So much wasted potential in this one. It could have been a great movie for both children and adults, a Labyrinth for the age of CGI and social justice. Instead, it’s a confused, hurried mess in which lots of Stuff happens for no good reason; a Michael Bay extravaganza for your middle-schooler. My daughter (6) liked it, but even she questioned a major plot point. “But, why did X become evil, daddy?” I’ve no idea, Honey, and I’m not sure the screenwriters gave it much thought either.

Such is the faith of many book adaptations; this one even more so, having had to pass through the Disney committee wringer. I haven’t read the book(s? That’s how much I know about the potential franchise) but I’ve read and watched enough fantasy to know that 1) your made-up world needs to have rules, and 2) if you break them, it better be for a good reason. The few week rules set in the Wrinkle’s first half are promptly broken at the half-time, with no explanation and nothing to replace them. Instead you get a holodeck of a planet, where anything can happen: hurricane in a haunted forest turns into a Stepford wives cul-de-sac turns into a crowded beach, and no there is nothing connecting those dots.

Which is too bad — each one of those scenes would’ve made a good episode for the second season of the unmade Wrinkle TV show, perfect for Disney’s new streaming service. Such a waste.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, 2018