MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jude Law, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Sasha Baron Cohen. Family drama. Directed by Martin Scorsese.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A young orphan lives in a Paris train station, having taken over his drunken uncleís profession as the caretaker of the stationís giant clock. Before being killed in a tragic accident, the boyís father had passed on his love of fixing things. But the boy is alone and lonely, unaware that there are areas in his own life needing fixing. And while helping to restore another person, he finds purpose in his own life.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Itís Roald Dahl meets Stephen Spielberg. Dahlís British TV anthology series Tales of the Unexpected usually examined suspenseful yarns from a darker side, often with a surprise ending, much like The Twilight Zone. And Spielberg has often loved examining the unknown from a childís perspective. Mr. Scorsese has taken from both these examples of storytelling and added his own style, along the way paying homage to past filmmakers and inserting a covert plea for film preservation. The filmmaker, better known for harsher, more violent movies, here mesmerizes us all with a gentler touch.

Itís a beautifully made film, one that touches our hearts while saluting the imagination of previous storytellers. Truly, every aspect of the production has received the most exacting detail. A clean film, here language is lifted up rather than molested, and tragedy, while incorporated to reveal the darker side of manís nature, is never allowed to bombard viewers. And though CGI and 3D add a flourish to the proceedings, they never overshadow the story.

Worthy of Oscar attention for the technical aspects, itís also fun and ultimately uplifting for older children and the child in the rest of us.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: The boy is often chased through the station by an over-zealous gendarme and his Doberman; a man is killed in a fire Ė this is handled briefly, without becoming gory; the boy has a nightmare, wherein he is about to be hit by a runaway train and then another dream where he changes into a mechanical man; the dreams cause us to tense up, but the action is quickly resolved; the uncleís drunken body is found by the wharf, the alcoholic having drowned; we only see the bottom of his clothed body.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: The uncle is a drunk and unloving, but he is quickly out of the story.

Other: For a long time the boy only has one friend, with no parental figures, but suffice it to say, the ending is a happy one.

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Families, 10 and up

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