Wrinkle in Time May Not Be Worth Yours

Joe Morgenstern calls big-budget film 'a great disappointment'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2018 8:30 AM CST

More than 50 years after it was written, Madeleine L'Engle's beloved children's tale about a girl who hopes to rescue her father from a distant planet, to which he's traveled through a wrinkle in time, is hitting the big screen. What did Ava DuVernay manage with an all-star cast and a $100 million budget? Here's what critics are saying about A Wrinkle in Time:

  • Though he applauds actors Zach Galifianakis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Joe Morgenstern calls A Wrinkle in Time "a magical mystery tour minus the magic and mystery, and a great disappointment," at the Wall Street Journal. He argues moviemakers "lacked an original vision" and fell to "illustrating the book … yet never found its emotional essence, or the intimacy and spontaneity to convey it." The writing is sub-par, too, he says.
  • It just "feels a little empty," as Josephine Livingstone puts it at New Republic. Whereas the book conveyed a "dreaminess," the art direction in this Disney flick, and its heavy reliance on CGI, allow for elements "so bright and polished … that they look videogame-ish," Livingstone writes. "The magic just never arrived" and "the kid in me left the theater sadly disappointed."

  • Not Bruce DeMara. A Wrinkle in Time is an "emotionally charged, tension-filled and ultimately satisfying" film, boasting "splendidly rendered" special effects, "sumptuous" cinematography, "beautifully detailed" settings, and a "sublime" musical score, he writes at the Toronto Star. All that is topped by "the wonderful and surprisingly mature performances" of Deric McCabe, Levi Miller, and Storm Reid, he adds. Reid is "simply outstanding."
  • Ann Hornaday agrees the young actors "more than hold their own" opposite powerhouses Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey. Indeed, they help present a "pleasing" ad­ven­ture that stands "as a clarion call for young people rising up against the forces of cynicism, corruption and wanton cruelty." Such value overpowers the film's "convoluted leaps and hurried lack of logic," Hornaday writes at the Washington Post.
(More movie review stories.)

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