Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. 100
    A darker, deeper fantasy epic than the "Rings" trilogy, "The Chronicles of Narnia" or the "Potter" films. It springs from the same British world of quasi-philosophical magic, but creates more complex villains and poses more intriguing questions. As a visual experience, it is superb. As an escapist fantasy, it is challenging.
  2. Represents the year's biggest gamble - and it delivers the year's biggest and most ambitious fantasy.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 319 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 167
  1. Aug 25, 2014
    7
    I have not read the books this story is based on, which means I am reviewing this film completely based on the story I saw on screen.

    Let's
    put it this way: I had been reading so much negative feedback about this film that I was positively surprised after watching it.

    The movie looked good, sounded good, and all in all, it was pretty great! The plot, the story; actors and acting. Even Lyra, the "little girl who will change the course of the world forever" (yes, we have seen those before...) was annoyingly realistic with her immaturity.

    But as with every movie, there were some things that just didn't click, and therefore I won't give this four stars: as good as the plot of the movie was, it left me feeling as if everything wasn't told, explained, or shown well enough. Once again, perhaps those who have read the books know some facts in advance. To me, it was a bit frustrating at points. Confusing, even.

    And once again in a vast battlefield it is amazingly easy to launch a "surprise" attack on your enemies... wow. That never ceases to amaze me. ;)

    Also, Serafina Pekkala (and her daemon Kaisa) make me crack up every time! Finnish names in an otherwise English film? Not good. Not good at all!
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 8, 2014
    4
    I remember the end of the movie. I remember the credits rolling. And I specifically remember saying; "That's it?" The movie is one slow ride with no resolution, continuity, or congruity. I have never read the book. But doubtless all those book critics couldn't be that off. The movie is only amazing in one aspect; the special effects. And the cinematography. The acting is dull, as is story. And all the animal-human bondage I just found to be unpleasant and incoherent. So slow and faulty it'll break down midway and you'll be stuck until the end. Unless you want to jump out. That's a pretty good decision. Full Review »
  3. Jul 14, 2014
    4
    a very disappointing adaptation. the last time i felt dejected halfway into the movie was with tim burton's PLANET OF THE APES, before which this film feels like a total abomination. despite Dakota Blue Richards' Lyra and Nicole Kidman's Mrs. Coulter, and the visual effects, this film really is nothing. probably the fact that i read the book first and loved it made all the difference and in fact, i suggest you all do the same. avoid this film if you can and read the book. the book has a proper narrative with exemplary character development and plotline, all of which this film lacks. the only thing keeping this film together is the visual effects and nothing more. Full Review »