Mark Waters's rousing adaptation of the popular children's novels plops a troubled human family into an enchanted Victorian mansion, soon beset by an army of goblins and a murderous ogre (Nick Nolte). To outwit them, twin boys (Freddie Highmore in a dual role) and their older sister (Sarah Bolger) must safeguard the field guide to faerie folk an ancestor (David Strathairn) penned long ago. Meticulously rendered CGI creatures—from Arthur Rackham-esque flower sprites to a troll that could have sprung from Jurassic Park—spike this dark adventure, shot marvelously by Caleb Deschanel. With Mary-Louise Parker, Joan Plowright, and the voices of Seth Rogen and Martin Short. PG, 97 min.
Director: Mark S. Waters
Writer: Karey Kirkpatrick, David Berenbaum, John Sayles, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Producer: Mark Canton, Larry Franco, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Karey Kirkpatrick
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright, David Strathairn, Seth Rogen and Martin Short