The most important thing to understand about A Wrinkle In Time is that it is based on a novel that is aimed at pre-teens. So it is positive. Get over it. But the fact that it is based on a tween novel means the movie moves slower than it should and some plot points are oversimplified. It's sad because I wish I had more positive things to say about the movie.
Minor spoilers ahead.
Director Ava Duvernay’s Wrinkle is a love letter to pre-teen girls. It encourages them to stand up for what they believe in and not be afraid of their intelligence. Protagonist Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is consistently encouraged to acknowledge her beauty.
This is when the movie is at its best. When Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) takes Meg aside to explain how everything in the universe has led to her being exactly who she needs to be, the movie sings. It is exactly the message that tween girls -- and maybe everyone -- needs to hear.
And I can't speak enough positive things about 9-year-old Deric McCabe, who plays Charles Wallace. The entire third act of the movie is placed on his shoulders and he rises to the occasion as the best actor in the movie.
However, any light that escapes from the film is certainly dimmed by the first 30 to 45 minutes. Audiences must endure pacing that is at a crawl and acting that feels like it belongs in a high school auditorium.
The first act does little to draw in those who haven’t read the book. It introduces characters like Mrs. What’s It (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) with such a casual nature that it’s hard to be invested in the characters. Calvin (Levi Miller) receives no introduction whatsoever which makes him a character of little consequence.
The film tries, but it never quite captures the magic that has caused so many children to fall in love with it over the years.