DUBAI: From superheroes and sci-fi epics to period pieces and a desert drama, here are the best movies coming your way before the end of the year
Director: Abu Bakr Shawky
Starring: Abdelmohsen Al-Nemer, Ibrahim Al-Hsawi, Omar Alatawi, Alshaimaa Tayeb
Release date: Premieres at Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11
This big-budget Saudi-set adventure movie tells the coming-of-age tale of a young boy called Matar and his camel Hofira, “an inseperable couple that form a bond based on survival and being on the run,” according to Shawky’s director’s statement. Matar’s older brother dreams of becoming a champion camel jockey, but those dreams are cut short by foul play in a race. Matar sets out to avenge him by becoming a jockey himself. Shawky’s statement continues: “The themes of identity and freedom are at the center of the story as Matar, Hofira and Matar’s former rival-turned-friend Majd are outcasts … trying to find acceptance.”
‘The Kill Room’
Director: Nicol Paone
Starring: Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Manganiello
Release date: Sept. 28
In Paone’s dark comedy thriller, hitman Reggie (Manganiello) becomes an accidental star of the art world when a money laundering scheme dreamed up by his boss (Jackson) and art dealer Patrice (Thurman) is unexpectedly successful. Also notable as the first film in which Thurman will star with her daughter, Maya Hawke.
‘Killers of the Flower Moon’
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone
Release date: Oct. 20
A multi-reunion between the director and two of his favorite stars, DiCaprio and De Niro, who last starred together decades ago, “Killers of the Flower Moon” centers around a series of murders of Native Americans from the Osage Nation in the 1920s. The killings took place after oil was discovered on Osage land, oil that the local white population is eager to ensure they profit from. Based on the book of the same name by David Grann.
‘Dune: Part Two’
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya
Release date: Nov. 2
Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part One” put the lie to the long-standing belief that Frank Herbert’s novels were “unfilmable,” marrying Herbert’s vision with his own to create a superb sci-fi epic. Part two will see Chalamet’s Paul Atreides seek revenge against those who wiped out his family, with some help from the Chani and his new allies, the Fremen. Along the way, he must somehow prevent the nightmarish future that he has foreseen.
Director: Nia DaCosta
Starring: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton
Release date: Nov. 9
The 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is both a sequel to 2019’s “Captain Marvel” and a continuation of the “Ms. Marvel” TV series. Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Larson), astronaut Monica Rambeau (Parris), and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel (Vellani), team up together after discovering that they swap places every time they use their powers.
‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman
Release date: Nov. 16
Audiences will be returning to the dystopian universe of “The Hunger Games,” but this fifth entry in the film franchise inspired by Suzanne Collins’ novels serves as a prequel set 64 years previously. Blyth stars as a young Coriolanus Snow (the future president of Panem and villain of the previous movies), who is serving as a mentor for the upcoming Hunger Games and forms a bond with the tribute from District 12: Lucy Gray Baird. Expect revelations about what happened to turn Snow into the monster of the first four films.
Directors: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Voice cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk
Release date: Nov. 23
This year is Disney’s 100th anniversary, so big things are expected of “Wish,” focuses on, as the name suggests, the power of wishes. Set in the kingdom of Rosas, it tells the story of 17-year-old Asha, who suspects there is a darkness at the heart of Rosas’ King Magnifico, but can’t convince anyone else of those suspicions. Her pleas for assistance are answered by a fallen star. Together, they must save the kingdom.
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim
Release date: Nov. 23
Historical epic based on the life of the famed military commander and politician Napoleon Bonaparte and his passionate, volatile relationship with Empress Josephine. It covers Napoleon’s extraordinary rise to power during and after the French Revolution, which saw him become leader of the French Republic and later emperor of the French Empire.
Director: Paul King
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Coleman, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key
Release date: Dec. 15
Musical fantasy film that tells the story of a young Willie Wonka (the factory owner in Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”). It explores how the eccentric businessman spent several years traveling the world to hone his craft, and how he met the mysterious Oompa Loompas who staff his magical factory.
‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’
Director: James Wan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson
Release date: Dec. 21
The half-Atlantean, half-human king of Atlantis returns in DC’s big winter blockbuster. Details are sketchy, but Aquaman will apparently be forming “an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally” as he strives to save his kingdom — and the rest of the planet — after an ancient power is unleashed on Earth.