A Wrinkle in Time

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
A Wrinkle in Time Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

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

PG 2018 109 minutes

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 102 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 100 reviews

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Community 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
1 person found this helpful.
age 8+

Big departure from the book

If you read this book as a child and have been revisiting it over the years with your own kids, be ready for a totally different experience with this movie. None of the characters are as described in the book, many scenes and actions are newly invented for the movie version. Madeleine L’Engle’s quaint dialogue is completely gone- Mother is mom and Father is daddy. Mrs Whatsit is like 25 years old and Mrs Which is, well Oprah. So you get the picture, this is not the story you have in your head. That being said, the theme of goodness battling evil and the power of family and love is still front and center. The special effects will blow you out of your seat. Both my 12 and 14 year old were surprised by how loud and confusing some of the scenes were- and they are big fans of Marvel action movies, so it was definitely very LOUD! Both of my kids are fans of the book. My 14 year old son rolled his eyes about 4 times at the final invented ending which I don’t think is as good as the plot twist in the book. My 12 year old daughter liked the movie and was fine with the ending- it brings home the theme of learning to love yourself and being true to who you are. My son liked the book better and didn’t particularly like the movie- It’s not really going to be a hit with teenage boys I don’t imagine, so that’s understandable. However the trailer for Ready Player One had his eyeballs popping out of their sockets and was probably the best part of his movie experience tonight. I am torn as to how I feel. I’m an extremely loyal Madeline L’Engle fan and have read all her books including the autobiography. I’m a little squeamish that she is not here to give a nod of approval to the many changes made to her beautiful book. I will say that I liked most of the acting. I know the director put her heart and soul into this.... they certainly worked hard on making this an epic special effects extravaganza which I guess is a must for a successful movie nowadays. But, I just kind of loved the old book version.... sorry to say..... better.... and the old movie version from 2003 was quite enjoyable, too.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

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