Movie Review

Eragon

MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images

Reviewed by: Susan Quirk
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Length:
_____
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
December 15, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures

DRAGONS—Is there a connection between dinosaurs and dragons? Answer

THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

What is the Occult? Answer

click for Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Ed Speleers, Djimon Hounsou, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Robert Carlyle, Christopher Paolini, Sienna Guillory, Garrett Hedlund, Joss Stone, Gary Lewis
Director: Stefen Fangmeier (“Saving Private Ryan” / “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” / “Jurassic Park”)
Producer: John Davis, Wyck Godfrey, Gil Netter
Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures

“You are stronger than you realize. Wiser than you know. What was once your life is now your legend.”

A boy might get a little bored growing up in a small farm village, but when a giant blue dragon wants to be your best friend, things change in a hurry. Eragon (Edward Speelers) is a seventeen year old boy with his life pretty well mapped out, plowing potatoes during harvest time being the highlight of the year. Fate has another plan when he discovers he is the “chosen” heir of the dying legacy of dragon riders who have been all but eliminated by the former dragon rider and present dictator, Galbatorix (John Malkovich).

When Eragon’s stepfather is murdered and his home destroyed by Galbatorix’ evil henchmen, the creepy crawly ra’zac, Eragon flees for his life with his mentor, Brom (Jeremy Irons). Eragon and Brom make haste to join alliance with the Varden, an army of lone holdouts, to fight against Galbatorix’ evil empire who live in a hidden city carved out of an enormous hole in a mountain. Along the way, Eragon, gets in tune with his dragon, Saphira, learns ancient magic, rescues Ayra.

The film, based on the bestselling book written by fifteen year old Christopher Paolini, sticks pretty much to the plot, which looks a little too much like “Star Wars” in a “Lord of the Rings” setting. As in the book, the film likewise divulges about as much character development as a fifteen year old boy would be interested in, and which probably isn’t enough for the average viewer.

The book definitely delves into a world of magical forces, blurring the line of good and evil magic. Although the evil minions of Galbatorix are credited with being processed by demons, a fortuneteller using enchanted dragon claws to tell Eragon’s future is accomplished with an ambiguous motive. It is unclear if her use of magic is for good or evil. Does this mean that the magic Eragon possesses and the magic employed by the evil foes emanates from the same source? This is very troubling from the Christian point of view, and as the target audience of “Eragon” is children, parents need to be wary of numerous displays of magic, potions, and spells being cast.

The movie was violent with plenty of scary creatures that would terrify younger children, but would not phase older teens. There was no profanity or sexuality.

Positive elements include Eragon’s mindful heeding of his “higher” calling which comes at great sacrifice. Brom acts heroically on several occasions and Arya is a strong female role model, displaying perseverance and aura of nobility in her service for good.

Although the special effects in Eragon were wonderful, the movie remained flat in its delivery. The screenplay and dialogue were weak, and the costuming and makeup haphazard and inconsistent, failing to establish the era or atmosphere properly. Attending me to this screening was my fourteen year old son who was aghast and offended by Eragon’s armor for battle which was adorned with something akin to sequins, instead of leather and chain mail. Boys take these issues seriously, and I too was surprised by what seemed a careless oversight in the battle armor research department!

“It is better to ask forgiveness than permission” was the inside joke between Eragon and Brom as they bonded in the goal to defeat the oppression of evil. “Eragon” may need to ask the audiences’ forgiveness after viewing this awkward and unsatisfying film.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie was great; myself and my family LOVED it! It left out a lot from the book, so if you see the movie and haven’t read the book, you might want to read the book, also. Very clean, good family movie. There are some scary images, so it is probably too much for young kids. It was great for my 11 and 13 year old. And I have to add, Saphira (the dragon) was AWESOME!!!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Kelli, age 31
Positive—I went to see “Eragon” with my husband. I was hoping to get a captivating and visually thrilling movie, but the costuming and overall cinematography ended up being a little plain for a box office fantasy film. Despite this, I thought it was a charming and adorable movie. I was touched by the friendship and working relationship between Eragon and his dragon, Saphira. Together they had a lot of loyalty and courage, and even some room for growth and maturity, as they both came to realize.

I also thought it was interesting that Eragon’s dragon should be a female. I wondered how this might influence children in relation to gender characteristics and gender roles. With feminism undermining biblical values and causing a lot of women to behave overall disrespectfully and without boundaries, you would think a female warrior dragon would support feministic lies. With Saphira that is not the case. Saphira had an interesting role. Her sole existence was to support and help Eragon. That alone offshoots feminist ideals about living simply to satisfy one’s own needs and desires for glory. Though she is a women warrior dragon, in essence, she is not like the aggressive and strong female characters that are in a lot of movies and sitcoms these days. For example, often in the movie she would influence or attempt to influence Eragon’s decisions by gently offering him kind, patient and wise advice, rather than by being bossy, manipulative or overbearing. In certain scenes her positive influence on Eragon was obvious. She does not lack courage and is a fierce warrior. As a young dragon she is somewhat cocky, along with her new rider, and they both get into trouble because of it. After an unwise move on their part she acknowledges that they both still need practice and are not as ready as they thought. Saphira’s kind eyes and a gentle stare are amazing to see on a dragon that blows fire at her enemies. I have not seen any other computer animated dragon that is as gentle-yet-strong as this dragon. Ironically, as a young and cocky dragon she responds in her thoughts to a man’s complement about her graceful features something like, “that is all about me that is graceful.” Yet her sensitivity and wisdom in dealing with a certain death, and her tenderness toward Eragon demonstrates a lot of grace and beauty.

