The two reviews differ a bit in their criticism, and while one reviewer certainly enjoyed the film more than the other it is still exciting to learn that neither of them hated the film.
The more critical of the two was the second reviewer whom had not read the C.S. Lewis books, but you be the judge. As you will learn from the AICN article and the reviews themselves this screening had a lot of temp work in it, CGI that was not finished, a temp soundtrack and so forth, but check out the snippets below and then head on over to Ain’t It Cool for the rest:
As big C.S. Lewis fans, we were amazed and completely thrilled by the movie. I’ll avoid plot spoilers for those few who haven’t read the books, but suffice it to say, the movie kept quite close to the plot of the book. There were a few places where the story was streamlined to make it more amenable to the format, but overall there was little that I missed!
The movie was good, but not great. I know it’s a children’s story, but as an adult, I saw a lot of missed opportunity. I saw a lot of overlooked themes and subtext, a lot of relevance to modern events ignored and a heavy reliance on the viewer to bring his or her love for the characters and story to bear. The movie does its job in bring the story to the screen, but for me, it did not come to life. Rationally, I can understand how Edmund comes to initially trust the Witch when she offers him sweet treats, because I know that he’s coming from a time of war and rationing, and such a thing would be rare – but that’s me, an older guy with a decent appreciation for history reading that context into the situation. Not that I’m advocating a spoonfed approach, but it would have been nice for the filmmaker to acknowledge that nuance, especially if they’re aiming at children who regard WW II as ancient history.