The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Reviews
The filmmakers make many compromises in the name of epic scope and box office appeal, but they can't bend this story out of shape, and they have Tilda Swinton on hand to spank anyone who tries.
It may be as close to adult-friendly kid fare as Hollywood will ever get -- although that has more to do with narrative than family values. (Having read both Tolkien and Lewis aloud at bedtime, I can attest to the latter's superiority as a storyteller.)
It's a sturdy adaptation, and if The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe doesn't capture the magic of C.S. Lewis' books, it comes a fair sight close to catching it.
Even the climactic fight between Peter's army of truth and the Witch's bevy of demons has an air of heraldic artifice, as if we were witnessing not a brawl to the death, red in tooth and claw, but an enamelled clash of ideas.
It tells Lewis' story, which has its share of sticky and ponderous aspects, in a predictable, visually cautious way. You keep waiting to be transported, yet in cinematic terms, the transportation never arrives.