Banking on the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean
franchise, Disney poaches another of its theme park attractions for this sci-fi adventure. A plucky teenager (Britt Robertson) discovers an interdimensional utopia while helping a cranky scientist (George Clooney) and robot child (Raffey Cassidy) prevent Earth's self-imposed apocalypse. Director Brad Bird brings his vivid widescreen compositions and kitschy retro-futurism to a screenplay he co-wrote with Damon Lindleof, but his storytelling, a strong point in The Iron Giant
(1999) and The Incredibles
(2004), is harsh and inelegant. An aggressively optimistic script admonishes the lazy and irresolute and urges humanity to end war and save the environment; the proselytizing burdens an already onerous plot. With Hugh Laurie.