Dimensional and layered characters, beautiful (and often poignantly unsettling) animation, heavy themes that aren’t shied away from. My 7-year-old cousin with a father who’s a recovering alcoholic begged us to watch it. I think that says a lot.
If you've seen The Iron Giant, The Water Horse, How to Train Your Dragon, ET: The Extraterrestrial, or any other variation on the "kid befriends beast" premise, you've seen this movie pretty much beat-for-beat. But yet, Bumblebee works. And bizarrely, the movie doesn't work *despite* its familiarity and cliches and simple plot-structure; it works *because* of it. The only word you can use to describe a film like this is "charming", because that's what it is. Hailee Steinfeld is charming,…