Critics' Corner

Esther Iverem - Style section, "Funny new children's film."

Desson Howe - Weekend section, "There's more than enough to enjoy."

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Scene from this movie Matilda, a girl of extraordinary talent and sensitivity, has the natal misfortune to be the daughter of crass, oafish car salesman Harry Wormwood and his tacky, tartish wife, Zinnia. The Wormwoods, whose idea of a good time is watching boxing on TV, pay no attention to Matilda’s abilities. It’s only after Matilda’s repeated requests that they send the precocious 6-year-old to school.

She’s dispatched to Crunchem Hall, a Draconian institution ruled by grim headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who dresses like an S.S. officer and treats children with apoplectic disgust. Matilda takes solace in first-grade teacher, Miss Honey, who immediately realizes the girl’s genius. -- Desson Howe
Rated PG

Director: Danny DeVito
Cast: Danny DeVito; Rhea Perlman; Embeth Davidtz; Pam Ferris; Mara Wilson
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Filmographies: Danny DeVito; Rhea Perlman