The Golden Compass

Rated 4.0

I was none too optimistic for The Golden Compass, yet another sure-to-be franchise based on a group of novels (written by Philip Pullman, and hugely popular in the UK). But less than halfway through, I found myself pleasantly surprised, having been sucked into the fantastical world filled with witches and daemons and talking, fighting Arctic bears. The story follows the journey of young Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), an orphan raised at a university in a land where every human is accompanied by his or her soul, in the form of an animal, or so-called daemon. Like most good fantasies, The Golden Compass is complicated in that the world it inhabits is so foreign to our own. It’s this complexity—and the broader themes of Big Brother, mind control and freedom—that will keep adults intrigued. The magical world and captivating heroine, Lyra, along with her cute daemon, Pan, will entertain the children. Teens will teeter somewhere in between. And, we can be assured, there’s more where this one came from.