He Named Me Malala

Rated 3.0

This middling media tour documentary from An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim is another triumph of subject over substance and style. The film follows Malala Yousafzai, a smart, outspoken, thoroughly endearing Pakistani girl who in 2012 was shot by the Taliban for fighting for her educational rights. Malala survived, whisked to the West with her family and went on to write a bestselling book about her experiences, using it as a springboard to take on other causes related to female education. Guggenheim fits Malala's story into a slick, press kit ready package, tossing in everything from animation to the obligatory Jon Stewart clip, and getting the most out of Erich Roland's cinematography and a score by Skyfall composer Thomas Newman. We get a few glimpses of Malala the hormonal teenager behind Malala the Nobel Peace Prize winner, but this rarely feels like anything more than a press junket in movie form. D.B.