The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Poster

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It's an enjoyable movie.
lauraehrhardt972 November 2018
I really enjoyed this film. A lot of the negative reviews seem to be awfully nitpicky for a family Disney movie. It's no masterpiece but I can't understand all the hate.

As we can all agree, it's visually stunning. The costumes are magnificent as well as hair and makeup. The sets are stunning and surprisingly, according to some of the interviews I've watched, most of it is not CGI. They created a beautifully detailed world and it pays off.

The story is not the same as the ballet, nor does it claim to be. I personally wouldn't want it to be the same. We get to experience the beloved elements of The Nutcracker in a new way. Though there's a lot of room for improvement, specifically in the script, I really enjoyed the new story. The dynamic between Clara and her late mother is great and is the real emotional draw of the film. Because it's a Disney film aimed at kids, the script is awfully cheesy at times, but not enough to be distracting.

Clara herself should be a strong selling point of the film. She's highly intelligent, specifically in engineering and physics. They make it a point to differentiate Clara from her sister, Louise, a proper (for that time period) young English woman. Not that there's anything wrong with being all prim and proper, in fact, Clara admittedly does spend a lot of the film in beautiful dresses and makeup. And yet, she's still the hero and she still kicks ass. This is important because it associates these feminine traits with power.

Hear me out on this. I feel like so many of the strong heroines we know and love are, in some ways, stripped of their femininity. They're typically made to be a strict "tomboy" who's "not like other girls." This by itself isn't the problem. The problem is that instead of embracing feminine traits, they diminish them. I know gender roles are bull, believe me, but I don't think women should be shamed for being what society deems feminine. You can be a bad b**** AND enjoy princess dresses. Women should not have to adopt "masculine" traits in order to succeed. Because of this, I think Clara is a fantastic role model for young girls who will almost undoubtedly take something from her.

So, although it's far from perfect, it's fun, beautiful, and full of heart. It's not claiming to be the next Shawshank Redemption so I don't see why it's being drilled so hard. It's a delightful little Disney movie, don't think so much about the specifics and just enjoy.
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Tchaikovsky Is Rolling In His Grave
bigblack20094 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Slow torture for kids and grownups alike, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms gives a bad name to the very concept of family entertainment. What went wrong? Where to begin?!? On the surface, this Disney debacle seems like a no-brainer for the holidays: It's an 1816 gothic fairytale by E.T.A. Hoffman and a ballet with music by Tchaikovsky. What we have here is simply a botch job with two directors - Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog) for starters and Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III) for reshoots - and absolutely no personality of its own. Dance fans can look forward to a pair of all-too-brief appearances, including one over the end credits, from ballet great Misty Copeland. After that, composer James Newton Howard smothers the sounds of this perennial seasonal favorite in aural swill.

It's Christmas Eve in in Victorian London, and clever Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy), the 14-year-old embodiment of female empowerment, is in a funk. Her mum has recently died (there goes Disney again with the dead parent thing) and neither Clara nor her siblings are in the mood to follow their mopey dad (Matthew Macfadyen) to a lavish Christmas ball. Not to mention that her father insists she wear dead mum's dress - creepy, right? Mum has left gifts behind for her children. Clara gets an egg-shaped box with no key to open it. Frustrating, yes? So is mum's note: "Everything you need is inside." At the party, the young woman seeks out her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman in paycheck mode), a toymaker who zaps her into another dimension. If only he could zap audiences out of the multiplex.

Any hope that things will pick up are quickly dashed when Clara enters "the four realms," where it turns out her mum was once queen. Hope you like headache-inducing vistas that can leave you in a digitally induced coma! And good luck figuring out why the leaders of the realms are at war with each other! Searching for answers, Clara teams up with a Nutcracker soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), and an animated mouse. It seems like Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren, reduced to mugging) is evil. Or maybe it's flower-covered Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez) or icy Shiver (Richard E. Grant)? Or how about Sugar Plum, who seems to be having a squeaky-voiced meltdown in the welcome distraction of Keira Knightley's helium-high portrayal of toxic cotton candy.

