The Golden Compass - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Golden Compass Reviews

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½ June 18, 2017
This movie is visually pleasing and the story itself is interesting. My only real issue with the movie is that there seems to be too much information crammed in which comes across as rushed. It makes me curious to read the book though.

Update 6/17/17
Finally read the book so watched the movie again. Stand by the original review.
May 28, 2017
As a fan of the His Dark Materials series, it's hard to know where to start with how disappointing this adaptation was. It was predictable that a film would skip over some details, but this film skipped over MAJOR ones, presumably because the filmmakers didn't have the stones to tell the Catholic Church to go screw when they raised objections about Pullman's atheistic undertones. But there were other things. The meaning behind Dust got watered down, the rules about daemons were barely given any explanation, and the film showed things out of order, ruining the end.

And I like Daniel Craig, but he was horribly miscast as Lord Asriel. Asriel is a powerful and foreboding figure, which Daniel Craig's brooding boyishness just couldn't pull off. The role needed someone dark and swarthy. Christopher Lee, old as he was, would have been far better at pulling off the role, at least by appearance.

Nor was Ian McKellen very good in his turn as Iorek Byrnison. He lent too much humanity to a character who, as a bear, is supposed to be inscrutable to humans.

Nicole Kidman did a reasonably good job as Mrs. Coulter, as she pulls off the duplicity between charm and evil fairly well.

This movie could definitely use a remake, one which is truer to the series and sets the stage for the later installments. It should NOT be made to be a kid's movie.
½ February 25, 2017
can't wait. i loved the books when i was little. and now that the christians are freaking out over it, it's now my civic duty to go to this movie. funny how the plot is about the church trying to get rid of something inherent in the universe that it doesn't agree with...?
February 4, 2017
Although the film is open to any audience, it is focused on the generation of young people. It is meaningless at all times, it is a film failure that barely represents modernity. It is not innovative or fresh, in fact it is quite tormenting by all the false phantasy with which it is composed. The performances are too basic and the goals of the film are not reached, as it says nothing and explores nothing. Partly entertained but even a child may not enjoy this.
½ January 22, 2017
Well acted, original story, charming and with great lessons.
½ January 20, 2017
The Golden Compass is an undeservedly judged movie that is actually quite solid and never as mediocre as critics made it out to be. Yes, the third act is just awful as they basically cut off the last couple of chapters from the book and thus left no closure to it plus the characters are never as memorable as they were in the written form, but the film is still satisfying because in terms of the plot it was actually very faithful and great before that third act and it is a visual feast for the eyes with absolutely gorgeous scenery, exquisite costumes and brilliant special effects that rightfully won the film its Oscar.
½ January 15, 2017
2017-01-15 watched for 2nd time.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2016
I like stuff like that. But if it is fine grained. There's some big mistakes that ruin the story and the movements. Like the screenplay that confuses the watchers I think because it confuses me. Second the control of the scenes. Sometimes they are changing dramatically and sharply and it's not OK of being like that these important pieces. But after all it was nice. But if there wasn't so many fails like these the film would have been rocked the screen after the end of the film.
P.s. The idea of the movie and the movie is so cool to me that I could read things for it many times. If after some years there's no ideas of other movie I could........
December 28, 2016
while not nearly as bad as the last airbender, the golden compass is horribly flawed but is still enjoyable. something I found interesting about the golden compass is the characters live in a fantasy world where talking animals and witches exist as well as 1920s firearms and steampunk technology. the CGI is amazing and I think I heard it won an oscar.

Owens grade: B-
November 1, 2016
I think Thai was the best movie ever it is 2 hours long but it feels more like 30 minutes it's so good
½ October 14, 2016
The film deserves props for trying to stay faithful to the books, but because of that it suffers with rushed pace. There is also this very weird decision to end without any resolution and completely omit the last chapter of the book, where some real distressing things happen and could make the film better. I will still say it's a good adaptation with the portrayal of Lyra and Lee Scoresby being the biggest highlight ... right after the special effects of course. Oh, and Eva Green. Oh, Eva.
September 3, 2016
Amazing. Truly a masterpiece. Deserves a sequel.
August 7, 2016
Did the makers of the film even read/understand His Dark Materials?! Philip Pullman's trilogy could have been fantastic films, but I don't even know where you were going with this. The casted characters look nothing like the literary characters and the story doesn't even try to stick near to Pullman's story, which is emotional brilliance. This was devastating.
July 25, 2016
I did not like this movie than i used to.
It just got boring!