Where it concerns action-cinematography this movie is certainly not a “Lord of the Rings,” but it has a lot of beautiful themes about friendship, loyalty and courage. There is also a lesson about being cocky and not listening to anyone or anything but your own thoughts and will. I definitely hope to soon see a sequel.
My Ratings: Good / 3½
—Ariana Roscoe, age 23
Positive—This movie was not as stunningly spectacular as “Lord of the Rings” or the “Chronicles of Narnia,” but it was meant for younger audiences, so I can’t understand why people criticize the filmmaking quality. I was very surprised to see how clean and unobjectionable it was. …It deserves at least an average… The movie is innocent enough, with a boy fighting against evil with his best friend who is a dragon. It is like a much less violent “Lord of The Rings” and better made “Dragon Heart.” It is very different from the book, but not so different that it isn’t a refreshing surprise at the end. Some scenes are scary for young children. Children 10 and under probably would be frightened. If you’ve seen “The Chronicles of Narnia” then the movie’s violence is about the same as that.It is not even close to as dark as the “Ha rry Potter” movies, which I strongly disagree with and unlike them clearly shows witchcraft to be evil and wrong. The movie clearly point’s out the difference of good and evil and has many morals in it. I recommend this film despite the lack of effects or the greatest script in the world.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3
—Grace, age 43
Positive—I went to this movie alone, because I was afraid it would be too violent for my children (12 and 14). I was expecting another “Harry Potter” type movie, as I had heard from other people, so I used caution before seeing it, especially after this review. I was very shocked at the end. It not only very clearly defined good and evil, but was a very unique story. The moviemaking quality wasn’t as good as any of the other fantasy films, but in the end, I really didn’t care. It was clean, appropriate, and witchcraft free. I was very pleased with that last fact, since I never approved the supposedly famous “Harry Potter” movies. It was a beautiful, family movie and excellent for kids. If you like a movie for being a family movie, then you’ll love it, but if you like special effects and a great perfected movie, then I doubt you’ll like this. It is clearly a children’s movie, just by the moviemaking quality of it. I highly suggest taking your children to see this movie.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Laura Wells, age 39
Positive—This is a cute movie for kids 12 and up. There are some suspenseful scenes, but not nearly as much as other PG movies that have come out this year. The effects were pretty good, but the costumes could have been better. Still, it was an interesting plot, despite the fact it seems completely different from the book. This is an appropriate movie… You should go to this exciting movie, it’s well worth it.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Nicole Richards, age 52
Positive—Having read the book, I thought the movie was pretty good. It stuck pretty close to the book and was very entertaining. Even my wife, who hates fantasy movies such as this, liked this one. I don’t think I would recommend this movie to children under 12, for it did have some scary images. Being a Youth Pastor, I believe to often we read way to much into the “magical” elements of a movie. After all, it’s a “movie.” It’s meant to entertain, and this movie entertained me. The people who bash this movie for its use of “magic,” will be the first to approve of “Lord of the Rings.” “Lord of the Rings” had twice as much magical elements as this movie. The older viewers of this movie that criticize it, will be the same people who watch and approve of shows such as Desperate Housewives, Survivor, Rescue Me, and CSI. The younger viewers that criticize will be the first ones to watch MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, and E!. As Christians, we must be careful not to be hypocritical. I didn’t find anything in this movie even remotely close to the filthiness of cable television. Why don’t Christians stand up and protest some of that filth instead of a good “fantasy” movie as Eragon.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Chris Thorman, age 24
Positive—I read the book to this movie before I saw it, so I would know what to expect. The book wasn’t written really well, but it was entertaining and okay for kids. The movie was changed a little and some characters were taken out. I personally was glad, because the book had WAY too many characters to focus on and remember. I don’t agree with the reviewer at all. This movie does shows the good do good and the bad do bad. Its pretty simple. It is not as violent or magic concentrated as expected. It certainly doesn’t go nearly as deep as the other fantasy movies as far as violence. I thought it was much more appropriate for the family than the famous “Lord of The Rings,” though not as well made. It was made well enough, could have been made better but still entertaining for kids and adults who don’t criticize filmmaking too much.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Nancy, age 35
Positive—I have read both books and still enjoyed the movie. Sure they took out a lot of stuff and changed some scenes, It would be too long if they didn’t cut out some scenes.They certainly could have made it at least two hours and a half and it would have been better, but just because they didn’t doesn’t mean the whole movie was ruined. The acting was great and the effects were truly amazing. The plot was the same creative plot in the books. The script, scenes, and characters were where they went wrong. The characters don’t have enough time in the movie to bond and show emotion very deep. The scenes aren’t long enough and leave to much out. The script is okay but needs more humor like the books and way more emotion from the characters. If you’ve never read the books then you might not notice these things, but Eragon book fans probably will be slightly disappointed (at the least). Morally it is acceptable and shares many lessons and unlike other movies shows how evil the bad guys are. It plainly tells fighting against evil and the main character learns that being good means being humble, showing mercy, and overall knowing to love and not become arrogant in anger. The movie showed this very well but still the book went deeper. It is a good movie. Kids would like it more than adults and the violence certainly is kept to a minimal (many battle scenes were cut out of the movie). I suggest seeing the movie but I highly suggest reading the books first. If people worry about the magic issue then be assured that this is not another “Harry Potter” type movie. In fact, there is a scene in the book where Eragon asks Brom if his power is the same as a wizards/witches. Brom tells him flat out that his power comes from a different source. It never once in the book shows a witch of any kind working on the good side. This is a fantasy book/movie so It does resemble “Lord of The Rings,” but, in my opinion, more appropriate and not as dark. Some of the scenes are gloomy when they show the city but the point is to show how careless the evil king is to his people and cities. Overall, it’s a good movie and I enjoyed it.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Ashlene, age 37
Positive—I hadn’t read the books to this movie when I saw it, which is probably the reason why I enjoyed it. It wasn’t as good as recent movies, but the plot was interesting, even though they took out a lot, and I read the books right after I saw the movie (they were much more entertaining). Agreeing to one of the other viewers comments this movie is very good and certainly does not take the magic to the extremes that “Lord of The Rings” did or some other past fantasy movies. Some scenes are dark, but not in a bad way. They are similar to “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” the quality of both movies seemed alike to me. I could personally care less how much of the plot they took out of the books. It was clean, fun, and okay for a Christian family to see. If you think about it that matters more than the filmmaking quality of a movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3
—Autumn Rhode, age 49
Positive—I went to see this movie with my 9 and 22 year old sons. We went into the movie not knowing exactly what the movie was about, although I did remember that what I had heard made me feel safe about seeing it. Pleasantly, I was surprised. As I watched the movie, there were many things that were truly symbolically Christian. The young boy, Eragon is an everyday farm boy who is chosen to be a dragon rider and overcome the evil king’s oppression of the people in the kingdom. When the meaning of what it means to be chosen to ride the dragon and “become one with it” in order to defeat evil, a picture of our relationship with Christ came to mind. We are bound to Him and in the strength of that bond, we too can overcome evil and others lives can be saved.

The scenery was beautiful. It was very realistic, which for me, made the movie more believable. There were scenes that seemed predictable and certain things happened that were just a little too ironic to completely swallow. But then again, that is the nature of a fairy tale. You just accept those things and move on. This does not take away from the story and certainly not an important issue where older children who would view this movie are concerned. Eragon grows in wisdom and takes on the role that he was destined to fulfill. This is done in a realistic way too, because he is not overzealous at first; although intrigued. He becomes willing to learn, but has to work hard to achieve the level where he needs to be. He grows in knowledge of how to ride, communicate and be sensitive to his dragon. A picture of our relationship with Christ once again.

I also liked that he does not become so perfect that he can defeat his foe without risk or trusting what he knows or without relying on his dragon to see him through. He becomes convicted that he must be willing to give all for the good of all. A true virtue of selflessness and courage! The violence that is in the movie certainly evokes the “cringe” effect without causing emotional trauma. They take you to the edge, but leave enough out for your imagination to complete the rest. No nightmares conjured up here!

Another pleasant shock was the total lack of even a smidge of sexual innuendo. Not even sexual tension between Eragon and the lovely princess! Of course, you can glean that he thinks she is lovely, but nothing immoral or indecent. This is a great family movie that could lead to some interesting conversations with parents and children. Some may perceive this film differently than I do, but I think that an honest assessment would have to conclude that the intention of this movie was not immoral or anti-Christian and that it is certainly geared to a younger set. For which I say, 'Hooray!'

One other very, very wonderful thing was the break from the typical kid’s movie where there isn’t anything immoral, but there is plenty of vulgarity. Not once did I hear a “bathroom” joke or rude body sounds. What has happened to politeness and manners these days? Sure, kids movies may not have bad language, or sexual/nudity content or violence, but they cross the line on vulgarity! And that goes against Godly principles too!

