Author: Rated PG
After a man with the power to bring books to life by reading out loud finds himself trapped in a story with his daughter, he must use his power to get them out of danger.
“I prefer a story that has the good sense to stay on the page—where it belongs!” declares Elinor Loredan (Helen Mirren, in fine upper-crust form) in Inkheart, a rollicking adventure that appeals to adults as well as tweens and teens. But if Elinor got what she wanted, viewers would not—for the delicious premise of the film (based on Cornelia Funke’s best-selling novel) is that book lover Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser) has discovered a way to bring book characters to life. That means that adorable Toto from The Wizard of Oz is suddenly yapping under Mo’s daughter Meggie’s (Eliza Bennett) bed. But it also means that somewhere, a real person or thing has been sucked into the book world—battling flying monkeys and evildoers that suddenly are real threats. The film is crisply directed by Iain Softley, and Fraser and his costars (including Mirren, Paul Bettany, and Jim Broadbent) are worthy, watchable characters who appear to be having as much fun as the audience. And the film’s pro-book message will please young book readers, and their parents, who know that a good adventure in one’s imagination can never be rivaled by anything on any screen, of any size. —A.T. Hurley