Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for the weekend of June 24

Posted by Chip Chandler on
Aliens attack in "Independence Day: Resurgence."
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

In movie theaters this week: A new attack by some familiar alien foes, an untold tale of the Civil War and Blake Lively facing off against a killer shark.


Free State of Jones

Matthew McConaughey stars in "Free State of Jones."Matthew McConaughey stars in "Free State of Jones."Courtesy STX Films

Matthew McConaughey stars as Newton Knight, a Southern man who abandons the Confederate army in 1862 and turns into a guerrilla insurrectionist in the Mississippi bayous, rebelling against the Southern forces. Reviews are looking pretty grim: “(T)here is never much doubt about the kind of man that Newton Knight is. He’s Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves crossed with a saintly Marxist professor crossed with a white version of Malcolm X,” writes Owen Gleiberman for Variety. “For all the ravaged surface appeal of McConaughey’s performance, the character is a little too good to be true, but then, that’s just the sort of movie Free State of Jones is. It’s a tale of racial liberation and heroic bloodshed that is designed, at almost every turn, to lift us up to that special place where we can all feel moved by what good liberals we are.” Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Gate is kinder: “Free State of Jones is an extraordinarily ambitious film, and for that reason, it’s not perfect.” (R for brutal battle scenes and disturbing graphic images; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)

"Free State of Jones" trailer


Independence Day: Resurgence

LIam Hemsworth stars in "Independence Day: Resurgence."LIam Hemsworth stars in "Independence Day: Resurgence."Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Twenty years after the first Independence Day shattered box office records comes this sequel, another in a line of reboots of popular sci-fi films and franchises. In the film, Earth is again invaded by an alien army — a new one this time, which appear to be shiny white orbs with disembodied voices. They face a new generation of fighters (including Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe and Jessie T. Usher as the son of the absent Will Smith) as well as returning cast members like Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox and Bill Pullman. Reviews are decent: “The whole point of this franchise is watching a lot of alien butt get kicked, and their slimy scrawny tushes are well and truly whopped here in gloriously rendered, hyper-realistic detail,” writes Leslie Felperin for the Hollywood Reporter. Others are more skeptical: “Essentially, it’s the same as the first movie, but bigger and, depending upon where you see it, now in 3D,” says Jason Solomons for the Wrap. (PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language; AS-14, H-16)

"Independence Day: Resurgence" trailer


Pali Road

Jackson Rathbone and Michelle Chen star in "Pali Road."Jackson Rathbone and Michelle Chen star in "Pali Road."Courtesy Crimson Forest Films

Taiwanese actress Michelle Chen stars in this thriller as a doctor who survives a car crash only to wake up in an unfamiliar landscape: She’s now married to a doctor (Sung Kang) she was previously uninterested in, and no one has heard of the man she had been dating (Jackson Rathbone). Is she nuts? Or is someone just trying to make her think she is? Reviews are mixed: “A lot of the weight of selling the story falls on Ms. Chen, and she’s not entirely up to the challenge, but (director Jonathan) Lim is able to build suspense anyway,” writes Neil Genzlinger for the New York Times. (NR; Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 E. Interstate 40)

"Pali Road" trailer


The Shallows

Blake Lively stars in "The Shallows."Blake Lively stars in "The Shallows."Courtesy Sony Pictures

Blake Lively stars as a surfer who is stranded off a secluded beach – in the feeding grounds of a great white shark. Buzz is pretty good – and the concept itself is pretty terrifying – but the movie doesn’t appear to have been screened yet for critics. (PG-13 for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief strong language; AS-14, H-16)

"The Shallows" trailer


Special engagements

"Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" will return to theaters Sunday and Wednesday."Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" will return to theaters Sunday and Wednesday.Courtesy Warner Bros.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory: Turner Classic Movies brings this children's favorite (the 1971 original with Gene Wilder) back to theaters for screenings at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at the Amarillo Star 14 and the Hollywood 16. 

Copa America Centenario: The final game of this international men's soccer tournament will screen live at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Hollywood 16. 

The MST3K Reunion Show: Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bridget Nelson and the host of the revived MST3K, Jonah Ray, come together for this special event marking the 10th anniversary of their RiffTrax tomfoolery and the impending launch of the new MST3K. It'll screen live at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Amarillo Star 14, then rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m. July 12. 


Still playing

The Angry Birds Movie (Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive); Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (WM-6); The Boss (WM-6); Captain America: Civil War (H-16); Central Intelligence (AS-14, H-16); The Conjuring 2 (AS-14, H-16); Finding Dory (AS-14, H-16, TDI); The Huntsman: Winter's War (WM-6); Me Before You (AS-14, H-16); My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (WM-6); Now You See Me 2 (AS-14, H-16); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (AS-14, H-16); Warcraft (AS-14, H-16); X-Men: Apocalypse (H-16); and Zootopia (WM-6).

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