This movie needs to be seen by those kids who are too old for the “Care Bear” flicks, and want something more—but not quite ready for a full fledged adult film. Well, the fact of the matter is, a lot of us adults are “not ready” for a lot of the adult films today! So go and enjoy this movie with the understanding of the audience for which it was made.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Renee Whitehead, age 50
Neutral
Neutral—Being the only member of my family who did not read the book, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. I thought the main character, Eragon, was well cast, and the actor did an excellent job. Most of the other characters, however, were flat, although Brom’s character was beginning to develop. The story also seemed a bit rushed. I would have liked to have seen more of Eragon’s training. Many times, physical training also develops character such as humility. Like the reviewer, Susan Quirk, stated, the evil minions are said to be demon-possessed, but the question as to whether all supernatural powers derive from the same source is left unanswered.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 1½
—Rene', age 43
Neutral—I have read “Eragon” by Christopher Paoline, and I must honestly say that the movie titled “Eragon” was almost nothing like the book. Being an avid fan of the book, I was disappointed to find that Fox had completely butchered the story line. The movie itself was choppy and the script was weak. If the movie had gone into depth like the book did about the “magic” in Alagaesia, it would have become clear the that “magic” that Eragon uses is energy that comes from life on the earth (such as: plant’s and animals.) An example would be photosynthesis. Just as a plant draws energy the use of magic in Alagaesia is nothing more than drawing and manipulating energy. In the book, it is made clear that magic is a form of energy that comes from everywhere not just dragons. Because it is a form of energy, it is not good or evil and could be used for both purposes. As far as Durza being possessed, it was clearly shown as a heinous and evil thing. It was not celebrated.… “Eragon” was not very well put together. …the movie felt as if they filmed all of it, then cut scenes out at random. Every time the scene changed, a gap was made in the story, and the watcher found that many events had taken place in the millisecond that the screen went dark.
My Ratings: Average / 2½
—Alaina
Neutral—I made the mistake of relying on the PG rating to take my 10 year old daughter. I guess I was expecting the battle scenes and dark parts to be similar to “The Chronicles of Narnia.” It wasn’t even close—this movie is much more graphic, and even though it doesn’t show a lot of actual blood flow (although it does show a few), it shows a lot of swords being thrust into bodies up close, and up close torturing/killing (a creepy sorcerer’s long, black fingernail going into the side of one of his subjects heads, for one). Near the end, the sorcerer’s appearance is transformed to one gruesome face (it makes the White Witch in Narnia look like Cinderella). It was more gruesome than I would have ever imagined, given the PG rating. I read the comments on this site before we went, and was surprised that some commented there was no witchcraft. It was full of dark magic, had plenty of spells, etc. I think it should definitely have gotten a PG-13 rating…
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Anne, age 40
Negative
Negative—Absolutely saddened and disgusted. “Eragon” (or should I say, Era-yawn) has been this year the worst movie I have seen—and I’ve seen almost 15 at the movies this year alone! I do have a bit of a confession to make in this regard—I am not a fan of Paolini’s works. I thought that “Eragon” was a big plagiarism of top notch stuff such as “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars,” and Eldest bored me to tears. I don’t know what I was thinking when I went to see this movie, but I feel like I wasted my time. Based on the popular novel by Christopher Paolini, it follows a young boy named Eragon whose life is transformed forever when he suddenly finds a dragon egg. He then swans off with Brom to fulfill his destiny to save the world of Algaseia, and rid the world from the evil reign of Galbatorix. Sound familiar? Think Star Wars 4 in a Lord of the Rings atmosphere, and you aren’t that far wrong.

Apart from Jeremy Irons's (Obi-wan… sory, I mean Brom) acting, the rest of the cast were absolutely pathetic. Ed Speleers, quite honestly, is the worst actor that I’ve seen since seeing Hayden Christenen in Star Wars 2. His acting is very wooden, and his dialogue was shocking. John Malkovich (Sauron… ahem sorry, Galbatorix) was an absolute bore, and deserved a few yawns from me for his performance. And Sienna Guillory (Princess Leia, Arwen… or Arya) was really only there for the looks, she didn’t do much else. And where were the pointy ears? Time after time during the movie, I mistook her for a human, when she is in fact an elf!

The storyline was very choppy, and looked like it had been done in a rush. It was mostly inaccurate to the book, which made things worse. I could point out every inaccuracy, but if I did, this review might be 2 pages long then. There was little room for character development in the movie, and if you hadn’t read the book, then you would more than likely had wanted the characters of Murtagh and Angela taken out—their parts were truly wasted in the movie. The Urgals looked to me like Klingons that had overindulged on fast food. Some of the characters in the book, such as Orik, Solenbum and the Twins, didn’t even get a mention in the movie. But the scene that made me groan the most was when Eragon was looking out to the sunset, just after his cousin Roran had left. Sound familiar? Luke Skywalker in Star Wars 4, when he desired to be free from the confines of his world on Tattooine.

The dialogue itself was very cheesy, cliched and overall, not even worth a mention in this review. You thought that the delivery was bad enough, until you actually heard what these characters said! One-liner rubbish, in my opinion. One main thing that both Lord of the Rings and Narnia had that Eragon did not was also humor. Both LOTR and Narnia had characters that had a lighter hearted side. Remember the relationship between Gimli and Legolas in The Two Towers? That made both of the characters more likable. And good lines? Think Narnia - “Whoa horsey…” “My name is Phillip.” In “Eragon” no one in the cinema laughed. In fact, there wasn’t even a lighter side in this movie at all! This made the journey in Algaseia more dull than ever before. You couldn’t associate with the characters at all, you couldn’t like them, you couldn’t even laugh at them!



If you really want true fantasy to watch, I suggest that you dig out the movies of “Lord of the Rings” or “Narnia.” Or, as an alternative to watch over the Christmas break, go and see “Happy Feet” “Casino Royale” or “Flushed Away.” All of the above would be more entertaining than Era-yawn.
My Ratings: Offensive / 1
—Dave, age 21
Negative—“It is better to ask forgiveness than permission.” That line pretty much sums up “Eragon,” in my mind. The filmmakers seemed have felt the same why while making this film. What they need to do now is apologize to the fans for this lackluster adaptation of Christopher Paolini’s epic novel, “Eragon”. Now, I haven’t read the book, but from I’ve been told, this film barely follows the book. Much as been cut out, and what remained was changed up. Upon hearing that (in vents from my younger sister about the film vs. the book), it made me wonder why the line about asking forgiveness versus permission is was used in the film a couple of times.

It’s not a bad film, the special effects were actually done quite nicely, and many of the shots of the scenery are spectacular. The film even started off nicely, going at a nice pace, a la, as in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” That is, until, the scene of Saphira (who is voiced well by Rachel Weisz) flying off for the first time, growing up from a baby dragon and coming back to Eragon as a much more mature looking “young” dragon within literally matter of seconds. It would have worked much better (and been much more believable) if this were used more as a passage of time sequence. After that, the film started going downhill. The pacing then became very rushed, and the story (which was much too similar to Star Wars, by the way) felt very compacted into the about 100 minute running time. Much too short, in my mind. If the film had been longer, it could have been better. Expect an extended edition DVD to come out to please the fans of the book.

