User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 674 Ratings

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User Reviews

  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.
  2. FlonkelD.
    Dec 26, 2005
    6
    Very shallow character development.
  3. JudyT.
    Sep 24, 2006
    5
    Strickly for kids.
  4. matthewp.
    Dec 29, 2005
    5
    This movie is great for kids but shouldn't be considered adult material. The young actors barely manage to get their lines out clearly and the overal affect of the movie is less than skin deep.
  5. Aug 22, 2010
    5
    It was decent but its no Lord of the Rings. I wish the action would have been better (more exciting) and I felt like I didn't care about the characters that much. Also the acting wasn't that great.
  6. Mar 7, 2012
    4
    Yet ANOTHER attempt to trick young viewers (and readers of the books) into embracing Christianity by disguising its main story points in a fantasy setting. But dishonest and underhanded proselytizing techniques aside, the film itself is still below average at best. By the time the film finally picks up pace... it's the end. A fairly exciting battle scene at the end featuring manyYet ANOTHER attempt to trick young viewers (and readers of the books) into embracing Christianity by disguising its main story points in a fantasy setting. But dishonest and underhanded proselytizing techniques aside, the film itself is still below average at best. By the time the film finally picks up pace... it's the end. A fairly exciting battle scene at the end featuring many different creatures is the one and only high point but prepare to sit through nearly two hours of marginally-disguised preaching to get there. Expand
  7. Apr 3, 2012
    4
    Chronicles of Narnia is an extremely corny and childish film. The action scenes prove my point. The decent thing in the movie is the average battle scene at the end. Acting was pitiful and i guess it will do fine with the younger crowd.
  8. Feb 22, 2014
    5
    It's an escape from real life in every way, but The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is not very well done. It's too kid-oriented so that adults can't enjoy it as much.
  9. Feb 13, 2016
    6
    This Narnia installment shows us that the Chronicles has really tried, but fails to impress all of us anyways. A better aim for the franchise is aimed for fans of the franchise.
  10. ChrisB.
    Dec 7, 2005
    6
    It's been nearly twenty years since I last read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and I don't remember seeing the Christian symbolism of it back then. Ever since, I had learned more about CS Lewis and how The Chronicles of Narnia very much reflected his philosophy and religion. Fine. But, man, if I didn't get that impression as a kid reading the book, I sure got it It's been nearly twenty years since I last read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and I don't remember seeing the Christian symbolism of it back then. Ever since, I had learned more about CS Lewis and how The Chronicles of Narnia very much reflected his philosophy and religion. Fine. But, man, if I didn't get that impression as a kid reading the book, I sure got it hammered into my skull as an adult watching this movie. At the end of it, I felt like I just came out of the cinematic equivalent of a Creed concert. (That's bad, by the way.) What amazes me is how this is being marketed as a good Christian alternative to Harry Potter movies. Where the HP films are fully committed to the pure fantasy that their characters and situations inhabit, Narnia slavishly needs to qualify everything that happens on screen with a biblical reference point, reducing the kids into Sunday-schoolbook caricatures. And having a CG lion as a Christ figure is about as bad as Scott Stapp posing as Jesus on-stage at that aforementioned Creed concert. Other than that, there is some lovely visual adaptation of the cool stuff I do remember from the book. The kids were capable but uneven in their talents, having cast a blockheaded but handsome Prince William-lookalike as the eldest boy, Peter, while the youngest had an almost creepy precociousness in her performance as Lucy. Tilda Swinton as the White Witch was fantastic, her styling was incredible, and I would have loved to see her have more screen time rather than the badly rendered animal villains. The CG characters were noticeably weak, and even Azlan seemed much less majestic than the lion my imagination had painted as a child. Expand
  11. ChuckM.
    Jan 14, 2006
    6
    This was a perfectly fine movie. It was an entertaining way to spent a couple of hours.
  12. HCarter
    Apr 8, 2006
    4
    Started off ok--but the adapted screenplay wasn't so great. And of course--everything kind of goes downhill from there. You could say, "hey, it's geared towards kids" but that's sort of apologizing for it. There are plenty of movies out there that are solid regardless of age (any pixar movie). It wasn't a horrible movie though, mostly just medicore.
