The young peculiars have names, but they don't get much by way of backstory or personality. Despite the movie's insistence that they are special, Miss Peregrine ultimately reduces them to the very thing the world rejected them for: their peculiarities.
The film feels overstuffed, with Tim Burton repeating tricks from his greatest hits (think Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands). But stick with it just for those times when Burton flies high on his own peculiar genius.
Tim Burton is on macabre message in his latest offering - "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" - an adaptation of Ransom Riggs' popular trilogy.
The result feels less like a thoughtfully-conceived franchise-starter than a picture that was rushed out of the editing suite prematurely.
To me, Burton's movies always seem a full grade too grotesque for the whimsical stories he is trying to tell... At least in Miss Peregrine, his ghastliness fits the fable, although, even at its best, it's fairly generic Burton.
It's supremely silly and filled with crater-sized plot holes, but it's a profoundly moving film, too - about trauma, about loneliness, about aging and family.
In the past, Burton has shown he does peculiar better than anybody. This time around, his touch is as useless as a mouth in the back of your head.
I fear Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is too uneven, too self-consciously cool to succeed either as art or as mass spectacle.
Mr. Burton's attention to detail and to the ebb and flow of tone (scary, funny, eerie), as well as his sensitive, gentle work particularly with the child actors, make each new turn another occasion for unfettered imagination.