The Spiderwick Chronicles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spiderwick Chronicles Reviews

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½ October 9, 2016
An imaginative journey that kids will have a ton of fun with.

When the Grace family moves into an old family house, strange things begin to happen. Things can be heard scurrying through the walls and noises can be heard outside, all that lead to the discovery of a book. When the young boy finds this book, he unknowingly unleashes an evil. It's up the three kids to discover the word living among them in order to protect the world they live in.

I remember watching this as a kid in the theaters and I actually remember being scared of it. I don't know why, as this movie wasn't meant to be scary, but I still remember enjoying it as a kid. 8 years later, re-watching this film, I didn't enjoy it as much, but I still had some fun with it.

Freddie Highmore was actually a great lead. In a movie like this, if your child actors aren't strong, the entire movie falls apart. Highmore managed to lead this film and actually put on a great performance. He brought the emotions and made himself a rootable protagonist. He's a conflicted kid learning to grow up and face the troubles life will give him. As he plays two characters in this movie, I actually found that to be the most impressive part. As for the rest of the cast, honestly, they all falter. Except for the voice actors, the rest of the human cast was mediocre at best. No one else really did that good of a job and if anything, they weren't good enough.

The animation in this movie is a hit and miss for me. I guess it's the fact that these children are interacting with these animated characters, but it just wasn't working for me. Yeah, the animation was good enough and kids will find it to be fun, but they start to look dated after a few years.

The screenplay was actually pretty solid. The story was this fun, imaginative ride, even if it did have a few bumps in the road. The sequence of events were nicely paced but there were some moments where it felt convenient or implausible. However, the dialogue was actually pretty good. The interaction between the characters and the actually script was well written and made up for some of the weak points in the story.

The movie does go a tad bit deeper into the story, specifically with the relationship between Jared and his Mother. I like that they added that little layer, even if kids won't really understand it. It's such a small part though that unless you're in a similar situation, you probably won't feel very attached to it.