Another thing which dragged the film down, is the acting/script. The cheesy lines said by Galbatorix, made me wince, and the way John Malkovich said them made it even worse. Ugh, they could have at least made his character more interesting. The rest of the acting was pretty weak. Really, the only character I enjoyed was Saphira. Really says something when a voice actor causes a CGI character to be more believable then the other characters. Brom, played by Jeremy Irons, was also passable, but he alone couldn’t save the rest of the film. I also enjoyed Djimon Hounsou’s character (Ajihad), but he was too minor to have much of an impact concerning my overall opinion of the film. Too bad, as seeing the film Gladiator had made Hounsou one of my favorite actors. There’s just something about him that I really like.

Finally, the story was nothing original. Just a bad rip of Star Wars. There was a “princess” who needed saving, an old, wise (to a degree) former Dragon Rider (Brom) who dies (like Obi-wan), the burning farm and the scene where Eragon said he should have been there and Saphira basically said 'You’d have been killed too' (just like Obi-wan did in Star Wars), and how a Dragon Rider (Galbatorix) “turned to the dark side” and wiped out the other Dragon Riders, I mean come on, be original.

Overall, the movie was… all right, but it could have been much better, and I also didn’t really pick out much that would be all that offensive to Christians. Based on all of that, I’ll still most likely read the book, since apparently the movie doesn’t compare.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Matthew Rozier, age 20
Negative—After reading the book Eragon twice over, I was thrilled to hear they were making a film of it. As time drew near for it to be released, I hoped against hope that it would follow the book as best as films do these days. When it finally was released, my 18-year-old brother and I bought tickets the day before and saw it on opening day. Not 10 minutes into the movie, I was thoroughly disappointed. As the movie dragged on, the more I wanted the movie to be over! Eragon fans… do NOT waste your time on this movie!

First of all, the story line. …It was terrible! They made up a lot of it themselves, and totally threw away a lot of the great and wonderful values in this book that truly made up the story! There was little of the beginning at all. Eragon gets the egg, and 20 minutes later, he’s out with Brom and his dragon. What happened to the “getting to know” of the characters in the beginning? You hardly know Eragon until the movie is practically over. There’s no explaining of who the King really was, or who and what the dragons were. There was no suspense, no action, no thrill to the beginning like the book brought to you. They zip through the story line so fast, it leaves you thinking, “Were they pressed for time? Money? Lack of talent?!” It’s pathetic!

And as for the characters: Eragon was a whiny little baby-of-a-boy who looked 20, so therefore didn’t portray his age very well, and his character didn’t even come very close to the original Eragon in the book. His cousin portrayed his character wonderfully in my opinion and the way they portray their love for each other is decent. Also Eragon’s uncle brings to life the uncle from the book quite well. I was glad for that. But this is only a few of several main characters that I’m going to list that did not portray their parts well at all!

But going back to the cousin; He never went away on adventures! He was in love with the daughter of the mean meat man in town (who was a nasty little snit of a character in the book. He’s only in 2 little parts in the movie and he did NOT portray his real character whatsoever!) and he left to go work with a man from town, so he could earn money to marry this girl. Also, when Eragon finds the farm in rubbish, he passes out and wakes up with friends in town and escapes a few days after his uncle’s death (he was not dead on the farm as the movie shows) and there’s more interaction in the book than what they show in the movie.

Brom on the other hand, he portrayed his actor okay, but they never showed him as the “mysterious” guy that he was in the book. They make Eragon in the movie accept him at once, but in the book he was VERY skeptical of him. The scene where Brom finds Eragon in his house, that never happened in the book. Eragon found him and they talked for hours in Brom’s house about the origin of dragons. In the movie, they just make Eragon “know” about things.

That’s another thing: The magic? They never have Brom show Eragon the proper way to control his powerful abilities. They just make Eragon “know.” That was one of the most important scenes in the book, was when Brom and Eragon had their “practice” sessions each night with the sword and with magic. There was never that “bonding” in the movie, and so when Brom dies, you just feel, 'Well, he’s gone. Oh well…' instead of being up to your eyeballs in tears like I was when reading the book.

And the elf… let’s not forget her. She played her character very very well. Unfortunately, they damaged the scenes with her and Eragon together. For one thing, he NEVER went back to the place where she was being held captive. He was captured in the book and taken and put in prison in that city; the same prison she was in, and he had a dream about her being in that prison. Brom was never killed in that scene… he was killed when he and Eragon were fighting those evil black creatures when they left the city, and the black-haired guy (I can’t remember his name… he wasn’t my favorite character, obviously) came to the rescue and saved Eragon and tried to save Brom, but he died the next day. One big thing that really drove me mad, was the elf in the prison scene and every scene thereafter. She was NEVER awake! She was sick from the poison and so caused herself to go into a deep sleep and didn’t awake until they were with their allies in the mountain and she was cure d by the elves. But she was never awake and they made her look like she was in love with Eragon. He was with her in the book, but she never was with him. She was more strict, distant, and mysterious in the book. But other than that, she was excellent with her character.

Now, the fortune-teller in the first city they come to in the movie (which, in the book was portrayed as a marvelous city. Why in the world was it made to be so ugly and dark with no one around? And Brom’s old acquaintance was never brought into the story, and he was a top character in this section of the book) was much more bubbly and hilarious in my opinion, in the book, and she was also very friendly and certainly not described as being that young! The girl who played her was my age, and certainly did not fit the description of the book. And her outfit? She was never portrayed to be like that in the book. And what about the Werecat? He was a key to some good information to Eragon in the book. Why wasn’t he put in? He helped save Eragon’s life when he was in the prison freeing himself and the elf. THe cat disguised himself as a boy who told Eragon that guards were coming, and he saved their lives. Why was he never put in? And both the Werecat and the fortune-teller were brought back in the end of the book, and yet she wasn’t in the movie but for 10 seconds!

And what about the Varden? Eragon, his dragon, and his companion (the guy with the black hair) were there far longer than you were made to believe, before they had that huge war. Eragon got to know the dwarf king, the other king, some of the people, dwarves, etc. And yet, the Varden were strangers to the audience who didn’t read the book. There was no warmth, no friendliness, no sense of “familiarity” with anyone in this movie! In the book, amongst the Varden, were the “twins.” Two bald guys who had a lot of magical knowledge and knew how to use it strongly. I read up on the characters portraying the “twins” for the movie. Even saw a picture, but they were never shown, and they were the kind who wanted to stir up trouble, and the book shows just how strong Eragon learned to be in magic, and how closely he and Saphira were connected by their minds, yet that was never portrayed. They (the twins) also were a main character in the book, where the Varden were concerned. Them and Eragon had a “battle of magic” at one point, but that was never in the movie. Also Eragon had a fighting dual with a dwarf before the elf. Why wasn’t that put in either? It’s like they rushed through everything just to have a cool battle scene to hopefully capture the audience, but you know? People don’t want the “cool battle scenes.” They want a good movie that draws you into the story; Like Lord of the Rings for example! THat movie was 3 hours long and followed the books closely, yet the writers/directors of Eragon couldn’t take the time to make it a couple of hours long and have it follow the book better? If there wasn’t enough funding, why not wait until they had more to make the movie better, instead of rushing through it only to get bad reviews and bad ratings on it, and people who tear it up (like me)??

