I saw The Golden Compass on Friday because I really needed to wind down a bit. In a nutshell, don't bother. Save your money for something else. I've not paid much attention to the fact that the author of the source books has an atheist agenda ( link), because I'm a sucker for eye candy, and love a good story well told. I wanted to see the movie because it looked like fun. There was some fun, but the film went nowhere. The characters were clunky, the mythos ridiculous, and the ice-bears were not given nearly enough screen time. I confess to enjoying the mini-arc in which the girl needs to hire the bear, uses the Golden Compass to see what the bear needs, and they both end up getting what they want. Overall, though, the movie was disjointed and disappointing. Understand, this was a movie I wanted to like. Based on the trailers, it looked like a cool, steampunk/fantasy with a nicely mythic child protagonist. That's right up my alley. The fact that I came away from it bored and disappointed speaks worlds more about the film than anything else I can say.