I liked the movie more than Todd did, but it still has plenty of flaws. I was never bored by it and it had a couple of interesting visuals...
I don’t know if I can translate this properly into words but it felt to me that one of the film’s biggest failings was that it took for granted that we, the audience, would be blown away by the visuals and the pseudo-science. And that may have been the case if this movie had come out right when the book was released. But in 2018, CGI visuals and generic sci-fi concepts in and of themselves aren’t jaw dropping.
Before the film was released, I kept seeing the same promo clip at Regal theaters where the cast and director kept repeating that no one has every seen anything like this before. I think the opposite is true - we’ve seen these kind of visuals frequently. It’s not a problem that the film has CGI. It’s a problem that the filmmakers apparently didn’t realize how similar their film was to many others and acted as if they were the first to show us this particular trick.
My biggest problem is that it took Meg's journey, which was very specific in the book, and turned it into a very generic "girl power" empowerment story. In the movie, it is the absence of her father that causes her problems in school; in the book, it's her unconventional way of thinking -- being very bright but socially awkward, and arriving at answers correctly, but not getting there via the method being taught. In the end, it's her inability to conform that saves the day. That undercurrent is lost in the movie.
I also missed the religious overtones, especially when some profoundly moving Bible verses were replaced with some more flippant secular quotes that didn't make the point as effectively.
Loved the visuals, though, and I thought Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling were terrific as Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who -- and Deric McCabe was borderline miraculous as Charles Wallace.
The greatest sin this film commits is thinking that Meg was the main character of the book, when it was actually Charles Wallace. All other mistakes (the plotholes, Calvin being pointless, Mrs. Whatsit being super annoying, etc.) all seem to stem from that initial one.