In the book, Eragon got to know a lot of people; you were introduced to a wide variety of characters; you got to know them and they started to become “familiar” to you like friends do. There was none of that “warmth” and “togetherness” coming from the movie. There was no connection so much so to where you didn’t care whether Eragon died or not, or whether any other main character did or not. You didn’t care, because their characters and the story line were so poorly written. And the relationship between Saphira and Eragon was a laugh. There was no connection or love at all! In the book, they teased one another, laughed with each other, loved each other, yelled at one another, but there was a warm relationship there that made you feel like you were in that relationship with them; that’s how close you felt! But the movie portrayed nothing.

Even though the book was written by a 15-year-old, it made the movie look like it was written by kids who wanted to film a “home-movie,” it was that terrible. The book is wonderfully written, and if any of ya’ll want action, this is the book to read. But don’t see the movie! And another thing; I read that the movie was supervised by the kid who wrote the book? I don’t think so! If he wrote such a fabulous book, how come his creativeness went down the drain? I don’t think he supervised at all, because this movie was too poorly done for that. Don’t waste your time on it. Want excitement? Read the book and use your imagination. Want something good to watch? Charlotte’s web or Deck the Halls. Don’t pay money to see a movie as poorly done as this. It was horrible, and I will never watch it again! It needs to be re-done by people who have actually “read” the book and feel an attachment to it like I do. But these guys ruined my excitement of the book and my imagination. There are other good movies out there. This one was the worst I’ve ever seen.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 1
—Sarah, age 19
Negative—What a shame that this movie is going to be viewed by many children due to it’s PG rating. My husband and I watched about half the movie before leaving due to its offensive nature. Even from a non-Christian point of view, this movie should have a PG-13 rating due to the many frightening images. From a christian perspective, “Eragon” is especially offensive. I am saddened that people would try to stretch a few of the movies' comments as “Biblical truth.” In my Bible I read in Deuteronomy 18:10-13 that anyone who 'practices divination, or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist' is “detestable to the Lord.” Please use wisdom in protecting yourself and the children God has given you from anything that would encourage such practices.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2½
—Sisha, age 25
Negative—First of all, it’s clear that this movie was made for kids, so we can expect less character development, but truly, we shouldn’t have to go with what we were given here. There’s no character development at all, as another reviewer said, it’s a mad dash to the end. I haven’t read any of the books, but it the movie is representative of them, then I can’t say I’m interested in them. But from reading other reviews, there might be enough in them to warrant a reading. Now, about the magic. Personally, I think some Christians build up unrealistic expectations. This is a fantasy world, set in a fantasy setting, our God doesn’t exist here. Therefore, the magic in this world is totally okay to use to the people who use it. It’s all about imagination. Now, this is different with movies like Harry Potter, because these are set in the real world. And obviously, in the real world, god created the world.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Aaron Ploof, age 18
Negative—Even though this movie had no swearing or sexuality, there was so much evil, sorcery, magic, and demonic stuff in it, I would not recommend this movie for Christians, or children. It does not go along the lines of Phillipians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” The quality of it wasn’t that great, either. It was a little difficult to follow. I had to keep guessing who this and that was and why this and that happened.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Diana, age 30 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I went willingly to see this movie with my sister last week, and I liked it so much that I went back for seconds. My family’s never done the Harry Potter movie/book thing, for which I’m grateful. I am, however, very much a fan of LOTR and Narnia and a long-forgotten movie called “Dragon Heart”. I hoped that “Eragon” would at least come on par with the latter, never reaching the greatness of the former. And I was right. The movie is excellent in many ways. Sometimes it delves into black magic and fortune-telling, which was highly unfortunate. Any type of sorcery is bad. Thankfully, Angela only inhabits one scene and is never mentioned again. Some of the actors are not worthy of their roles and others excel such as Jeremy Irons and Ed Speleers. The cinematography is awesome as is the CGI. The acting isn’t as poor as people claim. I’ve never read the book, so have no issues with any changes made from the original story. I’d say those who hate it so much are those who hate any alterations from the book they love. For parents, I say be wary in allowing your kids to watch it. Violence is mild, but magic is present. You know what your kids can handle. Don’t just let them go in without researching it and praying. As for me and my sister, we loved it and emerged unscathed!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Carissa, age 22
Negative—When I went to see this movie I was expecting something along the lines of a shallow “Lord of the Rings.” However, this movie doesn’t even come close. The entire film was a mad dash to the end, with no story, or character development at all. And even the end climax was poorly executed. The acting was pathetic and the writing was very sub-par. I honestly don’t see how the author could have permitted this. The movie doesn’t even try to follow the book, frequently important (even vital) characters are poorly implemented (such as the entire dwarven race and the varden) or left out (Solembum, the entire sequence at the dock town among others). Also, the entire flavor of the movie was wrong, the Uruks had none of the unique features (like horns) that the author gave them, the fact that Arya is an elf isn’t even mentioned, the dwarves stood up to eragon’s nose, the elite Kruul were absent and the list goes on and on. Overall, it was like watching a 1 and a half hour long train wreck.
My Ratings: Average / 1
—Jeffrey Applebee, age 15
Neutral—If you are planning on seeing a movie because you are bored, want to see an adventure story and don’t really care what the story is about, then “Eragon” is the movie you are looking for. If, however, you are looking for a movie that faithfully follows the adventurous plot of a certain book by Christopher Paolini, then expect to be disappointed. Characters are cut out and switched around mercilessly. Half the book is missing, with no mention of either Teirm, or of the major character of Jeod. There is no Hadarac Desert, and as far as I could tell, Eragon only lived a few miles from where he ended up at the end. My own favorite character, Murtagh, is condensed into a disappointing cardboard cut-out, lacking all glowering leadership he possessed in the book. The plot is flipped around, and thus many holes surface near the end, leaving the viewer feeling queasy and cheated 'Why did they cut THAT out?' 'Why is Arya conscious?', 'Was I supposed to laugh/cry just then?' and the most important question—the one that I am asking even now: 'Why?'

