The first wave of reviews for the highly-anticipated "A Wrinkle in Time" are out — and they are a mixed bag.
Most of the reviews laud the gorgeous production, dazzling special effects, and the sheer spectacle of the movie. But they also call it a "disappointment" and a "mess."
Here's a roundup:
The New York Times: "A Wrinkle in Time," faithful to the affirmative, democratic intelligence of the book, is also committed to serving its most loyal and susceptible audience. This is, unapologetically, a children's movie, by turns gentle, thrilling and didactic, but missing the extra dimension of terror and wonder that would have transcended the genre.
Entertainment Weekly: "So 'A Wrinkle in Time' hits that unfortunate un-sweet spot common to big-budget science-fiction/fantasy, where the spectacle feels more summarized than experienced."
The Hollwyood Reporter: "Only the faintest glimmers of genuine, earned emotion pierce through the layers of intense calculation that encumber Ava DuVernay's 'A Wrinkle in Time.'"
USA Today: "Director Ava DuVernay (Selma) tries hard for a big-hearted fantasy adventure akin to 'The NeverEnding Story' with an enchanting teen heroine and sparkling visuals. Still, those positives can't help 'Wrinkle' ... which is plundered by a woeful, head-scratching adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's sci-fi children's classic."
NPR: "As you might expect from a pricey Disney fantasy that takes place on different planets and in different dimensions, it's beautiful to look at, with an intentionally elevated unreality that helps gloss over the imperfections of computer animation."
AV Club: "... they have a committed cast and a talented director in addition to the studio's vast monetary resources. But only Reid and Pine feel like they're playing fully imagined characters, and DuVernay wrestles with how to make the overstuffed material both contemporary and timeless."
SlashFilm: It "is a surprising, distinctive, sometimes mawkish, sometimes emotionally wrenching, and all-over-the-place journey. While the film is not always satisfying, its ambitions are winning enough.
Collider: "For every moment of colorful imagination, you have a CGI overload that makes the characters feel untethered from their surroundings. For every honest bit of character development, you have stilted dialogue that falls flat. Instead of leaping through adventure, the film frequently feels like it's stumbling from scene to scene."