Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for Jan. 27 and beyond

Posted by Chip Chandler on
Dennis Quaid stars in "A Dog's Purpose."
Courtesy Universal

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Eight Best Picture nominees, a surprisingly controversial dog movie and the final chapter of an "Evil" franchise: These are your film choices in Amarillo in the coming week.


Oscar Watch


Trevante Rhodes, left, and Andre Holland star in "Moonlight," opening for a limited Amarillo run Friday.
Courtesy A24

This heartfelt drama, which tied second on nomination day with eight nods (including Best Picture), opens for a likely limited run, screening back to back with a returning Manchester by the Sea at the United Artists Amarillo Star 14. Moonlight, probably my favorite film of 2016 (I caught it in November in Lubbock), makes a decidedly specific story — that of a young black boy turned man in a poverty-striken Miami neighborhood — into a heartbreakingly universal tale, touching anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. (R for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd.)

"Moonlight" clip

Other Oscar films:

  • Best Picture nominee Arrival (also up for eight Oscars in all) returns for a single screening per night at the Amarillo Star 14;
  • Best Picture nominee Fences (four nominations total) returns for a single screening per night at the Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive;
  • Best Picture nominee Hacksaw Ridge (up for a total of six Oscars) gets a few daily screenings at both multiplexes;
  • Best Picture nominee Hidden Figures (three nominations) continues screening several times per day at both multiplexes;
  • Best Picture nominee La La Land (which scored a record-tying 14 nods) will hoof its way through several screenings per day at both multiplexes;
  • Best Picture nominee Lion (up for six awards) continues for a third week at Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40;
  • As mentioned above, Manchester by the Sea (also up for six) returns for two screenings per day at the Amarillo Star 14;
  • Disney hit Moana returns for special sing-along screenings at both multiplexes;
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (nominated for two technical awards) continues at both multiplexes
  • And Trolls (nominated for best original song) continues screening in both 2D and 3D at Westgate Mall 6.


New in theaters

A Dog's Purpose

A.J. Apa stars in "A Dog's Purpose."
Courtesy Universal

A well-timed leak (suspiciously so?) of on-set footage of a dog apparently being forced to do a stunt might tank this film's chances in the box office. But animal lovers might still be willing to overlook the controversy to check out Lasse Hallström's adaptation of the W. Bruce Cameron novel about a dog that's reborn several times to better the lives of its owners. Critics are not being kind. "Well, a dog's purpose, it turns out, is to be reincarnated into a different sappy mini-Hallmark movie after every death," writes the Village Voice's Chris Packham. IndieWire's Jude Wry writes that he's not surprised that a studio would want to make a feel-good dog film, but the film "is a lot harder to understand when you consider that it’s a kids’ movie featuring multiple dog characters suffering and dying." (PG for thematic elements and some peril; AS-14, H-16)

"A Dog's Purpose" trailer



Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez star in "Gold."
Courtesy The Weinstein Co.

Matthew McConaughey stars as a 1980s miner who strikes it big in Indonesia before wrangling with voracious Wall Street types in this somewhat based-on-fact story. The film's getting middling reviews at best, but McConaughey's performance is getting positive notices. "Kenny is another revelatory transformation for McConaughey. Fake chompers and a paunch help him inhabit a man driven less by money (though that’s cool, too) than a familial manifest destiny to mine. It’s ultimately that pride that deep-sixes him heading into the great third act," writes USA Today's Brian Truitt. (R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity; AS-14, H-16)

"Gold" trailer


Un Padre No Tan Padre

Héctor Bonilla stars in the Spanish-language comedy "Un Padre No Tan Padre."
Courtesy Lionsgate

An old-fashioned man (Héctor Bonilla) is kicked out of his retirement home for being too difficult and must move in with his son (Benny Ibarra de Llano) and his hippie friends in this Spanish-language comedy. Reviews (also in Spanish) appear to be fairly positive but mixed. (PG-13 for drug material, some language and partial nudity; H-16)

"Un Padre No Tan Padre" trailer


Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Milla Jovovich stars in "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter."
Courtesy Sony Pictures

Alice (Milla Jovovich), now stripped of her psychic powers, is humanity's last hope against destruction in this sixth — and, at least as the title implies, last — installment of the popular, video-game-based franchise. It wasn't screened in advance for critics, but it's not like you don't know what you're getting into, right? (R for sequences of violence throughout; AS-14, H-16)

"Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" trailer


Special engagements

Dirty Dancing

"Dirty Dancing" trailer

Have the time of your life at a 30th anniversary screening of this '80s drama starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at both the Amarillo Star 14 and the Cinemark Hollywood 16. (PG-13)


Still in theaters

Split: The surprise box office success of this M. Night Shyamalan thriller isn't the only shock it has in store for unsuspecting audiences. I'll resist the temptation to talk about the film's final moments, but I will say that they reconceptualize everything that the movie has presented in the preceding two hours in a potentially fun, possibly wasteful way. There's plenty more to speak of besides those final words, though: Shyamalan sheds a lot of the pomposity that began infecting his films pretty much right after the runaway success of The Sixth Sense, turning in a fun B-movie here. James McAvoy has a lot of infectious fun as Kevin, a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder (which, as I understand it, has pretty much been debunked in real life, but makes one heck of a hook for movies). Among his 24 personalities are Dennis, the OCD-suffering planner; Barry, a gay fashionista; Patricia, a prim British woman; Hedwig, a lisping 9-year-old boy; and the Beast, who's ready to kill you all. More specifically, he's ready to kill the three young women Dennis has kidnapped from a mall parking lot and brought to a secret underground lair, but the girls, particularly Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), are ready to fight back. The scares are effective, the characters are well drawn, and the science is pure hokum — great ingredients for a fun night at the movies. Taylor-Joy makes for an unusually effective figure, and Betty Buckley does great, warm work as Kevin's therapist. And with both the financial success of the film and the promise of the last few seconds, McAvoy will have at least one more chance to have fun in these roles. (PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language; AS-14, H-16)

Arrival(AS-14); Boo! A Madea Halloween (WM-6); The Bye Bye Man (AS-14); Collateral Beauty (WM-6); Fences (H-16); Hidden Figures (AS-14, H-16); Hacksaw Ridge (AS-14, H-16); La La Land (AS-14, H-16); Lion (WM-6); Manchester by the Sea (AS-14); Moana (AS-14, H-16); Monster Trucks (AS-14, H-16); Office Christmas Party (WM-6); Ouija: Origin of Evil (WM-6); Patriots Day (AS-14, H-16); The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (H-16); Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (AS-14, H-16); Sing (AS-14, H-16); Split (AS-14, H-16); Trolls (WM-6); XXX: The Return of Xander Cage (AS-14, H-16); and Why Him? (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 at on Facebook.

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