The House with a Clock in Its Walls
Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
This was one of my favorite books as a kid, so I was happy to check out the adaptation as an adult. And it's fun! The movie strikes a pretty good balance of humor, mystery, action, and pathos. It rushes the slow-building mystery of the book in order to fit a family-friendly running time, but it makes up for that by adding smart details, like the suggestion of a dark backstory for Florence Zimmerman. I have no idea whether the child protagonist's obesity (and social ostracization related to it) were a relatable draw for me as a kid, but the movie omits that detail and it turns out to be inessential. The movie has everything it needs to be successful. I would change very little about it, maybe just trimming a few of the chair/topiary jokes and the CGI baby that strike the wrong tone.