John Wick 3
John Wick 3 Image Credit: Supplied

After a lull at the cinemas over Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr usually unveils a roster of bumper films releases, with some of the most anticipated films hitting the screens.

This Eid Al Fitr, 12 big releases will see residents make a beeline for the cinemas, with Hollywood representing itself with top-billed projects, including a film from the X-Men franchise, along with the return of John Wick. Meanwhile, Bollywood is being represented by Salman Khan’s ‘Bharat’, while Arab cinema gets it’s time in the spotlight with the Emirati film ‘Rashid & Rajab’, along with two Egyptian films.

Gulf News tabloid! takes a look at all the Eid releases, selecting which ones are the top picks in each genre.


X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Releasing: June 5

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If you haven’t had enough of Sophie Turner now that ‘Game of Thrones’ has closed the book on the fantasy series, then ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ is the right pick for you over Eid.

Turner returns as the fiery red head Jean Grey, who pulls a Captain Marvel and gains superpowers when she’s hit by a mysterious cosmic force in outer space. However, she soon crash lands on Earth, both literally and figuratively, when her newfound powers see her spiral out of control.

The family of merry X-Men, including Professor X, Cyclops, Storm (how we miss Halle Berry), with a little help from Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, must hunt for a way to save Jean and planet Earth.

Why should you watch it: We are pretty sure ‘Dark Phoenix’ is the final chapter in the current X-Men saga, which kicked off in 2000. No, we haven’t forgotten ‘The New Mutants’ waiting in the wings, but that’s a lot like Spidey having another adventure ‘Far From Home’ despite ‘Endgame’ closing the book on the current MCU chapter. Watch it if you are a fan of Marvel or James James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

John Wick 3: Parabellum

Releasing: June 5

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Picking up an hour after the events that unfolded on ‘John Wick 2’, the super-assassin (played by Keanu Reeves) is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild. Now, with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick has become the target of hit men and women everywhere.

If you are a lover of action films, then ‘John Wick 3: Parabellum’ should be at the very top of your Eid film viewing schedule. The early reviews of the film are in and people are calling it the best action film to release in recent times.

Why should you watch it: It’s Keanu Reeves. It’s John Wick. Coupled with Halle Berry and action sequences that will have you cheering from the aisles, an Eid release simply cannot better than this.

The Hustle

Releasing: June 3 (Special ladies only screening), followed by a June 6 outing

tab Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in The Hustle (2019)-1559126349804

If you didn’t get enough of Anne Hathaway playing a con artist in ‘Ocean’s 8’ (2018), then ‘The Hustle’ is right up your alley. Hathaway returns as a con artist, playing sophisticated Josephine Chesterfield who is en route to the French Riviera to hunt for rich men to rob.

She bumps into another hustler, Penny Rust (Rebel Wilson), and decides to take her under her wing to teach Penny how to bag high-end targets. However, even con artists can get conned and when the women are tricked into parting with their cash, the duo join forces to take back what’s, err, rightfully theirs.

Why should you watch it: We admit, despite Hathaway’s not so appealing recent film choices, we do have a soft spot for the actress going back to her days on the ‘Princess Diaries’. Wilson’s brand of humour simply adds to the oddball couple routine.

The Sun is Also a Star

Releasing: June 6

tab Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton in The Sun Is Also a Star (2019)-1559126372434

Ah, we’re a sucker for love stories and this one promises the sun and the stars amid a magical day spent in only the greatest city in the world — New York.

College-bound Daniel Bae (Charles Melton) and Jamaica-born Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi) meet — and fall for each other over a single day in the city. Little do these two strangers know that their time together may be limited, with Natasha’s family facing deportation.

Are they meant to part after finding each other or does fate have something else in store for them?

Why should you watch it: Shahidi has been impressing us ever since she first caught our attention of ‘Black-ish’. Coming across as mature, far beyond her years, we would watch the film just to see Shahidi shine. Melton (‘Riverdale’) is the added bonus.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Releasing: June 6

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The beloved talking pets return for their setting outing with a new member added to Max’s (voiced by Patton Oswalt who replaces Louis CK) human family in the form of Liam, owner Katie’s newborn. However, Max is unprepared for the surge of maternal instincts that rise in him.

When the family heads to the countryside, Max encounters a farm dog named Rooster (voiced by Harrison Ford), who helps him overcome his fears. Elsewhere, Gidget (voiced by Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favourite toy from a cat-packed apartment, and Snowball (voiced by Kevin Hart) sets on a mission to free a white tiger named Hu from a circus.

Why should you watch it: We positively loved the film’s first outing in 2016, and with a stellar cart, including Ford, Hart and Tiffany Haddish as Daisy, this one promises family entertainment for the young ones over Eid.



