Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 3D

Out Now On-Demand

Stay peculiar.

Tim Burton adapts the bestselling novel by Ransom Riggs about a seemingly ordinary boy (Asa Butterfield, Ender's Game) who comes across a home for unusually gifted children, ran by the enigmatic Miss Peregrine (Eva Green, Dark Shadows). Co-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Chris O'Dowd (The Program), Terence Stamp and Judi Dench.

Jacob "Jake" Plowman (Butterfield) grew up hearing fantastic tales from his grandfather Abe (Stamp) about children gifted with an array of powers. All dismissed by Jake's parents, of course... After Abe's sudden death, they send Jake to therapy to deal with the tragedy and the strange events surrounding it. When he eventually travels to the setting of Abe's tales, Jake finds more truth in his grandfather's stories than he ever expected, finding his way to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and meeting those that live there - kids who can control fire, air, or have unique physical powers. But with this exciting discovery comes a danger to Jake and his new friends in the terrifying form of Mr. Barron (Jackson), leader of monstrous scientists with a particular appetite that only peculiar kids can satisfy.

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Adventure, Fantasy, 3D

127mins

Rating: M Violence and scary scenes

USA

An old-timey children’s home populated by odd inhabitants feels so much up Tim Burton’s alley it comes as a surprise that his latest opens with something we’ve barely ever seen from him before - a stock-standard, contemporary, everyday setting. Scenes in a psychiatrist’s office, where Jake (Asa Butterfield) finds himself being helped by Alison Janney in dealing with his grandad’s unusual demise, are so un-Burton that it’s almost jarring. After recent, risible, efforts, this isn’t exactly unwelcome.

Before long, though, weirdness begins to creep in - a touch of time travel here, an invisible boy there, and Burton’s current brunette muse Eva Green present and correct as the titular Miss Peregrine. But, for a change, Burton’s not necessarily on board to dazzle one with his imagination. Having hit his box office peak at the start of the decade with Alice in Wonderland, he’s sensibly seen as a safe pair of hands to juggle abnormal abilities, a core of young characters, monstrous adversaries, plenty of CGI and a supporting cast heavily weighted to impress grown ups (Terence Stamp, Judi Dench, Chris O’Dowd, the aforementioned Janney and Samuel L. Jackson - more on him in a sec). Yes, Hollywood seems to be searching for a new Harry Potter franchise…

Burton fans may be surprised his visual aesthetic is dialled down here, but that’s required by the vivid visual world of the source material. The director generally sees fit to keep the various parts moving with unremarkable coherence, though his glee for scary imagery and borderline gore shines through - as does his seeming insistence for an always-entertaining Jackson to chew as much scenery as possible through a mouth full of prosthetic fangs.

Suffering slight series-itis in how it sets up successive films, this is a watchable effort that may not live up to its potential of Burton chucking Potter, X-Men and Big Fish in a blender, but is tons better than the worst-case version of that same scenario.

Guardian (UK)

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It gels as Tim Burton’s best (non-musical) live-action movie for 20 years.

Variety (USA)

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Goldman’s frequently amusing script is the secret ingredient that makes “Miss Peregrine” such an appropriate fit for Burton’s peculiar sensibility...

Empire (UK)

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While it's neither as dark, funny nor peculiar as you’d expect from Tim Burton, there’s still much here to admire.

Hollywood Reporter

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If the film had remained focused more on the improbabilities of this love story, it might have emerged as something rather special.

Time Out London

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Like four or five Harry Potter books squeezed into a single movie: it makes precious little sense.

New York Times

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Mr. Burton's attention to detail and to the ebb and flow of tone (scary, funny, eerie), as well as his sensitive, gentle work particularly with the child actors, make each new turn another occasion for unfettered imagination.

Stuff.co.nz

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There is some genuinely frightening imagery on display, from Franken-toys to faceless horrors. Then again, a lack of scares is often a lament about modern-day kids' cinema.

The Australian (David Stratton)

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For much of the film's length we find him in his element, taking advantage of what was clearly a generous budget to indulge his fantasies.