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The Golden Compass (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (2008)

Nicole Kidman , Daniel Craig , Chris Weitz  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Sam Elliott, Eva Green
  • Directors: Chris Weitz
  • Writers: Chris Weitz
  • Producers: Deborah Forte, Bill Carraro, Robert Shaye, Michael Lynne, Toby Emmerich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JPNY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,831 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Golden Compass (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Origins: Inside the award-winning novel and its journey to the screen
  • Behind the scenes: An in-depth look at the production and casting, including the search for Lyra
  • Lyra's World: Go deep into an amazing world of armored bears, daemons, and the alethiometer

Editorial Reviews

Golden Compass, The: 2-Disc Special Edition (WS/ Dbl DVD)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adaptation of a very complex book July 8, 2008
The Golden Compass is a very ambitious film based on a very ambitious book. If you haven't read the book, and you liked this movie, you must go read the book. That said, this film really did seem rushed and a lot of the appealing aspects of the book are left out. However, most of what they changed made sense to me (like switching the order of events at Svalbard and Bolvangar) and made the flow of the movie work better.

My main problem with this movie is the same one I had with David Lynch's Dune: You really wouldn't know what's going on unless you've read the book. I saw the movie before I read the book, but my wife, who was watching it with me, had just finished the trilogy and she was able to explain a lot of what I was seeing - much like when I watch Dune with someone who hasn't read the book.

So in the end, The Golden Compass suffers from being too complex and fast-paced in order to do justice to the book it's based on. Yes, I liked the movie a lot (enough to buy it for my library), and it inspired me to read the fantastic novels, but those who haven't read the book may be confused by what they're seeing.

I wholeheartedly recommend this movie, but I really recommend reading the book first to get everything out of it.
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184 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fight for Free Will December 7, 2007
The special effects and the cinematography of "The Golden Compass" are wonderful, but it's the subtext that really shines through, making for one of the most unique, fascinating, and entertaining fantasy films of recent memory. Just as it is in the film, the plot of Philip Pullman's original novel suggested that free will was kept under strict control. The film brings this idea to the surface and allows the audience to analyze it; in a parallel universe--in which a person's soul is separate and physically represented by an animal--a ruthless organization called the Magisterium tries to enforce rules against free will. Anyone who challenges its authority will be condemned as a heretic. Because they wanted to ensure total compliance, the Magisterium sought to destroy every last alethiometer, or golden compass--a magical, watch-like mechanism that literally tells the truth by pointing at strange symbols.

The one alethiometer that survived is now in the possession of Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), a college professor who defies the Magisterium by confirming the existence of dust. I'm not referring to the allergy-inducing particles that settle on ordinary surfaces; I'm referring to the magical substance that's somehow related to a rift between their universe and ours. Because this has put him at odds with the Magisterium, he gives the alethiometer to his orphaned niece, Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), a young girl raised by the professors at a university. Lyra, who absolutely hates being called a lady, is clever, bold, and incredibly headstrong, with an adventurous spirit that occasionally gets her into trouble. Her spirit--or daemon, as referred to by the characters--is Pan (voiced by Freddie Highmore), who hasn't quite decided which animal form to take.
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62 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Not being one who seeks out the seemingly endless line of Harry Potter/Narnia/Lord of the Rings tropes (a little computer generated monster realm goes a long way), THE GOLDEN COMPASS came somewhat as a pleasant surprise. Yes, this is still a fantasy film, but the emphasis is more on stylish creation of various animals (in the forms of 'daemons' that accompany children as their souls, morphing into various animal life at will) than tiresome explosions and flying beasties.

Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) is clearly the star of this adventure that explores the possibility of other, parallel worlds whose interaction with the world as we know it is controlled by various groups of good guys and bad guys, all seeking the source of secrecy contained in a Golden Compass that can only be read by a single girl - Lyra, a poor child living in the presence of scholars. Lyra's uncle, Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig) places the Golden Compass in Lyra's knowing hands and heads off to the far North to investigate the element that binds all life together - Dust. The tale is set in motion by the enigmatic Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) who gains Lyra's confidence and offers to take her to the great North. All manner of adventures occur on the journey - friends of Lyra's are threatened to be separated from their various daemons in the cruel hands of the bad guys, Lyra's encounter with a witch Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green), her assistance from a friendly astronaut (Sam Elliott) and an armored bear - and with all fantasies, good prevails - or does it? Tune in for the very obvious next installment.

