abu Dhabi Mall, Dubai's City Centre Mirdif and City Centre Sharjah on Saturday. Specially catered for children with autism, the session includes soothing lighting and the sound turned down to ensure the enjoyment and comfort. The film is about the much beloved Winnie-the-Pooh character Christopher Robin. Now an adult, Robin is experiencing a crisis after losing his imagination. Lucky for him, Pooh and the gang are there to help Robin rediscover his mojo. Sensory Friendly Screenings are held every month at Vox Cinemas.

On Saturday at Vox Cinemas. For details go to uae.voxcinemas.com


Read more:

Film review: 'The Equaliser 2' is every bit as good (and bad) as the original

Film review: 'BlacKkKlansman' may be the most important film of the year

From horror to heroic action: 10 summer films worth seeing in the UAE