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The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials

Released on 28 April 2008

Featuring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig & Dakota Blue Richards

Format: DVD | Rating: PG

3.0 out of 5 (107 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Based on author Philip Pullman's bestselling and award-winning novel, The Golden Compass tells the first story in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

The Golden Compass is an exciting fantasy adventure, set in an alternative world where people's souls manifest themselves as animals, talking bears fight wars, and Gyptians and witches co-exist. At the center of the story is Lyra, a 12-year-old girl who starts out trying to rescue a friend who's been kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as the Gobblers - and winds up on an epic quest to save not only her world, but ours as well!

customer Reviews

 Average rating (107 reviews)


| | See all ciaraf's reviews (5)

This film was briliant it almost did justice to the books!! Which might i add has only happened once before in the Harry Potter series!!) They left out a few things and made a few changes but other then that it was fantastic!! The special effects were breathtaking the "demonds" looked increadably life like!! This film is the best film of the year drawing in 1st with Harry Potter ant the Order of the Phoenix!! Its a must see!!!

 Not really a film.

| | See all Trefusis's reviews (243)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer Top 10 Games Reviewer Top 10 Music Reviewer Top 100 Books Reviewer Top 10 Sport and Outdoor Reviewer

This plays more like highlights from the book; plenty of set pieces, but no real narrative to string them all together. In attempting to adapt the book they've crammed in all the characters and more interesting sections, but without any clear story to link them. Anyone who's not read the book will find this a complete mess and give up before the end. However, as a companion piece it's well made, but don't expect it to make much sense if you're unfamiliar with the storyline.

 His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass

| | See all mothcat's reviews (1)

Fabulous Film! I found it totally absorbing & escapist as I did with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I would thoroughly recommend it to those who want to add a bit of 'magic' to their lives! The books are expertly written and an utter joy. Can't wait for the DVD!

 One star is too kind

| | See all IMajorDaveI's reviews (1)

As someone who has read all the books a number of questions about where Chris Weitz (the director) was taking this film. The underlying story of the saga was not included in the film, there was not enough reference to the church, and we were told about there being multiple worlds right at the start when in the book you find that out towards the end which is a nice twist and makes it exciting. I didn't get why the writers of the script of the film were so obviousely changing phillip pullman's words for no reason, e.g changing what one character said and getting another character to say it when the character who said it in the first place could have. And lastly, why end the film before the end of the book, when the book ends on the cliffhanger anyway? just a silly waste of a film. in my opinion that is.

 A contrasting difference..

| | See all PoynterJones's reviews (32)

With the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy being my favourite books of all time, hearing that they were going to make them into movies excited me to say the least.

Pullmans versatile literature and wording of the books captured the hearts of children and adults alike, before Harry Potter was ever around and went on to win numerous awards.

I couldn't begin to imagine how much of a hard time the director was going to have, placing the characters and getting everything spot on, to match Pullman's way of writing.
Lee is perfectly placed and was exactly how I imagined him to be throughout the books.
Lyra was too prissy to compare. She wasn't near as confident nor open minded about things as she should have been.
Mrs Coulter was made out to be far too 'rich' for my liking. Reading from the book she seems like, not exactly a normal woman, but not so dressed up nor flashy.
Lord Asrial is the second of the two characters who I thought suited the part well. Daniel Craig does play a great job of him, although, I did expect his character to be slightly more darker than he came out with.

The first thing that disheartened me was the use of the American title; 'The Golden Compass'.
There is no such thing in any of the books as a 'Golden Compass'.
Try Aletheometer.
Northern Lights is much more suited, as you would realise if you had read the book.

To me, the whole movie lacked the spark that I got from reading the books and I was highly disappointed in some of the events that took place within the movie which differed highly from what I read.

Religion is an extremely big theme in the books, playing the biggest part of all and I was shocked to find that almost all religious aspects of the books had been erased, most probably to suit the audience.

Do not get me wrong, it's an excellent movie and I highly recommend it to people, but I suggest you read the books previous to watching it, so you have a better understanding of the actual storyline, as the film leaves important parts out.

Being an author myself, it's disheartening to see such an exquisite story being downgraded and amounting to less then it could have been.
It's a shame that people who haven't read the book are watching the movie and giving it criticism for how poorly it's been made or how the story seemed unfinished in certain places.

My opinion, which I know for a fact is many others, not just with this movie; Read the books first before you attempt to watch the movie and you'll have a much easier time understanding what's going on.

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ActorsNicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Eva Green, Adam Godley, Nonso Anozie, Ian McShane, Bill Hurst, Jason Watkins & Simon McBurney
DirectorChris Weitz
ScreenWidescreen 2.40:1
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.