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It's clear that Disney is currently riding high off of Black Panther's critical and commercial success, but there's another major debut on the horizon as well. Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time is about to premiere in theaters, and reviews have started hitting the web, following up on the recent social media reactions to the movie. Now that the critics have had a chance to see the film, it looks like the response has been decidedly mixed. As CinemaBlend's review of the film puts it:
Despite some sharp visuals and interesting ideas, the film ultimately tells a meandering story that fails to capture the magic of the source material. Fans of A Wrinkle in Time have waited decades for a truly great adaptation of the book, but it looks like they are going to have to keep waiting.
So, while A Wrinkle in Time has some inventive visuals and fresh ideas going for it, it's also poorly paced and lacks a necessary sense of urgency to drive the story forward. There are elements of the story that definitely work, but A Wrinkle in Time never comes together to become more than the sum of its parts.
That's a sentiment echoed in The Chicago Sun Times' review of A Wrinkle in Time. There's praise to be had for the film's big creative swings, but very little of it actually pays off in a substantive way. The review specifically says:
Movie magic is an elusive thing. A Wrinkle in Time is a bold film that takes big chances from start to finish, in a courageous effort to be something special. (You're not hedging your bets when Oprah Winfrey is playing a literally large-than-life entity with bejeweled eyebrows and crazy hair.) But for all its scenes of characters flying and soaring and zooming here and there, it never really takes off.
The Vanity Fair review of A Wrinkle in Time makes a similar point about the balance of creativity and coherence. While the film breaks new ground in the sense that Ava DuVernay is the first black woman to helm a movie of this size and scale, some visuals and camera tricks don't come together in a way that works for the film. Per Vanity Fair:
What a shame, then, that the end product of that history-making work is such a mess. DuVernay can't seem to settle on a consistent visual or narrative cadence. Her camera is all over the place, hurtling in for woozy close-ups and then rearing back to reveal what is meant to be vast splendor but is often just bland C.G.I. prettiness. (Sometimes it's not even that pretty.) There's a fatally synthetic, perfunctory quality to all this aesthetic bounty, as if it's only there because the filmmakers think it needs to be. This is, after all, a big spring Disney release.
With all of that said, some reviews have good things to say about A Wrinkle in Time. Chief among these is The New York Times' review of the film, which praises its emotional core, timely themes, and colorful aesthetic. As that review stated:
Like Mrs. Which and her colleagues, "A Wrinkle in Time" is demonstratively generous, encouraging and large-spirited. Though it is full of bright colors and passages of visual dazzle, it trusts words more than images, spelling out messages about love, courage and self-acceptance with the conscientious care of a teacher reading aloud to a class. (It also makes canny use of music, both Ramin Djawadi's score and songs from of-the-moment pop and hip-hop artists.) Nobody will miss the lessons of the movie, and they are fine and timely lessons. Those who take them most to heart will find their way back to Madeleine L'Engle.
So all in all, it looks like there's a fair amount of good and bad to be found in A Wrinkle in Time. There are strong elements that certainly seem to work in its favor, but the critical consensus seems to be somewhat split on the final verdict.
That's what a handful of critics have to say about A Wrinkle in Time, but you don't have to wait much longer to check the film out for yourself. Make sure to watch out for A Wrinkle in Time when it debuts this weekend on March 9, and keep an eye on CinemaBlend's movie premiere guide to see what else 2018 has in store!