Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for Feb. 22 to March 1, including Oscar marathons, 'Annihilation,' 'Game Night,' more
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Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson star in "Annihilation."
Courtesy Paramount Pictures

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

In Amarillo theaters this week: All nine Oscar best picture nominees return, plus new films AnnihilationEvery Day and Game Night hope for an audience in the wake of Black Panther.


Oscar Watch

We're down to the wire for those hoping to catch up before March 4's Oscars broadcast.

You can still catch The Greatest Showman — nominated for Best Song ("This Is Me") — in several screenings per day at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. Here's my review.

The Regal Best Picture Film Festival at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., opens Friday, offering several screenings of each of the nine films nominated for Best Picture in the 90th Academy Awards. Festival pass is $35 through the Regal app, and individual tickets also will be sold. Here's the full schedule (and click the links below for my original reviews):

  • The Post at 1 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Tuesday, 4 p.m. March 1 and 7 p.m. March 2
  • The Shape of Water at 4 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Monday, 10 p.m. Wednesday and 7 p.m. March 3
  • Call Me By Your Name at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Monday, 10 p.m March 1 and 1 p.m. March 4
  • Get Out at 10 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Sunday, 10 p.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. March 1
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at 1 p.m. Saturday, 10 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. March 2
  • Darkest Hour at 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 p.m. Monday, 1 p.m. Wednesday, 7 p.m. March 1 and 1 p.m. March 3
  • Lady Bird at 7 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m. Tuesday, 10 p.m. March 2 and 4 p.m March 4
  • Dunkirk at 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Monday, 4 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. March 3
  • and Phantom Thread at 1 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Wednesday, 1 p.m. March 2 and 10 p.m. March 3

Plus, Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive, will bring back its Oscar Movie Week with two additional screenings of each best picture nominee beginning Monday. Festival pass is $35, and individual tickets are on sale, too. Here's the full schedule, culminating in block screenings of the Oscar-nominated live-action and animated short films March 2 to 4. Click the movie titles for my reviews:


New in theaters


Lena (Natalie Portman), a scientist and former soldier, demands answers when her lost husband (Oscar Isaac) returns after going missing for a year following a mystery mission. Turns out, he was sent inside a swamp that has been consumed by a weird, shimmering force field that is having bizarre effects on the area — and anyone inside it. with an all-female team (including Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Jennifer Jason Leigh), Lena heads inside to figure out just what's going on. Writer/director Alex Garland's last sci-fi film, Ex Machina, wa a stunner, and the reviews are great for this follow-up. "(T)he overall effect is extraordinary: a lavish, magnificently unnerving visual feast threaded through with well-earned jump scares and real metaphysical force. It’s the kind of film that leaves you dazzled, shellshocked — and not entirely sure whether your own moviegoing DNA hasn’t been altered a little in the process," writes Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt. (R for violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


Every Day

A teen girl (Angourie Rice) falls in love with someone — a lot of someones, in fact — in this movie based on the bestselling YA novel by David Levithan. It seems that "A" keeps waking up in a different body every 24 hours, and the teens try desperately to stay together. No reviews have been released yet. (PG-13 for thematic content, language, teen drinking, and suggestive material; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


Game Night

A comedic riff on David Fincher's twisty, chilling The Game, Game Night stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as an intensely competitive couple who host regular get-togethers with friends (including Billy Magnussen and Lamorne Morris). Bateman's venture capitalist brother (Kyle Chandler) suggests shaking up the tradition by taking part in a role-play scenario in which one of them will be kidnaped by paid actors, leaving the others to follow clues and find them. Trouble is, actual bad guys get involved, and the game gets a lot more real and a lot more bloody. Reviews are quite solid. "(A)s ribald and rambunctious as Game Night gets, (Mark) Perez’s script and much of its comedy comes from a place of love rather than spite. This crew isn’t just zinging each other, they’re supporting one another, and the laughs don’t rely on lazy crudeness or non sequitur," writes The Village Voice's April Wolfe. (R for language, sexual references and some violence; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


Special engagements

La Bohème

The Met: Live in HD series presents Franco Zeffirelli's production of the classic Puccini opera starring Sonya Yoncheva and Michael Fabiano. It'll screen at 11:30 a.m. at the Hollywood 16. (NR)


