The Golden Compass

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"There are worlds beyond our own. The compass will show the way."
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 6.1  (196,127)
  • 51

In the alternate world of The Golden Compass, humans' souls exist outside of their bodies as animal-shaped daemons that can change form at will. This world, complete with talking bears and witches, is ruled by the authoritarian Magisterium, which seeks to control and suppress knowledge and those who seek it. The story follows Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a young girl who has been raised at Oxford University by scholars and who possesses a mysterious Golden Compass, or alethiometer, which can answer any question. When Lyra's friend Roger (Ben Walker) is abducted by "Gobblers," who take children to a secret location, Lyra embarks on a journey to save him, teaming up with the truth-telling Gyptians led by John Faa (Jim Carter) and a charismatic aeronaut named Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott).

Along the way, Lyra encounters a variety of allies and enemies, including the beautiful but icy Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman), who becomes her powerful protector; the noble and fearsome polar bear king Iorek Byrnison (voiced by Ian McKellen); and Farder Coram (Tom Courtenay), an elderly and wise member of the Gyptians.

As Lyra learns more about the powers of the alethiometer and the conspiracy behind the Gobblers, she must also confront the mysterious and enigmatic Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), who has a dangerous plan to challenge the Magisterium and possibly even destroy their world.

The Golden Compass, based on the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and political intrigue. The film's impressive visual effects showcase the unique and fantastical world in which it takes place, from the soaring balloons of Lee Scoresby to the armored bears engaged in brutal combat.

At its heart, The Golden Compass is a coming-of-age story about Lyra's journey from sheltered innocence to brave young womanhood. Dakota Blue Richards gives a strong performance as the determined and headstrong protagonist, while her co-stars bring gravitas and skill to their respective roles.

Nicole Kidman's Mrs. Coulter is a standout, a complex and fascinating character who alternately captivates and repels Lyra, and whose ultimate motivations are shrouded in mystery. Daniel Craig's Lord Asriel is a more enigmatic figure, with a powerful presence and seemingly endless ambition.

The film's exploration of themes such as free will, authoritarianism, and religious control can be heavy-handed at times, but the story manages to balance these weighty ideas with a sense of adventure and wonder.

Overall, The Golden Compass is an exciting and visually stunning film that offers a unique and imaginative take on the classic hero's journey. While the movie's ending leaves some loose threads dangling, it sets the stage for future adventures that were never realized due to disappointing box office returns.

The Golden Compass is a 2007 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1 and a MetaScore of 51.

The Golden Compass
Where to Watch The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Golden Compass for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (196,127)
  • Metascore