In the end, this is a fun movie for kids and a fun, imaginative adventure overall. It's a solid flick and one that is well written and decently acted.
½ September 25, 2016
I think what makes "The Spiderwick Chronicles" worthwhile is its exciting third act and poignant ending. Up until that point, I thought this was just another well-made, slightly-scary-for-young-kids fantasy film with above-average visual effects and I wasn't really into it. But then, it took a surprisingly poignant turn and gave the story some thematic depth, and with the fun action set-pieces combined, it ended up being very enjoyable. It's a fun movie.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2016
Talk about a lukewarm fantasy film. That's not a derogatory as it may have come across, since I ended up thinking that this was a solid little movie. What I mean by that is the fact that in a lot of these films, you end up being taken on this epic adventure to a faraway and fantastical land that's unlike anything you would ever see on earth. This movie is nothing like that. It takes place in the 'real' world and the only thing fantasy about it are these mythological creatures that surround the characters who are only seen if they want to be seen or if a hobgoblin spits in your face, which gives you the ability to see them without a special stone that you can see through. So that's what I meant when I meant it was more lukewarm. The locations are pretty straightforward and simple and, to me, honestly, that's one of the things that does hold this film back. The fact that the locations are so mundane particularly when compared to other films in this same genre. Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter or even Percy Jackson. There's one scene where a griffin takes the kids to this place that's more fantastical where the author of the field guide has been kept for over 80 years. But it's just the one scene and it doesn't really even go for that long. It is what it is and I'm sure that the film is somewhat faithful to the book, but the locations of the film really don't do much to inspire a sense of wonderment usually attached to these types of films. But that's really about my only major complaint as I found the film, its pacing and its acting all fairly solid. Freddy Highmore is a really damn good actor, so he does a good job at carrying this film. Thematically speaking, the film isn't exactly the best. The problem with the narrative is the fact that the ogre wants to destroy the field guide that Arthur Spiderwick wrote for some reason whatsoever. Like they never really elaborate on why the ogre wants to destroy the field guy or why it's so important. Perhaps the idea is that with the guide destroyed then they could do whatever they want whenever they wanted, without having to worry about barriers being placed around houses so that they get past them. I don't fucking know, the movie does a shit job at explaining why the field guide is so damn important. They literally had one job and they failed at that. So, yea, that was stupid. Everything else was all solid. Nothing to write home about, of course, but it was all perfectly enjoyable. Again, one of the film's strongest points is the fact that the pacing is excellent. No scene goes too long, but, of course, that means that there's also not much room for in-depth character development, which I guess is fine in a movie like this, where it's more about the fantastical aspects of the story. That's about it. While it falls short of other films in the same genre, this movie still offers an inoffensive and solid experience. Not like you should go out of your way to see this, but if you got a couple of hours to kill, then this won't drive you nuts. It's on Amazon Prime too, so that's even better.
September 8, 2016
Boa opo de entretenimento para os pequenos, mas a ingenuidade excessiva na direo e falta de alma do roteiro decepcionam.
½ August 20, 2016
Interesting take on the realm of the fey... might consider picking up the books one day.
½ August 17, 2016
Adapting Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's popular children's novels, 2008 brings us yet another fantasy film as flat and forgettable as to be expected. Setting dull family drama against the backdrop of shallow fantasy, the potential of The Spiderwick Chronicles is astounding. But, alas, it is unused, giving us one of the most boring, predictable and formulaic fantasy films ever. Despite a strong child lead in Freddie Highmore and a talented supporting cast, including Sarah Bolger and Seth Rogen, the film cannot be saved from a frankly uninspiring plot, an unsatisfactory run-time and a script that feels as if it was written for easy money rather than enjoyment. The source material provides us with much room for imagination and excitement; however, this film seems more inclined to centre much of the film on typical divorce drama, which we've already seen a couple of thousand times before. However, the film is visually interesting and the few magical creatures we get to see within the barrenness of this film are creatively designed and perfected with acceptable CGI. The film may occasionally generate the smallest bit of excitement with the odd action or fight scene, but mostly it keeps a plodding and foreseeable pace that fails to give much excitement and enjoyment. The Spiderwick Chronicles, unfortunately, despite good elements and room for such imaginative filmmaking, succeeds only in becoming a dull and formulaic fantasy adventure that you will surely forget upon the end of the credits.
August 12, 2016
Decent fantasy flick that leans towards a younger audience, but okay for adults. They really messed up by miking the characters off-putting and unlikable for the most part.
½ May 29, 2016
Quite a fun fantasy film. Easy watching.
May 27, 2016
the movie perfectly fits the book and is just amazing
½ May 14, 2016
Though certainly not for young children, The Spiderwick Chronicles is an abundant world of adventure and fantasy, even though some of the acting takes a little getting used to.
March 29, 2016
It's good fun, and quite faithful to the books I might add.
February 15, 2016
Loved it. I never read the book so I'm not sure on whether it is actually good or not, but I enjoyed it.
½ February 9, 2016
The Spiderwick Chronicles is a lot like Narnia, just not as good.
January 18, 2016
This is a Kids film.
A Family ( Mother and 3 kids) move to a new house that belongs to old relative of them, the father disappeared and the daughter is in a madhouse.
One of the kids founds a book with a sign ' Do not open/read ' and obvious the kid opens and reads the book lol.
The book was written by the Father that disappeared and is tell about magical creatures.
Then the kid is able to see a wee creature that is the protector of the book, that creature tell him that there is a evil creature that if he finds the book he will destroy all the magical creature and the all the humans.
his brothers dont believe him, but after a series of events they are able to see the creature too.
in the book a secret spell and call a Griffin and takes them to a magical place where the Father is still alive and he tell them that need to fight the evil creature lol.
They go back, fight the evil creature and manage to kill him.

Kids film, kinda boring.

Love you Stephanie Joan Logan
January 14, 2016
It was a good fantasy movie.
January 10, 2016
I can't believe that the main kid in this movie plays Norman on "Bates Motel." He's great in that and great in this movie. The rest of the cast is good as well, and surprising considering the children are some of the main characters. The film overall is imaginative and has surprisingly good visuals to create this world. Fun adventure film for the family.
November 22, 2015
great movie the best ~~~?~~~?'?'?'?
½ November 12, 2015
Pleasant childrens fable.
½ October 9, 2015
I don't remember this, but I remember it being funny.
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