The first thing I will say is that A Wrinkle in time is not a Science Fiction movie, but a Science Fantasy movie. That means I will not fault it for any bad science, or even using magic as science.
I also will say that while I have read the book it was more then fifteen years ago, when I was in early high school or late middle school. So ya, don’t really recall much about it.
That out of the way I will say the movie has several problems, which kept me from really liking it.
The first is that all three of the human kids were not really good characters.
Meg, the main character, who is looking for her father, is a depressed and troubled teen who cares about her father and brother. That really is her entire character. We are told, but never shown, that she is smart and capable. I never really cared about her. This was not helped when the first part of the movie (before they left earth) dragged on waaaay too long.
Charles Wallace, her kid brother, had similar issues. We were told he was very intelligent. But like Meg they never really showen it. Worse they used every stupid cliche they could to try and rub our faces in the fact he is smart. EVERYONE called him Charles Wallace, not charlie, or even just Charles. His teachers when they were talking privately, his sister when she was running through a wind storm looking for him. Even his father, who had left earth before he was born. He acted more like an adult then a kid. A smart kid is still a kid, he still should act like a kid.
Calvin was the third, and was at best forgettable. A loner with a father who liked to yell at him for not getting A’s he started following Meg around because she stood up to a hateful girl at school. He was so forgettable that when he was left behind somewhere I did not notice it for two scenes. He spent most of his time standing quietly in the back then propping up Meg’s ego when needed.
I admit I may be too hard on the three of them. However I am judging them against the real interesting character, Meg’s father. He is more interesting them any of the three of them yet has hardly any scenes, and most of them are set before he does the really cool thing that makes him interesting.
The second set of problems is with “tessering” (teleporting from one planet to another).
When they first talked about it they showed Meg’s father with some equations, talking to NASA (where he and his wife worked). He said that he could teleport with the power of his mind.
The thing is that the movie went back and forth between Tessering being a mind over matter thing, and a math/science thing. From the talk Meg’s father gave it sounded like a science/math thing, but he had no evidence or reason to believe he was right. It he had SOMETHING, even something small and near-useless it would have been one thing, but he had no reason to believe he was right at all.
Then throughout the movie they hinted, then outright said that how you think influences the tesser. Then they had someone tesser who had no math know-how at all.
If they had stuck to quasi-science that would have worked. Or they could have stuck to mind over matter, and that could have worked. But they wanted to have it both ways.