The Nutcracker and the Four Realms 2.0 stars

Nutcracker and the Four Realms movie poster

How do you know it’s a Disney picture even if you’ve missed the magic castle logo? The protagonist’s mother is dead before the opening credits roll and a mouse shall lead them. Make that King Mouse, a creature made whole only when hundreds of Mickeys stand on each other’s shoulders to form a lean, mean, vermin machine. Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren bring little more than marquee value to justify their paychecks, and it would have been hard to find someone less emotive and more void of humor than star Mackenzie Foy. And yet, maybe see it anyway, for the effects work and production design, both of which are nothing short of spectacular. Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, What’s Eating GIlbert Grape), Disney’s first choice for director, was unavailable when it came time to return for the additional CGI work needed to complete the film. So visual effects doyen Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Captain America: The First Avenger) was contracted for 32 days of reshoots. My biggest regret is not having seen it in 3D. With equal tributes to Leopold Stokowski and Dave Edmunds. 2018.

Scott Marks

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

11:20am, 2:10pm, 4:40pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

4:25pm

Edwards Mira Mesa

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

12:20pm, 3:00pm

Thursday, December 13

12:20pm, 3:00pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

11:55am, 2:15pm, 4:30pm, 9:30pm

Wednesday, December 12

11:40am, 2:00pm, 4:15pm

Thursday, December 13

11:40am, 2:00pm, 4:15pm

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

1:05pm, 3:35pm, 6:05pm, 8:40pm

Wednesday, December 12

1:05pm, 3:35pm, 6:05pm, 8:40pm

Thursday, December 13

1:05pm, 3:35pm, 6:05pm

Regal Rancho San Diego

2951 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, 619-660-3483 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

4:15pm

Wednesday, December 12

5:00pm, 9:45pm

Thursday, December 13

2:00pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Tuesday, December 11

11:00am, 2:15pm, 5:05pm, 7:50pm

Wednesday, December 12

11:00am, 2:15pm, 5:05pm, 7:50pm, 10:40pm

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