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Rated NR

Adventure, Family, Fantasy
The imagination can create a great escape from mundane reality. That’s the lesson in this second adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s classic children’s novel. When an outcast 11-year-old boy (Josh Hutcherson) meets the unusual new girl in town (AnnaSophia Robb), the two venture into the woods, where their inventive minds walk among giants, trolls and warriors. When a halting tragedy occurs among the creative kids, director Gabor Csupo’s child-friendly, CGI-filled fare takes a sudden turn toward maturity that is handled with surprising grace. The mythic monsters, the well-plotted screenplay and the appropriately developed characters help the film surpass its 1985 predecessor; just do not be fooled by the juvenile scenes in the advertisements. This is a gem.

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