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Review: Family drama ‘Lost & Found’ moves in mysterious, if not always satisfying, ways

Justin Kelly in the movie "Lost & Found."
(Lost & Found Film)

The family drama “Lost & Found” opens with a series of old newspaper headlines that succinctly sketches the history of a remote Pacific Northwest Island developed in the 1960s by an eccentric World War II code breaker-turned-magnate named Richard Walton. Pay attention: Those headlines are clearer and more credible than the film’s present-day narrative in which Walton’s sulky teen grandson, Andy (Justin Kelly), is sent by his parents to the now-ailing island to learn the truth about his mysterious lineage.

Once there, Andy and his nerdy-clever, tag-along kid brother, Mark (Benjamin Stockham), must bunk with their estranged uncle Trent (Jason Patric, always compelling), a reclusive bait-shop owner. The boozy Trent long ago gave up searching for a treasure allegedly buried in the island’s sinister West Forest by dad Richard, who inexplicably vanished in 1985.

Meanwhile, an evil industrialist (Cary Elwes) is redeveloping the island as a first-class tourist spot — and nothing will get in his way. That is, until Andy and Mark start assembling clues left by their games-playing grandpa as to the treasure’s whereabouts.

The result is a sporadically fun, heartfelt ride whose script by director Joseph Itaya and Erik Cardona is filled with too many broad strokes, faux close calls, plot conveniences and questionable story points to feel fully baked. Still, parents seeking a harmless diversion for their kids could do worse.

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‘Lost & Found’

Rating: PG for thematic elements, some violence and language.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; on VOD Jan. 10

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