The animation quality of “Eragon” is excellent. Saphira is creepily realistic; her fire is overwhelming, and the setting is breathtaking. However, animations cannot make up for a weak story, as we all learned from the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean.” My eight year old brother told me on the way home from the theatre that he thought the movie was badly done. This is coming from a male who is at the tender young age when big fires and fight scenes are most tantalizing, and the number of explosions per film are used as a gauge for the quality of a movie. From the mouths of babes.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 2½
—Willow, age 17
Neutral—I was sooo disappointed in this movie. The plot was great, and the special effects were AMAZING. But, overall, I was completely bored. It felt like they were leaving out big parts of the movie. I’ve never read the book, but the movie didn’t seem complete. The lines were pretty cheesy. It felt like you were being rushed through the movie. The thing that made me really angry was that the characters had no deep background. You could the tell the background of some of the main characters on one hand in less than 5 words. PATHETIC. It was a good movie, but really hard to enjoy.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Rachel, age 15
Positive—This movie has a great plot, but unlike the much loved book isn’t very well made and may bore teens. Still it is clean and cute. It’s fine for the whole family to see and shows loyalty, friendship, and nobility very well. Morally this is a good movie, just not the best made (except for the effects).
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Annie, age 15
Negative—The movie started out very blandly. It didn’t even catch my attention, and not there aren’t many movies I can flat out insult in that area. The use of magic, sorcery, fortune-telling through dragon bones, and the calling up of demons greatly disturbed me. I ended up walking out about an hour into the movie, and it hadn’t even gotten very far. The movie was absolutely saturated in magic, and from how much I watched I noticed that they were fighting demonic forces with magic, not God. I wouldn’t have minded the magic, demons, or even the fortune-telling, if they had placed God as the good guy, and defined these things as wrong (unless the magical powers were from God). The script was dull, although the acting seemed fine. Animation was excellent, but this was definitely a stretch for a PG movie. It should have been PG-13. I don’t recommend this movie for anyone, it fogged good and evil and nearly combined them into one.
My Ratings: Good / 1½
—Jennifer, age 14
Negative—The cast of this movie was, in my opinion, fantastic, and the overall production quality was, too. But the real problem lies in the story, because in reading the book, the movie was severely inaccurate, and things either happened out of sequence or skipped altogether. The effects in this movie were very good, but I wish that the opportunities that were given in the book were more properly exploited and could have possibly made this movie a little better. The cast in this movie …was 5 star no doubt (except for a few smaller parts) and really blew me away with all the makeup and vast array’s of stunning battle sequences, but I think this movie could of been made just a little bit better. Also from a Christian standpoint this movie was a slight bit offending (being incorporated with demonic creatures and magic), but as a whole would not go as far as to brainwashing small children into thinking something like this is right, I, also, do not think this movie would be too bad for small children for the reason of the battle sequences being surprisingly ungritty as the book forebode as I think it could of been a lot worse.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Steve, age 13
Neutral—I have read this book 2 times. And I must say I was disappointed with the movie. They cut out about 90% of it and changed the 10 they left! Somehow, they barely managed to hold onto the plot. But if you have not read the book, this should be a very enjoyable movie, although their is some frightening images that might scare younger children.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—sam, age 13
Positive—THis was very interesting! I read the book and the second one in the series, even though they cut it a bit short, the special effects were amazing! I think kids 8 and up would enjoy this, if they weren’t scared easily. Christians will enjoy this a lot. I didn’t see anything offensive in the entire movie!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Ally Johnson, age 15
Positive—I read the book just before seeing the movie, and I was expecting a little bit more than what I saw in the theaters. Nevertheless, it was an excellent movie. Speelers was amazing for a first-time actor—I didn’t think he would be very convincing, since he didn’t have much experience, but his acting stunned me. There was a lot of violence and some scary images throughout the movie that might not be appropriate for children, but overall, this was a fantastic movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Anastasia Falasca, age 14
Positive—On a spiritual and enjoyment level, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. There are some scary images and some violence, but, overall, it was a very great film!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Sarah, age 12
Positive—Having read Eragon only a short while ago, and finding that it was a good plot, but poorly written book, I had higher hopes for the movie. And I was very pleased with what I saw. It is an inspiring film, with wonderful acting and scenery (not to mention special effects!). There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Galbatorix, Durza, the Ra’Zac, and the Urgals are evil, and unlike some newer films, the bad guys are NOT cooler than the good. In fact, Eragon, Brom, Arya, and Murtagh shine throughout the whole movie, giving wonderful, charisma filled performances. Some things that they say even reminded me of Bible verses, such as:
—“It’s good to be brave, but sometimes it’s better to be wise.” Brom to Eragon
—“I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be” 1 Kings 3:12.
—“Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it” Proverbs 8:33.
There is, however, a need for some caution. It may be PG, but the parts with Durza and the Ra’Zac are not for sensitive younger viewers. But, in all, it was a very uplifting, refreshing movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Caitlin, age 17
Neutral—I was rather hoping “Eragon” would be an action-filled movie that captured a similar effect as the Lord Of The Rings trilogy or the Chronicles of Narnia—The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. I have only read close to the first ten chapters of the book Eragon, but from I’ve covered, they didn’t even come close to following the book in several parts. Multiple things were out of order, they left out a few characters and parts of the book almost completely, and overall the whole movie seemed rushed. There was practically no character build throughout the movie, characters were introduced on average of every seemingly ten scenes, and if you hadn’t read the book, you would be utterly clueless (though I’ve read some of the book and I still was wondering about how they put things together). I wasn’t too impressed with the battle scenes and wardrobe they used. As for moviemaking quality, it seemed rushed, and therefore it lacks some of the story of the book and the quality of most movies.

From a biblical standpoint, there was about a minute or two minute scene where Brom and Eragon speak with each other over magic, and though it isn’t terribly offending, it is quite evident that there is an entirely different spirit from the Narnia or Lord Of The Rings books and movies. Other than the theology of the magic and the magic itself, there wasn’t anything I noticed terribly offending, and it was quite a clean movie. Others may argue that the Shade is quite offending, but personally I believe that it is alright, as they portrayed him as a completely bad guy, and bad guys do bad things, so the character development here is splendid. Yes, what he’s doing is wrong, but he is dealt with appropriately and isn’t really likeable.

Now, the movie wasn’t terrible. It had its moments with special effects, battle movements, and touching moments. I believe they cast Eragon quite well and Ed Speelers looks like he’s off to a good start in acting. I would recommend finding a theater that charges low for tickets, or possibly waiting for a dollar theater. “Eragon” isn’t quite worth the standard $8 mall fee, but would probably be most enjoyable in theaters. I enjoyed almost all of the movie.
My Ratings: Average / 2½
—Stephan, age 16
Neutral—I really liked the movie; it was thrilling and full of action. I went to see it with my friend, and he also loved it. …as a Christian I almost only read Christian fiction books. But now and a while I like Something else. After I saw the movie (at which the end, I didn’t like) I was interested what happens next. I started reading the first book, and couldn’t put it down, I almost read for two days straight. Anyway, if you have read the book, it is not worth seeing the movie.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Peet, age 14
Positive—I loved this movie! Being a big fan of the books I went and saw this with my friends. It was clean, and it was family friendly. Coming from a faith that is very strict about magic in what ever form I was a little wary in the books. But as I read on I realized that this isn’t really witchcraft. And the demon summoning that happens in movie and book both are by the evil characters. With the other people (Angela included) it was concentrating there energy onto one certain task. I am very disappointed with Angela though because in the movie they did make her look extremely sinister. But it is a great movie for all, though a lot was cut and plots were changed, and characters left out. My recommendation is to read the book first!
My Ratings: Good / 3½
—Colby, age 14
Positive— First of all I will say that I have not read the book, so I will not be speaking from my own literary experience, but cinematic only. I said that this was excellent in it’s morals. One who has read the books and/or seen the movie already may object to this because of the magical content, as I am sure the reviewer on this Web site was thinking when they gave the film a moral rating of offensive. They may say that the bible gives a strict prohibition to witchcraft and magic. I agree. But Eragon is a fantasy, and within this fantastic world that was created by Poalini(or Paolini, I can’t remember) magic has not been prohibited. That is why I think when one views a fantasy, one must see the story of it all, not go in to it as with a view towards are own world and standards but to understand the mythical world in which the story takes place. The same kind of content is in “The Lord Of The Rings,” but was given an average moral rating. We have to look at a fantasy as a fantasy, not as a non-fiction biography.

