“A Wrinkle in Time” (Disney)

Reese Witherspoon and Storm Reid star in a scene from the movie "A Wrinkle in Time." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Disney)

By Catholic News Service

New Age-style bromides dominate the script of this often eye-pleasing adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 novel for young adults.

Four years after the unexplained disappearance of her father (Chris Pine), a NASA scientist who, together with his physicist wife (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), had developed an unorthodox method of time and space travel, a middle-school student (Storm Reid) is still devastated by his absence. She gets help in searching for Dad from an unlikely source: a trio of celestial guides (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling) who mysteriously manifest themselves to her, her younger brother (Deric McCabe), a prodigy, and to her supportive would-be boyfriend (Levi Miller). With the women magi’s assistance, the kids set off on a cosmic quest to track Pop down and bring him home.

The ultimate message of Ava DuVernay’s film, that we should love ourselves even while acknowledging our faults, can be seen as promoting the Christian virtue of humility. And the youthful romance is a model of innocence and positive, if not always convincing, emotional interaction. But the uneasy combination of secularism and magical thinking that characterizes the underlying worldview of Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell’s screenplay makes this inappropriate for very young viewers or for teens who are not well grounded in their faith.

Occasional peril, possible momentary off-screen immodesty. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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