Critic Reviews



Based on 38 critic reviews provided by
An uneven and festive offering brimming with glitter and gaudiness that excels when it embraces its strangeness and the brilliance of the production design.
I have to admit to being helplessly enchanted – or suckered – for the most part. There’s wit here and The Nutcracker will take you from zero to Christmas jumper in the opening sequence. What’s missing is the melancholy darkness of ETA Hoffmann’s story. Instead, schmaltz-merchant director Lasse Hallström tugs at the heartstrings and ladles on the syrup.
Every aspect of of the movie feels as if it’s been determined by algorithm, workshopped and test-marketed into a state of pleasant, fleeting dullness.
What starts as a modest, agreeable riff on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original tale — and, more relevantly, Tchaikovsky’s ballet — eventually veers into stultifying action, rote twists, and other badly forced contemporary tweaks.
The rare quiet moments in Nutcracker suggest Foy might be a real movie star. Let’s give her a real movie and find out.
Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms offers up a heaping helping of eye candy and treacle for the holidays, If only they’d had a coherent story and a good actress in the lead. If only those were the only two serious shortcomings in this brainless, cotton candy bauble.
Slant Magazine
One may wish that the entire film had restaged the entirely of Tchaikovsky's ballet rather than reimagine it as an ultimately lifeless epic fantasy.
For a movie with so much stuff to look at, the only things you really see during The Nutcracker and the Four Realms are all of the recent movies that it’s flagrantly trying to recycle.
Maybe it was the massive reshoots — directorial credit is shared by Lasse Hallstrom, who shot the first go-round, and Joe Johnston — or perhaps the script by first-timer Ashleigh Powell was always muddled and convoluted, but the results are singularly dispiriting.
The film is as bland as Melba toast served on a bed of parsley while snatching sips of water from a nearby puddle following a rainstorm (that actually, in retrospect, could have some flavor). It is the very antithesis of creative destruction.

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