Any description of what follows, including a battle of tin soldiers, clowns on the attack and a swarm of killer mice, would only evoke other, much better films such as The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. What this Nutcracker offers is so overproduced, so mechanical and so indigestibly whimsical that it won't just be two-year-olds who want to puke it up. Clara is told that the four realms represent a parallel world where time moves faster. Not in this movie, which slows to a crawl in the act of boring you breathless.
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If you saw a Wrinkle In Time and were disappointed, do NOT see this, it's not THAT Nutcracker!
MsMovie2 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Earlier in the year I believed the ads and hype, and we gave Wrinkle a chance, it was dreadful. Fast forward to THIS movie, I saw the ad's, they gave me deja vus about the earlier movie, but we gave it a try because we go and see The Nutcracker every couple of years and even if my husband doesn't like ballet, he gets the story and likes the music. Do NOT go and see this if you even vaguely like the classic Christmas Nutcracker ballet, I doubt you will enjoy this strange adaptation.

Yes, it is chock full of famous names, just like A Wrinkle in Time was, but that doesn't make it good. Mackenzie Foy is the stand out here, but she cannot save this. It will not be a classic Christmas movie to watch every year, my daughter said she won't even watch it for free on Netflix.

The saving grace from my daughter (10 years old) was that it wasn't as long as some movies are, but she would gladly have walked out about an hour in because she wasn't enjoying it at all.

I would honestly not recommend anyone to go see this, it takes a classic story that many people love and tries to make it into something it isn't.

I gave it 1/10 because no one in our group liked it at all - thankfully Disney does have some great movies coming soon (Ralph Breaks The Internet, etc).

If you are a parent, make sure you go to the cheap day showing at your local AMC (Tuesday usually), or to an early showing where you don't have to pay full price.

I'm not sure what the people who gave it 10/10 were watching, but I can hardly think it was this movie.
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Nutcracker without the nutcracker!
naraagold8 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
So basically, in the Nutcracker movie the "Nutcracker" did nothing! It was all about the girl. They changed the plot so much it was basically Alice in Wonderland with no action. peek of the film was soo underwhelming it upset me. Also used all the cliché things from Narnia, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and some other movies. It was basically quick money grab for Disney. i gave one star for the costume design.
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A Parody of Disney, but from Actual Disney
davidgouldthorpe2 November 2018
Mackenzie Foy tries her hardest here, and I enjoyed the one scene with Misty Copeland on stage. However, dialogue and story is beyond muddled. Internal logic makes no sense. Another fairy tale is now an edgy political commentary and an "epic war". World feels confined and claustrophobic. A bunch of tired Disney cliches surface here, like moping about dead mothers and Chosen One Princess. They even have a twist villain, because that's so beloved.

It's cynical and unpleasant. Too dull and scary for kids, too dumb for adults. If you're looking for the Nutcracker you won't find it here. Just go to the actual ballet, or watch the first Narnia movie
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A real loser
etoddclark5 November 2018
A small loser. In spite of a magnificent musical score. This film wastes much talent and should not have been made.
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Tried too hard to be Tim Burton and FAILED
eggsbasket5 November 2018
At its attempt to be unique and edgy, the creators made a film that is real cheesy, at times boring, predictable, and unnecessarily dramatic in the choice of music and manner with which particular characters responded to each other.

I was very disappointed because I love the story of the Nutcracker. This adaptation really tanked.
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More like Nutcracker and the "Bore" Realms
masonrobledo6 November 2018
Okay, look, I didn't expect much from this movie, but wow... where do I start?, well I can say the movie looked okay from the trailers, so there's that and it has a fantastic cast too, so they might add some good luck to this movie, but besides that, just looks like a Alice in Wonderland spin off or something, so I went in with little expectation.... well there might be some promise for this, after the charming Christopher Robin, there might some potential to this movie, so then I saw the movie on the third of November, the day after it was released and............ wow this was bad...., like reeeeeaaaally baaad, but let's talk about it.

