‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ reviews: Tim Burton’s ‘finest work’ since ‘Sweeney Todd’

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” arrives in theaters with high expectations thanks to its source material — the popular novel by Ransom Riggs about a refuge for kids with unusual abilities — and its director, the singularly quirky Tim Burton. However, many of Burton’s films have divided critics in recent years. And that’s true of “Miss Peregrine,” which has a 56 score on MetaCritic and 61% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, with some reviewers calling it’s Burton’s best film in years.

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Moira Macdonald (Seattle Times): “But Burton, though his output lately has been bumpy (let’s all agree to forget about “Dark Shadows,” shall we?), is one of those rare filmmakers with a clear, distinctive style, and it’s well suited to this material … It’s that mixture of weird and sweet that’s Burton’s trademark — and here, for the most part, it works.”

Justin Chang (Los Angeles Times): “Though its cabinet-of-wonders aesthetic and meticulously appointed visuals announce it as a Burton movie through and through, this is easily the director’s finest work since his masterful 2007 screen adaptation of ‘Sweeney Todd,’ and a striking reminder of what an unfettered gothic imagination can achieve with the right focus and an infusion of discipline.”

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Jordan Hoffman (The Guardian): “To add additional spin, our young English mutants are caught up in a Groundhog Day of their own creation, so we get the playfulness of seeing quirky magic powers mixed with the familiarity of how a time loop plays out. Add in Burton’s authorial visual stamp and what we’ve got is an extremely pleasing formula. It gels as Tim Burton’s best (non-musical) live-action movie for 20 years.”

Brian Truitt (USA Today): “The kids are all right, especially the weird ones, in the company of Tim Burton. Based on the popular young-adult novel by Ransom Riggs, the winningly quirky fantasy adventure ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ acts like a greatest-hits collection for the iconic director in the way it flaunts oddball grown-ups, shows normal kids thrust into the nuttiest situations and makes the strange oh-so-cool.”

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