The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: without any knowledge of the source material, it seems that Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston’s (has ever been an odder directing team?) adaptation follows the law that if a universe accepts a generic struggle against tyranny plotline, that will be used. It’s, therefore, somewhat surprising that the wrapping story ends up so touching. Mackenzie Foy is simply adorable as the smart and plucky protagonist; Jayden Fowora-Knight is charming as her companion as well; Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman are reliable as ever, even in their limited airtime; but it’s Keira Knightley, with her funny voice, that leaves a deeper mark. The film looks fantastic in both senses of the word; cinematographer Linus Sandgren nicely captures all the colors and details of the rococo production design by Guy Hendrix Dyas, the equally exuberant costume design of Jenny Beavan and the somewhat preposterous make-up and hair-styling. The musical score of James Newton Howard is OK, but the film could have use much more Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky instead.