First a young boy in 1964 (Thomas Robinson, growing up to be George Clooney), then a teenage girl in 2014 (Britt Robertson), get a glimpse of a beautiful distant future—but it may not happen unless they can somehow save it, with the aid of a girlish android (Raffey Cassidy). Written by Damon Lindelof, Jeff Jensen and Brad Bird (who directs with joyful exuberance), the movie is a near-brilliant nexus of art, craftsmanship and marketing, painting a compellingly optimistic picture of the power of children and the young at heart to shape the future. Robertson is high-spirited, while Clooney reminds us how good he can be when someone else is directing him. As for the remarkable young Cassidy—well, next year's supporting actress Oscar is clearly spoken for; what a pity she'll almost certainly be overlooked. J.L.