Adapted from a young adult novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this fantasy about witches and warlocks walking among us was clearly produced for the Twilight crowd, but a witty script and the enjoyably hammy performances from Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons broaden its appeal. Much of the movie's pleasure derives from its acidic portrayal of a small town in South Carolina whose soul-crushing culture of Christianity and Civil War reenactments has driven a bright, rebellious high schooler (Alden Ehrenreich) deep into the world of classic underground literature (Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Burgess, Henry Miller, et al). At school he bonds with a fellow eccentric (Alice Englert) who harbors supernatural powers and must decide on her 16th birthday whether she wants to use them for good or evil. Richard LaGravenese (Freedom Writers) directed; with Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Margo Martindale.
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