User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 316 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 91 out of 316

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  1. Sep 19, 2010
    3
    How do you destroy a book franchise with universal acclaim? How do you dissapoint readers by changing the books name for the film? How do you cast bad actors for important roles? You film the golden compass. The book is brilliant but the film is terrible. The kid playing Lyra is terrible,switching between cockney and posh! Make your mind up. The director goes as far as to mix the story up with a shocking polt change. Yes,the graphics are impressive and Ian Mckellen as Iorek is a good move but please,don't bother with the movie,just read the book (And the other 2 books in the trilogy!). Expand
  2. Dec 2, 2012
    2
    boring crap that makes no sense. With scenes that probably should've been there to explain things simply not existing. The whole thing feels a bit disjointed like somebody shot a movie that was supposed to be 4 hours long, but then cut like half of it. Pointless scenes of Daniel Craig that has no effect on anything else etc. This is 5 years too late, but I still want my money back.
  3. Mar 2, 2013
    0
    The Golden Compass is pure nonsense. The movie is a pathetic piece of trash that makes no sense because of all the meaningless jargon spewing out of everyone's mouth. A laughable film from the poor acting of the girl to the idea that kids would enjoy this. The movie is nearly impossible to sit through.
  4. Apr 13, 2012
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A terrible film. The main actress is just terrible, she's clearly just reading lines and it makes her very unlikeable. The film is too short for the contents of the book, a few big scenes are missing and the rest is rushed. Last of all the good ending of the book is omitted. Expand
  5. Apr 25, 2013
    3
    Besides the horrible acting,the lazy writing and the stupid plot twist, the thing that bothered me most about this movie was the ending.Im not going to spoil it but its really lazy. They literally ended it saying "We are going to make a trilogy and not conclude this movie right now because we are SOOOO sure it wil be succesfull!" Well thanks God it wasn´t because this movie deserves to die in silence. Expand
  6. Feb 11, 2013
    3
    What a pathetic adaptation. The casting was good though. The bear looked ridiculous. The fight scenes were censored and the whole narrative was turned on its head. Even the ending was changed to suit children.
  7. 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. Expand
  8. 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. Expand
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. 63
    One key missing element: the world in which this story takes place never feels unique. We aren't drawn into it the way we were with Middle Earth or Hogwarts. In fact, with all the airships flying around, there are times when it feels like an extension of Stardust.
  2. A "soft" epic, a film touching on childhood fantasies with sturdy, unwavering characters driven to evil or good. More "Harry Potter," in other words, than "Beowulf."
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Impressively rendered but oddly uninviting adventure.