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The Golden Compass (2007)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 190
Fresh: 80 | Rotten: 110

Without the bite or the controversy of the source material, The Golden Compass is reduced to impressive visuals overcompensating for lax storytelling.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 24

Without the bite or the controversy of the source material, The Golden Compass is reduced to impressive visuals overcompensating for lax storytelling.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 349,613

My Rating

Movie Info

A young girl embarks on a perilous journey to rescue her best friend and fight the forces of darkness in director Chris Weitz's adaptation of the first installment of author Philip Pullman's best-selling fantasy trilogy. Screen newcomer Dakota Blue Richards stars as young heroine Lyra Belacqua, Casino Royale star Daniel Craig appears as Lyra's ruthless adventurer uncle, Lord Asriel, and Nicole Kidman assumes the glamorous guise of the villainous Mrs. Coulter. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Apr 29, 2008


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All Critics (193) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (110) | DVD (9)

The Catholic League thinks it's anti-Catholic. Admirers of Philip Pullman's 1995 His Dark Materials trilogy think the film guts the backbone of the book. Me, I just think it blows.

December 13, 2007
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some of the material is wildly imaginative, some of it is just kinda silly. But it all looks good, and the kids are likable, [and] Kidman makes for an intriguing villain.

December 10, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Golden Compass is a blatant attempt to duplicate the success of the Harry Potter franchise. The only thing missing is richly imagined characters, a comprehensible story line, good acting, and satisfying special effects.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (3)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With its rushed, jargon-pumped exposition, surplus of quarter-baked characters, stray narrative strands and generously dropped hints of things possibly to come, The Golden Compass is a movie that wears its franchise ambitions on its sleeve.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (2)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Weitz's movie remains ultimately remote. It ends mid-adventure, so blatantly setting the stage for a sequel that the whole thing suddenly feels like a preamble.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An aura of disappointment takes hold midway into Golden Compass and becomes undeniable by the finish.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Golden Compass isn't bad, it's cast is too good and it's too well made, but something fundamental to good storytelling - heart - has been lost, leaving a final product as icy and impossible to care for as Mrs. Coulter herself.

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source:

Excruciating pap

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

An engaging fantasy adventure that, albeit no masterpiece, is hardly the disaster one might have imagined.

July 14, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter | Comments (2)

I realize that when you make a book into a movie you cannot include every single detail, but it seems like Weitz purposely tried to take all of the magic out of the story.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Watertown Daily Times | Comment (1)
Watertown Daily Times

This plot may sound somewhat ludicrous on paper, but Pullman has created a logical, well-thought-out world that Weitz has brilliantly translated to the big screen.

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC | Comments (3)

This kid film noir touching on magic dust substance abuse, cranky clerics, worrisome wizards, goth grownup child abusers and computer-generated homicidal polar bear throat slashers, is less likely to dazzle the senses than exhaust minds of all ages.

April 30, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

...if I hadn't liked Pullman's books so much, I probably would have liked this movie version more than I did.

April 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Will it be enough to satisfy fans of Philip Pullman's widely read 'His Dark Materials' trilogy? Hard to say. But for the uninitiated this is an engaging adventure, even when Chris Weitz's screenplay lacks the compelling clarity of Pullman's prose.

April 9, 2008 | Comment (1)
San Francisco Examiner

Sam Elliott shows up as a cowboy, who would normally be a pick-me-up, but with Golden Compass I just wanted to find my direction home.

March 4, 2008 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

The Golden Compass should be fun, but it rarely is. It should sweep you away, but it rarely does. For a film suffused with magic, it is, regrettably, far from magical.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

No, I didn't read the novel before seeing the film, and nothing in this shimmering disaster made me want to read it, either. Made me hate polar bears, and I used to love the darned things, so that's saying something.

February 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Reno News and Review | Comments (4)
Reno News and Review

Read this review, skip this movie, and instead read the excellent books. Poor Dakota Blue Fanning is the perfect Lyra in a terrible adaptation.

February 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinerina | Comments (7)

A beautiful, thought-provoking fantasy film.

February 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Lyra surpasses the timid drone of Pan's Labyrinth or the Pevensies' do-gooder sap, she's brave, smart, and the best liar in the universe.

January 29, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

This Compass points to the end of a would-be franchise.

January 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

Suggesting at once Mrs. Coulter's devotion to her Magisterial mission, her fears of soulful and sensual embodiment, and yes, her own split self, her slap-and-hug of her damon all but stops the film's action.

January 17, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Deus ex machina ... is the only driving force.

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

koyrastika amihani kai sygkehymeni kritiki sto thriskeytiko systima, den parehei oyte kata dianoia arketo allothi gia toys ano ton 16 na asholithoyn idiaitera me aytin tin yperparagogi, poy ehei aytapates megaleioy tin ora poy pashei sto rythmo kai ti syn

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses | Comments (2)
Movies for the Masses

The Golden Compass is an entertaining blend of feisty pre-teen girl heroine, CGI animals both adorable and fierce, and the usual suspects on the human side ...

January 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Atlantic City Weekly
Atlantic City Weekly

The Golden Compass bears the brush strokes of a film produced by a committee of people intent on trying to make some money rather than a good movie.

January 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for The Golden Compass

Check in 3/26 at for my review.
March 23, 2013

Super Reviewer

Its basic, nothing is explored to make this film something that the youth in modern day will enjoy and... They haven't.
March 24, 2012

Super Reviewer

It's deeper, darker, and much more engaging than the likes of fantasies like the Narnia franchise. The Golden Compass is beautifully made with effects that will leave you in awe, backed with impressive acting and a magical and ambitious fantasy storyline that blew my mind. It was never going to be a perfect adaption (it isn't). It's only jaw dropping and incredible if you've never read the books (apparantly), I didn't. The Golden Compass is not a bad movie.
March 1, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Lyra Belacqua: We'll set things right. We will. You, and me, and Iorek, and Serafina Pekkala, and Mr. Scoresby. And my father. We'll set it right, Pan. Just let them try to stop us.
    – Submitted by Adrian G (2 years ago)
    1. Lord Asriel: I propose to discover a world much like our own in a parallel universe.
    2. Fra Pavel: That is heresy!
    3. Lord Asriel: That is the truth.
    – Submitted by Adrian G (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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