The plot is about a girl named Clara (Mackenzie Foy) who received a present from her late mother, didn't come with a key, so she'll have to find it, might have something important for her, but since she and her family went to Drosselmeyer's (Morgan Freeman) place for a annual holiday party, Clara must find out what's in her present, but his father warns her not to wonder off since he wants one dance with her, but she ends up in a magical kingdom surrounded by snow, candy, sweets and a nutcracker named Philip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) who accompanies her on her journey to defeat the evil Mother Ginger who wants to take over the kingdom, I'll just leave it there, I know there's more to it but it would involve spoilers but really.... who cares?..... this plot is just exactly like Alice in Wonderland, only it's 10 times worse, it's really cliched and easily predicable, like you know what will happen, but as it unfolds, it starts to become clear that no-one at Disney cares about clever and original witted and just wanted to release the movie around November, trying to make it a rushed cash in and yeeeeah that's what we got here, the humour is also not very good, tries to be funny and has that "pause moment waiting for the audience to laugh" and that's not funny either, in fact, i didn't laugh or cracked a smile once, I was mostly bored and I wanted it to end, the movie does try to have some heart but again..... who cares and it's so damn manipulative, so yeah the writing sucks and it's not all that original, this is Disney's laziest writing yet.

The visuals are one of the few only decent things about this movie, it looks nice, it's very well shot for the most part, the kingdom looks very colourful, the SugarPlum costume looks very good and beautiful and some of It's CGI is okay-ish..., okay, that's all the pros, now the cons, the visuals look really bland and really nothing special, again just looks like Alice in Wonderland, it can also be a very cheap looking film, along with some ridiculous looking costumes, like really silly looking, the CGI is really bad especially on the Toy Soldiers and the Mice, it never feels believable or real, it feels like a visually tired and dull experience, again it does look nice and it a tad bit colourful, but it's not enough to say the visuals are good, in fact they are pretty un special and not very impressive.

The characters are really forgettable and very dull, I don't not have one favourite character in this movie which is a huge shame, Clara is such a generic hero and kind of a annoying and overdramatic brat, the Nutcracker is boring, Drosselmeyer is just Morgan Freeman playing... Morgan Freeman, Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) is a joke, Cavalier (Omid Djalili) and Harlequin (Jack Whitehall) are really annoying, the SugarPlum is irritating, Shiver doesn't do much and Clara's family are kind of unlikable yup, so is the acting, it's super dull and not very memorable, the only one who is actually good is Mackenzie Foy, she does try and for the most part I think she is good, she's a lovely looking actress, she can do a good British accent and she does try and does succeed, everyone else I feel sorry for, these people are really damn good, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly, Richard E. Grant, Jack Whitehall, Omid Djalili, come on guys..... you are better then this, all of their performances are really just them playing themselves and it's really sad and hard to watch, not only are the characters super dull and not all that memorable, but most of the performances are really not that memorable and are just a joke.

So yeah... this movie is not only a awful movie, but this is easily the worst Disney Live-Action movie..... yes even worse then Shaggy Dog.... but we don't talk about that, lazy writing with a predicable plot, visually dull and cheap looking Effects, characters that are forgettable and dull stereotypes, with bad acting, granted the visuals can look nice at times, Mackenzie Foy is the only one putting on a good performance and Jame-Newton Howard's score is a delight, but that's not enough to save this train-wreck of a movie, I'm not exaggerating when I say it's one of the worst movies of the year and one of the worst movies of all time...... yes I just said that......, I don't recommend this movie at all, sure kids might enjoy it, but I barley got any joy at all, and even the screening I went to with not many people, I didn't hear any laughs or enjoyment from them, it's THAT bad..., so yeah avoid this at all times, if you want a good kids/family Goosebumps 2 and Smallfoot are worth a watch..... or wait till the Grinch comes out.

I'm going to give this garbage of a film 1.2/10.
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A bloated and fractured fantasy misfire and mess with beautiful yet flat qualities
patalingjugaeron1 November 2018
Honestly, where to start with this beautiful travesty? Despite boasting a stellar talent and cast with the likes of Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, and Morgan Freeman, this cinematic endeavor turns out to be an unholy and misguided collaboration, and points to everything wrong about this terrible and miscalculated adaptation.

