Review: ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home’ is a broken one

Director Tim Burton’s latest misfire is part ‘Harry Potter’ and part ‘X-Men,’ but none of the good parts

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is a nice house, but no one’s home.

Tim Burton’s muddled adventure is overstuffed with parts of the “Harry Potter” and “X-Men” series, but doesn’t deserve the comparison to either.

Aside from some sumptuous visuals, there isn’t much in “Peregrine” to grab onto. It introduces an abundance of characters and places them in a time-hopping story (it’s based on the 2011 novel), but doesn’t give anyone much reason to care — a peculiar decision, indeed.

We meet Jake (“Hugo’s” Asa Butterfield), whose grandfather, Abraham (Terence Stamp), has for years told him tales of a home in Wales that houses children with fantastical abilities. There’s the boy who’s invisible, the one who has a stomach full of bees and the girl who has a mouth in the back of her head, which it turns out there’s not a whole lot of use for.

During a trip to Wales with his father (Chris O’Dowd), Jake haps upon the home, which was bombed in World War II. He’s able to go back in time and join up with the kids — he’s a “peculiar,” too — and Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who teaches him the ropes.

“Peregrine’s” got a lot going on: Nazi warplanes, a skeleton army and a girl (Ella Purnell) who needs to wear weighted boots to keep from drifting away.

No such luck for the storyline, which is never grounded and floats away from the realm of interest.

In the past, Burton has shown he does peculiar better than anybody. This time around, his touch is as useless as a mouth in the back of your head.


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‘Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children’


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and peril

Running time: 127 minutes