The Golden Compass - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Golden Compass Reviews

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
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 29, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
December 13, 2007
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.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 10, 2007
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 7, 2007
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
December 7, 2007
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 7, 2007
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 7, 2007
An aura of disappointment takes hold midway into Golden Compass and becomes undeniable by the finish.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 7, 2007
A pretty good fantasy -- with different bits of Potter and Jules Verne and Narnia all mixed up together into something new.
December 7, 2007
Represents the year's biggest gamble -- and it delivers the year's biggest and most ambitious fantasy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 7, 2007
The action is crisply paced, the cast is committed to playing it straight, and if the script is pulling its punches, that doesn't weaken the story's headlong energy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2007
Beautiful to look at, but where's its heart?
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 7, 2007
A mishmash of half-baked ideas, loud special-effects and disjointed imagery.
Full Review | Original Score: D
December 7, 2007
Weitz's film is short, punchy and efficient, and it's full of engaging spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 7, 2007
This year's big holiday fantasy movie, The Golden Compass, is not as charming as the Harry Potter series or as spectacular as the Lord of the Rings movies, but it has something else to offer: ideas.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 7, 2007
Vagueness colors all, banishing emotional connections in the process.
December 7, 2007
Why is it so joyless?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 7, 2007
The carefully crafted look, in which fabulous fantasy mingles with hand-woven sweaters, offers a visual feast. The acting is impeccable from performers to voices.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 7, 2007
A darker, deeper fantasy epic than the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia or the Potter films. It springs from the same world of quasi-philosophical magic, but creates more complex villains and poses more intriguing questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 6, 2007
This is the kind of movie that was made by throwing dollars at stuff, as opposed to using imagination, thought or even just common sense.
December 6, 2007
Disappoints with its lack of character development and convoluted storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 6, 2007
For now, The Golden Compass can stand on its own, as a standard-issue but still glorious adventure.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 6, 2007
The best you can say about The Golden Compass is that it's merely the second-dullest Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig film this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 6, 2007
Hampered by its fealty to the book and its madly rushed pace.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
December 6, 2007
[An] ultimately satisfying and successful version of the opening volume of the celebrated His Dark Materials trilogy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 6, 2007
The Golden Compass is a tepid, jumbled Hollywood fable whose final message seems to amount to little more than 'Follow your dreams,' or worse, 'Stay tuned for the sequel.'
December 6, 2007
There is enough fire in Dakota Blue Richards' first film performance to make you eager for the next installment in the series.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 6, 2007
The movie simply delivers too many colorfuls for its own good, none of whom establish a true emotional identity, and thus it isn't moving, it's busy.
December 6, 2007
The Golden Compass does manage the job of bringing Philip Pullman's world to the screen. With luck, any future entries will try harder to get the job done right.
Read More | Original Score: C+
December 6, 2007
An innocuous, passably entertaining effects extravaganza.
December 6, 2007
The Golden Compass: controversial statement on free will vs. religious oppression or disjointed, hard-to-follow fantasy-action flick for kids? Let's go with the latter.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 6, 2007
Visually, The Golden Compass is dazzling, hopscotching from hallowed halls of academe to the Nordic tundra, from luxe manors to creepy, sci-fi-like facilities. The effects couldn't be better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 6, 2007
With all its hesitations and half-measures, The Golden Compass kindled something this critic hasn't felt in years: a burning thirst to see the sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 6, 2007
The Golden Compass works up enough self-important gravitas to power the entire Lord of the Rings cycle. Weitz's deflatingly anticlimactic windup assures us there is more to come.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 6, 2007
"Free will" and "reason" go to war with "dogma" and "blind obedience" in The Golden Compass, the cryptic and striking new film based on the fantasy novels of Philip Pullman.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
December 5, 2007
Tickle Me Elmo is more subversive.
December 5, 2007
The Golden Compass is a snowbound mystical-whizbang kiddie ride that hovers somewhere between the loopy and the lugubrious.
Full Review | Original Score: C
December 5, 2007
Bland, bloodless and bereft of magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
December 4, 2007
In drawing and quartering much of the novel's intent, [Screenwriter/Director] Weitz ends up with a film that feels not just unfinished but undone.
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
November 30, 2007
The blend of live action, CG and visual effects is superb, making what must have been a technological nightmare look easy as pie.
November 30, 2007
The prevailing tone is cold, which has nothing to do with the frigid settings of the second half, and the pic doesn't invite the viewer to enthusiastically enter into this new dramatic realm.