Jeremy Crabb’s review published on Letterboxd:
Roald Dahl's The Witches has been my favorite book of his since I read it all the way back in elementary school. It's pretty scary for a child and it creates some pretty perilous situations that as I kid I was quite mesmerized by, and Robert Zemeckis' adaptation - while being a fairly faithful adaptation in terms of its narrative - loses all of the peril and horror of Dahl's original source material and instead takes a bland, lifeless approach to the story that is honestly a bit of a chore to sit through. The CGI is quite bad, thus compromising a lot of what could be some pretty horrifying moments like in the 1990 film adaptation, which is lightyears better than this one. All of the reasons that the book drew me and millions of other kids in over the decades is lost here in a safe, boring film that has very little to offer for kids or adults. Anne Hathaway is really the only major takeaway, as she gives a really committed performance that can at times be fun to watch. Octavia Spencer is also pretty good, and Stanley Tucci is a delight as always, even if he's given next to nothing to do here. The makeup on Hathaway isn't half bad either, even if it looks pretty cartoony. But past that, I kind of hated this film. It lacks any of the passion or thrill of Dahl's book or even the 1990 adaptation, thus being a film that is destined to be forgotten sooner rather than later.