Chris Evans takes a break from Captain America heroics to portray a boat mechanic raising his lively seven-year-old niece on the Florida coast. Played by cutie pie McKenna Grace, Mary is burdened only by false eyelashes thick as toothbrush bristles and would happily remain home-schooled by her uncle. And hanging out with the scene-stealing Fred, a one-eyed orange tabby based on the screenwriter’s own cat.
But when the girl is placed in public school and it’s discovered that she’s some kind of math genius, Mary’s stern upper-crust grandmother initiates a custody battle. Could it have something to do with, say, glory and prize
money for the solution of a famously baffling equation? Octavia Spencer as a concerned landlady wanders in from a previous number-crunching movie and provides Mary with some female bonding. Evans does some bonding of his own with Mary's teacher. Slight but charming, Gifted is the cinematic equivalent of a beach read you can’t put down.