The Golden Compass - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Golden Compass Reviews

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Top Critic
Debbie Day
Premiere Magazine
November 3, 2016
"The Golden Compass ultimately fails as a film in its broad strokes and inadequate scene development."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Joshua Starnes
March 22, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
December 6, 2007
A movie with characters constantly explaining arcane concepts and only rarely doing anything about them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Adam Tobias
Watertown Daily Times
May 20, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Gina Carbone
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
December 11, 2007
Wanting to appeal to a broad audience %u2014 especially young teens %u2014 is more than fine. It's admirable. But soulful, philosophical 13-year-olds do exist. They do! And they can even handle a religious discussion with lots of words involved.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.25/4
December 5, 2007
Chris Weitz dropped out of the film years ago because he thought he couldn't do this story justice. Turns out he was right; as a director he's competent but doesn't have 'sweeping epic' in him.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
December 3, 2007
Writer/director Chris Weitz brings a style that is more obligatory than deft. Constrained by a rushed feel and too little character development, this movie never seems to flow quite right.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 7, 2007
Why is it so joyless?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 7, 2007
Vagueness colors all, banishing emotional connections in the process.
John P. McCarthy
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
December 13, 2007
'The Golden Compass' concludes in a way that left me feeling teased and cheated.
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
December 6, 2007
The toned-down movie version isn't so much anti-religion as it is anti-entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Donald Munro
Fresno Bee
December 12, 2007
If you haven't read the books, it can be like wandering into a stuffy church service in a cathedral for the first time.
Read More | Original Score: B-
Fernando F. Croce
August 27, 2009
Excruciating pap
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 7, 2007
Compass isn't well-made. The heroine is a pill, the issues are jumbled (maybe because of the attempt not to offend potential moviegoers) and the storytelling is clunky.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
Todd Gilchrist
IGN Movies
December 7, 2007
Chris Weitz' film is a well-executed, but not especially warm adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Christian Toto
Washington Times
January 19, 2008
This Compass points to the end of a would-be franchise.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
December 2, 2007
Chris Weitz crams his story full of magical terms and concepts with a rapidity that leaves things confusing and thus meaningless.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Eric D. Snider
December 6, 2007
Weitz has the narrative leaping around frantically, managing to set up some interesting sequences but not much ongoing momentum.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review
March 4, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Bob Grimm
Reno News and Review
February 25, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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