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Based on 33 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 94 )
  • 38
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Me, I just think it blows. What does it matter if you spend millions on a movie - love the talking, battling bears! - if the effects are cheesy, the story runs off on tangents and after watching the movie fail utterly to be the next Lord of the Rings, you just want to go home. show more

  • 50
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Disappoints with its lack of character development and convoluted storytelling. show more

  • 50
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Looks magical, seethes with elusive profundities and makes remarkably little sense, though the murkiness makes perfect sense on a shallower level. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    If Weitz's Golden Compass feels, at times, too crammed with exposition and big set pieces, the film nonetheless works far more successfully than the first Potter pic - the leaden "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" - did translating its source material. show more

  • 88
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    Represents the year's biggest gamble - and it delivers the year's biggest and most ambitious fantasy. show more

  • 70
    Kirk Honeycutt The Hollywood Reporter

    A "soft" epic, a film touching on childhood fantasies with sturdy, unwavering characters driven to evil or good. More "Harry Potter," in other words, than "Beowulf." show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    A darker, deeper fantasy epic than the "Rings" trilogy, "The Chronicles of Narnia" or the "Potter" films. It springs from the same British world of quasi-philosophical magic, but creates more complex villains and poses more intriguing questions. As a visual experience, it is superb. As an escapist fantasy, it is challenging. show more

  • 75
    Chicago Tribune

    It’s pure introductory adventure, meant to immerse readers in Pullman’s richly complicated fantasy universe. show more

  • 75
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    A demanding blend of spectacle, drama and exposition of ideas. show more

  • 63
    Ty Burr Boston Globe

    At times you feel Weitz flipping the pages and dog-earing wildly, and that's a shame: This is a movie that needs to be lengthy and discursive, the better to duck into the back alleys of its invention. A visionary is required. This director isn't one. show more

  • February 19, 2010 Dave
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    The DVD was great as well as the book

  • January 18, 2010 diegodamnit
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    I liked the movie. The book was beter by far , though. And it is true,that the book, more than the film, makes you think and sort of find the tweaks in the catholic church and everything. Good for teenagers during THOSE years where you ar etrying to discover yourself. We all have to revolt at times.

  • August 04, 2008 MrRocketPhat
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    I thought it was a fantastic movie and can't wait for the next. As one who was raised Catholic and seen all the control and contradiciton imposed by the Christians in general, enjoyed the biting, and quite obvious criticism of the church. I hope this causes more people to question what they are told and whether they believe the hypocrisy they are taught.

  • May 22, 2008 greenrose8
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    It was the best movie i have seen.I put it up there with Harry Potter and The lord of the rings I cant wait to see the next two.I wish they would make more movies like this I took my grandson and he is seven and he rated it a nine I was very surprised how much he liked the movie.

  • May 22, 2008 im bootilizcious
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    I haven't seen the movie yet but I have read the books and I have to say that most of you people didn't like the movie probably because you didn't understand it. Besides, a lot of movies that originated from a book are pure crap. Like the Harry Potter movies which stink, but the books are still awesome. I think you should try to read the book more than see this movie. Don't judge Philip Pullman based on some movie he didn't even direct.

  • May 22, 2008 pkfarra
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    I listened to the Book on my IPOD. It was fantastic. All the characters had different voices. It was pure enjoyment. As for the religious references they are a bunch of bunk. I truly think the "Christians" are scared to death to have their beliefs challenged. The book isn't about Religion per say, It was about following your dreams and not letting institutional thinking tell you how to live your life.

  • May 22, 2008 centralvike2011
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    Hey guys,We have all heard about the new movie the Golden Compass. When I saw a preview I thought it looked awesome. But then my mom told me some disturbing facts she heard on the radio. I looked into it. All true- and more. This movie is based of a trilogy of books called HIS DARK MATERIALS written by Philip Pullman. This man hated C. S. Lewis and his works THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. He also hated J. R. R. Tolkien. So Philip wrote atheist books because C. S. Lewis included scripture in his works. Now what really ticked me off (I'm a huge narnia fan) is that this guy is hoping that kids will go and see the movie and want the books for Christmas. Pullman says he wants children to read these books and decide against God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The move is toned down but basically all through these books the characters are trying to kill God!! He said my books are about killing God! He is basically trying to convert people to atheist. Now C. S. Lewis was a strong Catholic but did he try to convert people? NO NO NO! He wrote his books out of his love of writing and his experiences in WW 1. He was actually left for dead on the battle field. Pullman is one twisted man to take these beautiful purely written books and go and trash them. This had me going off so now I want everyone to please forward this. I mean parents don't know what these books are about! If you don't believe me go on and type in Golden Compass. This is where I found these quotes. Please spread the word abut this seriously sick man. Thank you. -Molly M

  • May 22, 2008 southgal08
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  • May 22, 2008 darthchandler4
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    i haven;t seen the movie but i have read the books. i thing the books are awsome and imaginative. i'm christian and i think the books are perfect. hey i'm only 11 yrs old and everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the books/movie

  • May 22, 2008 jhaulk11
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    This movie is no good. Very boring. Makes you wanna just leave right during the movie. I am very upset about this. Cheesy fantasy. We need to stop making fantasy movies, nobody likes them anyway.


similar movies

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

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