Emporium Short on Wonder

Star power can't save unimaginative effort
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 12:58 PM CST

(Newser) Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium might be less than magical for grown-ups, critics of the whimsical family flick agree. Dustin Hoffman stars as the eponymous eccentric who bequeathes a magical living toy store to reluctant protégé Natalie Portman in a film that "sprinkles in charming moments but ultimately doesn't evoke enough wonderment," writes Variety's Brian Lowry.

"There isn't anything terribly exciting or original on offer in the somewhat poky directing debut of screenwriter Zach Helm,"  says Lou Lumenick for the New York Post. "The idea of a toy store as a living, responsive being is a good one," says Scott Tobias of The Onion A.V. Club, "but Helm doesn't take that idea to imaginative places."