Rated 5.0

An English orphan (Ruby Barnhill, wonderful) sees a mysterious giant (Mark Rylance) skulking around London in the wee hours, and for her curiosity is kidnapped from her bed. That’s the bad news. The good news: he’s the only one of his race who doesn’t eat children—he’s rather a sweet old colossus, as a matter of fact. Director Steven Spielberg and writer Melissa Mathison (who died during production) adapt Roald Dahl’s kids’ novel into a fantasy masterpiece that will be cherished for as long as movies live. Spielberg and Mathison’s magic from E.T. is still strong—on one level, this is E.T. for little girls—and they add levels of dreams-within-dreams beyond what even Dahl originally wrote. Take the kids to see this bottomless treasure chest of wonders or I’ll never forgive you. And neither will they. J.L.