First, the tone and the quality is clearly a rip-off to the other fantasy films that preceded it, such as the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Wizard of Oz. The script is totally cliched, muddled, confusing, and convoluted, given the fact that the screenwriter of this film who is just a first-time inexperienced screenwriter, has no idea on how to blend well fantasy with other genres such as drama and adventure. Also, this film has major inconsistencies within the plot and are incoherent. Even the additional writing of Tom McCarthy is giving no redeemable favors. Even the dialogue is bland, boring, and flat. Much of the character development is also non-existent, and the characters itself are half-baked and dreadfully written. Another issue that this film have is the cheesy and campy tone that almost draws negative similarities with bad movies that have these similar qualities such as Batman & Robin, and 2003 adaptation of The Cat in the Hat.

Second, the acting is totally flat and atrocious. Despite Mackenzie Foy's very considerable effort in bringing depth to her performance, it simply resembled as uninspiring, flat, boring, and mediocre. Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren have given a flat and terribly phoned-it-in performances, which is a major disappointment considering the two acting legends are one of the most exceptional and versatile acting talents in the acting business, and their performances are simply nothing but a paycheck roles. Even Keira Knightley's performance is far from being terribly wasted, it's simply the worst. From the terribly yet laughable and cartoonish voice, monotone, and mannerisms that draws unfavorable comparisons to Helena Bonham Carter's whimsical style, this type of acting style does not work on Kiera Knightley's filmography and she's better off on handling roles of usual dramatic leading ladies of literature. Even the performances of Matthew Macfadyen, Misty Copeland, Eugenio Derbez and Richard E. Grant are simply useless and wasted.

Third, despite its stellar yet remarkable costumes, the production design, and the musical score; these aren't enough to redeem this fantasy misfire. It's just style over substance. Even the green screen within the film is terribly noticeable and the CGI is distracting. Worse, the film is hollow, bloated, flat, and soulless. It lacks the magic, charm, heart, and soul that the other Disney live-action fantasy films such as Into the Woods, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Pete's Dragon and Christopher Robin, possesses. Even Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent which had a weak story, still had the same characteristics and are at least guilty-pleasure and redeemable. This film on the other hand is irredeemable from start to finish. It gets points for diversity but just like the ill-fated A Wrinkle in Time, much of its great ambition just falls flat.

This is no doubt considered as one of Disney's worst fantasy film in many decades, and also a runner-up of the worst Nutcracker adaptation behind the abominable The Nutcracker the Untold story or The Nutcracker in 3D. Also, it's also considered one of this year's worst and disappointing films.
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Disney's 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' is as bad as you think it is
francescobrosolo4 November 2018
Copeland provides a perfect example of why some classics shouldn't be messed with, even when you think you have something fresh to contribute. The film attempts to upend your expectations of the story, but each and every revelation or twist falls completely flat.

"The Nutcracker" simply took tropes, character traits, and plot points from other movies that no one asked to relive, including "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan" - and, weirdly enough, "The Santa Clause 2."

The film offers two major scenes, ostensibly meant to serve as emotional anchors, as moments of growth or self-realisation. But they're so painfully cliché - don't be surprised if both cause the adults in the audience to laugh out loud.

It seems that Helen Mirren, as pseudo-villain Mother Ginger, and Morgan Freeman, as Clara's mysterious godfather Drosselmeyer, are simply thrown in to make the film more intriguing to older audiences. It doesn't work.

It also complicates the film itself: Was it made for children? Families? Fantasy buffs? Adventure enthusiasts? It's unclear.

I almost feel bad trashing (what I take to essentially be) a kids' movie with perfectly likable 17-year-old lead, but there's just no reason why this adaptation should exist.

It feels like even children - especially in this era of on-demand entertainment and content saturation - will find the film annoying and predictable. Its recycled plot, garish costume design, and half-hearted callbacks to the original add nothing to the beloved story of "The Nutcracker." You'd be far better off watching the ballet again.
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a classic butchered
MovieNihilist3 November 2018
The only thing about this movie I truly enjoyed were the visuals. Thats about it. The soundtrack is just... a let down, it felt like I was listening to trailer music. There is just no soul in this movie, they somehow managed to kill the mystery of this story that I loved as a child. Just another blockbuster garbage.

Its just horrible, like watching a much worse version of Alice in Wonderland.
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Where is the emotion?
seasalticecream3 November 2018
This movie has the same problem that plagued Beauty and the Beast 2017 and Alice through the looking glass. Yes, it looks good. Yes, it kinda entertains. And yes, it´s not a god awful movie to sit through.

