3 / 5
I haven't read any of the C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. In fact, I hadn't heard of them until the previews for this film began to appear a few months ago.
I also began to hear about the Christian theme in the film and heard a bit who dies and gets "resurrected."
During the Nazi bombing of urban England, four siblings get sent to a huge mansion in the country to safely ride out the war. While playing hide and seek, the youngest encounters a wardrobe that leads to a magical land. Her siblings don't believe her, but the youngest brother surreptitiously follows her...
Eventually, all four make their way through this portal and encounter a wilderness filled with talking animals, a witch with countless Orc-like nasties, plenty of hoofed good guys with a talking lion as their leader.
This film was pretty enjoyable but would appeal more to kids, I think. I never "buy" the concept of complete unknowns becoming deft swordsmen and archers in these now anti-climatic CGI battles. Some of the scenes could frighten young children. The bad guys are scary and the talking, snarling wolves are the things nightmares are made of.
The film seemed designed to deliver it's not so subtle religous-themed message but I'm not sure it very clearly did so with the lion's explanation.
I enjoyed this film and can recommend it. I found myself constantly watching for the next development. The acting was fine all around. Tilda Swinton (The Beach) was someone you could really hate as the White Witch while Liam Neeson was calm and confident as the lion king. The beavers were hilarious while the fawn was unexpectedly the most human-like of all of Narnia's creatures. The audience broke into applause at the end. I expect this will be a successful film.