Releasing: June 5

tab Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in Bharat (2019)-1559126363834

What is an Eid without a Salman Khan film storming the box office? This year, UAE fans will witness a Bollywood film shot in their own backyard as ‘Bharat’ heads to the screens after an extensive shoot that took its lead pair, including Katrina Kaif, through the wide expanse of the Liwa Desert.

Loosely based on the South Korean film, ‘Ode to My Father’ (2014), ‘Bharat’ traces the story of one man over seven decades, drawing parallels with the growth of India post partition in 1947. The film traces Bharat’s (Khan) journey, from a young man working in The Great Russian Circus to his move to the Gulf during the ‘70s oil boom, following him through to India’s economic boom of the ‘90s.

Why should you watch it: Director Ali Abbas Zafar, who’s earned street cred with films such as ‘Sultan’ (2016) and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ (2017), is known for his on-screen sensibilities that can largely be suspended when you have a Khan starring in the lead. Plus, the crackling chemistry between Kaif and Khan definitely commands a large fan following.


Rashid & Rajab

Releasing: June 6

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Who doesn’t love a body switch film? If you enjoyed Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis swapping lives in ‘Freaky Friday’ (2003) or Zac Efron and Matthew Perry doing the old switcheroo in ‘17 Again’ (2009), then ‘Rashid & Rajab’ is right up your alley.

When a freak accident causes wealthy Emirati executive and a carefree Egyptian fast-food deliveryman to switch bodies, the unlikely pair gain a different perspective into each other’s lives as they desperately look for a way to revert to their former selves.

Why should you watch it: The Emirati film has already received positive reviews during its limited screenings, with the comedy taking us that one step closer towards creating a bona fide film industry in the UAE. Watch it for a barrel of laughs over Eid with the whole family.


Releasing: June 4

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Venture out on to the high seas as three pirates, gaining notoriety as the ‘Sea Barbarians’, attempt to pull off a heist by robbing a European mafia of its shipment of diamonds, hidden away in its cargo aboard a ship named Casablanca. However, things don’t go according to plan when one of the trio decided to betray the other two and flees to Morocco with the gems.

Why should you watch it: This Egyptian film may not be the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ but with Amir Karara in the lead, we aren’t complaining.

El Mammar

Releasing: June 4

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With a star cast that reads like the who’s who of the Arab world, ‘El Mammar’ takes viewers back to the 1967 War of Attrition fought between Egypt and its allies against Israel. Ibrahim Rifai, a national hero in Egypt, a squadron leader of 39 men, leads the charge in taking on the IDF, earning him 12 medals of courage before his death in 1973, martyred in the October War.

Why should you watch it: With a star cast that includes Hend Sabry, Ahmed Rizk, Ahmed Ezz and Eyad Nassar, this film definitely doesn’t fall short on the acting talent. Keeping its storyline in mind, coupled with music by veteran musician Omar Khairat, there’s a lot that ‘El Mammar’ has to offer.



Releasing: June 5

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The Pakistani film opens with the hero, Sameer (Azfar Rehman) contemplating suicide, but is saved by a call from an old friend. Sameer is heart-broken when the love of his life, Zoya (Mehwish Hayat), disappears on him. The duo track Zoya down to Punjab and embark on a mission to smuggle her out, but things never really go according to plan.

Why should you watch it: The film’s teaser has some outrageously funny moments, coupled with Hayat’s comic timing that last year’s ‘Load Wedding’ gave us a glimpse of.

Wrong No 2

Releasing: June 5

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The sequel to Yasir Nawaz’s smash hit ‘Wrong No’ (2015), this film comes with a new cast including TV stars Neelum Muneer and Sami Khan in the lead, with a little help from veteran actor Javed Shaikh.

Details on the film are sketchy, but we can tell you that Munir plays an heiress who falls in love with the not-so-financially-stable Khan. As their love story progresses, so does a madcap adventure with a few oddballs thrown in for good measure.

Why should you watch it: Nawaz has proved his mettle in the past with the hilarious ‘Wrong No’ four years ago. While that film took inspiration from the Hollywood hit, ‘Trading Places’ (1983), starring Eddie Murphy, this outing seems to bring a level of originality to the table.



Releasing: June 7

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Based on the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, the film takes viewers to Kozhikode, following the stages of the epidemic from identification to its total annihilation. It portrays heroic moments that helped in effectively controlling the virus from spreading further.

The Malayalam film also delves into the collective paranoia that erupted following the outbreak.

Why should you watch it: With a stellar star cast that includes Asif Ali, Tovino Thomas, Indrajith Sukumaran and the supremely talented Revathi, the film really hits home for a lot of the Indian expats who had families and loved ones live through the health crisis.

*Release dates are tentative and are subject to change.