: : : Matilda


Danny DeVito's adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for children is mostly just fine, helped along quite a bit by the charming performance of Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire) as young Matilda, a brilliant girl neglected by her stupid, self-involved parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Ignored at home, Matilda escapes into a world of reading, exercising her mind so much she develops telekinetic powers. Good thing, too: sent off to a school headed by a cruel principal, Matilda needs all the help she can get. DeVito takes a highly stylized approach that is sometimes reminiscent of Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Get Shorty, a DeVito production), and his judgment is not the best in some matters, such as letting the comic-scary sequences involving the principal go on too long. But much of the film is delightful and funny. The DVD release has a pan-and-scan, full-screen presentation only, plus Dolby sound and optional French and Spanish soundtracks. --Tom Keogh


Mara WilsonMatilda
Danny DeVitoMr. Wormwood
Rhea PerlmanMrs. Wormwood
Embeth DavidtzMiss Honey
Pam FerrisTrunchbull
Paul ReubensFBI Agent
Tracey WalterFBI Agent
Jean Speegle HowardMiss Phelps
Jacqueline SteigerAmanda Thripp
Jon LovitzMillion $ Sticky Host

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  • Genre: Family Movies
  • Director: Danny DeVito
  • Producer: Columbia/Tri-Star
  • Length: 95 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaAug 2, 1996
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJul 22, 1997
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