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The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

… trying to cash in on the current craze for boy wizards … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0
    38

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    A movie that should've been made shortly after its source material -- Susan Cooper's Newbery winner -- debuted in 1973. As is, it feels entirely too generic to work today.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Starts out with promise but staggers under the weight of trying to take on too much.The tone is murky: The story attempts to blend adolescent angst with fantasy adventure, and the result is rather clunky.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    The film plods along without a lot of excitement or inspiration.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    At its best, The Seeker is a pretty vivid fantasy book come-to-life; it does a decent, passable job of adding to the canon of kid-lit flicks.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Disappointing adaptation of a great kids' book.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one scene in this fantasy movie stands out as too much for younger kids: Hundreds and hundreds of snakes attack people in a church, pursuing the teen hero to a crypt littered with skeletons (one of which briefly comes to life). Black birds gather in droves and attack, and Will is constantly pursued by a dark force, most often in the form of a masked man on horseback. The forces also threaten Will's whole family; at one point, giant icicles rain down on them. Will witnesses some violent events in his time travels, including the pillaging of a medieval village and the start of a cockfight in a tavern. In anger and frustration, he sets off a fiery explosion. Adults drink a little ale and wine.

  • Families can talk about the themes in this movie that they've seen in other fantasy movies and books -- like dark riders, forces of light and dark, the gathering of signs, time travel, and reluctant heroes. Which specific books or movies does this one remind you of? Why? If kids have read the book, they can talk about the differences in this telling (expect them to be talking for a long time...).

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Not an issue

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Teams of birds and snakes attack at different times -- the Old Ones are completely covered in snakes at one point (they seem oddly calm about it). A crypt is littered with bones -- there's one shocking close-up of a skull. The masked Black Rider is always in pursuit -- sometimes with black, curtainy emptiness swirling around him, sucking up everything in its path. Will sets off an explosion in anger and knocks his brother out with a punch. Mention of a kidnapping that devastated Will's parents. A medieval village is pillaged. A bar in 1690 stages a cockfight (not shown). Giant icicles crash down on Will's family, and they're threatened by forces of the Dark to get to Will.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Teens engage in mild flirting. Teasing about puberty and body changes.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: iPod and Xbox

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some wine and ale drinking by adults. Two men let themselves into a pub during the snowstorm and pour themselves pints.

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