The Secret Garden (2020) Movie Review

Director: Marc Munden

Writer: Jack Thorne, Frances Hodgson Burnett (Screenplay)

Starring: Dixie Egerickx, Richard Hansell, David Verrey, Tommy Gene Surridge, Julie Walters, Maeve Dermody, Colin Firth, Isis Davis, Edan Hayhurst

Plot: An orphaned girl discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle’s estate.

Tagline – Unlock Your Imagination

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Secret Garden starts as a young orphan girl Mary (Egerickx) finds a new home from her Indian residents back in England with her Uncle Archibald Craven (Firth) a man that is strict with how his home is run, keeping his son Colin (Hayhurst) away from everyone else.

Mary does struggle to adapt to this new way of life, until she finds herself a place on the land, a secret garden, which will continue to give her hope of a better life, away from the pain of losing a loved one.

Thoughts on The Secret Garden

Characters & Performances – Mary has come from the life of luxury in India, where she would have had people wait on her hand and foot, only she finds herself alone in this world with nobody else, given to her estranged Uncle to raise her, she needs to learn to adapt to this world if she is going to make it, with her sense of adventure helping her cope with the loss she has experienced. Mary does come off as very self-centred and selfish, leading her to need to learn to be more accepting of people around her. Dickon is a young man that works the grounds, he befriends Mary as they look to learn more about the secret garden, seemingly close to nature. Colin the son of the uncle that is kept away from everyone else in the house, believing he is ill, Mary is looking to help him break out of this mindset. Archibald Craven takes Mary in, but he is broken after the death of his wife, which leaves him not anting to care about everything else in her life. The performances through this film are solid enough, without being as strong as they should be.

StoryThe story here follows a young girl who becomes orphaned and taken in by her estranged Uncle that has closed himself off from the world, the young girl gets curious discovering a beautiful garden that brings her the first bit of light in her life for a long time, a place she wants to use to help cure the whole family. This is a story that is focused on showing how people will be dealing with loss in a different way and will need help to get over the biggest changes in their life. The magical side of the story doesn’t seem to hit hard enough and the characters do feel overly stuck up for us to get behind though.

ThemesThe Secret Garden does use the colour pallet to show the different location, with the beauty of the location of happiness, while the darker colours inside the estate, showing it is a place left in darkness, that needs light bought back into after the tragedy around it.

The Secret Garden is a solid story but it does seem to lack the magical that would make it standout even more.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – P – Precious Cargo (2016) Movie Review

Director: Max Adams

Writer: Max Adams, Paul V Seetachitt (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Mark- Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani, Jenna B Kelly, Nick Loeb, Daniel Bernhardt

Plot: A crime boss tries to make off with loot that belongs to another thief.

Tagline – Never steal from a thief

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Precious Cargo starts as we meet conman Jack (Gosselaar) who is always looking to make more money from the criminals to get by without needing to working too hard. When Jack’s ex, Karen (Forlani) returns to his life with a surprise and a new job.

The surprise is being pregnant, with the new job being one Karen has stolen off crime boss Eddie Pilosa (Willis) and now he wants the reward for the job he prepared.

Thoughts on Precious Cargo

Characters & Performances – Jack is a conman thief that has been dealing with arms dealers knowing how to plan a job with ease. He will end up getting a surprise visit from a former partner in need of help, drawing him into the biggest heist of his career. He will put together a team for the job, people he trusts. Mark-Paul Gosselaar does try to bring us the charming thief but does seem to struggle to give us the most convincing one we have seen. Eddie Pilosa is the crime lord that is hunting down Karen for the double cross, he wants the money and will do anything to make sure he gets it. Bruce Willis gives us a basic performance where he barely needs to do anything but talk on the phone. Karen is the ex-girlfriend that comes back into Jack’s life, looking for him to help him with her latest job, she always seems to be in control of the situations, but we never know what she is meant to be doing, who she is playing or is she being honest this time. Claire Forlani does a solid enough job in this role, which is the strongest of the main cast. The supporting cast will get a couple of laughs along the way, but don’t make much of an impact.

StoryThe story here follows a conman thief that gets drawn into a job by a former partner only to find himself getting involved in the middle of the battle between two thieves. This will get involved in the idea that someone will be drawn into needing to escape a life they are in by doing one more job and never knowing who to trust outside of this own team. It is a basic heist movie that doesn’t get too involved in planning, being more interested in doing the battle between the characters deciding who to trust.

ThemesPrecious Cargo gives us the basic action sequences, with a fun boat chase, but is dragged down with the basic ideas of comedy that do seem to miss more often than not. With location is used to show the beauty of the bright sunlight world of the beach resort.


Precious Cargo is a basic heist film, with basic action and a bored Bruce Willis.