But it´s predictable and cliched to the point where no ammount of red herrings can fool and no ammount of fake thrill can make you excited. And worse of all, it has no heart, no emotion, no motivation. There´s nothing memorable or endearing.

The character are not characters, they are bland plot devices (Clara and the Nutecracker), glorified and irrelevant extras (like it sadly happens with the Flower king and the king of the land of snowflakes) or just swift cameos ( Morgan Freeman and Mother Gingerbread). The have no dimension, no porpuse, nothing that coud make the audience care about what happens to them or the story.

This is by war thebiggest flaw of the movie.

Why would the audience care about a movie when its characters are so boring and dull?

To add to its non existent characterization, the world building is just as awful.

You never get to explore this world, to know its habitants. It feels like a superficial tour where the guide doesn´t even bother to explain what is happening, or why you should care about what you are seeing. You get to point A to point B and finally to point C, only to get thrown out of the bus without the chance to ask what the hell just happened.

This is a lazy cluster of a mess, an empty husk devoid of anything resembling human emotion.

I´m actually amazed someone was paid to write this thing. I´ve seen works online made by fans that are far better in both narrative structure and characterization.

What a shame. You can actually see the potential this idea once had.
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The Nutcracker and the "Bore" Realms
smilefumble3 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Having been a fan of the Tchaikovsky ballet since I was a boy, I got excited when I learned that they were doing a new live-action adaptation of it.

However, upon seeing the first trailer, while the visuals looked pleasing, it seemed to me that the film was going to do that clichéd plot where the "chosen one" has to save a magical land from a wicked tyrant. Disney has done that story TWICE already with Alice and Wonderland (2010) and Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) but I still went to see it on the grounds that perhaps they would bring something new to the table.

Although, I can now say that if you have seen the two films I previously mentioned, you don't need to see this one because there won't be any suspense as you will know everything that will happen.

Not only that but in getting through all the clichéd plot points, the filmmakers left some holes. The villain got everyone under her thumb by making one of her fellow rulers the scapegoat but it is never explained how she convinced everybody that the other regent was evil. Also, why does she need a larger army if she has soldiers from three of the realms on her side?

Additionally, while the costumes are beautifully designed, the eye-popping visuals that the trailer promised are few and far between. Having four different lands in the story was utterly pointless as the montage of Clara touring them lasted all of about ten seconds. 90% of the movie is set in the destroyed fourth realm which is shrouded in tones of black and grey. Seriously, they had magical realms of flower, snow and sweets in the story and THAT is what they focus on?

Worst of all, the "Nutcracker" part of the title could easily be removed and it would make no difference whatsoever. The character to whom they gave that title was never cursed to be made of wood nor did he crack any nuts; he was just a normal human being. Tchaikovsky's music was scattered throughout the film in places where they could have used any other waltz and there was only a few seconds of ballet.

I suppose children might enjoy this movie but those who go to it excepting a stunning, creative new take on the Christmas classic will leave sorely disappointed.
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It blew my expectations... in the other way
ninjachewit11 November 2018
Be warned first of all, this movie is supposed to be about Christmas but does more to represent the Spanish War. Its message is also unclear and actually quite dangerous. Without trying to reveal spoilers, i'll go ahead and basically say that the moral of this movie is that actual family presence means nothing and can be overridden with clever purchases and their uses (aka appealing to the consumerist part of Christmas).

The movie shares two tones, one being the exquisite and quite beautifully CGI rendered world of the kingdom, and the other being a Halloween looking tent that Mike Myers might want to hide out in. The part that irks and confuses me, is that there is no clear reason for why these two tonal shifts have to be so conflicting with each other in the film other than to provide an obvious front for conflict. This symbolises to me a lack of care and depth that went into the developing this film's characters or story. It was a complete attempt to appeal to the audience, there was no sacrifice on the writers part to put something original in here. It's everything you've seen and liked in pop culture, fit into the "Christmas" theme of The Nutcracker (this movie isn't really about The Nutcracker).
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What did I watch?
epiphanylove71224 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Once upon a time, I had a first date with someone. I took this someone to see The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, hoping it'd be enjoyable and full of laughs for us. What the hell did we watch?

