The Secret of Moonacre (2008)




Critic Consensus: Despite impressive production values, this is staid, plodding and unimpressive fantasy-fare, with poor performances struggling with an underdeveloped script.

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Movie Info

When 13 year old Maria Merryweather's father dies, leaving her orphaned and homeless, she is forced to leave her luxurious London life to go and live with Sir Benjamin, an eccentric uncle she didn't know she had, at the mysterious Moonacre Manor. Soon Maria finds herself in a crumbling moonlit world torn apart by the hatred of an ancient feud with the dark and sinister De Noir family. Maria discovers that she is the last Moon Princess and, guided by an unlikely mix of allies, she must overcome her family's pride in order to unearth the secrets of the past before the 5000th moon rises.
PG (for some mild peril and language)
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Dakota Blue Richards
as Maria Merryweather
Tim Curry
as Coeur de Noir/Sir William de Noir
Ioan Gruffudd
as Sir Benjamin Merryweather/Sir Wrolf Merryweather
Juliet Stevenson
as Miss Heliotrope
Michael Webber
as Digweed
Augustus Prew
as Robin de Noir
Natascha McElhone
as Loveday/Moon Princess
Andy Linden
as Marmaduke Scarlet
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Critic Reviews for The Secret of Moonacre

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (1)

Nicely put together, but just a little dull.

Full Review… | February 5, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Enchanting fantasy turns teen into sweet, selfless princess.

Full Review… | January 25, 2011
Common Sense Media

Richards starred in 2007's The Golden Compass and, compared with big-budget fantasies of that kind, this smaller effort can't help looking mimsy, despite its good intentions.

Full Review… | February 11, 2009
Times (UK)

A film about magic that remains obdurately unmagical.

Full Review… | February 11, 2009
Observer (UK)

A sluggish narrative is further hampered by "comic" turns (Juliet Stevenson, as a gurning governess) and some frankly shameless knockoffs.

Full Review… | February 9, 2009
Independent (UK)

Routine special effects merely add to the impression that this is a second division fantasy.

Full Review… | February 9, 2009
Daily Express (UK)

Audience Reviews for The Secret of Moonacre


Set in a time before cars. A sibling dies and leaves a book to a young girl. On to a family dispute which each thought the other had stolen. A little bit out there.

Charlie Goodrich
Charlie Goodrich

I loved the book when I was younger, in fact I still have it secreted away somewhere where I keep all my sentimental things. This is why I made a note of renting it. However, I was a shade disappointed. The costumes and sets are lovely (although I'm not keen on Maria's pink dress as from behind it looks as if she's unwittingly exposing herself), but the plot is a lot more 'dramatic' (i.e contains more conflict and peril) and twee, and less engaging than I remember. The ending is quite effective though, which did save my opinion of it somewhat.

Kylie B
Kylie B

Super Reviewer

Despite the magical premise, incredible cast, stunning costumes, sets and landscape, this film failed to excite any interest in me whatsoever. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, but I think it was the lack of enthusiasm from the cast; if they weren't especially bothered, then why should we be?

Sarah Burton
Sarah Burton

Super Reviewer

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