* * * B
Tim Burton brings us this original film (based on the novel) about a boy, Jake (Asa “Ender” Butterfield), who grows up with the stories of his grandfather’s magical childhood in Wales. When grandpa Abe (Terence “General Zod” Stamp) is killed under suspicious circumstances, Jake journeys to Wales to learn the truth of his grandfather’s tall tales. He’s quickly caught up in the mysterious world that made his grandfather the peculiar person he was.
The film has all the quirkiness Tim Burton is known for, which fits perfectly with the material. The peculiar children of the title must use their talents to protect each other from the dark forces that threaten them. Everyman Jake’s love interest, Emma, is well played by relative newcomer Ella Purnell. The difficult character of Miss Peregrine, the wise guardian of the children, is pulled off by Eva Green (Serefina in the ill fated “Golden Compass”), and the evil Barren played creepily by Samuel L. Jackson.
The visuals were beautiful and the writing and acting good. I had some minor issues with the final act of the film, where I found it unclear what was going on in places, possibly due to over-editing. Otherwise, this very good film could have been great. I recommend seeing it. It’s one of the best films of the year so far.