The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

2005

Action / Adventure / Family / Fantasy

256
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 76%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 61%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 321408

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus
Tilda Swinton as White Witch
Liam Neeson as Aslan
William Moseley as Peter Pevensie
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1019.43 MB
1280*720
English
PG
23.976 fps
2hr 23 min
P/S 24 / 153
2.00 GB
1920*1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
2hr 23 min
P/S 10 / 56

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nycritic 8 / 10

Jadis, Aslan, Four Humans, and Winter Hell

After the massive success of LORD OF THE RINGS it would be only fitting to continue the exploration of other dimensions as created by equally talented authors, so when it was announced that C. S. Lewis' THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDBROBE would be given the film treatment I was more than anxious to see what would come of it. Early screenings gave it great reviews, and when I viewed I wasn't disappointed despite the Christ references.

Four children are sent away from their London home to a professor's estate in the countryside in order to escape the bombings from the Nazi invaders. What they find there, aside from a severe place not unlike what V. C. Andrews would depict in FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, is a wardrobe that opens the doors to another world -- a parallel one if you may -- in which winter is ever present, but Christmas never takes place. This is Narnia, and it is under control of the White Witch Jadis who is aware of a prophecy that four humans will put an end to her wintry empire, and sets out her minions against the children who have entered her world while bribing one of them -- the rebellious Edmund -- to join her as she holds him prisoner much like the witch in Hansel and Gretel did. Her plans are to overthrow the Lion King, Aslan, and rule forever. Parallels to her world and the world as threatened by the Nazis are striking, and Tilda Swinton's transformation into the very Aryan looking Jadis is chilling, more so in her seductiveness. At times I was reminded of Cate Blanchett (they have very similar features), but I think Blanchett is to Galadriel as Swinton is to Jadis. Marvelous actresses both, but Swinton can claim her breakthrough with her role here.

With much less gravitas than the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA arrives much faster to its goal than the former does and the reason is that the books C. S. Lewis wrote are fairly slim volumes while J. R. R. Tolkien's book is a massive tome. Also, there is always the sense that the NARNIA books are more geared towards children and for much of the movie's duration there is little doubt that this is what it is: its four leads are children, many of the talking animals they meet are drawn in a way to appeal to children, and even the White Witch's castle has a storybook quality to it. Only in the appearance of Aslan does the story take a much more adult form, and its Messianic theme will not be lost on the older audience. Even so, the implications surrounding Aslan's self immolation can be interpreted in non-religious forms: if anything, it's also very similar to Gandalf's fall into the pit with the Balrog in tow in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Both character's 'death' symbolize their own necessary transmogrification, only to arise more powerful than before and take their troops to victory.

NARNIA is a visually stunning film even in its quiet moments when the children, one by one, are entering its world through the wardrobe. I was reminded of Stephen King's DARK TOWER series: unless the characters believed in the world behind the wardrobe, it didn't exist, and this is true here. Narnia only exists if you believe hard enough in it, and time, of course, stops... or let's say, it marches at a totally different beat, also visible in Stephen King's DARK TOWER series.

Performances are quite remarkable, especially for a fantasy film. All of the actors doing the voice overs bring their characters to bubbling life, and Liam Neeson as Aslan is wise and all-knowing. The child actors are definitely comfortable in their roles and while I saw glimpses of the children of the aforementioned V. C. Andrews Gothic novel, they are real people: The younger ones fare better than the older ones, but then again they are on screen more and their stories are more crucial than the older ones although all four eventually converge into the climactic battle sequence.

All in all a great film, equally meant to be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and one which should spawn a very interesting following.

Reviewed by Clifton Johnson 7 / 10

Not perfect, but not behalf bad either

I somehow did not watch this movie for 15 years, despite having enjoyed these books as a child and as a parent. I'm not totally positive what held me back, but it may have been the sense that even with great CGI (check), some strong performances (check), and faithfulness to the book (check) this would be hard to get totally right. I was mostly right about that. That said, we watched right after re-reading this book with my youngest, and I can say that it mostly worked. It is not LOTR (or anywhere close), but that's not a fair standard - especially for a children's book. The middle sagged, and the embellishments were unnecessary...but it was worth watching.

Reviewed by aguyev 8 / 10

A good movie but with some easy twists

We watched this movie in family, two adults, one 12 years old boy and one 9 years old girl. Everybody liked the movie, especially the younger one. She liked very much Mr. Timnus and the animals (the beavers, "at the same time very cute and very serious !"). The boy thought the movie was good overall but was weak on some aspects, like the stone table resurrection. The adults enjoyed the visuals which were very beautiful and also appreciated the casting (Tilda Swinton is perfect as the which !) and the costumes. Overall an enjoyable family movie with some minor flaws.

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