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The Golden Compass

Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) lives in a parallel world in which human souls take the form of lifelong animal companions called daemons. Dark forces are at work in the girl's world, and many children have been kidnapped by beings known as Gobblers. Lyra vows to save her best friend, Roger, after he disappears too. She sets out with her daemon, a tribe of seafarers, a witch, an ice bear and a Texas airman on an epic quest to rescue Roger and save her world.

Nicole Kidman Mrs. Coulter
Dakota Richards Lyra Belacqua
Daniel Craig Lord Asriel
Sam Elliott Lee Scoresby
Eva Green Serafina Pekkala
Tom Courtenay Farder Coram
Christopher Lee First High Councillor
Derek Jacobi Magisterial Emissary
Ben Walker Roger
Freddie Highmore Pantalaimon

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Reviews & Comments

Unlike screen adaptations of the "Harry Potter" books, or the Disneyfication of "The Chronicles of Narnia" - movies that anyone can enjoy without giving them a second thought - "The Golden Compass" introduces a world of myth and mystery that requires patience and a certain mental aptitude to figure out.

(Full review)
Dec 17, 2007 - prisma on The Golden Compass
Best rendering of a book in film

I am a huge fan of this literary series, so trust me when I say the film is very well done. While it's impossible to bring any book to life with word-for-word accuracy (especially in only a couple of hours) this movie remains very loyal to the written work, changing only what's necessary for audience comprehension and to get across the overall message of the story, which is difficult without the running narration and inner monologue of characters that you get in a book. The acting was fantastic, and Nicole Kidman especially brought Mrs. Coulter to life so beautifully! Lord Asriel was a bit under-exposed, but there will be much more of him in the sequels. As for the abrupt ending, though I didn't find it all that abrupt, you would NOT want the movie to end as the book did. While it is fine for the book, you would be much more put out if the movie ended that way! As it is the movie ends a good ten to fifteen minutes before the book would - in estimated screen time, that is. Go see this movie! And then read the book, if you haven't already. It is an epic that rivals LotR and, for me, surpasses Harry Potter.

Dec 17, 2007 - ethan on The Golden Compass
Made me want to read the book

I had pretty low expectations for this - it's one of the new genre of Potter/LOTR attempts by Hollywood to appeal to the fantasy demographic. My expectations were far exceeded. The movie is a broad brush over a complicated story - how much can you pack into 120 minutes? and emphasizes spectacle over plot. But WOW what spectacle, and what solid acting across the board. The machinery and buildings are a phenomenal combination of Victorian and art deco, and are some of the best set design I've ever seen. Dakota Blue Richards is *superb* and easily stands up to Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on screen. Between her and Amy Adams in Enchanted, we're seeing some surprisingly strong female acting in fantasy roles. Put this one on your holiday short list to be transported to another world.

Dec 10, 2007 - Tharrah on The Golden Compass
What a novel Idea

I was surprised to find out that this was actually part of a trilogy so it came as a shock to me when the movie ended so abruptly. In hindsight I suppose it was a good place to stop it for the purposes of this story, but it definitely was more jarring than I would have.

Everyone was all set up to head off somewhere, and BAM! To be continued...

That aside, this was a very interesting movie and it kept me entertained the whole time, which is a good accomplishment for a PG-13 Movie. This is definitely one I want to see again, because I think it would be better the 2nd time around now that I am more familiar with the characters and the world they inhabit.

Dec 08, 2007 - Sylar on The Golden Compass
A good kid's film.

As always, the book was better. But this was better than I expected the adaptation to be. If you want to see bears, in shiny armor, kicking each other's asses, this is the movie for you.

Come to think of it, that scene was supposed to be a lot bloodier. And the witches are technically supposed to be nakeder. But, for PG-13 you can't expect much.

I gotta say though, if I had seen this when I was a kid I'd have been blown away. I can't wait for the next two movies.

Dec 08, 2007 - davissara2010 on The Golden Compass
it was good but....

i also suggest reading the book, it'll help you understand. Reading the other critics review , i can't help but feel he was making fun , which to that i can only recommend his reading the book so that his level of ignorance wont be so high where this movie is concerned. Matter of factly, i've read the entire series and i find that it's not only a good book but it makes sense, and for those people who believe it's anti-christian and everything, please keep in mind that it's only a movie, and only a book, it wont alter the world view on religion, just provide entertainment, so cool your heels and enjoy the show, there's really no need to make such a fuss, not to mention this is America, where, people seem to be forgetting, you can practice any belief you want to , regardless of whose feathers get ruffled, with that said, it's a good movie, a good book, and i recommend both. Though, if you're not intelligent in specific areas, you won't get the full enjoyment, which is why i suggest you read the book first.

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