The thing that makes it bad is not the story line, which has been overdone to death and was so predictable that me and the date called the ending several minutes before it ended. A typical storyline like this can work well if the actors are into the performance and if it is written well. The problem isn't. We don't get much backstory at all. We just know that the mom has died and now she's left her daughter to go on a quest.

The performances are either over the top or not believable at all. I can see a hyperactive kid who likes adventure getting very bored with this movie. I found myself checking my phone. We don't really get much in the way of "action" until around 45 minutes into the film, which for a children's flick that's supposed to be about energy, is probably way too long for them. I'm 20, and it's too long for the child in me as well.

The lead actress in this was worse than paint drying. Literally anyone could have acted better. Can the woman just...pretend to care about what she's in?

If you're looking for something to shut up your kid for 90 minutes, than this is for you. If you're looking for something good, chose otherwise.
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Another unmemorable, uninspired, overly produced mess
irishboy14131 October 2018
*Sigh* This film sucks. It's mediocre, it's boring, too much money has been thrown to create terrible looking CGI enviornments, the acting sucks, and the plot is another rehashed/uninspired adaptation of the classic/beautiful original story/play.

Morgan Freeman is awful and feels thrown in because he's a famous actor, not because he was right for the role. The main cast is pretty bad as well and the art design/CGI looks like garbage. The only points I can give this film is that the shots were in focus. Aside from that skip this waste of time.

As laughable as it is, I recommend 2010's abomination The Nutcracker the Untold story. Because in that one was memorable, weird, awkward, hilariously bad, but it also had some legitimatley good set design (specifically in Vienna). That one is memorable, this new one is not.
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Not perfect, but entertaining
jwwalrath-227-854873 November 2018
Reviews seem really divided on this. Though I admit the film could've been stronger in parts, I was still entertained.

The whole thing looks great with deeply detailed sets, costumes, and makeup that evoke a classic fantasy feel. There are some clever design ideas, especially in the Land of Amusements.

Acting's pretty good. Admittedly the fantasy characters are more interesting. Keira Knightly is fun in a quirky over-the-top performance. There are a couple of fairly funny guards and the Nutcracker himself is likable. Unfortunately, those three are not as well-utilized as they could be, especially considering that the Nutcracker is one of the main characters.

Admittedly, the film is a little weak in the plot department. The main character Clara experiences a by-the-numbers getting over the death of a parent and learning to believe in them-self story-line. The Four Realms and its current threat could've been a lot clearer. Also, we could've spent more time exploring and experiencing the Realms. A little too much time is spent on throwing Clara from plot point to plot point. Her struggles are solidly delivered, but they spend so much time on it at expense of the world-building.

The movie's not perfect, but it's all about the experience. The Nutcracker is fun and looks good. And though the story is flawed, it isn't bad. I think kids will like it and parents will like it or be indifferent.
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I have no idea what I just watched.
aray3-323-14191911 November 2018
Save your money for Star Wars. Just keep the $13 in your bank account and watch the ballet instead if you're really interested. Disney and Tchaikovsky should not mix... ever.
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A total mess
bkoch-005593 November 2018
First off the acting was terrible . Thank god morgan freeman and Helen were on it even though they were really only in it for maybe 5 min each. Kiera was meh but the main girl her family and the nutcracker captain were terrible. It was like watching a horrible Junior high play .the special effects weren't even good you could tell it was green screened a lot of the time. The makeup looked like it was done by a two year old. I mean I wasn't expecting a ton out of this film and still was very very disappointed .. don't bother if you were thinking of going .
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one of the most boring movie from Disney Studios
consumer-netherlands3 November 2018
One of the most boring movie from Disney Studios. Give impression of a low budget, cheap movie made in hurry I was watching the movie with my children, but they told me they were very disappointed. The film is very boring. A complete weekend evening wasted. boring story, predictable, not funny,
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Beautiful, But Not Much Else
sarahc19883 November 2018
I loved the scenery, the sets, and the costumes within this movie. They were wonderful to look at, but that was all this movie had going for it. Keira Knightly and Jayden Fowora-Knight were the only acting parts that were decent.

