Sometimes hype can work against a movie. I went into Narnia with high expectations, a la Lord of the Rings. And while it was good, it wasn't LotR. Maybe Peter Jackson has created an unfair benchmark against which other fantasy movies will be measured. But it's there nonetheless.
I haven't read the books in ages, so I may have missed some stuff, like... if the animals are sentient, what do the carnivores eat? Why weren't the beavers and fox pissed about the fur coats the kids were wearing? How did the boys go from barely knowing what end of the sword to hold to charging into battle like Aragorn? Granted, the director didn't have 9 hours like Peter Jackson did, and he was constrained by the original material to some degree, and most people don't wonder about carnivores in a world of sentient animals, but it seemed like there were some gaps.
The effects are a little uneven. Again, we are spoiled by the movies that have come before, and often the effects were quite good. But there were a couple of times it looked more like a videogame or Dr. Doolittle with Eddie Murphy.
The kids (actors, not audience) weren't any more annoying than they should have been (anyone who wanted to spank Edmund and make him sit in a corner, raise their hand).
I think because I had such high expectations I initially wanted to rate this movie lower than it deserves... I've given movies with a lot less merit good ratings just based on how much they entertained me, and it's not the movie's fault that I wonder if there are sentient cows in Narnia.
So 4.5 flying monkeys, who really wouldn't look out of place in Narnia and don't have to worry if dinner is going to talk.
Read the rest!