The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

At a lavish Christmas party, young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) enters a magical land created by her late mother, joining forces with a human nutcracker (Jayden Fowora-Knight, remarkably dull) to resolve a war among its realms. This gaudy, vulgar kitsch sat on the shelf for a year while Disney tried to salvage first-timer Ashleigh Powell’s incoherent story. Either desperate rewrites by Tom McCarthy (without credit) and reshoots with director Joe Johnston taking over from (and sharing credit with) Lasse Hallström didn’t help—or the movie must have been really awful before. Now it’s a grab bag of remnants from far better books and movies, from The Wizard of Oz to Chronicles of Narnia. Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen and other worthies are trapped in the goo. Impressive visuals, though. J.L.