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Golden Compass, The (2007)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Golden Compass, The (2007) This takes place in an alternate world, where people's souls travel outside their bodies in the form of animal guides. In children, this animals can change its shape, as their personalities are still growing, but in adults the animal stays in the same form. Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) is an orphan at a prestigious school, not aware that she's really the daughter of her 'uncle', Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig). He goes off on another adventure, to the North to prove that there are other dimensions, but the government does not want him to succeed. Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman), a patron of the school, decides to go North as well and arranges to take Lyra with her. But before she goes, the school headmaster givers her a very special device, The Golden Compass. When presented with a question, this object always gives the truthful answer. And Lyra becomes very adept at operating it.

It turns out that Mrs. Coulter has her own agenda and it involves the 'Gobblers', who have been kidnapping children for some diabolical purpose. That purpose is revealed at a hidden laboratory in the North. Lyra quickly learns that Mrs. Coulter is the bad guy and flees, getting help from several other individuals, such as the gyptians (sort of gypsy/pirates), Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott), a cowboy/air pilot, and Lorek Byrnison, a huge intelligent talking polar bear.

The world that is created in THE GOLDEN COMPASS is both familiar and alien enough to keep your interest and the cast is strong. It's better than the tiresome HARRY POTTER movies and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA combined.

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