Director Colin Trevorrow dumps out his Steven Spielberg Family Thriller Kit and makes sure all the pieces are there: squabbling siblings (young and old!), divorce, kids in peril, endearing childlike wonder vs. the threat posed by self-serving grownups, moral musings on science and nature, and oh yes, dinosaurs. Lots and lots of dinosaurs. But he doesn't seem to have read the assembly instructions, because the result simply doesn't fit together or perform as advertised. (Early warning sign: the swelling, triumphant music played over the big reveal of...a theme park. Later warning sign: the lengthy, faintly sadistic death scene of an extremely minor character. Why?) There is this bit of cleverness: a pointed indictment of the audience's constant, insatiable desire for "bigger teeth" — even as that's exactly what's served up. (The final showdown really is what you're paying for here.) Chris Pratt delivers his hambone dialogue with suitable Natural Man sincerity, and Bryce Dallas Howard's haircut is almost as precise and angular as her cheekbones. Question for discussion after the show: is the militaristic, gutty bad guy (a fantastic Vincent D'Onofrio) proved right in the end? (2015) — Matthew Lickona
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