  13. Danielle
    Dec 11, 2008
    6
    I'd rather watch epic movie. the parody captured my attention, this bored me to tears when my best friend forced me to endure the painstaking 2 hours 20 minute of fantasy. I'm a teenage girl, I don't want to see a kiddy fantasy story with not an ounce of humor or romance in it.I can find homor in Titanic. The battle seen wasn't frightening even
  14. CSLS
    Dec 9, 2005
    4
    Chris B. was dead-on when he called it the "cinematic equivalent of a Creed concert." Whatever susbtance is under the flash is all allegory, while the flash is far too familiar. I don't see how they can get 2 more films out of this.
  15. AlanT.
    Dec 9, 2005
    4
    A half-hearted and forgettable film that represents a huge missed opportunity to bring these great books to the big screen. What a waste.
  16. ElsaS.
    Dec 9, 2005
    5
    While the film has many fine moments, it also has many draggy, poorly paced ones, too. The special effects are sometimes breathtaking, but often quite clumsy, too. The end result is an unformed mish-mash. Had more care gone into it, the film might have ended up a timeless classic. But it falls far short of that mark.
  17. TimD.
    Jan 28, 2006
    4
    Though it has aspects I appreciated (Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton in the battle sequences, the youngest of the children) and moments I enjoyed very much (the use of silence and the heartbeat at the beginning of the battle sequence), overall I found it thin, lacking weight and power -- a genuine disappointment. This film doesn't even begin to compare with any one of Peter Jackson's Though it has aspects I appreciated (Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton in the battle sequences, the youngest of the children) and moments I enjoyed very much (the use of silence and the heartbeat at the beginning of the battle sequence), overall I found it thin, lacking weight and power -- a genuine disappointment. This film doesn't even begin to compare with any one of Peter Jackson's Ring trilogy. Expand
  18. Mark
    Jan 3, 2006
    6
    Enjoyable at times but plodding at others. the acting was a bit stiff - although the Pevensie's were casted well.
  19. CarolS.
    Jan 3, 2006
    4
    The youngest child was delightful and the best actor of the group. Peter was pretty wooden. Why did Susan carry a bow an arrow if not to use it? Did she in fact have any function in this movie? The plot was lame. The White Witch was the most interesting and best played role. Unfortunately, one can't learn from the storyline why she is in power or why she should relinquish it.
  20. CarlE.
    Jan 5, 2006
    4
    Boring... deadly dull. Only the special effects made this movie at all interesting. The acting was second-rate... worthy of a high school play at best.
  21. RickC.
    Apr 3, 2006
    4
    This show was geared for children [***SPOILERS***] but the scene with the lion being scourged is unnecessarily cruel for children to watch. It was much too juvenile for adults and the CGI graphics were mediocre at best.
  22. PatC.
    Jun 30, 2006
    6
    Nice movie with good digital effects, but surprisingly lacking in substance. There's a wierd theme embedded in the story involving children in wartime who don't miss their parents and are free to be self-directed without consequences. The value set that emerges borders on the narcissistic.
  23. BDavidN.
    Dec 11, 2005
    6
    I read the books and was captivated so warning to a biased righteous fan's opinion. It wasn't a bad movie but to me it felt like the mini commericals Macdonalds makes for it's happy meal toys, after they advertise said meat and sandwich products. I'm sure the director had good intentions, but from the first title scene you know its a franchise coming from an economic I read the books and was captivated so warning to a biased righteous fan's opinion. It wasn't a bad movie but to me it felt like the mini commericals Macdonalds makes for it's happy meal toys, after they advertise said meat and sandwich products. I'm sure the director had good intentions, but from the first title scene you know its a franchise coming from an economic venture based on Disney's failure to cash in on Lord of the Ring's. It was a good kid's movie but as a fan of the books I felt it couldn't compare and the characters seemed a lot less endearing. The best part, other than the minotaurs, is the queen's dwarf. He is worth the price and looks like an Osama Bin Laden imp. His death in the movie is hiliarious. Expand
  24. DanB.
    Dec 10, 2005
    5
    [***SPOILERS***] Looks great. Acting's good. Story is... illogical and and overly simple, even for a children's film, I think. Like suddenly Peter is this amazing fighter? He knows how to use a sword? Why because Aslan told him he could, so now Peter's a general? Worse, it makes it seem as if Aslan *knows* he'll be resurrected... which doesn't make it much of a sacrifice.
