Being a great fan of Philip Pullman's legendary trilogy, I was expecting a lot of the movie. At the beginning of the film, I was a little let down by the narrated introduction. In the original book, we were told nothing, and the plot taught us; clearly New Line Cinema undermines our intelligence.
The film moved slowly from the beginning, but true to the book, and I was enjoying the film thus far. The choices of actors seemed reasonable up until then. The special effects were decent, but daemons did not change form as often as in the book - possibly due to the amount of models that would require creation.
Some things in the tale were without explanation - it would be best for somebody who had already read the books to watch this film.
The music did not particularly impress me. It was composed by a relatively unknown musician, Alexandre Desplat. Honestly, I'd prefer if he remained unknown. The song in the credits sequence was particularly awful.
On the subject of the ending, I was disappointed. A great deal of story was simply cut. Very important deal of story, in fact. I was shocked, however I hear it will be covered in The Subtle Knife, the sequel to The Golden Compass. Nevertheless, letting a character meant to be dead survive seems to be crossing the line in my opinion.
The final opinion? A badly directed film contradicting the base story, but still managing to be vaguely fun, while confusing you and being very clear. Yes, I contradicted myself a couple of times there. When you see the film, you'll get used to it. 3/5.