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Parents' Guide to

A Wrinkle in Time

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Inclusive but imperfect take on classic story of hope, love.

Movie PG 2018 109 minutes
A Wrinkle in Time Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 104 parent reviews

age 8+

Not Even Close to the Book

Official Review: D. So, my daughter (age 8) and I have been reading, "A Wrinkle in Time," the past several weeks. We both LOVED the book. So, after we finished reading it, we were very excited to see the movie. Now, obviously modern remakes take some creative license, and we anticipated that. So first, the positives... 1. There's a scene with a message of not judging others because you don't know what others are going through. This was awesome! 2. Excellent visuals, and great acting. I think the main characters were great and did well with the script they had. That's it. Those are the only positives. Needless to say we were both extremely disappointed. This movie is so far from the book it's not even funny! The biggest disappointments for us... (* spoilers*) 1. Our favorite character, "Aunt Beast," wasn't even in the movie. They reference her name, which makes no sense since Meg (the main character) never meets her in the movie. This was sad for two reasons: A. That's like two full chapters near the end of the book that they skip, and those chapters contain a lot of important information... B. In the book, Aunt Beast had 4 arms, tentacles for hands, multiple heads and faces, and fur. We finally have the technology or CGI to make this awesome character, and they just skip it. My daughter waited all movie for Aunt Beast, and Aunt Beast never showed up. 2. They treated, "The Black Thing," and, "It," as the same thing. In the book they are distinctly separate entities. It'd be like saying Voldemort and Snape are the same thing. 3. The scene with the man with red eyes was silly and lame. In the book it's rather intense, and it's also interesting with telepathy (in the movie it's a short, fast conversation). 4. Mrs. Whatsits transformation on Uriel. My daughter loves unicorns. In the book, Mrs. Whatsit essentially changes into a flying unicorn with rainbow wings. In the movie she's like a giant leaf. After the movie was over, my daughter exclaimed, "Why did they make her a plant?!? It makes no sense, and isn't even as cool!" 5. Mrs. Who's quotes. They added in some updated quotes (Outkast or Tucker). That was actually funny, and I appreciate a bit of modernization. But, the other "wise," quotes aren't from the book and aren't nearly as good as what IS in the book. 6. It. In the book, the It is in a room on a dais and is a telepathic brain. In the movie, It, is a large expansive brain (so big it seems like a weird planet) the kids walk on. It just didn't seem gross or creepy like the book. 7. The climactic scene isn't close to what happens in the book. The movie versions is very lacking and not spectacular in anyway. 8. At the end (in the book) Meg and Calvin kiss. It's a final happy ending that the book hinted towards with romantic interest throughout the entire book. In the movie Calvin says, "Can I call you later?" And Meg says, "Yeah." And they go their separate ways. BORING! 9. They add in large "exciting" scenes that aren't in the book, yet cut important scenes. 10. Last, but not least... I'll preface this with saying everyone has their own religious beliefs. But, the author of A Wrinkle In Time was a Christian. In the movie they scrub all Christian references and mentions of God. There's a lengthy part of the book where Jesus is explicitly mentioned as the primary "Warrior of light," which is an important part of the story. In the movie, they made no reference to Jesus, but they did swap Him and other figures (Leonardo Da Vinci, etc) for Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou. I wouldn't mind modern inclusions like this if they kept the original important parts as well. The message in the book is about the Divine. It's about Jesus and Light overcoming darkness. And yes, there are overt portions of the book that make this clear. In the movie it's a bunch of humanist ideology about, "Look within yourself." While it is good to be confident and accepting of oneself, it's rather sad to change the authors original message just to be more palatable. My daughter noticed the difference in messaging too... If 8 year olds are aware of this, the movie went too far. Even if they didn't mention Jesus by name, they easily could have referenced God as an entity that most people believe in, in some form or another. When it was over, my daughter ranted a good 15 minutes about how terrible the movie was in comparison to the book. She gave it an official rating of "E-" because, "An F is too good for it!" But there's hope. My daughter vowed to someday make an accurate remake with the best technology! So, fear not... a good movie is coming in 2040. I wouldn't waste my time on this remake. Just read the book.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
5 people found this helpful.
age 17+


I’m schooled that this got a PG rating. Numerous parts seemed like they were straight out of horror movie.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (104 ):
Kids say (103 ):

This big-hearted adaptation's payoff is more emotional than technical, but, thanks to touching performances, inclusive themes, and inspiring messages, it's easy to appreciate it. Meg is now a biracial middle schooler who's struggling to fit in at her school. Like many teens who feel out of place, she's a lonely misfit who suffers under the wrath of the popular girls, who enjoy tormenting her about her appearance, her interests, and even her father's disappearance. Reid's nuanced performance is lovely, and her vulnerability as Meg underscores the character's development from untrusting cynic to confident warrior. Meanwhile, all three of the actresses playing the Mesdames are obviously having fun in their gorgeous, vibrant costumes and imaginative personas. Kaling's Mrs. Who, who speaks in famous quotes, no longer pulls just from Western classics but also from OutKast, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rumi, and Buddha. Winfrey might as well be Mrs. Which, a wise and supernaturally beloved being who dispenses inspirational one-liners. And Witherspoon's Mrs. Whatsit adds levity to the mix as the flirty, jokey member of the trio. Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who plays Meg and Charles Wallace's mother) are also quite good.

That said, the movie does -- like Meg's experience with time-and-space travel -- have some distinctly bumpy patches. The pacing is uneven: The setup feels rushed, and, unlike Calvin and Meg's relationship in the books, their connection in the movie feels a bit like an "insta-crush" (although it's still sweet). And then there's the script, which includes some clunky exchanges (a couple between Calvin and Meg, as well as between Meg and her principal, plus several courtesy of Charles Wallace, who can be off-putting). Charles Wallace's giftedness turns into major creepiness in a possessed-child sequence that might be too scary for younger kids (and too campy and uncomfortable for adults). But all of these missteps don't take away from the fact Meg's coming-of-age story is a universal, relatable hero's journey that's likely to resonate with fans of kid heroes who discover they have the power to do the extraordinary.

Movie Details

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