One of the longstanding complaints that people have made about the movies and other visual media is that they steal the imaginations of children who would be better off reading books. So it's kind of ironic, even amusing, when a film like Inkheart comes along and celebrates the power of literature, of sitting down and turning page after page. And while this particular film is, itself, based on a book (in this case, a best-selling German children's novel by Cornelia Funke), the story is perfectly suited to the cinematic medium, because it is all about fictitious characters who come to life, springing off the page and finding themselves living and moving in our own world.

How these characters come to life is something of a mystery. A narrator tells us that some people simply have the ability to bring fictitious characters to life by reading their stories out loud, and he says these people are called "silvertongues." But who calls them this? The main "silvertongue" we meet—and he discovers his power accidentally and in a somewhat tragic way before the main plot even begins—is Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser), a devoted dad who doesn't seem to be connected to any of the other "silvertongues" out there. And even when we do meet another man who has this power, there is no sense that they've formed, like, a guild or anything.

More significantly, we learn that, when a character is brought to life, he or she will tend to switch places with someone from the real world—so as the fictitious characters appear in our world, any real-life people who happen to be nearby could find themselves stranded in the work of fiction. And it's not just the copy of that book being read by the "silvertongue" that is affected: as the main story ...

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Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
(4 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language)
Directed By
Iain Softley
Run Time
3 minutes
Brendan Fraser, Andy Serkis, Eliza Bennett
Theatre Release
January 23, 2009 by New Line Cinema
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