Mary and the Witch's Flower 

This anime fantasy, based on the 1971 children's novel The Little Broomstick, has definite Harry Potter undertones, perhaps making it a good gateway into anime film. It will return for a pair of additional screenings at 12:55 p.m. Saturday (English-dubbed) and 7 p.m. Monday (subtitled) at the Amarillo Star 14. Here's my review. (PG for some action and thematic elements)


Growing Up Coy

The ACLU of Texas and Equality Texas will team for a screening of this film about a young trans girl and her family's fight in a landmark legal case for her right to use the bathroom that matched her gender identity. A panel discussion will follow. The event begins at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Amarillo Public Library Downtown Branch, 413 S.E. Fourth Ave. Admission is free. For details, email (NR)


The Dark Crystal

The epic puppet fantasy that was director Jim Henson's passion project returns to theaters for several screenings in the next two weeks. A Gelfling orphan named Jen tries to find the missing shard of the titular crystal in an effort to restore balance and free his world from the rule of the hideous Skeksis. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday, 2 p.m. March 3, and 2 and 7 p.m. March 6 at the Amarillo Star 14. (PG)


Kirk Cameron: Connect

The actor-turned-evangelist discusses social media and children in this Christian-themed parenting guide screening at 7 p.m. Tuesday and March 1 at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. (NR)



March 2: Advance tickets are on sale now for spy thriller Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence and Death Wish, the Bruce Willis-starring remake of the revenge drama.

March 9: Advance tickets are on sale for fantasy film A Wrinkle in TimeGringoThe Hurricane Heist and The Strangers: Prey at Night also are all scheduled to open wide, but advance tickets are not yet on sale. Dates are subject to change.

March 10: The Met: Live in HD series screens Semiramide, a lesser-known Rossini opera starring Angela Meade as murderous Queen of Babylon, at the Hollywood 16. 

March 11: A digitally remastered version of 2004's Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie returns to Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16 for screenings on March 11 and 12.

March 16: Advance tickets are on sale now for Christian biopic I Can Only Imagine, which tells the story of MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. Showtimes, which are subject to change, are currently only available at Hollywood 16. Love, Simon and Tomb Raider also are scheduled to open wide, but advance tickets are not yet on sale. Dates are subject to change.

March 18 and 21: TCM's Big Screen Classics series will continue a 60th anniversary screening of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. It'll screen at 2 and 7 p.m. both days at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.

March 19: Faith-based nature documentary The Riot and the Dance will screen at both Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16.

March 22: Amarillo Star 14 will screen the National Theatre Live's Julius Caesar starring David Calder, Game of Thrones' Michelle Fairley, Ben Whishaw and David Morrissey. Many NTL screenings aren't picked up by Amarillo theaters, so this is a rare opportunity.

March 23Midnight SunPacific Rim UprisingSherlock GnomesUnsane and Paul, Apostle of Christ are all scheduled to open wide, but advance tickets are not yet on sale. Dates are subject to change.

March 24: Animated fantasy Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies will screen at Amarillo Star 14 on March 24 and 26.

March 25: The Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 kicks off with the heartwarming adventure Ponyo at both the Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. An English-dubbed version will screen March 25 and 28, with a subtitled version screening March 26. The nine-film series also will include The Cat Returns on April 22 to 25, Porco Rosso on May 20 to 23, Pom Poko on June 17 to 20, Princess Mononoke on July 22 to 25, Grave of the Fireflies on Aug. 12 to 15, My Neighbor Totoro on Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, Spirited Away on Oct. 28 to 30, and Castle in the Sky on Nov. 18 to 20.

March 30The Room's Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero re-team for Best F(r)iends, a two-film comedy about a drifter (Sestero) who befriends a mortician (Wiseau), then betrays him and runs away. Part 1 will screen March 30 and April 2, with Part 2 to follow on June 1 and 4. Advance tickets are on sale now at Amarillo Star 14.


Listings at a glance

Click on titles for my reviews and on theaters for showtimes. (As I reported last week, Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6 is undergoing some renovations and will be closed for a couple of weeks.)

Annihilation (AS-14, H-16); Black Panther (AS-14, H-16); Early Man (AS-14, H-16); Every Day (AS-14, H-16); The 15:17 to Paris (AS-14, H-16); Fifty Shades Freed (AS-14, H-16); Game Night (AS-14, H-16); The Greatest Showman (AS-14, H-16); Hostiles (H-16); Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (AS-14, H-16); Peter Rabbit (AS-14, H-16); Samson (AS-14, H-16); Thor: Ragnarok (WM-6); and 12 Strong (AS-14). 



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.