Gifted movie poster

The other characters can’t stop talking about how prodigious Mary (Mckenna Grace) is, but with the exception of the occasional polysyllabic word peppering Tom Flynn’s dialogue (and a 9-year-old actress who shatters all levels on the precocity scale), there’s nothing particularly exceptional about the kid as presented. Of course, that won’t stop director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man) from dragging us through extended courtroom proceedings to determine who will have their way with the child’s future: scruffy Uncle Frank (Chris Evans), who doesn’t want to reinforce his niece’s difference, or icy Grandma Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), who refuses to deny the child the opportunity to live up to her potential. Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer come on strong as Mary’s teacher and neighbor, respectively, before being reduced to reaction shots during the trial. Only the highbred cast and a hint of profanity separate this from a basic cable tearjerker. 2017.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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