The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

Chris Weitz (2007)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy of fantasy novels already has a place beside the work of JK Rowling (Harry Potter) and CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia); it's only fitting, then, that it has also made the leap from page to screen. The first instalment introduces us to 12-year-old heroine Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) who lives in a magical, neo-Victorian Oxford somewhere in a parallel universe. It's a realm dominated by the all-powerful Magisterium (led by Derek Jacobi) and populated by daemon familiars, flying witches and evil child kidnappers. Darker and more complex than the Harry Potter series, this ambitious family movie occasionally feels rather muddled as it struggles with the novels' intricate, philosophical bent. Director Chris Weitz (About a Boy) rallies with a sprawling battle in the Arctic, an imposing CGI polar bear (voiced by Ian McKellen) and an icy turn from Nicole Kidman as evil Magisterium agent Mrs Coulter. As the beginning of a planned trilogy, it certainly whets the appetite for more.


Orphan Lyra Belacqua lives in a parallel universe populated by magical and menacing characters. When her best friend becomes the latest in a long line of children to mysteriously vanish, she embarks on a perilous mission to uncover the dark secret behind their disappearance. Fantasy adventure based on Philip Pullman's novel Northern Lights, starring Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Eva Green. Featuring the voices of Ian McKellen, Kristin Scott Thomas and Kathy Bates.

Cast & Crew

Marisa Coulter Nicole Kidman
Lyra Belacqua Dakota Blue Richards
Lee Scoresby Sam Elliott
Serafina Pekkala Eva Green
Lord Asriel Daniel Craig
Farder Corum Tom Courtenay
Magisterial Emmissary Derek Jacobi
Roger Ben Walker
Pantalaimon Freddie Highmore
Fra Pavel Simon McBurney
Iorek Byrnison Ian McKellen
John Faa Jim Carter
Ma Costa Clare Higgins
Master of Jordan College Jack Shepherd
Ragnar Sturlusson Ian McShane
First High Councilor Christopher Lee
Second High Councilor Edward De Souza
Stelmaria Kristin Scott Thomas
Hester Kathy Bates
Mrs Lonsdale Magda Szubanski
Director Chris Weitz
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Dec 2007