Box art for Inkheart


action & adventure, children & family

Meggie's father has a wonderful talent: When he reads aloud, the characters literally come to life, an ability he discovered while he read from the story Inkheart.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 9
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
1 out of 5

Tween-targeted fantasy adaptation is no Harry Potter.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this family-friendly fantasy is based on author Cornelia Funke's best-selling young adult novel. As in the book, there's a dark tone to the story, and the threat of violence seems real (especially the death threats). The "inked" villains may disturb younger kids, although some of the fantastical elements are funny. Henchmen hold people hostage, threaten to kill people, and burn property, and characters are in serious danger through most of the film. There's mild flirting between two younger characters and a quick kiss and embrace between married couples.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about whether scary characters and events based in fantasy are less frightening than those based in real life. Why or why not?
  • What does this story have in common with other movies based on popularyoung adult books? How is it different?
  • If you've read the originalbook, how does the movie compare? Is this a faithful adaptation?
  • Why doyou think filmmakers sometimes change things from books? Families canalso discuss secrets.
  • What's the difference between secrets and lies?Are lies used for good reasons OK?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 27
    see all Inkheart reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: A movie that can produce the image of Helen Mirren astride a unicorn has some claim on the audience's interest, and a movie that can make that image seem perfectly uninteresting is in some serious trouble.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, January 23, 2009

Rotten: The film's storybook Alpine vistas are lovely to behold, and bits of humor pop out in welcome moments. Other than that, it never quite springs to life as intended -- not in your kitchen, and not on screen.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 23, 2009

Fresh: The aesthetics of Inkheart are part of what make it such a surprisingly enjoyable experience to watch.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, January 23, 2009

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I have not read the original source material but the movie has a nice wholesome quality with good direction, well used but not overused CGI. I would say a much better job of adapting a fantasy book to big screen than others, IE things like the Seeker Dark Is Rising or even Goodkinds TV series. Overall I enjoyed the show.

- jmanard52, Tuesday, June 30, 2009

3 stars

It's ironic that a text with such great and obvious love for literature be a movie, but there you go. Every actor in this movie did a really great job and made thier character very memorable without throwing the rest of the characters off balance. I really like the way that this film creates two layers to its narrative, one being the fiction and the other being "real life". It's great to see how the two world interact with each other: the little trappings of our world that the book's villain really relishes, the way fire behaves differently, much to the dismay of Paul Bettany's character, or the wonderment of the book's author at seeing his characters standing in front of him. The film's story is really engaging and rather simple: a guy with the ability to make the words he reads manifest themselves all around him swears off books after he loses his wife in one story and pulls out other, less benign characters. When the book's villain gets a stronghold in the real world, he and his daughter have to use his talent and figure out how best to defend their world. In the meantime, all the characters they meet are engaging and fun. I especially like Andy Serkis as Copernicus, the henchman of the book's villain who's just so thrilled to be in a world where he gets to be the main villain of his own story.

- MidnightMadwoman, Monday, September 27, 2010

3 stars

Fraser, Bettany, Bettany, Fraser ^_^ Wrrrrrrr!!!!!

- Gx7, Sunday, September 19, 2010