"Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children" Movie Review

Updated on August 23, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children | Source

Once upon a time Tim Burton was the Sultan of Spooky, the King of Creepy. His early work, including Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and even his 1989 spin on Batman are still masterworks of eerie, dark filmmaking. Lately, though, his efforts have skewed more toward just plain odd. 2010’s Alice in Wonderland and 2012’s Dark Shadows are both ultimately forgettable, and 2014’s Big Eyes came and went with a collective shrug from audiences and critics alike.

Burton fans, however, surely rejoiced when news spread that he would be directing the film adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. If ever there was material that would be the perfect avenue for Burton’s grand return to form, surely this was it. Ransom Riggs’ bestselling novel is full of darkness and weird things and death and mayhem and monsters.

What we actually get, however, is just another in the growing line of shrug-worthy Tim Burton films. While there are moments in Peregrine where we’re shown glimpses of the Burton we used to know and love, they’re too few and far between to make the film entirely worthwhile. In fact if you went in not knowing, it would be nearly impossible to tell that Burton had a hand in it at all.

Asa Butterfield stars as Jake, a Florida teenager who grew up listening to his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) tell amazing stories about, well, peculiar children. After a monster attack leaves Abe clinging to life, he gives his grandson a cryptic message to find the loop and that the bird will explain everything. Jake eventually figures out that Abe was referring to his wartime children’s home on an island off the coast of Wales, so he heads off, father in tow, to find answers.

Shortly after he arrives, Jake indeed finds the loop─a portal back to 1943, where a band of peculiar children live the same day over and over again, trying to hide from the same monsters that killed Jake’s grandfather.

Emma (Ella Purnell) can levitate and control the air, Millard (Cameron King) is invisible, Olive (Lauren McCrostie) can start fire with her touch, to name a few, and they’re all watched over by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can control time and also transform into a peregrine falcon. They’re an eclectic bunch, sure, and the each of the actors has a ball with their own peculiarity. Not so much Butterfield, though, who seems to be sleepwalking through the movie, alongside his onscreen dad, played by an uncharacteristically muted Chris O'Dowd.

The screenplay by Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is haphazard and feels as though she was trying to cram too much into too little time, which makes her decision to add new characters and to divert the plot so far from the book, particularly the third act, feel so odd (and unnecessary). And unfortunately Burton seems content to play things perfectly safe, never really venturing neck-deep into the whack-a-doodle world that was once synonymous with his name. The peculiar children are still there, but the film world they inhabit is disappointingly bland.


3/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

It may actually be that Burton spent so much time trying to find ways to justify the 3D that the film as a whole suffered as a result. The 3D is amazing, absolutely, but it takes more than really good 3D to make a really good movie.

'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)