A Wrinkle In Time Review

Charles Wallace pretty quickly introduces Meg to a trio of magical benefactors -- played by Winfrey, a sprightly Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling -- who have come to recruit warriors, looking to repel The It, a shadowy evil that as described sounds like a close cousin of "Star Wars'" Dark Side of the Force. If left unchecked, Meg is warned, "darkness will fall across the universe."

So Meg, her brother, and a hastily involved classmate, Calvin (Levi Miller), are whisked off to a fantastic realm that, alas, resembles any number of other fantastic cinematic realms we've seen before. Nor does it help that the ultimate battle largely plays out on what amounts to a psychic plane, leading to an encounter that generates sporadic interest visually speaking.

There is, finally, a good deal of emotion in Meg's heroism and efforts to reunite her family, while learning to accept herself as she is. Reid is also a highly relatable young actress, who manages to alternately convey grit and vulnerability.

It's the getting to that payoff where "A Wrinkle in Time" wanders down a few cul-de-sacs -- literally, in one case, with a sequence in which the children enter a creepily Spielberg-esque neighborhood.

When the movie was announced, it was noted that DuVernay would become the first woman of color to preside over a live-action movie with a budget in excess of $100 million -- a notable milestone, as Hollywood endeavors to improve representation both in front of and behind the camera.

While "A Wrinkle in Time" breaks ground off screen, there's relatively little that feels particularly novel on it.

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