The Nutcracker And The Four Realms review round-up: 'Visually spectacular but virtually soulless'

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms stars Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Macfadyen and Helen Mirren.

FP Staff November 01, 2018 12:58:27 IST
The Nutcracker And The Four Realms review round-up: 'Visually spectacular but virtually soulless'

Disney's take on ETA Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King stars Mackenzie Foy (Murph from Interstellar), Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Macfadyen (Death at a Funeral), Helen Mirren and many more.

A live-action movie, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms follows the story of a Clara (Foy) who has only one wish: to find the key that will unlock the box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. She finds the coveted key with the help of a golden thread presented to her at her godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Freeman) annual holiday party, only to lose it in a strange and puzzling parallel world.

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms review roundup Visually spectacular but virtually soulless

Mackenzie Foy as Clara in The Nutcracker and The Four Realms. YouTube

The film holds an approval rating of 29% based on 38 reviews on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes while Metacritic indicated the film garnered "generally unfavourable reviews", with a score of 37 out of 100.

Mark Kennedy for The Associated Press calls The Nutcracker "visually marvelous, inconsistently acted and rather incoherent in that fantasy genre way.There’s not even that much dancing, to tell the truth. Little kids might end up too scared and adults may need several shots of insulin."

IndieWire's David Ehrlich writes that the film is "visually spectacular but virtually soulless new family movie." He adds, "It’s hard to imagine kids remembering “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” by the time they get home, let alone still thinking about it several decades later."

Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney says, "It's a Frankenstein's monster. It lacks the captivating charms of Disney's live-action remakes of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, or the fabulous distraction of Angelina Jolie that kept the revisionist Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent, semi-entertaining. It's more like Tim Burton's garish, exhausting Alice in Wonderland and its unwatchable sequel, borrowing elements far and wide without ever settling on what kind of movie it wants to be."

Michael O'Sullivan of Washington Post rates the film favourably: "Nutcracker is a delightfully old-school diversion. The plot may not always hum with the clockwork precision of one of Drosselmeyer’s mechanical toys, but like a music box, it nevertheless plays a sweet tune."

The Guardian's Cath Clarke says, "I have to admit to being helplessly enchanted – or suckered – for the most part. There’s wit here and The Nutcracker will take you from zero to Christmas jumper in the opening sequence. What’s missing is the melancholy darkness of ETA Hoffmann’s story. Instead, schmaltz-merchant director Lasse Hallström tugs at the heartstrings and ladles on the syrup."

The Nutcracker and The Four Realms will release in cinemas on 2 November.

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