The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 2005

Critics score:
76 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Adamson seems more comfortable with animated characters than real ones. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: It tells Lewis' story, which has its share of sticky and ponderous aspects, in a predictable, visually cautious way. You keep waiting to be transported, yet in cinematic terms, the transportation never arrives. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Grown-up children who remember our own travels in Narnia will find that many of the details resonate beautifully. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: This doesn't depend on the special effects even though the special effects are first rate. Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The film works on just about every level. Narnia has grandeur, imagination, mostly believable special effects, a war-of-the-world battle, heart and teary-eyed heartbreak. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: The film fares better when it gives itself over to pageantry and action -- which come in copious quantities -- and to the pantheon of gorgeously rendered, hyper-realistic CGI beasties. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: The Chronicles of Narnia is not a bad fantasy film. It's just not a great one. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The filmmakers make many compromises in the name of epic scope and box office appeal, but they can't bend this story out of shape, and they have Tilda Swinton on hand to spank anyone who tries. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: The movie remains faithful to the book in both tone and imagery. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Long may it roar. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: It's a sturdy adaptation, and if The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe doesn't capture the magic of C.S. Lewis' books, it comes a fair sight close to catching it. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Spiritual redemption is a big theme of Narnia, but on a purely entertainment level, the movie also goes a long way in redeeming the current sad state of children's fantasy filmmaking. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: To its credit and power, the film allows them a reach that exceeds any one religion's grasp. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: It would be easy to brush off The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as Lord of the Rings-light. Very light. But the film really isn't even that good. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by summoning C.S. Lewis' spirit, creates a different kind of spectacle -- a starry-eyed crusade. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: One only wishes the movie had been rendered more artfully. The dialogue is impossibly clunky, the characters are completely one-dimensional, and the magic is all too mechanized to allow anyone over the age of 8 or 9 to believe in Narnia. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: It has visual splendor, unsullied earnestness and a strong sense of holiday showmanship. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: By staying focused on the children -- frightened evacuees from the London Blitz whose parallel war in Narnia both taps into and finally quiets their unspoken terrors -- Adamson keeps faith with the humanity of Lewsis' tale. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Too much, too nice, too boring. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It can be a good thing, St. Paul tells us, to put away childish things. But it is sometimes an even better thing to pick them up again. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: A generation-spanning journey that feels both comfortingly familiar and excitingly original. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: The hard-core may experience the thrill of recognition. But the rest of us can be forgiven a perfectly appropriate giggling fit. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: On balance, more of the movie works than doesn't, but this isn't 140 minutes of unqualified successes. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The effects in this movie are so skillful that the animals look about as real as any of the other characters. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, It's magic, but not the loud, shiny kind: It has the texture of worn velvet, or a painstakingly hand-knit sweater stored away for years in tissue paper. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It's a work of profound ambition, and, in adapting it for the screen, the makers of The Chronicles of Narnia don't shy away from its demands. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: An entertaining, emotional, and surprisingly intimate movie. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Andrew Adamson, the director of the Shrek movies, clearly feels great affection for the book and has taken pride in living up to the source. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: What constant magic it works. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: For sheer entertainment value, and the painless imparting of values about family, loyalty and bravery, this lion in winter roars loudly. Read more

TIME Magazine: There's no fire, no passion and not much fun. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: Fans of CS Lewis's book can rest easy. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The Chronicles of Narnia is a faithful rendering of a magical tale that should hold adults' attention and delight young moviegoers. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: [Features] strong casting of mostly unfamiliar faces, a convincing family feeling among the four kids, solid storytelling and fluid interplay between the humans and four-legged creatures. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: It may be as close to adult-friendly kid fare as Hollywood will ever get -- although that has more to do with narrative than family values. (Having read both Tolkien and Lewis aloud at bedtime, I can attest to the latter's superiority as a storyteller.) Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Well told, handsome, stirring and loads of fun. Read more