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on 14 February 2016
I haven't read the Pullman books yet, so I came to this film with few expectations or preconceived ideas. As a fantasy film, it's beautifully produced, and I enjoyed spotting the Oxford locations I've been to. Story-wise, it's a bit disappointing. There is so much crammed in without a chance to really develop the characters or even give a strong sense of the issues at play. It's a great adventure story but it could have been so much more. The most disappointing thing is the lack of a real ending - especially given that there's no sequel coming. I felt as though things were really only just beginning when the film ended. As for this being the 'extended' edition, the marketing people obviously have a different definition to the one I'm familiar with. The film was the same length as the regular version. Yes, there's a second disk with extras, but the film itself isn't extended in any way whatsoever. The other thing that annoys me with the production is that I needed to keep the remote in my hand to adjust the volume - music and fight scenes were so much louder than dialogue to such an extent that my volume ranged from 7 to 20. To my mind that's poor mixing and editing.

I loved Nicole Kidman as Mrs Coulter - suitably cold and menacing; Jim Carter as John Faa; and of course Ian McKellan as the voice of Iorek the bear. It's obvious that this was Dakota Blue Richard's first film and at times her clichéd performance was annoying, but other times she showed the potential that fuelled her later performance in The Secret of Moonacre.

I didn't hate this film and I've no doubt I'll watch it again at some point, but I don't think it'll be on my 'watch at least once a year' list.
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on 4 March 2018
What a shame. After my wife raved so much about the books we had high hopes for the film: sadly these were dashed very quickly. Despite having a basically good quality cast (with the notable exception being Dakota Blue Richards ) the dreadful script and even worse direction (sorry Chris Weitz you have to take the blame on both these counts, and also really for not preparing Dakota better and handling her performance more carefully). This was so dire that I'm now going top read the books to confirm my wife's view that the books were great and something went horribly wrong between them and the final edit.
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on 3 September 2017
Not a terrible film, but if you've read the book it's makes for difficult viewing. My 13 year old only lasted 40 minutes (which surprised me, because he was picking the film apart from the beginning). It's a better film if you haven't read the book, basically.
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on 22 September 2013
After seeing this movie partially in a bus (from Brno to Prague), I decided that I want to see it. So, I ordered it, it came, I watched it and after I ordered from Amazon the book "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman (which actually comprises 3 books: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass). The movie is the first book adapted.

So, if you or your children like the fantasy adventure books, I suggest you to see the movie and after that to read the books. The movie is very nice, I loved it, and I consider that this is the right order; you won't be sorry for seeing a nice movie and reading some good adventure books.
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on 19 July 2014
The first of Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy made into a movie. The books are really enjoyable with alternate worlds and memorable characters. Lyra plays her part very well in this movie and I enjoyed it, only because I had read the books and the movie brought the players into life. I would have liked to see the other 2 books made into movies but for whatever reason this never happened. I would definitely recommend you read the books first then watch this movie.
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on 31 January 2018
My children have both read the Northern Lights, so I was keen for them to see the film, and it did not disappoint. Well adapted for the screen, with great special affects and jam packed full of great actors giving wonderful performances.

The DVD was an excellent price, well package and arrived swiftly.
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on 29 April 2013
Have to admit I was not a great fan of the film the first time I saw the film some years ago. But my sister liked it and so I bought the DVD as it was cheap and knew she would enjoy it. On playing I found it very entertaining and far better than I remembered. Just a shame the next films never came about. Like the Narnia series we could do with the series being finished off as both are wonderful productions.

The extras are fun and interesting and the whole package is well worth the watch.
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on 19 October 2008
Mah. I have not read the original book and so I dont make a confront with it. In my opionion from good books sometimes a good director make a better film, but not always. And, in this case, maybe so. A good cast, little underemployed, a good scenario, made of a "central bad power" (the Magisterium) and it's enemies, with the struggle between good guys (a delicious Dakota, a powerfull white bear and so on) and bad guys (with the Kidman perfect for the role). But the plot is a little confused and the film is only the first chapter of a more complex story. Only sometimes the new episodes maybe better than first, but in this case ?
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on 30 May 2009
OK so I saw this film before I read the book, I enjoyed, but thought it ended very oddly. Then I saw Pullman on The Southbank Show and had to read the trilogy.
Having read the Golden Compass, the first book, I really wanted to see the film again. Mmmmm bad move. It has been jumbled up, not in the order of the book. The reason it ends weirdly is because, it misses out the last chunk of the book, and in fact the whole ending!!! It's a shame because it is visually stunning. But the whole point of the story is missing, there is no resolution, no betrayal, the characters have been obliterated and usurped by the deeds of others!!! What were they thinking????
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on 12 April 2016
Great film, now would like to see the other two films! (If they exist) Did you know it is part of a trilogy !! I didn't untill I got the Authers DVD it explains all about the book and that it is split into three parts.
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