The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 2005

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

Critics Consensus

With first-rate special effects and compelling storytelling, this adaptation stays faithful to its source material and will please moviegoers of all ages.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 217

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,105,114

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Movie Info

During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to a country house where they will be safe. One day Lucy (Georgie Henley) finds a wardrobe that transports her to a magical world called Narnia. After coming back, she soon returns to Narnia with her brothers, Peter (William Moseley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes), and her sister, Susan (Anna Popplewell). There they join the magical lion, Aslan (Liam Neeson), in the fight against the evil White Witch, Jadis (Tilda Swinton).

Cast & Crew

Tilda Swinton
Jadis The White Witch
Georgie Henley
Lucy Pevensie
Skandar Keynes
Edmund Pevensie
William Moseley
Peter Pevensie
Anna Popplewell
Susan Pevensie
Liam Neeson
Aslan
Voice
Dawn French
Mrs. Beaver
Voice
James McAvoy
Mr. Tumnus
Shane Rangi
General Otman
C.S. Lewis
Writer (Book)
Andrew Adamson
Executive Producer
Mark Johnson
Producer
Perry Moore
Executive Producer
Philip Steuer
Executive Producer
Pippa Hall
Casting
Roger Ford
Production Design
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Critic Reviews for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

All Critics (217) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (165) | Rotten (52)

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

  • Jun 25, 2016
    The film was kind of better than the book
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2013
    Yeah, I've heard of having skeletons in the closet, but this is an awful lot of interesting junk to hide in a wardrobe, so I don't guess it would be the most convenient closet-type location in which to hide the pot stash that you might need for a film like this. Seriously though, that is one seriously overlong title, although it does sound like quite the acid trip. Man, it gets even trippier when you actually see the film and start finding all sorts of anthropomorphic critters, and James McAvoy as a goat man, and, most disturbing of all, Christian overtones. I wish I could find stuff this cool in a wardrobe, but that isn't ever going to happen, not so much because Christianity is far-fetched enough when it's not interpreted into something like this, but because it's not too much less likely to find any type of wardrobe anywhere in this day and age. Well, okay, maybe it hasn't become that hard to find a wardrobe after the 1940s, but people, if you have a wardrobe, about how often do you visit to pick out something other than a drug stash? Shoot, after this film, I'd imagine there were a lot of people who stopped doing that with their wardrobes, because, like I said earlier, this subject matter is bound to creep into the minds of some potheads when they're around a wardrobe. Oh well, at least that would be a good way to make wardrobes more interesting, because, make no mistake, people, this is a pretty fun fantasy flick, even though I have problems with it that extend beyond Christian overtones. Sure, the film rarely tries to get all that heavy, yet it still has a tendency to break a whole lot of tension for the sake of overly fluffy, maybe even cheesy moments of comic relief, in additional to a tendency to pump a generally light heart with a touch too much bite, however tight the limit on bite may be. About as loose as the control of tone is the control of pacing, whose unevenness is reflect in a runtime of about two-and-a-half hours, which writers Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely work to achieve through a sometimes aimless excessiveness to filler, all but balanced out by some shortcomings in the extensiveness of characterization. Meanderings and a lack of focus aren't too considerable in severity, but they are recurring enough to hamstring what is conceptually an epic as it works its way along an ostensibly intricate pat, settling a sense of scope and wearing down investment. Of course, investment in this subject matter is worn down enough by being so frequently practiced by other high fantasy films of this nature, until the final product comes out as not too much more than a formulaic family fantasy affair. Familiarity makes it somewhat easy to see natural shortcomings in this mini-epic, but what really holds this film back in simply its being too safe, for although this film is neither as cheesy nor as lazy as many other Disney dramas which work to appeal to both fun-loving youths and more hard-edged grown-ups, a sense of tension and wonderment is limited by both limitations in attention to consequence, and bloating to fluff. There are some audacious elements here, but on the whole, there's something kind of neutered about this family "epic", and such laziness makes it all but impossible to ignore other issues, which are limited in quantity, but keep consistent enough to wear down the final product, until it slips into underwhelmingness. There's a lot of potential here that is ultimately lost in the wake of questionable storytelling and censorship moves, although potential remains so prominent that underwhelmingness is just barely fallen to, at least when that potential is emphasized by many a strength in both storytelling and artistic value. There is the occasional lame original song soundtrack bit, but outside of that, the great Harry Gregson-Williams' score carries a rather formulaic heart that goes flavored up by some refreshing and dynamic touches, as well as a certain stylishly modernist whimsy that both proves to be lively by its own musical right and helps in capturing a sense of wonderment. Of course, while the score compliments a sense of whimsy, it's Jules Cook's, Ian Gracie's, Karen Murphy's and Jeffrey Thorp's art direction that truly establishes it with lavishly transportive tastes in location, enhanced by unique and intricate production designs, which are themselves enhanced by slightly dated, but then-amazing and still-strong digital effects. Undoubtedly, this film was a technical, maybe even stylistic triumph of the time, as its technical value remains remarkable almost ten years later, with outstanding aesthetic touches that compliment anything from strong action to the immersion value of a world whose convincingness drives the narrative of this high fantasy mini-epic. Whether it was original for its time or never totally unique, the subject matter that was conceived by C. S. Lewis has become too familiar for its own good since the 1950s, and it's not as though compellingness is as reinforced as it should be by this somewhat watered-down, relatively family friendly interpretation, but compellingness does still stand, at least to a certain degree on paper, as Lewis' mythology remains very intriguing, and is interpreted here into a mini-epic narrative whose scope falls comfortably between grandness and intimacy, anchored by well-rounded characters who go brought to life by some decent performances. On paper, Lewis' classic family fantasy novel has plenty to offer, though flare goes too limited by safeness and other shortcomings to escape underwhelmingness, let alone achieve strength, and yet, there's still a fair bit of inspiration to the telling of a worthy tale. As I've been saying time and again, Andrew Adamson undercuts much in the way of resonance by doing only so much to capture the bite of this drama, yet he still captures a sense of wonderment about as much as he can with all of the shortcomings, utilizing fine style and a hearty, well-paced atmosphere to entertain consistently, and sometimes incorporate moments in which an attention to genuine danger really does capture a sense of resonance and consequence. There's much to be desired here, but there is still enough here to latch onto, maybe not as rewarding enough to make a rousing final product, but certainly as engaging enough to be fun and, to a certain extent, compelling for the whole family. In closing, inconsistencies in tone and pacing shake the focus of this overlong and meandering epic, while conventions and an overt, somewhat family-friendly safeness to the interpretation of potential biting subject matter wear down the value of this narrative enough to make a somewhat underwhelming final product, yet there is still enough grandness to Harry Gregson-Williams' score, dazzle to art direction and visual effects, and inspiration to acting and the telling of a conceptually worthy story to make Andrew Adamson's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" an entertaining and reasonably engaging, if held back mini-epic. 2.75/5 - Decent
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2012
    A great adaptation, doing what all good adaptations should do, "Wardrobe" brings family-friendly adventure and magic to the big screen in the most sincere of ways.
    Joshua H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2012
    The first cold half started off a little too slow, then the sunny second half brought up the emotion, tension, and epic action to my expectations for a family film.
    Max G Super Reviewer

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