In A Wrinkle in Time, 13-year-old Meg Murray (Storm Reid) has found it increasingly difficult to adjust to life without her father. Dr Alex Murray (Chris Pine), a brilliant scientist, has disappeared without a trace while working on a theory about people being able to ‘tesseract’, or travel, by using a specific frequency and the power of their minds. Unable to bear the separation any longer, Meg sets out to find her dad, along with her genius little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller). The children are aided by three supernatural beings – Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs Who (Mindy Kahling). These beings help to protect the universe from the darkness, which threatens to take over. Their quest to find Dr Murray takes them to places they’d never imagined. It forces them to develop capacities and strengths they didn’t know they had, and it sends them to a planet that possesses all the evil in the universe. Together they must face the darkness, the unknown and their worst fears. Ultimately they discover that the power to bring Dr Murray home has been within their grasp the whole time.
Children separated from a parent; bullying.
There is some violence in A Wrinkle in Time. For example:
- Meg slams a ball into a classmate’s face after being insulted by very hurtful comments.
- While possessed by ‘The It’, Charles Wallace uses powers of telekinesis to thrash Meg about.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, A Wrinkle in Time has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- Mrs Whatsit shapeshifts into a large, green, flying creature.
- The children repeatedly encounter ‘The It’. This sometimes manifests itself as a black, creepy mass of pure evil.
- Calvin and Meg are separated from Charles Wallace when an evil forest springs up around them. The music is extremely loud and dramatic, and the scene is both intense and suspenseful.
- A man, who appears to be friendly, encourages the children to eat. It turns out that they’re merely eating sand and the man disappears with Charles Wallace, leaving a frantic Meg to follow him. The man later comes apart like a marionette and reveals red, glowing, eyes.
- Charles Wallace is possessed by ‘The It’ and tries to kill Meg. Fire and cracks show through his skin.
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, A Wrinkle in Time has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:
- Calvin nearly plunges to his death after encountering ‘The It’.
- Audiences are shown an image of Calvin’s father standing over him in a rage, telling him how his best is not good enough. This is scary and intimidating.
- Calvin and Meg must run for their lives, dodging exploding piles of dirt. They eventually use the force of a tornado to launch themselves over a cliff while hiding in a tree trunk.
- The children find themselves in a cul-de-sac where one child from each house is outside bouncing a ball in perfect synchronization. The scene is almost robotic and is extremely creepy.
- Meg, Calvin and Dr Murray are dragged along to see ‘The It’. Dr Murray claws at the ground in a desperate fight to avoid being taken. He is terrified, but Meg refuses to leave Charles Wallace behind. Her father tries to tesseract and bring her home, fearing that his son has already been claimed by evil. Dr Murray and Calvin disappear, and Meg is left to face ‘The It’ alone.
Some children in this age group could be frightened by the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above. But there isn’t anything else in A Wrinkle in Time to frighten children in this age group.
Most children over the age of 13 years won’t be frightened by this movie.
There are no sexual references in A Wrinkle in Time.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is no use of substances in A Wrinkle in Time.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some nudity and sexual activity in A Wrinkle in Time. For example:
- Dr Murray and his wife kiss a couple of times.
- When Mrs Whatsit changes from her human form into that of a flying creature, Calvin turns away quickly. Nudity is implied but the audience sees nothing.
There is no product placement in A Wrinkle in Time.
There is no coarse language in the movie, although school bullies say some hurtful things. Meg and her father are both called ‘crazy’. ‘Shut up’ is also used on several times.
Ideas to discuss with your children
A Wrinkle in Time is a family fantasy adventure based on the classic children’s novel by Madeleine L’Engle.
The main messages from this movie are about:
- embracing your uniqueness
- being brave enough to fight the darkness no matter what form it takes
- recognising the power of love and the fact that love is always there, even when you can’t see it.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include courage, perseverance, teamwork and love.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of:
- believing in yourself and your abilities – for example, Meg is able to save both Calvin and herself by using her mathematical abilities to calculate a trajectory to propel them to safety
- seeing things from other people’s points of view – for example, despite the fact that a girl at school treats Meg terribly, Meg can see that the girl’s behaviour relates to how the girls feels about herself, rather than anything to do with Meg.