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Peculiar things start to happen the moment the Grace family (Jared, his twin brother Simon, sister Mallory and their mom) leave New York and move into the secluded old house owned by their great-great-uncle, Arthur Spiderwick. Unable to explain the strange disappearances and accidents that seem to be happening on a daily basis, the siblings investigate what’s really going on and uncover the extraordinary truth of the Spiderwick estate and the creatures that inhabit it.
Fantasy Adventure - This is a fantasy/adventure based on the popular children's book
series. The target audience is pre-teens as the film does have a
number of sequences too scary and intense for young children.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good There's enough here to keep adults engaged, which is an important component of any motion picture that wants to be known as "family entertainment." I would place The Spiderwick Chronicles comfortably in that category.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' is a terrific entertainment for the whole family, except those below a certain age, who are likely to be scared out of their wits.
USA TodayFull Review Above Average The Spiderwick Chronicles is set in a jarring world. Or rather, the tale ambitiously attempts to bridge the gap between two disparate worlds: one of extreme fantasy and the other mired in harsh reality.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 75 moviegoers:OUTSTANDING REVIEWS FROM ALL AGES, BOTH MALE AND FEMALE! Very high reviews from adults as well as children. "The Spiderwick Chronicles" is a GREAT FAMILY FILM! DON'T MISS IT!
The story revolves around the three Grace children - Jared and his twin brother,
Simon (both played by Freddie Highmore), and their older sister, Mallory (Sarah
Bolger) - and their recently separated mother, Helen (Mary-Louise Parker).
The family moves into the isolated, dilapidated Spiderwick Estate, the former
home of their great, great uncle, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn) and great-aunt
Lucinda (Joan Plowright). While the kids resent the move, they each begin to adjust in
their own way – Simon, the more studious twin, examining the unusual home, Mallory
practicing her fencing, Helen getting a new job in a nearby town.
Jared, though, begins to notice unusual things happening around the magical
house, and begins to investigate. Ignoring the warning of a house "brownie,”
Thimbletack (Martin Short), an enchanted creature who lives in the walls of the manor,
he comes upon a strange and potentially dangerous book written by Uncle Arthur,
Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You. Once opened, the
book reveals – and unleashes – a world surrounding the Spiderwick Estate inhabited by
some odd, wonderful - and scary – beings: a wily but friendly hobgoblin named
Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen), a pack of dangerous goblins and the beautiful and mysterious
fairies and sprites. Only those who look through a magical "seeing stone” or have a
slovenly hobgoblin spit in their eye – the gooey fate of each of the children – can see
But it is the crafty, evil ogre, Mulgarath (Nick Nolte), who poses the most
ominous threat. The children begin to realize that the Field Guide is not merely a work
of their uncle's imagination, but the key to all the fabulous beings they encounter,
offering unbelievable power to anyone who understands its secrets. And Mulgarath will
stop at nothing to get his hands on it!
Filled with rich fantasy, emotion, suspense and action, the film chronicles the
Grace children's desperate attempts to protect the Field Guide and ensure it doesn't fall
into the wrong hands, while drawing on – and building – their own strengths, with the
help of some extraordinary creatures from the Unseen World.