A Close Shave

A Close Shave ★★★★½

Nick Park's irresistible duo—the pancake-faced inventor Wallace, his Chaplinesque dog Gromit, and their insatiable love for crackers and cheese—are at their best in A Close Shave, a genre-mash-up that promises more action, romance, drama, and comedy in a brisk 30 minutes than most modern features with triple the time. Its delightfully pastoral streak of British humor makes A Close Shave a genteel entertainment for the adults. Its snappy sidekick, Shaun the Sheep, brings out its cute precociousness for the kiddies. And its intricate plot movements make it a story worth studying for film-students who are interested in making their own narratives tighter, more compact. It has more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan pretzel.