  25. MattyM.
    Dec 10, 2005
    4
    The film is a blunder; a mere excuse to throw in creatures fighting against each other for some poor action, followed by irritant performances by the Pevensie kids, and tedious moments that drag on and on. The entire movie is a dejá-vu, but it still features Tilda Swinton and Liam Neeson, which is not a bad thing.
  26. lynnl.
    Dec 23, 2005
    4
    There's no solid or substantial central theme. The story was not suitable for a movie in the first place. The children's acting ranged from average to poor. Movie became kind of dry halfway while I was watching. Unless you've watched genuinely great movies before, you'd probably think this movie is good. In short, an overly glamorous effort to dramatise an otherwise There's no solid or substantial central theme. The story was not suitable for a movie in the first place. The children's acting ranged from average to poor. Movie became kind of dry halfway while I was watching. Unless you've watched genuinely great movies before, you'd probably think this movie is good. In short, an overly glamorous effort to dramatise an otherwise classic story. Expand
  27. TheDiggler
    Jan 2, 2006
    6
    Such a shame this film turned out to be so flat and boring. The kids fit the parts well and the impression of Narnia was nicely done, Mr Tumnus in particular was well done and very near to the book. I have to appreciate the effort made here to make this film as close to the book as possible, especially considering the farce that was the Return of the King two years ago. There just Such a shame this film turned out to be so flat and boring. The kids fit the parts well and the impression of Narnia was nicely done, Mr Tumnus in particular was well done and very near to the book. I have to appreciate the effort made here to make this film as close to the book as possible, especially considering the farce that was the Return of the King two years ago. There just wasn't enough of the emoitional impact felt from reading these books translated on to the big screen. This can be best seen in Aslan. Not impressive, grand, or wonderous in the least, just a big animated lion. As much as I like Liam Neeson I think Brian Cox would have done a far better job. Hopefully the next film(s) in the series will be more emotional. Expand
  28. KyleL.
    Feb 10, 2006
    6
    Was too childish for me, but hey, wasnt it targeted for children? It entertained me and that is waht a movie is for. I wasnt a fan of the actors or characters though.
  29. MattH.
    Sep 2, 2006
    6
    [***SPOILERS***] The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a watchable movie, if not exactly the cat's meow (or is it the lion's roar?). This first feature film based on C.S. Lewis's seven part fantasy series, follows a little more in the footsteps of the Harry Potter films than The Lord of the Rings movies, given that Lord of the Rings was great all [***SPOILERS***] The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a watchable movie, if not exactly the cat's meow (or is it the lion's roar?). This first feature film based on C.S. Lewis's seven part fantasy series, follows a little more in the footsteps of the Harry Potter films than The Lord of the Rings movies, given that Lord of the Rings was great all the way through while Harry Potter took three to four movies before it became a genuine crowd pleaser. But back to Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe opens with a scene of the German blitz of London in World War II, which forces parents all over the city to send their children away by train, including the parents, or rather just the mother of our four child heroes, the Pevensie siblings-- Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter. The fact that parents really did this during the war makes the film's title sequence all the more sad and it's accompanied by a rather melancholy song that I couldn't really make out the lyrics to, but was still very lovely to hear because it perfectly captures the feelings that these kids must have as they have to leave their parents with the possibility that they may never see them again. The performances are, on the whole, not entirely noteworthy, save for Tilda Swinton as the White Which, Jadis. Swinton plays her part superbly acting with an icy menace all throughout the movie. You really root for the good guys to get her because she has such a cold, cruel presence. Liam Neeson lends his voice to the lion, Aslan with a Godlike persona, which works because of the film's Christian spirit, personified by Aslan being Martyred by the Witch then rising from the dead to fulfill his purpose (which should please churchgoers). Aslan emanates a sense of someone who is gently confident and assured but can become formidable and dangerous at any time, especially when confronted by an enemy. The rest of the cast (including the talking animals) is alright, but