When I was about seven or eight, I read the book, and I really didn't think all that much of it, even though I loved so Roald Dahl books. As for this movie adapted from it, I must say that it has structured part of my childhood, film-wise.
MATILDA tells the story of a little girl of the same name (no, not an Australian kangaroo) who realizes she has supernatural abilities. That's not all: she is also living a life where her parents detest her love of literature; and on top of that, her principal at school (a place she has always wanted to go) is ridiculously tormenting and creepy toward her students. Matilda, with the wit she has, decides to use her abilities to get back at her parents and her principal--only to get into a stickier situation.
This was a really fun family film, as I remember it. It was like a Tim Burton film: creepy for the kids, but darkly humorous for the adults. The only difference between this and a Burton film is that Danny DeVito directs (and narrates, and portrays the father, sigh...) possibly making a more pleasant picture. And another thing: there's no Helena Bonham Carter, no Johnny Depp. Some may find that sad, others may be relieved.