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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun...and no spiders !
I took my 12 year old daughter to see this at the cinema recently and we both really enjoyed it.

It centres on a mother and her three children who relocate from New York to their great aunt's house in a wood (far far away) following the marriage break-up. Family issues are soon forgotten when the inquisitve Jared discovers Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the...
Published on 3 April 2008 by tallpete33

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned family adventure with a good balance of drama and fun
The Spiderwick Chronicles is one of those films that ticks all the right boxes for a traditional family adventure movie. It tells the story of a family who relocate to a spooky mansion in the middle of nowhere (as you do), then start experiencing very strange goings on both within the house and outside it. Things start to go weird when one of the sons finds an old book...
Published on 1 Sep 2008 by N. Burgess


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned family adventure with a good balance of drama and fun, 1 Sep 2008
This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
The Spiderwick Chronicles is one of those films that ticks all the right boxes for a traditional family adventure movie. It tells the story of a family who relocate to a spooky mansion in the middle of nowhere (as you do), then start experiencing very strange goings on both within the house and outside it. Things start to go weird when one of the sons finds an old book written by their great Uncle, who mysteriously disappeared many years ago, and is the former owner of the mansion. The book documents the existence of fairies, goblins, ogres and many other mythical creatures, explaining that they are completely invisible to humans and only make themselves visible when they want to. But as soon as this book is found, suddenly these mythical creatures start waging a mini-war against the family, desperately trying to steal the book from them. Fortunately not all the creatures are malevolent and one, a little goblin type creature called Thimbletack the Brownie, helps them in their quest to stop the book falling into evil hands.

The story is very simple and leaves you in no doubt as to who are the bad guys and who are the good guys, there's no shades of grey. The fact that this good vs. evil battle is not on a grand scale and is instead confined just to the family house and the surrounding area gives a more earthly and believable feel to it. As the family try and think of ways to outwit the creatures, they discover more and more about this magical world they have discovered. Just as significantly, they also start to piece together the strange circumstances surrounding their Uncle's disappearance, and start to make sense of this whole bizarre situation.

The special effects are excellent with all the weird and wonderful creatures superbly rendered in CGI. The effects, however, are never over the top and intrusive, letting the storyline take the lead. As well as the genuine sense of wonder that this film creates, there's also an engaging subplot involving the family's own inner turmoil resulting from the Father's separation from the Mother. Ironically, the discovery of this mythical world unites the family and helps them confront and overcome their own emotional problems. So all in all, this film is a very well made family adventure that has something to offer both kids and adults.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun...and no spiders !, 3 April 2008
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
I took my 12 year old daughter to see this at the cinema recently and we both really enjoyed it.

It centres on a mother and her three children who relocate from New York to their great aunt's house in a wood (far far away) following the marriage break-up. Family issues are soon forgotten when the inquisitve Jared discovers Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the enchanted woods and it's fabulous inhabitants - fairies, trolls, goblins and of course the evil ogre Mulgarth. He will stop at nothing to get hold of Spiderwick's writings and the knowledge and power it would give him. Will Mulgarth and his goblin (look more like toads to me) army break the magic ring around the house to get at the family and the Field Guide ...??

This is a 21st century tale, not Disney schmaltzy, pretty original and generally good fun for the whole family, though I think the PG rating is pretty fair as young kids could get scared. It has some real laugh out loud moments, good characters (the Shrek-like pig grates a bit, but he has his moment at the end) flawless CGI and a well paced story to keep everyone entertained.

It's not as epic as say the Chronicles of Narnia or the Golden Compass, but this is not a bad thing as they can be a bit "worthy" and heavy. This is more fun and worked for us.

Happy endings all round and four stars from us, well deserved
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Am I really over 13?, 2 Sep 2009
By 
Heiskanen Lennart (Gothenburg, Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
Yes, I'm actually 59, but I tend to forget while watching movies like this one. I love it! Quite scary while it lasts, but with a happy ending. Just like fairytales should be. And very good actors! Freddie Highmore especially, but all of them are.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fantasy Film, 15 Jun 2009
By 
GadgetDad "kcampbel" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this for 2.98 but had no idea what it was about having not read the books. I guessed it was a fantasy from the cover.

My wife and I watched it prior to showing it to our children.

Within 10 seconds I knew it was unsuitable for a 4 yr old and withina minute I knew it was unsuitable for our 6 yr old. I would guess 8+ is what it is aimed at.

