YMMV / The Golden Compass

  • Awesome Music: The soundtrack includes a gorgeous original song from Kate Bush. There's also "Ragnar Sturlusson".
  • Evil Is Sexy: Mrs. Coulter, of course.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: One of the largest cases of this. Its overseas take was more than four times what it made in the US. Unfortunately, New Line sold the overseas rights cheap.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Aww, who wouldn't want a cute widdle armored bear plushie?
  • Moment of Awesome: When Iorek punches the Panserbjorne king's jaw right off his face and you could hear the whole audience go Oh Snap!
    • Very Oh Snap since you get that sound when half his face flies off.
    • When Lyra sneakily gives Mrs. Coulter a tin holding a mechanical bug set to shoot someone up with knock-out drugs. Mrs. Coulter thinks that it holds the alethiometer. Lyra then goes on to blow up the intercision machine, evacuate the children being held prisoner, and spit at the big scary guards. Nice.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Averted. As with The Da Vinci Code released the year previous, the movie attracted a large amount of controversy in the US before its release due its perceived anti-Christian themes. Yet unlike The Da Vinci Code, the film ended up doing poorly (at least in the US).
    • It didn't help that New Line announced from the start that the criticism of religion would be completely neutered, which ended up pleasing no one. The religious right thought it still wasn't enough, and the fans were left wondering why they would adapt such a controversial book series in the first place if they were so worried about this.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Not only did the game have common problems with licensed games, it wound up serving as developer Shiny Entertainment's final game before they merged with The Collective and became Double Helix Games.
    • Despite these issues, some admire the developers for arguably having a more loyal grasp of the source material than the film executives. Several incidents from the novel omitted from the film were incorporated almost word-for-word, and the game notably follows the original sequence of events, avoiding the film's subsequent restructuring. To date, playing the game is the only way to view some of the cut footage. Though clunky execution and less-than-stellar graphics mar the overall experience for most gamers, it can be appreciated as a sincere attempt from a story standpoint.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The film adaptation of the first book of His Dark Materials trilogy was marketed to children, and is considered a family film. But despite the Disneyfication process that suffered the adaptation (like removing most of the hardcore atheist rants), it still had lot of dark elements, like a very violent polar bear fight, people being shot, lots of killings and many other things... Such as the extremely heartwarming and uplifting ending scene which was left off the theatrical release.