they don't stand up to Swinton and Neeson, who sparkle in their roles. Director Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Shrek 2) does a commendable job of capturing the book's Cristian spirit, espescially in the scene where Aslan goes up to Jadis to sacrifice himself in Edmund's place, where he's humiliated, shaved and finally stabbed by the witch, only to rise again in the morning (I admit though, I was a bit concerned about Santa Claus giving Lucy a dagger, given that she doesn't really use it and she doesn't even look old enough to be in grade school yet). However, he's far less successful with the film's special effects. All of the creatures in the movie, from the beavers, to the wolves, to Aslan, to a great many of the creatures in Aslan's army and the witch's army, and even a few of the digitalized environments look obviously computer-generated. Seeing as director Adamson was a veteran of the Shrek movies, which are entirely computer-animated, that could be one of the reasons as to why this is, but I think much of it has to do with many of the talking creatures in this movie being animals that we see in the real world. You might note that in animated movies, even computer-animated ones, animals like birds, fish, lions, horses, donkeys-basically any animal that exists in the real world, tend to have their faces and heads reshaped quite a bit so they can talk and show human expressions. Their faces become completely mobile, their jaws and mouths move properly to simulate human language, they have lips that move appropriately with their speech, they have vocal cords shown as lumps inside the throat that move when they speak, and their tongues move in different ways depending on what they're saying. This works in animated movies because the animals are cartoons, so you can make them look and move however you want, and it works even when you're animating an entirely made up creature, like a dragon, and integrating it into a live action movie because, likewise, you can make it look and move any way you want, though you might still want to go for the most realistic look possible because you're putting something that's not there in a real environment. However, animals that we know from the real world clearly just weren't made to talk like people, and seeing as the filmmakers realized that they needed to fully computer animate the animals to make their speech blend fluidly with the rest of their bodies, the end results just look fake. This, ultimately, makes me wonder as to why the Academy nominated this movie for a best visual effects Oscar. Both Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had far, far better special effects than this movie and I would have gladly traded this movie for one of those two for visual effects. The PG rating is also something to take note of as there are several violent and frightening moments in the movie that frequently feel as if they were watered down just to maintain appeal with the kids. The big battle at the end of the film for instance doesn't feel as visceral as a real battle might have been as the filmmakers include plenty of deaths, but no gore. Hmmm..... the Mouse House is toning down a movie filled with battles and fairly high violence just to make it appropriate for kids? Bad move. Doing so robs the movie of one crucial element to make it work- the sense that something vital is at stake. When the filmmakers or their studios decide to tone down the violence to a "comfortable" level, we get the sense that everything will be alright, that there's no real danger to the characters, so we watch in a bit of a detatched way, entertained by the action, if not involved in it because we don't quite connect with the situation. I wonder, though, if the series will eventually tilt over into a PG-13 rating with the possibility of an R rating looming over the final film much like the Harry Potter series. We'll have to see the remaining six Narnia movies to find out, and, like Harry Potter, we'll just have to see if The Chronicles of Narnia, in it's future, can cast a real spell over us. Expand
  30. ChristosM
    Mar 18, 2009
    6
    If someone can ignore the dangerous political messages that linger under Lewis's writting,will enjoy Tilda Swinton's excellently acted Witch! What a great actress she is!And the visuals off course are absolutely satisfying!
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. What is lightly sketched in the novel, where much is left to the imagination, blossoms into full-blown, richly detailed life in the movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    An array of supporting craftspeople pull the viewer into a credible alternative world, even if the film itself is more prosaic than inspiring.
  3. 50
    The problem with any allegorical plan, Christian or otherwise, is not its ideological content but the blockish threat that it poses to the flow of a story.