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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of family. The importance of being true to yourself. It's OK to be different.
Positive Role Models
Meg thinks for herself. She learns to be appreciative of the kindness others have shown her, even when she's angry with them, thus learning the meaning of unconditional love. Even though he's the "popular kid" in school, Calvin values Meg for who she is.
Violence & Scariness
Some scary imagery concerning "The Darkness" and its effect on some of the lead characters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Innocent expressions of attraction between a tween girl and boy, like awkward hand-holding.
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Some verbal bullying. A tween girl is made fun of by other tween girls for crying in school after getting in trouble. A young boy is mocked by other boys while walking home from school because he never talks in class. Name-calling on the order of "weird," "ugly," and "stupid." The mother of one of the lead characters yells at her kids.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this version of A Wrinkle in Time is a TV movie from the early 2000s. Like the 2018 movie, it's based on Madeleine L'Engle's classic sci-fi novel. It's a good vs. evil parable, but there are some frightening moments when the kids travel through time and space. There are separations -- the father is missing, the mother is sad, the siblings who need each other become parted for a while (although it ends happily) -- so kids going through an emotional time might want to pass. The giant brain IT is never shown in its entirety, which may disappoint kids who want a more accurate adaptation of the book. There are some moments of bullying: verbal taunting, name-calling on the order of "weird" and "ugly." Overall, while it's a sci-fi story, A Wrinkle in Time also raises timeless coming-of-age issues like trying to fit in, thinking for yourself, and the first stirrings of tween attraction that might be "more than friends." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film adaptation might come as a disappointment to fans of the book as it rubs the wrong way in several crucial spots. A main issue is that it doesn't do an adequate job of portraying the evil of IT. Instead of being menacing, IT is a campy mass of snake-like tissue, never fully revealed. The Darkness is also never fully explained, and the resolution of the struggle is so quick that if you get up to fetch a tissue, you will miss it entirely. Sadly, the ending just doesn't move or satisfy, and the transformations of the characters, so powerful in the book, remain superficial in this version. Still, you have to admire the guts of whoever tries to squeeze this beloved children's book into two hours. It's gamely performed by the kids, but the adult roles are sadly cartoonish and two-dimensional despite the presence of the marvelous Kate Nelligan and Alfre Woodard.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.