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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

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In another big week in movies with three contenders in the theater, it’s time to talk about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children! I was actually kind of excited for this. I haven’t always been a huge fan of Tim Burton, but I like some of his movies like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and his latest movie, Big Eyes. Even though he didn’t direct The Nightmare Before Christmas, it still has Tim Burton written all over it, and I am a fan of it. Other than those, I don’t really love Tim Burton, so I was happy to see a movie I liked in Big Eyes, and I really wanted to like this movie, so let’s talk about it!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is directed by Tim Burton and stars Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, and Samuel L. Jackson. After seeing his grandfather’s past catch up to him, Jake must go on an adventure to find Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children so that he can unlock all of the secrets of time and space. He learns that all of the children have special abilities, but he might actually be the most valuable piece to the puzzle.

This is a hard one to write a review for. I was pretty divided all by myself whether I liked it or not, so I’ll try to map it out for myself, and hopefully by the end I will have determined whether I liked the movie or not. First of all, I really liked seeing Tim Burton’s style and camera work back in action. It doesn’t take claymation or odd-looking people to realize that this movie is a Tim Burton movie. If you watch the cuts, cinematography, and camera movement, it’s really obvious that Tim Burton left his style all over the film. I thought it was cool to see, and even though I’m not a big Tim Burton fan, that is something I can appreciate. Next, I like when all of the kids are showing their abilities. I thought that was really interesting, and when it is paired with the visuals, it gets to be one of the best parts of the movie. I also think that the relationship between the grandfather and our main character are interesting, but I think it’s more for the grandfather. The grandfather is a very interesting character, and I get a sense of mysteriousness whenever he is on-screen.

Unfortunately I had many problems with this movie. First, I thought that the movie was almost not even cheering for itself to do well. The movie almost purposefully goes into areas of the film where I’m really not interested. As I said, I was really interested when I was seeing the children with their abilities. Some of the children are really interesting, so when we go back to Chris O’Dowd running around like a chicken with his head cut off, I lose interest very easily. Next, I think that this is one of the weakest performances from Asa Butterfield I have ever seen, and I think a little bit of that falls on Tim Burton. The movie was focused on so many different things that it felt like no-one cared whether we get a strong and interesting main character, and it ruined a lot of the film for me. Next, the story is really convoluted and gets lost in itself, and without spoiling anything, it has a time travel element. The entire movie feels like it throws time travel aside even though it could have been an interesting aspect. It loses track of itself and its time travel very easily and just basically says that it’s unimportant. Finally, Sam L. Jackson’s villain did not work for me. I’m fine with “cartoonyness” in a Tim Burton movie, but he is so over the top and makes no sense. His back story is so off and mixed up, and it took me out of the movie.

Overall, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a mess of an X-Men film. I liked seeing the children with all of their abilities, and it was awesome to see Tim Burton’s direction again. I also thought that there were great emotional moments. The movie really dropped off with Asa Butterfield giving one of his weakest performances, and just being uninteresting. The entire movie felt like it was purposefully keeping the best parts away from us. It’s very disorganized, and with Sam L. Jackson in a role where he is just flat-out insane and nonsensical, I couldn’t like this movie as much as I wanted to. I’m going to give Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a 5/10.

What will you be seeing this weekend? Between Deepwater Horizon, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Masterminds, and Queen of Katwe, there is so much to see! I should have reviews out for all four by Thursday morning, so be sure to stick around for that! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

PHOTO: Fox Movies

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm