Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for March 30 and beyond

Posted by Chip Chandler on
Scarlett Johansson stars in "Ghost in the Shell."
Courtesy Paramount

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

In Amarillo theaters this week: A controversial anime adaptation, a cat's-eye view of Istanbul, and one crabby baby.


New in theaters

The Boss Baby

Alec Baldwin voices the hard-driving, young title character of the new animated comedy "The Boss Baby."
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

This new animated film features Alec Baldwin voicing a(nother) pouty, petty tyrant — an infant whose brother imagines that the new tyke is a corporate raider in the middle of a hostile takeover of the family home. It expands greatly on a popular 2010 picture book by Marla Frazee, and critics say it spreads the idea way too thin. “The Boss Baby sounds like a killer concept for an animated caper to attract kids young and old. Hiring Alec Baldwin to lend his calmly melodious-with-a-whiff-of-malice intonations for a tiny tycoon? Right on the money. ... Add a plotline that pits adorable tykes vs. cuddly puppies in a cuteness competition and what could go wrong? A lot, it seems. Much like any child, even a supposedly surefire nugget of an idea requires careful nurturing. In this case, The Boss Baby often tries too hard and succeeds too little," writes's Susan Wloszczyna in one of the kinder take-downs. (PG for some mild rude humor; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd.; Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive; and Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive)

"The Boss Baby" trailer


Ghost in the Shell

Scarlett Johansson stars in "Ghost in the Machine."
Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Scarlett Johansson stars as Major, a cybernetically enhanced human designed to be a super-warrior in this live-action adaptation of the popular manga and anime series. Little does she know that she is more of a pawn than she realized. The source material, particularly the 1995 anime film, is phenomenally popular, but Johansson's casting provoked accusations of "whitewashing" an Asian character. Initial reviews are fairly positive. "Spectacularly honoring the spirit and aesthetic of Mamoru Oshii’s beloved animated adaptations without resorting wholly to slavish cosplay, this is smart, hard-lacquered entertainment that may just trump the original films for galloping storytelling momentum and sheer, coruscating visual excitement — even if a measure of their eerie, melancholic spirit hasn’t quite carried over to the immaculate new carapace," writes Variety's Guy Lodge. (PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images; AS-14, H-16)

"Ghost in the Shell" trailer



Kamil is one of the Turkish stray cats featured in the new documentary "Kedi."
Courtesy Oscilloscope Pictures

Stray cats strut through Istanbul in this documentary from filmmaker Ceyda Torun, who profiles a half-dozen kitties among the hundreds and hundreds who wander through the city's streets ever day. "The result is at once hypnotic and charming, a movie with the capacity to elicit both the OMG-level effusiveness of internet memes and existential insights," writes IndieWire's Eric Kohn. "Torun interviews a variety of locals about their bonds with the creatures, but the cats themselves take center stage, transforming the experience into a spiritual meditation on their significance to modern civilization." (NR; Premiere Cinema Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40)

"Kedi" trailer


Special engagements

North by Northwest

"North by Northwest" trailer

TCM Big Screen Classics brings back this Alfred Hitchcock favorite, starring Cary Grant as an ad executive pursued across the country by a killer who mistakes him for a spy. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at the Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. (NR)


The Case for Christ

"The Case for Christ" trailer

This faith-based drama follows a journalist Lee Strobel's (Mike Vogel) attempts to find proof of Christ's life. Based on a popular book by the real-life Strobel, the film also stars Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster. The 7 p.m. April 6 screening will feature a live Q&A with Strobel and his wife, Leslie. (PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking; AS-14, H-16)


Still in theaters

Beauty and the Beast (AS-14, H-16, TDI);  CHiPS (AS-14, H-16); Fist Fight (WM-6); Get Out (H-16); Hidden Figures (WM-6); Kong: Skull Island (AS-14, H-16);Life (AS-14, H-16); Logan (AS-14, H-16); Moana (WM-6); Monster Trucks (WM-6); Power Rangers (AS-14, H-16); Rock Dog (WM-6); Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (WM-6); Sing (WM-6); and The Shack (AS-14, H-16). (Click links for my reviews)

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