Nim's Island is the latest so-so effort from Walden Media. Like most of their films, it is based on a children's book, and like many of their films, it is directed by a first-time feature-film director—or, in this case, by two people who have never directed a feature film before. But lest you enter the theater with low expectations, the film is also graced with enthusiastic performances by actors who clearly enjoy being part of a story that teaches positive lessons—and a little enthusiasm can go a long way, even when it is not clear just where the story itself is going.

The part of Nim herself is played by the 11-year-old Abigail Breslin, who was last seen in Definitely Maybe as a young girl who asks her about-to-divorced dad to tell her a bedtime story about his love life. Nim, thankfully, is not so precocious, or at least not in that way; she has spent the bulk of her life with her dad on a remote island in the South Pacific, where she plays with various animals and "escapes" by reading the adventure novels of an Indiana Jones-like figure named Alex Rover.

When she reads these novels, Nim imagines that the dashing, heroic Alex Rover is a man just like her dad, Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler)—except that where her dad is a marine biologist who hopes to discover a new form of nanoplankton and name it after his daughter, she imagines Alex Rover being a much more rugged, combative individual. To the film's credit, it allows Jack to be masculine in his own way; the fact that he spends much of his time looking at his one-celled specimens through a microscope does not make him a mild-mannered geek. He is, indeed, an inspirational figure to his daughter in his own way—so when Nim visualizes her father as Alex ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Nim's Island
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for mild adventure action and brief language)
Directed By
Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Run Time
1 hour 36 minutes
Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin
Theatre Release
April 04, 2008 by Fox Walden
Browse All Movie Reviews By: