There's a special kind of good Pixels needed to be and wasn't. It was, thematically, a Ghostbusters rip-off. Fine. It was shamelessly nostalgic and sentimental. Great. It was so embarrassingly high-concept that no adult could justify seeing it without coming up with a rock-solid irony/police bloodhound evasion defense. That's all immaterial. It didn't need to be that kind of good. What it needed to be was good for nine year olds in the middle of the afternoon in the burning tail end of July.