The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Reviews

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 6, 2006
This PG-rated movie feels safe and constricted in a way the story never does on the page. It leaves out the deep magic of a good movie, or a good sermon: the feeling that something vital is at stake.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2005
Long may it roar.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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TIME Magazine
December 16, 2005
There's no fire, no passion and not much fun.
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December 9, 2005
An entertaining, emotional, and surprisingly intimate movie.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 9, 2005
For sheer entertainment value, and the painless imparting of values about family, loyalty and bravery, this lion in winter roars loudly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 9, 2005
It's a work of profound ambition, and, in adapting it for the screen, the makers of The Chronicles of Narnia don't shy away from its demands.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 9, 2005
The hard-core may experience the thrill of recognition. But the rest of us can be forgiven a perfectly appropriate giggling fit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 9, 2005
It can be a good thing, St. Paul tells us, to put away childish things. But it is sometimes an even better thing to pick them up again.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
December 9, 2005
Adamson seems more comfortable with animated characters than real ones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 9, 2005
It's a sturdy adaptation, and if The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe doesn't capture the magic of C.S. Lewis' books, it comes a fair sight close to catching it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 9, 2005
The film seems more like a Saturday at the movies than a magical event, but that doesn't mean that it's not a well-rendered version of Lewis' endearingly slender novel.
| Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 9, 2005
To its credit and power, the film allows them a reach that exceeds any one religion's grasp.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 9, 2005
One only wishes the movie had been rendered more artfully. The dialogue is impossibly clunky, the characters are completely one-dimensional, and the magic is all too mechanized to allow anyone over the age of 8 or 9 to believe in Narnia.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 9, 2005
It would be easy to brush off The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as Lord of the Rings-light. Very light. But the film really isn't even that good.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 9, 2005
What constant magic it works.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 9, 2005
The filmmakers make many compromises in the name of epic scope and box office appeal, but they can't bend this story out of shape, and they have Tilda Swinton on hand to spank anyone who tries.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 9, 2005
On balance, more of the movie works than doesn't, but this isn't 140 minutes of unqualified successes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
December 9, 2005
The film fares better when it gives itself over to pageantry and action -- which come in copious quantities -- and to the pantheon of gorgeously rendered, hyper-realistic CGI beasties.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 8, 2005
It's magic, but not the loud, shiny kind: It has the texture of worn velvet, or a painstakingly hand-knit sweater stored away for years in tissue paper.
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 8, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia is not a bad fantasy film. It's just not a great one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 8, 2005
This honorable adaptation of C. S. Lewis's novel has much of the power and charm of the source.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 8, 2005
Spiritual redemption is a big theme of Narnia, but on a purely entertainment level, the movie also goes a long way in redeeming the current sad state of children's fantasy filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
December 8, 2005
It has visual splendor, unsullied earnestness and a strong sense of holiday showmanship.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 8, 2005
That's not to say this Wardrobe isn't worth climbing into. Only that along with the dollops of delight, a bit of disappointment awaits on the other side.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 8, 2005
Grown-up children who remember our own travels in Narnia will find that many of the details resonate beautifully.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 8, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia is a faithful rendering of a magical tale that should hold adults' attention and delight young moviegoers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
December 8, 2005
[Features] strong casting of mostly unfamiliar faces, a convincing family feeling among the four kids, solid storytelling and fluid interplay between the humans and four-legged creatures.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 8, 2005
Well told, handsome, stirring and loads of fun.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 8, 2005
Overlong, poorly paced and woodenly acted.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 8, 2005
A generation-spanning journey that feels both comfortingly familiar and excitingly original.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 8, 2005
Andrew Adamson, the director of the Shrek movies, clearly feels great affection for the book and has taken pride in living up to the source.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 8, 2005
This Lion is king.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 8, 2005
It tells Lewis' story, which has its share of sticky and ponderous aspects, in a predictable, visually cautious way. You keep waiting to be transported, yet in cinematic terms, the transportation never arrives.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
December 8, 2005
Too much, too nice, too boring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 8, 2005
The film works on just about every level. Narnia has grandeur, imagination, mostly believable special effects, a war-of-the-world battle, heart and teary-eyed heartbreak.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 8, 2005
By staying focused on the children -- frightened evacuees from the London Blitz whose parallel war in Narnia both taps into and finally quiets their unspoken terrors -- Adamson keeps faith with the humanity of Lewsis' tale.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 8, 2005
The effects in this movie are so skillful that the animals look about as real as any of the other characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
December 8, 2005
Fans of CS Lewis's book can rest easy.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 7, 2005
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by summoning C.S. Lewis' spirit, creates a different kind of spectacle -- a starry-eyed crusade.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
December 6, 2005
The movie remains faithful to the book in both tone and imagery.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 6, 2005
It may be as close to adult-friendly kid fare as Hollywood will ever get -- although that has more to do with narrative than family values. (Having read both Tolkien and Lewis aloud at bedtime, I can attest to the latter's superiority as a storyteller.)
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 5, 2005
Even the climactic fight between Peter's army of truth and the Witch's bevy of demons has an air of heraldic artifice, as if we were witnessing not a brawl to the death, red in tooth and claw, but an enamelled clash of ideas.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 5, 2005
This doesn't depend on the special effects even though the special effects are first rate.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 2, 2005
What is lightly sketched in the novel, where much is left to the imagination, blossoms into full-blown, richly detailed life in the movie.