Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by
This is a rip-snorting adventure fantasy for families, especially the younger members who are not insistent on continuity. Director Michael Apted may be too good for this material, but he attacks with gusto.
The Dawn Treader doesn't so much reinvent the "Narnia" franchise as do what's needed, and expected, with a little more zip than the previous voyages.
The eye-popping and entertaining The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader offers a merry seafaring jaunt together with plenty of adventures led by magically empowered kids.
After all, it isn't every kid's movie that wrestles with the subject of faith in a higher power, or sin, or the afterlife. And it isn't every kid's film that can do it so entertainingly. Sure, that's heavy stuff if you're looking for it. But it doesn't spoil the great, great fun to be had in Narnia - or the magical spell it casts - if you're not.
Well-paced, well-performed and full of visual wows, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader bobbles a hectic story by stopping just short of committing to its grounding themes. Its hardly sacrilege, but it does seem like a shame.
Maybe it's the postproduction 3-D enhancements, but in this effects-laden Odyssey for tweens, sometimes humans and beasts seem more wax-and-paint than flesh-and-blood.
Kids, of course, are unlikely to get the religious allusions. All they'll see is a decent family adventure, perfectly suited to a cold Saturday morning -- and likely to be forgotten by Sunday.
I'm confounded by the fact that, aside from the Pevensie siblings and their nicely obnoxious cousin, absolutely everything and everyone aboard the Dawn Treader looks one-dimensional.
The third and most uneven film adaptation in the series.
It's serviceable, but certainly not much fun.
After slipping badly with the second installment two years ago, the Narnia franchise does a full-on belly flop with this third.

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