Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for May 18 and beyond

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
The creatures return in "Alien: Covenant."
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Facehuggers, wimps, tragic teen lovers and a Bandit-chasing Smokey: Here's what's coming to Amarillo theaters in the week ahead. Plus, my thoughts on Snatched and The Wall.


New in theaters

Alien: Covenant

Katherine Waterston and Demian Bichir star in "Alien: Covenant."
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Director Ridley Scott continues the prequel series leading up to his sci-fi / horror classic Alien with this new, weighty installment, set a decade later than Prometheus and 20 years before Alien. "The philosophical Prometheus was satisfying for those enthralled by Scott’s overarching vision, while those who just wanted man-vs.-monster madness were decidedly let down. Alien: Covenant splits the difference, stitching together the thoughtful with the terrifying for a film that mostly delivers the goods," writes Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Cary Darling. (R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity; click here for showtimes at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)

"Alien: Covenant" clip


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Jason Drucker stars in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul."
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

The Heffley family returns looking a bit different than they did in the original three movies of this middle-school franchise. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott take over from Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn as the parentals, with Jason Drucker and Charlie Wright as wimpy Greg and older brother Rodrick in tow. "One hesitates to refer to it as a 'comedy,' as the jokes are few and far between. No, 'horror' was the word that popped into mind frequently during these grim 90 minutes," writes Tribune News Service's Katie Walsh. (PG for some rude humor; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" trailer


Everything, Everything

Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson star in the YA romance "Everything, Everything."
Courtesy Warner Bros.

A teen girl (Amandla Stenberg) is trapped in her home because of her medically fragile condition, but that doesn't stop her from falling for the boy next door, Olly (Nick Robinson, Jurassic World), in this adaptation of a YA novel by Nicola Yoon. No reviews are out yet, but expect teen girls to swoon. (PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)

"Everything, Everything" trailer


Special engagements

Smokey & The Bandit

"Smokey and the Bandit" trailer

Get eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin' to this 40th anniversary screening of this comedy favorite through TCM Big Screen Classics. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at both the Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. (PG)


In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem

"In Our Hands" documentary

Christian Broadcasting Network presents a documentary commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Six Days War in Israel. It'll screen at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Amarillo Star 14. (NR)


Still in theaters


Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn star in "Snatched."
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are a terrific team in a so-so vehicle in the action comedy Snatched — certainly not an all-time classic, but definitely enjoyable for what it is. And what it is — beyond simply being a rather disposable comedy — is a raunchy, female-led comedy that brings Hawn back to the big screen for the first time in 15 years. That's good enough for me. I've seen far harsher reviews that I just don't get: Snatched isn't nearly bad enough to deserve the vitriol — but, then, Schumer is nothing if not divisive. The movie reminded me of a naughtier version of the action comedies of the '80s, like Romancing the Stone or Outrageous Fortune — not necessarily stone-cold classics, but films that I love to watch over and over again. Snatched, scripted by Katie Dippold and directed by Jonathan Levine, moves a lot quicker than I expected, kept my interest engaged almost the entire time and made me laugh several times; I'm OK with that. (R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


The Wall

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena star in "The Wall."
Courtesy Roadshow Attractions

I can't think of another war movie that I've ever seen that I could envision working as well on screen as it would as a stage play. But The Wall, director Doug Liman's modestly budgeted three-man drama, could easily transfer to a legit theater and lose almost nothing in translation. Is it wholly successful as a film? Not really, but the attempt is admirable and the movie is mostly engaging. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) stars as a U.S. soldier in the latter days of the Iraq War in 2007. He and a fellow soldier, played by wrestler and hopeful actor John Cena, have been scouting out a construction site where several contractors and security guards have been killed. Was it a run-and-gun attack, or were their deaths at the hands of a sniper? It's no spoiler to say that it's the latter, who pins down our two heroes for the remainder of the movie. We only hear his purring voice (provided by Laith Nakli) throughout the film as he plays mindgames with Taylor-Johnson's Isaac, who's trapped behind the titular wall as Cena's Matthews is bleeding out in front of him. Liman keeps the tension ramped up fairly well, even though large stretches of the movie just feature Taylor-Johnson and Nakli needling each other over a radio as Isaac tries to figure out how to survive. Weighty issues like the justness of the Iraq War are floated, giving the audience fodder for thought that's frankly deeper than most recent war movies, and the script (by first-timer Dwain Worrell) has several unexpected surprises, including an ending that ... well, I'll say no more. It's not a total success, but I admire the attempt. (R for language throughout and some war violence; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)



Beauty and the Beast (H-16); Born in China (H-16); The Boss Baby (H-16); The Fate of the Furious (AS-14, H-16); Ghost in the Shell (WM-6); Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (AS-14, H-16, and Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Tascosa Drive); Hidden Figures (TDI); How to Be a Latin Lover (AS-14, H-16); King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (AS-14, H-16); The Lego Batman Movie (WM-6); Life (WM-6); Lowriders (AS-14); Power Rangers (WM-6); The Shack (WM-6); Snatched (AS-14, H-16); Split (WM-6); Unforgettable (WM-6); and The Wall (H-16). (Click on titles for my reviews and on theaters for showtimes)




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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