Who's in It:
Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler
The Basics: The story of an online friendship between a woman pretending to be a man and the little girl she travels a long distance to visit. OK, sorry, that's the To Catch a Predator version. It's actually about a little girl named Nim who lives on an island with her marine biologist father (Mom was eaten by a whale, no joke). When Dad gets lost at sea, Nim gets on the Internet and begs her favorite writer, "Alex Rover," who turns out to be Foster, to come help.
What's the Deal? Your enjoyment, if you're over the age of nine or so, will depend on how much you can indulge the idea of helpful animal pals who not only fetch life-saving tools and food for their favorite humans, but who also understand English and offer sensitive commentary in their respective animal languages. And if that spoiler didn't sound totally nuts to you, then you'll be fine. If, however, you want your kid-venture films to seem like they could really happen, and you'd like an explanation of how a child can fix solar panels on a tree house and rig up pulleys and catapults, or how a man lost in the ocean can build a catamaran from driftwood, then perhaps you should see a documentary instead.
Sliding Scale: Better than Home Alone 3 and Pippi Longstocking. On par with Harriet the Spy. Not nearly as cool as The Swiss Family Robinson or The Golden Compass.
Finally a Movie Where Foster Isn't Dispensing Vigilante Justice Left and Right: After Panic Room and Flight Plan and The Brave One, it's kind of nice to see Foster go back to her live-action-Disney-movie childhood. She's not riding around on the back of an ostrich or hurling coconut bombs at the bad guys, but it'll do.