Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson found it hard to care about any of the story.
Did you know A Wrinkle in Time received mixed reviews? As of yesterday, the film had a 46 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Based on the children's novel, the story follows Meg Murry, a smart young girl who is suffering from the loss of her father. Three magical beings Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) appear in her life and whisk Meg, her brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller) through space and time. Their mission is to stop an evil force from consuming the universe and find Meg Murry's father (Chris Pine).
According to The Hollywood Reporter's film critic, Todd McCarthy, the intergalactic space explorations "mostly feel rote, arbitrary rather than organic and, in the end, uninteresting; when in doubt, they always find another platitude.”
Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson found it "rather hard to care about any of [the story] — partly because the movie doesn’t seem to."
"The film has a distracted air," he continues, "like someone telling you a halting story as they stare off into the distance, thinking of something else."
The distance that they're staring into might just be "Naomi Shohan's production design, which spans everything from Seussian fantasias to slate-grey wastelands to a beach filled with enough Day-Glo to blind an outer borough," according to David Fear from Rolling Stone. The film takes the main characters from planet to planet: Earth to Uriel to Camazotz and everywhere in-between. Each scene is full of "visual dazzle," as The New York Times' A.O. Scott calls it.
And he seemed to be a fan of the film overall, writing, "Fans of the book and admirers of Ms. DuVernay’s work — I include myself in both groups — can breathe a sigh of relief, and some may also find that their breath has been taken away. Mine was, once or twice, though I would describe the overall experience as satisfaction rather than awe."
One thing all of the critics agree on is the message of the film. Not only does A Wrinkle in Time promote diversity, but it also promotes self-confidence.
"There is something lovely about how A Wrinkle in Time is such a deeply sincere call for kids to see the value in themselves and others," Richard Lawson wrote in Vanity Fair. "And it does some exciting new things. Have we ever seen a $100 million movie take the time to, say, show a black female lead character coming to appreciate her natural hair? (Or, indeed, have a black female lead character to begin with?) And how many other $100 million movies have been so focused on emotion over action?"