Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 29
  2. Negative: 8 out of 29

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Critic Reviews

  1. Eragon may not be a big Oscar contender, but in a movie season filled with blood diamonds, fascist soldiers and Idi Amin, it provides a much-needed afternoon of PG-rated family-friendly adventure.
  2. Eragon is a bit cheesy, but I rather liked it. It's sincere cheese... The special effects -- which include glowing-eyed heroes and villains, and flights over the mythical land of Alagaesia depicted in "dragon vision" -- are refreshing in their slightly out-of-date air.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    It's a pleasant enough fantastical adventure, but it does feel naggingly derivative.
  4. 63
    This likable adventure is basically "Lassie" with scales and should appeal to the books' large audience of adolescent boys.
  5. I wish Eragon's cinematography were crisper, the music less Wagnerian, and the acting more consistent. But this movie isn't for me. It's for my 10-year-old, for whom the subtleties of narrative, photography and acting mean nothing.
  6. The holiday movie season's only epic fantasy adventure, certainly gets no points for originality. It's such a clone of "The Lord of the Rings," it probably could lose a plagiarism suit. There's also a heavy dash of "Harry Potter." All bases are covered.
  7. Reviewed by: Laine Ewen
    You're most likely find that Eragon is less a gem and more cubic zirconia -- nice to look at but not as preeeecioussss as its recent fantasy bretheren.
  8. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    The star of this fantasy adventure for young audiences is a charmer from the moment she is hatched (from a huge blue egg that starts to rock like a Mexican jumping bean). Her name is Saphira, she speaks with the voice of Rachel Weisz, and it doesn't matter that she's too young to breathe fire -- at first -- or that she waddles a bit on the ground, because she lives and breathes the joy of flight, which is exactly what was missing from most of Harry Potter's solos on a broom.
  9. There is little complexity in the social, cultural or political shape of this world. So this film, directed by visual effects master Stefen Fangmeier and written by Peter Buchman in a straightforward manner, cannot escape the rote nature of such a fantasy.
  10. 50
    The mess that's been made with all this money is maddening. This isn't economical moviemaking. It's a deluxe trailer for "Eragon 2."
  11. 50
    It's not only the mythical, mind-reading creature at the story's center that prevents the film from taking flight. A worn-out plot and a novice actor also contribute to the disappointment.
  12. An exercise in competence guaranteed neither to offend the initiated nor to charm anyone else.
  13. A sword-and-sorcery saga that desperately wants to be another "Lord of the Rings," Eragon succeeds in being only the palest of imitations.
  14. Director Stefen Fangmeier, a well-regarded special-effects man and second-unit director ("Master and Commander," "Galaxy Quest") does a superb job visualizing the CGI dragon. But Fangmeier is working with a script without a single memorable line and far too many characters and creatures with silly names.
  15. 42
    If Eragon proves anything, it's that not all dragons produce magic.
  16. Though the movie, which was adapted from a book written by Christopher Paolini when he was a teenager, aims high by ripping off the classics (even down to Eragon’s murdered uncle), what it most recalls are the cheesy lost sword-and-sorcery epics from the '80s, awful movies in the vein of "Yor: The Hunter From the Future" and "The Blade Master."
  17. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Appropriating all the external trappings of big-budget fantasy but none of the requisite soul, this leaden epic never soars like the CG-rendered fire-breather at the core of its derivative mythology.
  18. If some of the characters won't be returning for the sequel, no matter. In all likelihood, neither will the audience.
  19. Though I don't think giving it a cuddly human personality and the vocals of Rachel Weisz helps much, the thing itself, part dog, part fish, part weasel, part dinosaur, is a terrific illusion, and the technical team manages to really sell the idea of flight. Too bad the acting is so lame, the story so derivative and the thing so long.
  20. 40
    Eragon is likely to center on its place among the likes of "Dragonheart," "Reign of Fire" and the rest of the mediocre dragon flicks.
  21. 40
    With the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy completed and the next "Chronicles of Narnia" movie two years away, fantasy aficionados needing a Yuletide fix may have to settle for this dull sword-and-sorcery epic.
  22. Turns out to be as heavy and earthbound as an injured dragon.
  23. 38
    When the studio tells us that parental guidance is suggested, does it occur to them that they should have taken their own advice?
  24. The only interesting character is the dragon, who grows from an adorably dependent baby to a protective, intelligent adult voiced by Rachel Weisz.
  25. 38
    It's hard to imagine anyone having the patience to sit through this movie except perhaps a handful of 11-year old boys seeking vicarious wish fulfillment.
  26. 30
    In a time of darkness, under the evil reign of John Malkovich -- who sits upon a throne in a different sound stage from the rest of the cast -- a hero shall rise. But lo, there will be little rejoicing, for this dragon rider (newcomer Edward Speleers) is but a nancy boy, about as imposing as Lance Bass, and somehow in possession of the only soap and clean clothes in all the land.
  27. 20
    Dear George Lucas: What gives with this Eragon jazz? I mean, gee whiz, did you seriously think that we wouldn't recognize you, the Great Man, as the guiding, um, FORCE behind this dull retelling of "Star Wars"?
  28. 20
    Technically competent, but essentially a fantasy movie that mistakes industrial light for magic. As dragon movies go, Dragonslayer, Reign Of Fire and even Dragonheart can rest easy.
  29. 10
    Eragon is laughably bad, mind-bogglingly derivative, and easily one of the worst movies of the year.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 300 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 146
  1. Sep 19, 2011
    "Eragon", a movie based on a book written by a 15 year old kid, is a embarrassment in film history. Everything is a mess; story, script, cast,"Eragon", a movie based on a book written by a 15 year old kid, is a embarrassment in film history. Everything is a mess; story, script, cast, CG, even the name! Don't expect to see a epic fantasy like Lord of the Rings" while watching this movie. It's not even close. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2010
    Yes, the novel clearly was influenced by Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, even in the sequel, Eldest, it seems followed this influence.Yes, the novel clearly was influenced by Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, even in the sequel, Eldest, it seems followed this influence. However, in the third novel of the Inheritance Cycle, Brisingr, the plot begins to change. For those who do not read novels, I am sorry to say that you will never see Eldest in film form let alone Brisingr or the fourth in the cycle. Why? Well, it's obvious isn't it? The Eragon film was just plain horrible. Chances are you could probably do better filming in your backyard with your flip phone (slight hyperbole). I am not sure how to review this one without spoiling it, but it outright sucks. If you want to see why, rent it out, just make sure you have a back up video to stop yourself from destroying the television. Full Review »
  3. Dec 19, 2011
    I had the nice advantage of reading the books and knew that a lot was stolen from Star Wars, but they are well written books. The movie is anI had the nice advantage of reading the books and knew that a lot was stolen from Star Wars, but they are well written books. The movie is an epic fail one of the worst book adaptations ever, with bad performances. Cool special effects though. I give this film 21%. Full Review »