Winter’s Tale

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Reading what happens in “Winter’s Tale” will make you want to see it — but seeing it would be a mistake, as it’s a listless, dull, nonsensical disaster. So proceed with caution. In 1916 New York, a thief (Colin Farrell) evades his angry Irish boss (Russell Crowe) — who is also a demon — by way of a magical flying horse, then falls in love with a rich girl (Jessica Brown Findlay) who’s dying of consumption. Then it’s 2014, the thief hasn’t aged, the demon still wants him dead, and Eva Marie Saint is a 110-year-old newspaper editor. (Nobody mentions it; the movie seems to have hoped we wouldn’t do the math and realize how old she’d have to be.) Akiva Goldsman, a mediocre screenwriter (“Batman & Robin,” “I, Robot”) making his bad directorial debut, reduces Mark Helprin’s massive novel to a puddle of incoherent magical realism, employing fantasy elements but refusing to fully embrace them. It’s weirdly, bafflingly bad.

F (1 hr., 58 min.; PG-13, mild violence, some mild sexuality.)

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