The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

In Brief: A traditional holiday movie two days after Halloween? Seriously?

I am not fan of the holidays. Stretch that a bit and you learn I’m not a holiday movie fan, either. Holiday movies — however — rank lightyears ahead of the ballet and the annual holiday season offering of The Nutcracker.

The first crack at a 2018 holiday movie is The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. It’s not bad for a sugary-sweet, kid and family-friendly flick destined to be the next in a long line of classic TV holiday movies.

Mackenzie Foy stars as Clara. Her godfather sends Clara on a quest to a mythical land that exists in his palatial home. It’s a land where her late mother was queen.

A civil war has broken out. Mother Ginger has rebelled. She and an army of mice are trying to take over. The Sugar Plum Fairy is holding the place together. Clara has the key to a key that will solve all their problems.

The acting — especially that of Foy and an almost-unrecognizable Keira Knightley — is terrific. Also of note are the spectacular, and often quite beautiful sets. The plot? Too much sugar and not enough protein.

Here’s my biggest problem with the movie. In modern day America, we can’t even finish summer before holiday crap shows up on store shelves. Now we can’t get but a few days past Halloween before the first Christmas-like movie gets sent our way.

Why the rush? Couldn’t the producers wait another few weeks?

Director: Lasse Halstrom, Joe Johnson

Stars: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Helen Mirren, Richard E. Grant, Jack Whitehall, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Mcfadyen, Tom Sweet, Ellie Bamber

Rated PG-13 for mature themes and some violence. I’m recommending this but barely. It’s too sugary for my tastes but will appeal to families and kids. Give it a 3 on the Average Joe Movie 0 to 5 scale.

Click here for showtimes and theaters.

5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.

Catch Gary Wolcott Friday afternoons at 4:50 on KXL’s Afternoon News.

Gary has been KXL’s movie critic since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 28-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.

He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Got a movie suggestion or comment? Click here to email him.

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