Movie Review: Mortal Engines

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

| by Winter Lawrence |


Mortal Engines

Description: PG | Action | Adventure | Drama | Fantasy | Dystopian | Science Fiction


Starring: Hera Hilmar | Robert Sheehan | Hugo Weaving | Jihae


Winter’s Forecast: 4 Flurries!


The Story: A mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw, emerges as the only one who can stop a giant, predator city on wheels devouring everything in its path. Feral and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.


Winter’s Review: I won’t lie—as much as I was excited to hear that this book series had been adapted for the big screen, I was also a little skeptical. The reviews, my friends, were not pretty, and when my hubby and I arrived at the theater with only minutes to spare—and we were the only ones there, on opening day—I was worried it was going to be bad. Of course, I didn’t let anything deter me as I got snug as a bug in my seat and then got my handy-dandy little notebook ready to take notes. The theater got dark, the previews played, and then the movie, in spectacular form, began!


Listen, guys, it was good—like really, really good!


The movie takes place in a futuristic dystopian world that the filmmakers nailed—the costumes, set design, and cinematography are gorgeous and well-worth the theater experience, and the acting and the storyline are engaging and at times, truly powerful. There was a scene that I bawled—like full-on ugly-girl cried, so bring tissue if you’re prone to tear up!


So what’s with the scathing reviews, you ask? Well, here’s the thing: there’s a lot going on in this movie—and by a lot I mean that there are quite a few storylines taking place and there’s a lot of backstory that comes your way, so you can’t miss a beat or something may go over your head. It’s one of those movies where you may benefit from having read the books beforehand (or at least the first two)—but I don’t think that’s entirely necessary. So while I did “melt away a flurry” for the movie feeling a little rushed and for there being a couple of convenient, predictable storylines, I still enjoyed it immensely and I think you can get away with skipping the books just as long as you come prepared to “really” watch the movie.


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Winter’s Forecast runs on a Five-Flurry Rating System, with five being a perfect storm of fantastic acting, astounding storylines and film components, and an all-around amazing movie-going experience. Here’s the rest of the breakdown:

One Flurry—Near White-Out Conditions: Don’t brave the cold, rent it instead!

Two Flurries—Hail Storm: A few good bits, but mostly worth dodging!

Three Flurries—A Blizzard: Worth the hype, but proceed with caution!

Four Flurries—A Nor’easter: It packs a punch but misses it by that much!

Five Flurries—The Perfect Storm: Stop reading and go watch it already!


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