The Nutcracker And The Four Realms: Review

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms
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Now, we have The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, a film not based on an animated classic but still a well-known tale. From its first photos and trailers, the movie seemed positioned to be another “big, colorful, expensive, star-studded, and hopefully, very successful” fairy tale. Whether it achieves that success remains to be seen, but as far as quality is concerned, the verdict is already in—unfortunately.

In theaters, audiences can expect a fairly traditional storyline, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a fairy tale. The film follows Klara, a shy yet intelligent young girl struggling with her mother’s death. She discovers an unusual gift under the Christmas tree that leads her to a strange realm filled with thieving mice, valiant soldiers, and three eccentric regents. These regents inform her that her late mother was the queen of this magical land and that there exists a fourth, malevolent realm bent on destruction. Klara must now assume her regent responsibilities, face off against the fearsome Gingerbread Woman, and locate a stolen key to unlock a family secret.

The narrative then unfolds predictably with a couple of twists, a battle, and ultimately, a reconciliation with her estranged father. While the plot doesn’t offer any surprises, it’s well-executed and meets the genre’s expectations, aiming primarily at an audience around nine years old. However, the issue is that the film fails to excel in any other aspect.

Visuals and Set Pieces

If you’re expecting a grand, epic world, you might be disappointed. The film’s scope feels confined—we see a forest, a castle, and a bridge. That’s about it. Attempts to compensate with lavish sets, costumes, and props fall short, often prioritizing quantity over quality. Everything from the outlandish costumes to the oversized carriage for the Gingerbread Woman feels overdone, transforming what should be enchanting into something almost repugnant. While this may be a matter of personal taste, directors Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston seem to mismanage the visual spectacle.


Ultimately, we are left with unremarkable performances populating a ho-hum story set against a visually unexciting backdrop. Mackenzie Foy is likable enough as Klara but ends up as yet another brave young girl who overcomes all odds. As for the rest of the cast, they are either underutilized or buried beneath layers of makeup, giving seasoned actors like Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Keira Knightley little room to shine.

Final Thoughts

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms attempts to be a visually stunning family spectacle but ends up delivering a clichéd narrative within an often unappealing setup. When compared to similarly ambitious films, it falls short. However, if you find yourself having to pick a family-friendly fairy tale to watch, its mediocrity might be tolerable.

Play the trailer: The Nutcracker aims to be a safe bet in the fairy tale genre, offering visually rich but ultimately shallow entertainment. It’s a mediocre affair that may leave audiences yearning for more substance and less spectacle.

Watch The Nutcracker And The Four Realms For Free On Gomovies.

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