Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for Feb. 9 and beyond

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
"The Lego Batman Movie" previews Thursday and opens Friday.
Courtesy Warner Bros.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

A blocky hero, a bondage-y romance and a broody killer: These are your movie options in Amarillo this weekend.


Oscar Watch

Only a few nominees remain in town this weekend. Here's what you can catch up on now:

  • Best Picture nominees (and box office smashes) La La Land and Hidden Figures continue to screen at both United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive. Fellow Best Picture nominee Lion continues for a fifth week at Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40. (Click links for my reviews.)
  • 20th Century Women (nominated for best original screenplay) continues for a second weekend at Westgate Mall 6, which also is screening Doctor Strange (nominated for best visual effects), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (nominated for best costume design and production design) and Trolls (nominated for best original song).
  • Jackie, an off-kilter biopic about former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, will open Feb. 17 at Westgate Mall 6. It's nominated for three Oscars: best actress (Natalie Portman), best costumes and best original score. Look for my review next week.


New in theaters

Fifty Shades Darker

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return to ... action (if you know what we mean) in "Fifty Shades Darker."
Courtesy Universal

Anastasia and Christian reconnect in this sequel to 2015's lousy, decidedly unerotic Fifty Shades of Grey. (I know: I was holding my breath the whole time, too!) Christian stalks tracks down Anastasia to renew their relationship, allowing her to set the terms this time. Along the way, they have to deal with his former lovers (Kim Basinger and Bella Heathcoat) and her over-amorous boss (Eric Johnson). Critics are not, shall we say, aroused. "It’s nice that the two photogenic leads are treating sex like a pleasurable activity rather than an onerous chore in this second entry, but overall, the film plays like an un-asked-for collaboration between the Hallmark and Playboy Channels," writes The Wrap's Alonso Duralde. (R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language; AS-14, H-16)

"Fifty Shades Darker" trailer


John Wick: Chapter 2

Keanu Reeves is back in kick-butt mode in "John Wick: Chapter 2."
Courtesy Lionsgate

The surprise success — with audiences and critics alike — of 2014's John Wick paved the way for this well-regarded sequel. Keanu Reeves returns as a hitman aching to retire from his murderous life, yet continues to be pulled back into action. The film "has style to burn, and oh! what violence—terrible, bone-crunching, glorious violence, beautifully orchestrated by director Chad Stahelski. Like the first picture, it’s heavily influenced by the kinetic, balletic violence of early John Woo movies, but there’s at least a shot-glass dose of the James Bond tradition, too," writes Time's Stephanie Zacherek. (R for strong violence throughout, some language and brief nudity; AS-14, H-16)

"John Wick: Chapter 2" trailer


The Lego Batman Movie

Batman and his Justice League friends are all bricky and yellow in "The Lego Batman Movie."
Courtesy Warner Bros.

Batman, as voiced by the gravelly Will Arnett in full Christian Bale mode, was the runaway star of 2014's The Lego Movie, so it was no surprise that the studio would spin him off into his own movie. Here, director Chris McKay and a team of writers affectionately parody Bruce Wayne and his Dark Knight alter-ego, as well as the whole genre of superhero films. The results are mostly well received. "(K)ids will enjoy the vivid colors and clever use of Lego shapes (the characters shake hands by interlocking their pieces), as well as the dialogue, which has the cheery, slapdash feel of having been written by extremely clever 12-year-olds," writes The Seattle Times' Moira Macdonald. But other critics, like Vulture's David Edelstein, say the film's quality drops off after a great opening sequence: "The last hour is like a night at the comedy club after the headliners have left and the room has the smell of stale beer and flop sweat. Batman’s odyssey from lone bat to family man becomes sincere." (PG for rude humor and some action; AS-14, H-16)

"The Lego Batman Movie" trailer


Special engagements

An Affair to Remember

"An Affair to Remember" trailer

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of this achingly romantic classic starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as a pair who meet and fall in love aboard an ocean liner, then agree to meet again six months later atop the Empire State Building because, sadly, they're both engaged to other people. Fans of Sleepless in Seattle know that their course to true love does not run smoothly. Bring your tissues. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at the Amarillo Star 14 and the Hollywood 16. (NR)


"Newsies" trailer

The Tony Award-winning musical Newsies, an adaptation of the beloved 1992 live-action Disney musical, comes to big screens for a three-day event that opens Feb. 16. Filmed in September 2016 in the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, the stage production brought back several original Broadway cast members, including Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl, The Last Five Years) as Jack Kelly, and several stars of the official North American tour. It will screen at 7 p.m. Feb. 16, 12:55 p.m. Feb. 18 and 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Amarillo Star 14 exclusively. (NR)


Still in theaters

Boo! A Madea Halloween (WM-6); Doctor Strange (WM-6); A Dog's Purpose (AS-14, H-16); Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (WM-6) Hidden Figures (AS-14, H-16); La La Land (AS-14, H-16); Lion (WM-6); Monster Trucks (AS-14, H-16); Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (H-16); Rings (AS-14, H-16); Sing (AS-14, H-16); The Space Between Us (AS-14, H-16); Split (AS-14, H-16); Trolls (WM-6); 20th Century Women (WM-6); and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage (AS-14, H-16). (Click links for my reviews)





Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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