All of this aside, there is no questionable content within the movie whatsoever. The immorality is strictly on the part of the evil men and creatures, which is acceptable, of course, because, if they weren’t shown immorally, they wouldn’t be the bad guys! The king’s sorcerer/possessed/creepy guy was a little bit strange. Some of the things that he does regarding his finger nails may be a little bit too much for the younger children, as well as his face. Also, some the creatures(not the Urgals, they were fine) were probably a mix between orcs and the scarecrow (from Batman Begins) and they had ninja moves. They were a little nasty.

The production qualities weren’t all that sound sometimes. Some of the small scale models for wide shots of the king’s castle are kind of cheesy, and the animation of the dragon aren’t always so good, but you can get over it. Acting is good for first time appearances. Some of the performances were actually quite good. All in all it’s a good story. No cussing whatsoever. No gore. Mild violence. No sexual content. Can’t wait for the next one. Good movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3½
—Alex, age 15
Positive—We went to the theatre and were going to see “Night at the Museum,” but it was sold out, so we decided to see “Eragon.” Yes, it was like “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars,” but I thought it still was a good movie. The acting was kind of bad in some parts and so was the screenplay. I thought that it was a little to scary to be PG though; some of the creatures in it were kind of creepy. I have not read the book, but I have heard it was much better than the movie. Well, if it’s much better than the movie, than that must be one good book.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Anthony, age 12
Negative—The book Eragon was great, despite the fortune-telling and references to demons and dark magic. The movie was horrible though, it was nothing like the book, and Christopher Paolini approved it saying, he wanted it to be safer for younger children. Personally, I think it should have been rated PG-13 for violence. I was very disappointed, the movie didn’t quite sway from the main plot, but it wasn’t even close to the book. The only positive thing I can say about this movie was that the graphics were good.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 1
—Brittany, age 16
Negative—I was not looking forward to seeing this movie, but I went because my two friends were going. I regret that I went. Even though I am 13, one character scared me and there were a lot of “pop out” scenes. I didn’t like all of the violence. Another reason is that it’s confusing to understand it because the creators had to cut out some things from the book because the book is so long. It was hard for me to follow along. I thought the movie should be rated PG-13. No child under 10 or that are easily scared shouldn’t see this movie.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2
—Ellen, age 13
Neutral—Being a fan of the book by Christopher Paolini I was very interested in seeing how Fox 2000 would adapt it. I saw it the day after its release and I have to say, my feelings are mixed. The Script, in my opinion, was fairly weak. As I watched the movie it kind of felt like someone picked up a remote and sort of fast forwarded through the story told in the book. Many of the important plot points from the book worth putting into the script (including many that set up events in the second book, “Eldest”) were abandoned and the points from the book that they did keep did little to push the story forward. I thought the casting was very well done. Ed Speelers, for having never been in a movie before did a good job, even with some of most emotional scenes and Jeremy Irons made a great Brom. The only one who I was really disappointed in was Sienna Guillory. She isn’t a bad actress, but her character interpretation felt waaaay off to me.

When I read the book, I imagined Arya as a very sharp, focused, strong and mature character who, in the book, has zip interest in Eragon (I’m not exaggerating here. Read the books if you think I’m making this up because I don’t like romance). She almost never shows her soft side, but Sienna’s very light voice and soft features combined with some of her scenes with Eragon where she appeared almost flirtatious shattered that image I had in my head. Then there was Joss Stone who played Angela (a fortune telling witch). Joss Stone is a music star, not an actor and I could certainly tell. Her performance was pretty terrible but I wasn’t really surprised. Apart from them, the actors were pretty true to the characters they played. The best part of the movie for me was the dragon Saphira. I was very impressed with the way ILM modeled, animated and lighted her. She blended well into the live action footage and was very believable. From a pure technical perspective I think she even surpasses Aslan from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. The biggest rip off in the movie is probably when Durza is monologues to his army. It was very close to Saruman’s monologue in the Two Towers and it wasn’t nearly as good. Certain things in this movie are debatable as to whether they make the movie a bad choice for Christians to watch. The most controversy is probably around the whole “magic” system of the Eragon’s world. Magic is presented as a source of power that can only be used by riders. Riders are not wizards or witches because they don’t get their power from spells or potions and they are not like Shades (vampire like creatures who use demonic spirits to accomplish their will.) A rider manipulates magic using words from “the ancient language.” For example, in the film Brom uses the word brisingr (the ancient word for fire) to start a campfire.

Basically, If you know an object (or persons) the “true name” (the name of something/someone in the ancient language) you can manipulate it/him/her. This concept can be found in other fantasy books and it does have some root in the occult but obviously the ancient language is fake so there is no way I can say a word in the “ancient language” and get a grill to magically light up or make postman weed the garden. The ability to use magic is limited to a riders strength. The stronger the rider the more power he can wield but if he goes too far he will either get extremely weak or die. The biggest problem I had with the movie is the fortune telling scene with Angela the witch. This junk is unfortunately common in most fantasy (but not the best fantasy by J.R.R T and C.S. Lewis.) I as a Christian know that magic and witchcraft is a source of false power from the devil and that true supernatural power only comes from God’s Holy Spirit so I believe that I can watch this movie without it leading me astray. I put a “once and a while” label on it. I wouldn’t put it on the Harry Potter level because those stories draw on actual witchcraft and it’s practices as a source of power for the main characters, most of the magic in Eragon’s world Is fake.

All in all, I’d give “Eragon” three stars. One for the visual effects, one for the casting and the last because even though the script comes short it’s still an fun movie to watch. I think they could have gone deeper into the story and been truer to the book. Some might think that if it was a longer and more detailed story it would get slow, but I disagree. With the good editing they could have added on at least a half hour which could have told the story more fully and made it a more satisfying experience. I’d probably put the age marker at 14 and up. If you have a 12 or 13 year old person strong in your faith, can discern between fake supernatural power and real supernatural power and are able to handle scary creatures and battles then I think he or she would be fine.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Ian Davidson, age 16
Positive—As a person who has read the books (Both of them), I can’t understand why people are complaining about it. I loved it. I was hooked through the whole movie, and the special effects were amazing. And as to why they cut out so many scenes, anyone who has actually read the books would know that they couldn’t possibly fit everything in because the movie would then be 5 hours long. And as much as I love Eragon, even I wouldn’t sit through a 5 hour movie. Despite what other people say, I found the acting was quite good. I especially loved how good they were talking with Saphira (The dragon), considering that she isn’t really there. It’s hard enough acting when you can actually see the person, but interacting with something that’s not there is even more difficult.

