New Delhi: It’s a fairly dull run-up to the big Diwali weekend at the movies. Hindi film Ekkees Tareekh Shubh Muhurat starring Sanjay Mishra and Mukesh Tiwari directed by Pavan Kumar Chauhan is a comedy of errors let down by shoddy execution, says The Times Of India. The comic and dramatic talents of Mishra are wasted in this random and incoherent film. The critique and satire on the arranged marriage system in India also fail to deliver.

Horror drama Lupt starring Javed Jaffrey and Vijay Raaz directed by Prabhuraj is the latest in a series of karmic horror films, with the kind of plot you can predict from the first frame but hang around for anyway just to see how the corpses pile up, says Scroll. There is nothing here that is truly frightening, and not enough substance to justify the running time of 117 minutes, but at least the actors are committed to the material.

For the Hollywood fans, American fantasy adventure The Nutcracker and the Four Realms directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Derbez and Matthew Macfadyen comes to India this week. The Guardian calls it an irresistible festival of winter schmaltz. With this sumptuous ballet-lite live action retelling of The Nutcracker, Disney is having its feminist mince pie and eating it. There’s wit here and The Nutcracker will take you from zero to Christmas jumper in the opening sequence. What’s missing is the melancholy darkness of ETA Hoffmann’s story. Instead, schmaltz-merchant director Hallström tugs at the heartstrings and ladles on the syrup.

Variety magazine is not as impressed, and says Disney reinvents a holiday classic, minus the romance and much of the dance, resulting in a movie with little beneath its stunningly designed surface. E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 short story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King has been told and retold so many times over the years that we can reasonably conclude there’s no one right way to reinterpret the beloved classic. That said, there are certainly wrong answers, and Disney’s dazzlingly hollow, superficially PC live-action adaptation, veers dangerously close to blowing it, squandering a talented cast and some spectacular design work on a version with precious little dance and even less chemistry.

Telugu action film Savyasachi directed by Chandoo Mondeti starring Naga Chaitanya, R Madhavan and Nidhhi Agerwal is a very routine revenge drama, says mirchi9. The left-hand syndrome is used to freshen up the narrative, but is not effective.

Kannada drama Ammachi Yemba Nenapu starring Raj B. Shetty and Vyjayanti V Adiga directed by Champa P Shetty is a good, experimental watch, says The News Minute. Director Shetty has managed to carefully tread between an art film and a commercial film. Characters have been developed to suit a commercial film format, but the movie largely feels like an art film.

Kannada romantic comedy Victory 2 starring Sharan and Asmita Sood directed by Hari Santhosh is not everyone’s cup of tea thanks to the generous use of adult dialogues and comedy, says Filmibeat. Santhosh tries genuinely hard to offer a wholesome comedy entertainer to the audience. But the idea and intent are lost in the script.

Malayalam comedy drama Drama starring Mohanlal, Arundathi Nag and Asha Sarath directed by Ranjith is a well-thought out entertainer, says News18. The movie strikes a chord with the viewers while offering some laugh out loud moments and a little food for thought.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Hindi film Rashtraputra, Tamil thriller Santhoshathil Kalavaram, Malayalam drama Thanaha and Bengali romantic comedy Girlfriend.

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