James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (PG)
D: Eli Roth
Universal/Amblin/Reliance/Mythology (Bradley J. Fischer, James Vanderbilt & Eric Kripke)
W: Eric Kripke [based on the novel by John Bellairs]
DP: Rogier Stoffers
Ed: Fred Raskin
Mus: Nathan Barr
PD: Jon Hutman
Jack Black (Jonathan Barnavelt), Cate Blanchett (Florence Zimmerman), Owen Vaccaro (Lewis Barnavelt), Kyle MacLachlan (Isaac Izard), Sunny Suljic (Tarby Corrigan)
For its target audience of teenagers and older children, The House With A Clock In Its Walls is a fine gothic fantasy which should fully immerse young minds into its magical world.
The plot sees an orphan boy live with in a mysterious house with his magician uncle and the two try to find a powerful clock before it falls into the hands of evil.
It's a peculiar film for Eli Roth to direct, since his previous filmography were mostly violent horror movies (Hostel, The Green Inferno) and it's the type of fantasy you'd usually see Tim Burton call the shots on.
Perhaps there was more potential for the source material, but I think this is solid entertainment for the audience at which it's aimed.