The pleasures are many, not the least of which are the voices and changing forms of the little animal daemons. The cast is excellent and the whole movie sails with yet another beautiful musical score by Alexandre Desplat. It is a nice diversion, but you have to love fantasy. Grady Harp, May 08
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well, it's pretty to look at August 31, 2008
True, it's been a about three or so years since I've read Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, the books upon which this film is based, if you didn't know. But as that time three years ago was my second time going through the trilogy, I still like to think I had a decent memory of them along with a decent opinion. At the risk of offending fans, I always felt Pullman's characters--Lyra, Mrs. Coulter, Will, the whole gang--to be on the weak side of characterization, a few hops from being completely two-dimensional. STILL, I thought the story and theme to be on another plane entirely, certainly enough to make the books as famous as they are and even flesh out an entertaining movie.

I promise, I tried my best to like this movie, for the sake of those books. For the sake of Sam Elliot and the goddess Nicole Kidman. Heck, even for that cute little new girl. They all did their best, but frankly this movie was fluff, and it's hard to work with fluff. How could they take such thought- and controversy- provoking books and turn them into fluff? I'm hardly an atheist, but I had appreciated the story's urge for free thought, free will, and a keener look at authority. The smidgen they put in here was all too welcomed, but not enough to give this movie proper heart and soul.

What we are left with is a rushed train of lovely cinematography, scenery, and special effects that accompany an equally rushed plot. Yes, there is a lot of story to get into this movie, but making that the priority left me cold toward these characters who were weak in the book and utterly two-dimensional on screen. I felt like I was an infant teenager being instructed in the ways of generic fantasy. Talking bears? Soul-daemons? Other worlds? Texas as a country?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I wish there were a second film.
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful in composition and storyline--want the next one!
Published 8 days ago by Paige Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!
Fun movie to watch. So sad there will be no sequel. Amazing adventure!
Published 9 days ago by Pattymoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie. Would like to see the series continue
Good movie. Would like to see the series continue.
Published 11 days ago by Gary
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Action- Adventure Fantasy repleat with some big name actors -...
Good high-end plot "kid flick adventure" with no follow-on franchise movie. Sometimes a little dark from the plot standpoint. I enjoyed it and am a fan of the genre.
Published 18 days ago by Wiz
2.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas time release about an outfit that tries to destroy the...
The Golden Compass

THE GOOD: I love battling polar bears, much less polar bears in armor. The staging of this film is truly first class. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Andy McKinney
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
Decent movie. A bit rushed and choppy but had its good scenes.
Published 1 month ago by Ameron
5.0 out of 5 stars Great script, awesome scenes,famous actors
Great script, awesome scenes,famous actors! Definitely worth watching for adults and children. Makes you want to read the books. I wished they made second part.
Published 1 month ago by Yulia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fantasy
Good movie, which I thought, closely followed the book. Casting was great! Wish the two sequels would have been made into movies.
Published 1 month ago by BohemianGirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Erica Y Vivanco
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Topic From this Discussion
48 reviews of this, and it doesn't release for 3 months
To people who have found something -- a book, a movie, whatever -- that so engages them that they want to share their thoughts and feelings with other people who might have been so moved, you cavil and whinge and urge them to "get a life." You yourself, however, are moved to post... Read More
Apr 27, 2008 by ari180 |  See all 5 posts
Platinum 2 disc versus single disc
Hi Peter, there's a good review of The Golden Compass at DVD Verdict (; it's for the bluray edition but the *many* extra features described apply to the platinum edition in question. My favorite (but dvdverdict's not far behind) site for reviews of dvds/dvd bonuses plus... Read More
May 4, 2008 by T. Borras |  See all 4 posts
anyone own the DVD?
The item number, according to their website, is NN1764. You can find it at, or by doing a Google search for "Noble Collections Alethiometer". Hope that helps.

P.S.: $195!!! Good lord that's an expensive collector's item. I want one. ;-)
Jul 8, 2008 by Damion F. Chaplin |  See all 2 posts
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