Movie Watch: Amarillo film options for Oct. 19 to 26, including 'Madea,' 'Geostorm,' 'Different,' 'Marshall,' more
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Greg Kinnear & Djimon Hounsou star in "Same Kind of Different As Me."
Courtesy Pure Flix

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

It's a crowded week ahead in Amarillo theaters, with seven new films squeezing into the multiplexes. Here's your guide to all of your choices.


New in theaters


When a weather-controlling satellite system is hacked, catastrophic natural disasters strike all over the globe. No reviews yet, but the trailers look almost appealingly silly — "almost" because post-Harvey, Irma, Maria, West Coast fires, et al., the timing of the release certainly could have been a lot better. It'll screen in 3-D and regular format. (PG-13 for destruction, action and violence; click here for showtimes at United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)



The early legal career of judicial giant Thurgood Marshall is explored in this biopic starring Chadwick Boseman (hitting the trifecta of black historical figures after playing Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up). Here, Marshall is called to Connecticut to defend a black man (This Is Us's Sterling K. Brown) who's accused of raping and attempting to murder a white socialite (Kate Hudson). The real-life case found Marshall sidelined in the courtroom by a judge (played by James Cromwell) who wouldn't let the New York lawyer speak in his courtroom, so Marshall called in an insurance lawyer (Josh Gad) who'd never before tried a criminal case to be his mouthpiece. Reviews are fairly positive: "Marshall is not a soup-to-nuts biography of one of the most significant figures in U.S. legal history, but a legal potboiler dependent on teamwork. It pays attention to issues of racial, religious and gender discrimination without wavering from its main objective: giving us an entertaining film about a couple of guys who are in way over their heads," writes's Matt Zoller Seitz. (PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language; click here for showtimes at Hollywood 16)


Only the Brave

This drama, based on a GQ article, tells the real-life story of the first municipal fire department to be certified as a "hot-shot" squad sent in to battle huge forest fires. Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly are among its star-studded cast. The trailers make the film look painfully earnest, so I'm surprised to see that the film is getting really good reviews. "In an era where the words 'based on a true story' can give seasoned filmgoers a sinking feeling, however, this is a film where the complications and messiness of reality add genuine heft to the drama," writes The Wrap's Alonso Duralde. It'll scren in IMAX 2-D and regular formats. (PG-13 for thematic content, some sexual references, language and drug material; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


Same Kind of Different as Me

Another true story — this one based on the hit book about Dallas art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) who, while trying to repair his relationship with his wife (Renée Zellweger), befriends Denver Moore, a homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) whom she claims to have seen in a dream. The relationship between the three ends up radically changing Hall's life in ways he feels were divinely guided. Reviews of the faith-based drama haven't been released, but the Dallas Morning News recently interviewed Hall about the film and his life since writing the bestseller. Amarillo audiences — who have seen the late Moore's artwork at Cerulean Gallery, which represents him — can screen the film Friday as part of a fundraiser for Panhandle Adult Rebuilding Center, which offers homeless adults a place to come during the day to take part in projects and activities. Each $30 ticket pays for not only the purchaser, but also a member of PARC, to attend the 6 p.m. Friday art show and the 7:30 p.m. Friday exclusive screening. (PG-13 for thematic elements including some violence and language; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


The Snowman

A washed-up detective named, of all things, Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) tries to track down a serial killer who leaves behind snowmen at the scenes of his crimes. (It's based on a popular series of mystery novels by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, and presumably, snowmen are scarier in print than on screen.) Swedish director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy) incorporates beautiful Scandanavian scenery into the film, which boasts a strong cast (including J.K. Simmons, Chloe Sevigny and Rebecca Ferguson), but critics are underwhelmed. "The cast share zero screen chemistry, much of the dialogue feels like a clunky first draft and the wearily familiar plot is clogged with clumsy loose ends. While Nesbo's novel was a pulpy page-turner, formulaic but effective, Alfredson and his team have somehow managed to drain it of tension," writes The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Dalton. (R for grisly images, violence, some language, sexuality and brief nudity; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

The boogeyman is coming for Madea (Tyler Perry), Hattie (Patrice Lovely) and Bam (Cassi Davis) in this horror comedy sequel. Reviews are not yet available. (PG-13 for sexual references, drug content, language and some horror images; click here for showtimes at Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16)


Victoria and Abdul

PPBS Small Blog Image and Caption

OK, let's try this again: 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 films, 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. This film was scheduled to screen last weekend but was pulled at the last minute. (PG-13 for some thematic elements and language; click here for showtimes at Hollywood 16) 


Special engagements

Steve McQueen: American Idol

KACV Youtube

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. Thursday at Amarillo Star 14. (NR)


The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Drive, will take us back to Transsexual, Transylvania, in a trio of midnight screenings Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this cult classic — costumes and participation encouraged. Gates open at 11 p.m.; admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children. (R)


A Nightmare on Elm Street

One, two, Freddy's after you — at least for screenings of the 1984 horror favorite during Cinemark's Classics Series. You know the story: Knife-fingered Freddy Krueger comes for teens (including a young Johnny Depp) in their sleep in a macabre revenge plot. It'll screen at 2 p.m. Sunday and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cinemark Hollywood 16. (R)


Revive Us 2

Kirk Cameron, Dr. Ben Carson and others discuss faith, unity and more in this special screening at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Nov. 1 at the Amarillo Star 14 and Hollywood 16. (NR)


RiffTrax: Night of the Living Dead

Revisit the MST3K founders' 2013 riff on George Romero's iconic 1968 horror film in a special 7:30 p.m. Wednesday screening at the Amarillo Star 14. (NR)



Still in theaters

American Assassin (H-16); American Made (AS-14, H-16); Annabelle: Creation (Premiere Cinemas Westgate Mall 6, 7701 W. Interstate 40); Blade Runner 2049 (AS-14, H-16); Cars 3 (WM-6); Flatliners (H-16); The Foreigner (AS-14, H-16); Happy Death Day (AS-14, H-16); The Hitman's Bodyguard (WM-6); It (AS-14, H-16); Kingsman: The Golden Circle (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); Spider-Man: Homecoming (WM-6); and Viceroy's House (WM-6). (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.