Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for Oct. 12 to 19, including 'The Foreigner,' 'Victoria and Abdul,' more

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Jessica Rothe stars in "Happy Death Day."
Courtesy Universal

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

New in Amarillo theaters this week: A Groundhog Day-inspired slasher, a Jackie Chan thriller and a pair of historical dramas about India and England. (UPDATE: Make that one historical drama — see below.)


New in theaters

The Foreigner

Jackie Chan stars as a father on a mission in "The Foreigner."
Courtesy STX Films

Jackie Chan goes the Liam Neeson route, playing a father looking for vengeance after his daughter is killed in a bombing. (Good thing he has special-forces training.) His search for answers puts him on the trail of a British government official (Pierce Brosnan) with past ties to the IRA. The movie, by director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), is getting decent reviews: "(It) amounts to an above-average but largely by-the-numbers action movie in which Chan does battle with generic thugs and shadowy political forces," writes Variety's Peter Debruge. (R for violence, language and some sexual material; click here for showtimes at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)

"The Foreigner" trailer


Happy Death Day

A college student (Jessica Rothe) finds herself trapped in a deadly cycle in "Happy Death Day."
Courtesy Universal

A sorority girl wakes up in a stranger's dorm room on her birthday, hung over from a party the night before, and goes about her day as usual — until she's murdered by a masked creep. And then she wakes up again to do it all over. Yes, it's a Groundhog's Day riff — presumably with a lot more blood — but the trailer is fun and the fact that it's from Blumhouse Productions (which also put out Get Out and Split) makes me optimistic, even though reviews have yet to come out. (PG-13 for violence/terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)

"Happy Death Day" trailer


Viceroy's House

Neeraj Kabi (Gandhi), Hugh Bonneville (Mountbatten) and Gillian Anderson (Edwina) star in "Viceroy's House."
Courtesy IFC Films

Director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) explores the liberation of India and the formation of Pakistan during the 1947 Indian Partition in this glossy historical drama. Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) stars as Lord Mountbatten, placed (somewhat) in charge of making the separation happen, with Gillian Anderson as his wife and Denzil Smith as Muslim leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Chadha reflects the native population's side of the story primarily through a Romeo-and-Juliet-style romance between valet Jeet (Manish Dayal) and translator Aalia (Huma Qureshi). I got a preview screener and found the film to be informative but a bit shallow: "(T)he well-made but staid historical drama is almost an afterthought following the end titles, which reveal that 14 million people were displaced and one million died in the partition-caused refugee crisis, and that Chadha's own grandmother barely survived being placed in a refugee camp." (NR; click here for showtimes at Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40)

"Viceroy's House" trailer


Victoria & Abdul

Judi Dench reprises her role as Queen Victoria opposite Ali Fazal as her Indian tutor in "Victoria and Abdul."
Courtesy Focus Features

Judi Dench first played Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown, a 1997 drama that found the queen recovering from the death of her husband thanks to the friendship of a Scottish servant. Now, Dench dons royal robes again to play a later-in-life Victoria in this new (unrelated) film by director Stephen Frears. But again, Victoria's malaise (this time caused by a general dissatisfaction in her advanced years) is lightened by the arrival of an Indian man (Ali Fazal) who becomes the queen's tutor and close confidant. It's one of those "mostly" based on true events, and Frears brings a light touch, according to many critics. "(Despite) the imbalance between the movie’s titular twosome ... there are multiple pleasures to be had by witnessing a powerful, still-vital woman finding unexpected late-life joy of the platonic variety," writes's Susan Wloszczyna. (PG-13 for some thematic elements and language; click here for showtimes at Hollywood 16) (UPDATE: Victoria and Abdul was scheduled at least through Thursday morning to open here, but as of Thursday evening, it no longer appears on the schedule. I've reached out to Cinemark and Focus Features to see why it was pulled so late and if it will be rescheduled.) (SECOND UPDATE: Victoria & Abdul is expected to open at the Hollywood 16 on Oct. 20, instead. "It is still tentative, but likely. We’ll know by Monday," Cinemark marketing manager Ashten Conroy told me.) 

"Victoria and Abdul" trailer


Special engagements

6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain

"6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain" trailer

Josh Hartnett and Mira Sorvino star in this faith-based story about former professional hockey player Eric LeMarque, who survived a cataclysmic winter storm in the High Sierras. It'll screen at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Amarillo Star 14. (PG-13 for thematic elements including drug addiction, some disturbing images and brief partial nudity)


Wild Texas Film Tour

Wild Texas Film Tour trailer

Amarillo native Ben Masters got the movie bug when filming nature documentary Unbranded. Now, he's bringing seven new short wildlife films (including four he directed) to venues around the state, including Amarillo. (Here's my preview.) The event begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. Tickets are $20, plus fees. Call 806-378-3096.


RWBY: Vol. 5

"RWBY Vol. 5" trailer

The anime series about four girls who become the protectors of their world hits theaters for one night only at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Amarillo Star 14.


Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part 2

"Friday the 13th" original trailer

Jason Vorhees will be stalking the Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive, in a double feature of the initial two installments of the slasher franchise. They'll screen beginning at dark Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the drive-in. (Both R)


Die Zauberflöte

"Die Zauberflöte" trailer

James Levine conducts Julie Taymor's (The Lion King) mystical version of Mozart's magical fable for The Met: Live in HD. It'll screen at 12:55 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood 16. (NR)


Hotel Transylvania and Zombieland

"Zombieland" trailer

The Sandell Drive-In in Clarendon will screen a spooky double feature — Hotel Transylvania and Zombieland — for its Halloween Special, a fundraiser for Girl Scouts. The event will include a costume contest and a trunk or treat. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the drive-in, 12 S. Center Drive in Clarendon. Admission is $7 or $20 for carload. Call 806-874-0685. (PG and R)


The Princess Bride

"The Princess Bride" anniversary screening trailer

The snarky fable gets a 30th anniversary screening as part of TCM's Big Screen Classics series. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at both the Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.


Samurai Jack

"Samurai Jack" trailer

The acclaimed animated series' premiere movie is fully remastered and in theaters for one night only at 7 p.m. Monday at the Amarillo Star 14.


Steve McQueen: American Idol

"Steve McQueen: American Icon" trailer

The late actor — known for Bullitt and The Great Escape, among other films — is profiled in a documentary hosted by Pastor Greg Laurie. It'll encore again at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Amarillo Star 14. (NR)


Arriving Oct. 19 and 20

"Same Kind of Different As Me" trailer

Advance tickets are on sale now for horror comedy Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, sci-fi thriller Geostorm, firefighter drama Only the Brave, inspirational drama Same Kind of Different As Me and thriller The Snowman.


Still in theaters

American Assassin (H-16); American Made (AS-14, H-16); Annabelle: Creation (WM-6); Battle of the Sexes (H-16); Blade Runner 2049 (AS-14, H-16); Cars 3 (WM-6); Despicable Me 3 (H-16); Flatliners (AS-14, H-16); Home Again (H-16); It (AS-14, H-16); Kingsman: The Golden Circle (AS-14, H-16); The Lego Ninjago Movie (AS-14, H-16); The Mountain Between Us (AS-14, H-16); My Little Pony: The Movie (AS-14, H-16); The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (WM-6); A Question of Faith (AS-14); Spider-Man: Homecoming (WM-6); and The Stray (AS-14). (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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