Here is quote from Scott Holleran's review, Directional Fantasy Loses Its Way.
With an air of theatricality, fun and fantasy—battling the Vatican-ish Magisterium's minions—The Golden Compass recalls everything from Pirates of the Caribbean and Escape from Witch Mountain to The Lord of the Rings. But it lacks cohesion, as if it's mandated to include each literary invention without regard to intelligibility. The Golden Compass lets the needle spin around and around. (Box Office Mojo, 11/30/07.)