Having said that my wife and I loved it and were gripped throughout. It is fast moving at quite short....and I was certainly left wanting more. Shame they condensed the books into 1 because I could easily have sat through a sequel.

All in all a great adventure where you can be imersed in a world with interesting concepts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars magical film for older children., 13 Aug 2009
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
very pleasantly suprised with this film it is fast paced great special effects , its suspenseful , emotional and spooky for young uns in parts and ain't overly long which is ideal .
if your kids liked narnia ,jumanji ,gooneys or the never ending story then they will love this one and its a steal at the price , this film would make a super birthday present and will be muched used guaranteed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites, 13 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
I adore this film. Upon seeing the 'nickelodeon' branding, I was expecting this to be a 'kids' film - but it's not. As a fan of fantasy films in general, this one ranked really highly with me (only a bit behind the Labyrinth, one of the best fantasies of all time). The monsters look great, the storyline is really really well paced, and characters like thimbletack you really grow to love.

A fantastically fun, action packed, and ultimately heartwarming film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spiderwick Chronicles, 26 Dec 2008
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
'The Spiderwick Chronicles' is a pretty decent family fantasy adventure film that was actually a lot better than I expected it to be. It follows a family who move to the country and find a book that shows how to find various supernatural and fantasy creatures. They have to stop the book falling into the wrong hands and here the adventure begins. The child actors are quite good and there's none of that precocious cutsey-ness that can drive you mad in other films. The effects are great and the storyline is pretty good as well. This film is quite short at just under 90 minutes and I didn't check my watch once as I became completely captivated by the story. If you like fantasy films then this should be right up your street and makes for a great afternoons viewing when you want a bit of fun and adventure. A solid four star film and well worth a try.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment, 24 Sep 2008
By 
David (Wigan, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
Had some time to kill and went to see this film. Given the overhype of the Narnia films and several other book adaptations I was surprised and delighted to find out it was great entertainment and well worth the ticket price.

Freddie Highmore does a superb job playing identical twins Jared and Simon, identical by looks but not by attitude and mannerisms, who have moved to a rural house once owned by their great uncle. Jared, who is always getting into trouble, finds a large and mysterious book about the magical realm all around the house written by his great uncle many years before.

The plot may be a little scary for younger children but it's fast paced and very watchable.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too watered-down and cutesy, 29 Jun 2008
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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The Grace family (mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, and their foil bearing sister, Mallory,) a little economically down on their luck and recovering from a nasty divorce moves into a creaky old house left to them by their great aunt Lucinda Spiderwick (Joan Plowright.) Jared (Freddie Highmore plays Jared Grace/Simon Grace) finds Uncle Arthur Spiderwick's"Field Guide to Magical creatures. " This unleashes a plethora of creatures that what the field guide to help them gain their rightful place in the world. Unfortunately their place means the elimination of the Grace family. Naturally mob is oblivious to the threat until it is too real to ignore and too late.

The main theme to the story is of a dysfunctional family that must band together to survive the onslaught magical creatures. This results in each member understanding the other better; now they metamorphose to a co-dependent family.

The set of books that are really one story in five cauterize books of course present a more in-depth story where the children are more cunning and resourceful. There were many compromises as movies must make them to fit the media and time constraints. However some changes were not necessary and down right uncalled for. Hogsqueal the hobgoblin was changed from a cunning creature that changed sides at will until and if his true colors showed, to a squealy revengeful cartoon character.

I will not go into the other characters but also we are not told that the goblin's roasting spit is the family cat, leaving us to wonder if it was the Easter Bunny. And what is with the cuter walking off into the sunset type ending running a chivalrous exit.

Because Blu-ray is just a standard now and everything is made in it there is no reason to go in to the intricacies. The DVD extras are mostly rehashing the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't know the books, but the movie is a good film, 29 Dec 2008
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This review is from: The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] (DVD)
A good film for the family, teens and "young souls". A good plot (with some "serious" themes, i.e. the difficult "familiar" relactions) good special effects (gremlins-like bad guys and some sprites and so on) a "good" villain (Nick Nolte) and a "reborn" Martin Short. In the mass of movies for "children" is a good product, if you like this type of movies.
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The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD]
The Spiderwick Chronicles [DVD] by Mark Waters (DVD - 2008)
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