The Spiderwick Chronicles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spiderwick Chronicles Reviews

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Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
February 19, 2008
I found it to be more irritating than scary, more tedious than exciting.
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
February 14, 2008
Fatherless children are the order of the day, but the film develops this theme no more than the absolute minimum, instead content to stage swordfights and races-against-time between its plucky child protagonists and their monstrous enemies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Bill Gibron
Filmcritic.com
February 14, 2008
a Ghoulies for the post-millennial crowd, complete with lots of short attention span flash
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Philip Marchand
Toronto Star
February 14, 2008
The Spiderwick Chronicles exemplifies a problem with many of today's fantasy-adventure movies: the sense that narrative values, such as the artful building of suspense, can be slighted because the computer-generated special effects are so good.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 14, 2008
The characters lack shadings -- Nolte's ogre is loud but uninteresting -- and the tone of the fantasy world isn't witty, like Harry Potter's, or satirical, like Lemony Snicket's. It's all just silly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 14, 2008
The movie, based on the best-selling series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, tells parallel tales of fathers who abandon their children, but it glosses over the trauma of those sagas in favor of special-effects-laden escapism.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
February 29, 2008
The overall supernatural conflict amounts to nothing more than a jumble of noisy, fast-moving CGI beasties.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses
May 6, 2008
soy troei miamisi ora gia na se taksidepsei sto asfales symperasma poy eihe psiliastei sto pentalepto, oti i pasifismos san haraktiristiko toy floroy, einai epilogi mi biosimi, kai to kalo gia na epikratisei, prepei na brei kako na polemisei kai na katats
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Thomas Peyser
Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
May 7, 2008
Lord of the Deathly Thingamabob
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
March 9, 2008
If you're going to compete in an arena already owned by the "Harry Potter" and "Narnia" franchises, you'd better enter that fray determined to show you can compete favorably with them. And that's where "Spiderwick" runs into trouble.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
February 14, 2008
Maybe it's fantasy fatigue, but for all the pretty effects and breathless chases and goblin war battles, the sense of wonder and magic is lost in the shuffle.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
February 14, 2008
A fantasy adventure with the questionable uplifting message that revenge tastes sweet.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 14, 2008
Sloppy, secondhand pander.
| Original Score: 2/5
Sean McBride
Sean the Movie Guy
February 13, 2008
works well-enough as a CGI adventure aimed at the kiddies, but grownups will probably be indifferent to this otherwise average story that features some pretty cool monster effects, but not much else.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
February 13, 2008
After lovingly setting up the intricate relationships among its characters Spiderwick loses itself in the action and pretty special effects, only recovering in time to do a rushed, pat wrap-up.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 13, 2008
The Spiderwick Chronicles, while not without its virtues (including a genuinely sweet ending), goes too far on the frightening front, especially for a young audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ryan Cracknell
Movie Views
June 28, 2008
Based on the series of five serial children's novels, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a hollow spectacle that's good for the action and effects but light on everything else.
Dustin Putman
TheFilmFile.com
February 13, 2008
Its simplistic and occasionally juvenile plot is at odds with its more mature subject matter. The Spiderwick Chronicles is flashy and diverting, but also ultimately insubstantial.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2008
I kept wishing for another scene with Mulgarath in the form of Nolte, because, well, you can never have enough Nolte, and because his particular brand of kinetic insanity would have been just what the movie needed to shake up its clockwork smoothness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
February 14, 2008
Instead of absorbing us into this magical landscape, this adaptation crams all five books together into a frenetic and frustrating 24-hour-escapade
Full Review | Original Score: C
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