Based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle, fantasy A Wrinkle In Time introduces us to teenager Meg Murry (Reid), who has been finding school – and life – very difficult since the mysterious disappearance of her scientist father (Chris Pine) four years ago.
When her younger brother Charles Wallace (McCabe) introduces her to the quirky Mrs Whatsit (Witherspoon) and Mrs Who (Kaling), who only speaks in other people’s quotes, it’s the start of an adventure that takes the siblings – and Meg’s new friend Calvin (Miller) – across strange, colourful places in the universe in search of their dad. Unfortunately, as the enigmatic Mrs Which (Winfrey) warns, their journey isn’t without danger as there is a growing evil known as The It that threatens the universe and Meg’s own family.
As directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), this is a bold, bright and imaginative movie (just check out the Mrs’ costumes, there’s certainly enough of them) that benefits from some inspired casting – Oprah as a wise celestial being is just perfect, while Reid is terrific in the central role of a slightly nerdy girl who needs to embrace her faults to save the day.
However, there are some missteps, too. McCabe is awkward in a role that proves to be pivotal, a couple of tense scenes are spoiled by some bargain basement CGI, the pop soundtrack is ill fitting and intrusive, and there are a few plot holes that even younger viewers will pick up on. Adults, meanwhile, will smirk as one character is just forgotten about for a portion of the movie and Meg promises not to lose Charles Wallace only to do just that – and not appear to be concerned about it – moments later.
Reminiscent of movies like The Wizard Of Oz and Labyrinth, this is an enjoyable fantastical sci-fi adventure for older kids, even if it isn’t a perfect one.
Is A Wrinkle In Time suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
While L’Engle’s books on which this is based are aimed at children with a reading age of 9 and over, parents should note that the ‘It’ and some of the other scenes in the movie may be a little scary for children under 11.
Younger children may be upset when Charles Wallace becomes part of the It.
Charles Wallace is separated from his sister, which could also be distressing.
One character is shown to choose one of the siblings over the other which may upset younger viewers.
The It is a creeping, black thread of branches and darkness that younger viewers may be frightened of.
There are other, more minor, threats earlier in the movie, including Michael Pena’s character Red, especially when his eyes turn red.
A tornado that Calvin and Meg are thrown into may also frighten very young viewers.
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