A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of movie that breaks my heart a bit. As an example of representation and empowerment, both in front of and behind the camera, it earns top marks. As a fantasy adventure and spectacle, it has some really delightful moments which show just what a skilled director can do with the resources of a major studio. And as an emotional journey, it is, in its strongest moments, a poignant reflection on self-image and the lengths to which we’ll go for our families.
But as a piece of storytelling, as a narrative film, it’s wildly uneven, and frankly often confounding, especially for those who’ve never read the source novel. And as skillfully as it embodies its themes when it opts to show and not tell, it far too often falls back on ham-fisted dialogue and vague symbolism, making for an experience that’s ultimately rather frustrating.