'Nancy Drew'

Emma Roberts in 'Nancy Drew' i i

hide captionEmma Roberts bags a clue or two in Nancy Drew.

Melina Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Pictures
Emma Roberts in 'Nancy Drew'

Emma Roberts bags a clue or two in Nancy Drew.

Melina Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Pictures

Everybody's favorite girl detective cutes up the screen in this strictly-for-kids exercise in updated nostalgia. Nancy's played by Emma Roberts (Julia's niece), and while she's not awful, the notion of plunking the '30s heroine down in present-day Los Angeles proves less amusing than it sounds. Nancy smiles perkily while searching for clues to a long-ago murder in a Hollywood Hills mansion her dad rents for the summer, and the joke seems to be that she remains socially clueless. But there's no tension or spark, largely because former child actor Andrew Fleming directs the picture as if set design could rescue the script. Routine, with a sky-high sugar quotient.

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