While some parts of the movie were enjoyable, overall it was boring and I was unable to really get into it despite being excited.
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A hilariously bad fever dream
kiarathementalcat5 November 2018
Disney's reimagining of the classic story is a complete mess from start to finish. I couldn't tell you what happened in this movie if you asked.
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Don't believe the really low reviews...
contactslbrown2 November 2018
This is a beautifully made movie. Who cares that that changed the story slightly.

Many reviewers are wanting an exciting, or funny or edge of your seat film. This is a more gentle coming of age movie. If you go with the right expectations, you will be satisfied.
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Child's Play
guidelocal31 October 2018
This is set up very much like a children's elementary school play, and not the good ones. The story is very strange and kinda bizarre. They try too hard to make this film suspenseful that in the end it is not. I would wait for this on streaming, not worth the theatre high prices! This is disappointing that it is coming from disney.
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not your parents' nutcracker
ferguson-62 November 2018
Greetings again from the darkness. Missing: Tchaikovsky and Ballet. OK, not missing entirely, and it seems all we do is beg for creativity and new approaches in movies, so let's give this one fair treatment. It's not the traditional "Nutcracker" holiday fare you've come to expect on stage, on TV, in the mall, at schools, and just about everywhere. Instead, it's a version wrung from both the 1816 original short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffman and the 1892 ballet by Marius Petipa with music from Tchaikovsky, yet also something quite different. Still, different doesn't always mean better ... sometimes it just means different.

We are treated to a beautiful extended opening shot as an owl swoops through old London. This acts as preparation for the abundance of stunning visuals headed our way throughout. Budding star Mackenzie Foy (INTERSTELLAR, 2014) plays Clara Stahlbaum, a young girl distraught that it's her first Christmas without her beloved mother Marie, who recently passed away. Clara's quietly grieving father (Matthew Macfadyen) delivers the presents Marie left for each of the three kids. Mechanically inclined Clara's gift is an ornate egg that requires a specialty key to unlock the hidden message Clara believes her mother has left.

A lavish Christmas party at her Godfather's (Oscar winner Morgan Freeman) mansion leads Clara to a parallel universe where her mother Marie was Queen of the four realms. This is a fantastical land that reminds (maybe a bit too much) of Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and the classic THE WIZARD OF OZ. Clara buddies up with a live Nutcracker soldier Phillip (newcomer Jayden Fowora-Knight), who quickly becomes her trusted bodyguard. Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, Land of Sweets, and the blighted Fourth Realm run by a cast-out Mother Ginger (Oscar winner Helen Mirren) make up this world. Keira Knightley stars as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and her devilishly fun performance is responsible for most of the energy, humor and entertainment outside of the visual effects. The two time Oscar nominee seems to relish the voice, the costumes and the chance to play a quirky character.

Disney touches like the animal sidekicks are noted: Phillip's loyal steed, and the pesky little mouse that flashes more personality than anyone in the film outside of Sugar Plum. Most of the comedic secondary characters (including Richard E Grant and Eugenio Derbez) fall flat with very little do in a screenplay from Ashleigh Powell that gives the impression of multiple hands in the pie. Adding to the disjointed feel and lack of cohesion in the story flow is the fact that two very different directors worked on the project. Lasse Hallstrom (CHOCOLAT) handled principal photography and then Joe Johnston (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER) spent a month on re-shoots with attention to visual effects. The contrasts between these two directors is quite clear in the finished project despite the cinematographer of Oscar winner Linus Sandgren (LA LA LAND).

The mishmash of styles and tone prevents us from ever really connecting with characters or being drawn in by the story, but beyond that, there are some really terrific visuals and special effects. I especially liked the look of the enhanced tin soldiers and the work of two time Oscar winning costume designer Jenny Beavan. Of course, this is a familiar story and many viewers bring certain expectations into the theatre with them. The iconic Tchaikovsky music is played early and throughout the film, though mostly in teases and in blends with new music from James Newton Howard. We do get a glimpse of Maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducting the orchestra, and for those expecting ballet, the fabulous Misty Copeland performs a couple of times, though it's likely not enough for those hoping for more of a ballet production. The end result is an impressive visual experience that will likely still disappoint those looking for another holiday watching tradition.
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