Aaron Paul

'The 9th Life of Louis Drax' doesn't survive the free-fall of obviousness

'The 9th Life of Louis Drax' doesn't survive the free-fall of obviousness

Nine-year-old Louis Drax’s (Aiden Longworth) brief existence so far has been marked by near-death mishaps — from salmonella and botulism to electrocution and broken bones — yet he cheerfully calls himself “accident-prone.” He narrates an introduction as we see him plummeting from a seaside cliff in the jarring opening moments of “The 9th Life of Louis Drax.” As for this clumsy movie’s own missteps, one of them is a free-fall of knowing exactly where its ham-fisted, head-scratching mix of fantasy, potboiler and family drama is headed.

All those elements may have combined to fine literary effect in Liz...

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