Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. A generation-spanning journey that feels both comfortingly familiar and excitingly original.
  2. A movie of intelligence and power, of beauty, universality and largeness of spirit.
  3. The picture goes exactly where the prose does, enticing all of us, kids and adults and atheists and believers alike, down below the brittle surface of our cold logic and into a richer world of imaginative wonder.
  4. 100
    Plunges into an imaginative landscape as large as all creation - and never slackens its barreling pace or shrinks its panoramic scope.
  5. Spiritual redemption is a big theme of Narnia, but on a purely entertainment level, the movie also goes a long way in redeeming the current sad state of children's fantasy filmmaking.
  6. What is lightly sketched in the novel, where much is left to the imagination, blossoms into full-blown, richly detailed life in the movie.
  7. 90
    There's nothing too clean or too overbright about it. It's magic, but not the loud, shiny kind: It has the texture of worn velvet, or a painstakingly hand-knit sweater stored away for years in tissue paper.
  8. 90
    By staying focused on the children -- frightened evacuees from the London Blitz whose parallel war in Narnia both taps into and finally quiets their unspoken terrors -- Adamson keeps faith with the humanity of Lewsis' tale.
  9. 90
    Robust, engrossing, and surprisingly restrained in saving most of its effects for the grand finale, the first Chronicles of Narnia installment eschews Harry Potter's satanic subtext and "The Lord of the Rings'" Wagnerian cosmology. It may be as close to adult-friendly kid fare as Hollywood will ever get.
  10. If you're a fan of C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, all you need to know is this: Disney has done right by The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It's impossible to imagine it done much better, in fact.
  11. What's best about it is that it seems real by the logic of childhood - it looks as things SHOULD look, if kids had it their way.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    An entertaining, emotional, and surprisingly intimate movie--an epic saga of fauns and talking (Cockney) beavers and evil sorceresses and triumphal resurrections and massive, sweeping battles that nonetheless feels … small.
  13. Well told, handsome, stirring and loads of fun.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 587 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 221
  1. Oct 2, 2011
    6
    "The Chronicles of Narnia" is not a masterpiece due to its newbie actors, but it manages to give the pure entertainment most summer blockbusters provide. Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2013
    8
    I love when they take a favorite childhood story of mine and adapt it to the big screen. I am always a little weary when it's Disney thou. You never know what Disney is going to do with it, however in the case of The Lion, The Witch, The Wardrobe, is a homerun. They didn't shorten this film into some hour and a half movie about love. They took their time and told the story as it was meant to be told. All the kids were new to the big screen and were terrific. It's a classic tale that is over 60 years old and it's as fresh and relevant today as it was then. Two big thumbs up for the first of the Narnia tales, personally I hope they make all seven of them into feature films! Full Review »
  3. Feb 9, 2011
    10
    I may not be a Christian, but that didn't mean I couldn't enjoy this movie. Definitely one of the best flicks of 2005. Very LOTR-esque, but better! I have very fond memories of watching this in theaters. Full Review »