As for the morals in this movie, I found nothing offensive. It is a classic tail (pun intended!) of good versus evil. And yes, although Durza was possessed, it was clearly an evil thing. There was nothing good about what he was. In the movie, it also shows that Eragon must not be selfish. There are times when he almost dies because he was trying to help someone. Very young children shouldn’t see this movie, just because there are a few frightening images. But I would recommend it for anyone from about 10 up.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Rachel Hutcheson, age 16
Neutral—The movie itself was not at all offensive, as a matter of fact, it was quite clean. Although the creatures of evil that are shown are pretty frightening, I thought that it was necessary, I mean, who’d want an evil assassin that looked like prince charming? The graphics were GREAT, especially Saphira (Eragon’s dragon). I just feel it was a waste; they had a great book and great graphics, but it lacked meaning, it lacked atmosphere, it lacked good interpretation from the book. I think that cramming that much story into that short of a film was a mistake. From the Christian point of view, the only thing I found questionable was the witch and the fortune telling, but even that was only for a brief moment and it did not display much. Overall, no problem, but it just wasn’t a very well-made film.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 1½
—Josh, age 14
Neutral—After reading both Eragon and Eldest, I was slightly disappointed. The movie makers left out TONS from the book and compared to the incredible books, the movie was horrible! BUT, when comparing this movie not to the book but to other movies, it was decent. It did have some magic and sorts in it but no sex scenes or profanity. In my opinion, the movie seemed to cut itself short. When the movie ended I was left thinking…'that’s the end?' It didn’t seem long at all. I think this movie has great potential, but not enough work was put into it, it seems, to have been able to bring the story to life. The acting was great, in my opinion, but on some of my friends, they disagreed. If you have read the book, be prepared to be disappointed. If you have not, who knows what you will think? You may be pleasantly surprised or horribly disgusted that you paid money to see “Eragon.”
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Alexis, age 14
Positive—This movie was a great movie for me and my friend. It does, however, have some questionable things included. There is a lot of magic in the movie. For instance there is a creepy shade (sorcerer filled with demonic spirits) named Desmund who is completely evil. He kills his minions with his nails and he poisons Arya (an elf) by touching her. The difference is Desmund’s magic and other shade’s magic comes from demonic spirits so his power comes from evil sources. The dragon rider’s magic comes from an elvin language. The theory states if you know the true name of an object such as fire you can manipulate and control fire. So it is not like casting a spell it is like calling the item to do something. “Eragon” also has violence in it, especially the end. His dragon chomps and ignites the enemy. Also people get shot with arrows and stabbed. Desmund also tortures people with his mind as seen when he puts his hand over Arya’s head. There is one part where Eragon pulls Arya’s shirt back so he can see where Desmund poisoned her, but nothing is seen. I really enjoyed this movie because I like action. Trust me this has a lot of action. There may be some questionable content but I am sure many people will enjoy “Eragon.”
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—TJ, age 12
Negative—This movie STUNK. I had been looking forward to “Eragon” ever since I first saw a behind-the-scenes preview for it back in 2003, and what do I get? The corniest, most disappointing movie in the universe. Stefen Fangmier (the director) didn’t stick to the book AT ALL. It was only ninety minutes long. It was the corniest movie in the history of the universe. Here are some really corny lines that were in it:

“He knows about dragons”'—Eragon to Saphira. Um, duh?
“Some friends can’t be replaced. But luckily, some don’t have to be”—Murtagh to Eragon as Eragon thinks Saphira is dead
“Hey. I have SKILLS. Me and my cousin have trained. With swords”—Eragon to Brom
You’d have to see the movie to understand just how cheesy these lines sounded, but during each line, the movie was supposed to be dramatic and suspenseful. You know what my sisters and I did when we saw it? We laughed hysterically. We laughed at the most “serious” moments they were so flippin corny.

And another thing: Murtagh was the best part in the book and was in it more than Arya and Brom. You know how many scenes he made in the movie? I counted. EIGHT. And he had about EIGHT lines. And he was only in the movie, altogether, five minutes. …And another thing. In the book, Arya was guarded and mean and moody 24-7. In the movie, she’s flirty and carefree and oh-so-happy all the flippin time.
Ooooh, I could go on forever telling how horrible the movie was. But I hate thinking about it. Just save yourselves seven bucks, people, and never see Eragon. It was the most disappointing and corny movie of all time, and I want to burn it from my memory.
My Ratings: Offensive / 1
—Kelsey, age 13
Positive—The first time I went to see “Eragon,” I wasn’t looking forward to seeing it. I like dragons and fantasy, but I thought this movie would be boring. Since Edward Speleers didn’t have any real acting experience, it made me not want to see the movie at all. Being that I like dragons and fantasy, I decided to give the movie a try. I LOVED it! It is such a good movie! I am totally glad I went to see it. I ended up seeing it 4+ times. It had some scary images and scary fighting scenes (doesn’t bother me), but it was still a good movie. I had read the book and it was really different from the movie. A lot of people were expecting it to be like the book—with every little detail in it. If it had every single detail, it would be at least 3 ½ hours, if not more. In all, it is my favorite movie! I can’t wait until the other movies come out!
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Caitlin, age 12
Negative—“Eragon” was terrible. It was nothing like the book and had some pretty cheesy sequences in it. I have to admit Saphira was pretty awesome for CGI. Don’t waste your time, watching this movie.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2
—Daniel Wimberly, age 14
Neutral—This movie was only satisfactory; I didn’t find it very offensive, it was just not very well put together—the graphics were not the best I’ve seen. The storyline should have been more descriptive, and, though I didn’t notice, my cousin said that Saphira, the dragon’s foot completely disappeared out of one scene. If you want good graphics, storyline, and don’t mind some violence, I suggest to you, “The Lord of the Rings.”
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Nina, age 14
Neutral—The movie “Eragon” was VERY different from the book. I had read the book, and boy, they made some EXTREME changes. Before you judge the movie to the extreme, remember these 2 things: 1.) If the lines where bad, don’t blame the actors. Blame the director for writting the stupid lines. 2.) If you didn’t like the job Ed Speleers (Eragon) did, remember it was his 1st time in a major movie. Personally, I like the book better, but it was still an okay movie.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Melody Thatcher, age 15
Negative—This was one of most disappointing movie I’ve ever seen. I was expecting a lot more from this one. There is almost no action whatsoever. In fact, the best fighting scene only lasted about thirty seconds. Morally, the only possibly offensive part of this movie is the amount of magic used. Eragon (Speelers) learns all kinds of spells from his mentor, Brom (Irons). In my mind, the amount of magic used wasn’t quite enough to make it offensive. It just made it too easy for Eragon and made the movie much more boring.

This is merely a special effects movie, which is about the only thing that is well done in this film. The acting was terrible. Jeremy Irons was OK. Ed Speelers (Eragon) was terrible, as was Rachel Weisz (Saphira). The best performance was provided by Robert Carlyle as Durza. He was the only actor that did a very good job with his part. Overall, this is a special effects movie. There’s not much of a storyline and not much action, and dreadful acting.

This movie isn’t for younger viewers. Parents should take warning in spite of the PG rating. In my mind, the movie almost earns a PG-13 rating. In one scene Eragon shoots Durza in the forehead with an arrow. In another scene, Durza kills an Urgal by piercing the side of its head with his long fingernail. This scene seemed like it didn’t want to end with the Urgal’s eyes getting wider and wider, while Durza looks on. There is, however, very little blood throughout. I can’t really recommend this film to anyone. Not because it has offensive material in it. Because it was one of the most boring films I’ve ever seen.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Joseph Hughey, age 14
Positive—I loved this movie! The entire thing was great. The plot and graphics were so awesome! “Eragon” the movie was so great I read the books, too! The only part that bothered me a little bit was the witch, but it’s just fiction, and the witchcraft wasn’t that extreme. It was great, and if you’re considering watching this movie, don’t give it a second thought!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Phil, age 13 (USA)