Score: 4.5/10
½ June 27, 2016
I've never read the book so I really have nothing to compare it to.  Certainly an all-star British cast is involved in this.  I think had I not read an article in Entertainment Weekly I might be more in the dark.  On the surface this film is terribly cute and I think its target audience is much younger than me.  Young Lyra achieves her daunting task of freeing her friendly neighborhood children from being severed from their daemons but from there she has another task to complete and the ending kind of leaves you hanging.  In my opinion they could have ended it earlier.  Sam Elliot was pretty awesome in this flick.  In their parallel universe he plays a cowboy with a jackrabbit daemon.  Excellent.  One thing I didn't understand is why are Christians so in an uproar about this movie?  You really have to read the entire book series or companion articles to fully grasp the religious undertones.  Again what's the be angry about?  I leave this one up to you.  I thought it was cute.  Maybe I'll pick up the books.
½ June 3, 2016
Very different from the book which hurts it in some people's minds, but still an enjoyable watch in its own right.
½ May 29, 2016
The Golden Compass is a good, enjoyable film. Not great but not terrible. It's fun to watch weather you've read Northern Lights or not (to an extent).
The visuals are jaw dropping (literally) and it's one of the most beautiful looking films I've seen. The casting was perfect (particularly Kidman, Elliott and McKellen), the music was great (mostly Kate Bush's 'Lyra') and the settings were nice too.
But I'd still be lying that there weren't elements that put this movie down. Some changes were either unnecessary or worse except maybe from changing the bear fight and the battle of Bangar to be the finale was good as it makes for a more interesting climax. The end also kinda was a bit of a letdown; not because it wasn't faithful to the novels ending but because it set up a sequel that sadly never happened. I really wanted to see it.
Overall, it's a decent film to watch every now and then and I really wish the Catholic Church didn't scare NLC and forced Chris Weitz to cut the final product (which was 45 minutes longer) just because it had anti-religious theme that could have the film loss money. Never mind. The BBC is making a TV show based on the books and maybe it'll do the series justice.
I give The Golden Compass 3 and a half stars out of 5.
March 2, 2016
Apparently, these books are quite anti-Christian, but I may end up watching this and/or reading them to see for myself...
½ February 7, 2016
I never write reviews but don't watch this movie. It is supposed to be a trilogy but it didn't make enough money so nothing came of the sequels. The movie ends with none of the plot elements wrapped up and the characters on an airship on their way to continue the story (literally), which is NEVER coming. It's like watching a movie only to know before watching it that it will end halfway through and leave you knowing nothing of the end or any sense of finality?
January 1, 2016
Personally, I always thought of this film as a dumb, impotent Narnia clone when it was new, and nearly a decade later, it certainly hasn't aged well at all. I haven't exactly read the book this is based on, but I've heard dozens of complaints saying that the book toned down several of the anti-religious elements of the books in order to avoid angering the Catholics. I can certainly tell that the plot was written very lazily, and it seems that they tried fitting in all manner of plot devices, events and characters in a film that's clearly too short to handle everything. On top of that, the film is paced in such a manner that it seems as though everything's being rushed, and it leaves too little time for the characters to develop properly, and bodes just as poorly for the many unanswered questions that the film's haphazardly written plot leaves behind. To be completely honest though, the film's mythology could have been quite interesting, and there might have been some hope for it had the screenwriters made more of an effort, but they settled on a trimmed down, by-the-numbers fantasy flick, and to make matters worse, they deliberately designed the ending so that it could lead on to a sequel, never mind that it would never ever get a sequel, not that such a meagre film deserves one. The characters weren't overly bad, but they were written in such a way that you can't really feel for them no matter how hard the actors try to convince us to feel for them. It doesn't help that there's no sense of moral ambiguity whatsoever. You can immediately tell who is good and who is evil just by looking at the characters. I could just as easily make the argument that you could tell who the villains were just by looking at the poster. Nothing is left to your imagination, and that I feel is a serious problem, and is not conducive to good fantasy fiction. To compensate for all that, the film sports some admittedly decent special effects, but worryingly enough, the film is almost all special effects, and so the CGI effectively becomes the producers' way of overcompensating for a poorly written film that, if were very honest, was simply trying to copy the kind of success that The Lord of the Rings enjoyed years earlier. Of course, the visuals and the special effects are pretty much the only noteworthy thing about the film, and that's because they're the only thing the film has to show for itself aside from what I can guess is a bad transition from book to screen. Clearly they should have put more thought and effort into this film, because if they had, this could have been somewhat better than all the other LoTR clones that had sprung up throughout the 2000's. Instead, we have a film that is quite slavish in its copying of other fantasy films. Whatever potential the film could have had is ultimately snuffed out by its lack of originality and the laziness of its producers.
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