Mark Waters's rousing adaptation of the popular children's novels plops a troubled human family into an enchanted Victorian mansion, soon beset by an army of goblins and a murderous ogre (Nick Nolte). To outwit them, twin boys (Freddie Highmore in a dual role) and their older sister (Sarah Bolger) must safeguard the field guide to faerie folk an ancestor (David Strathairn) penned long ago. Meticulously rendered CGI creatures—from Arthur Rackham-esque flower sprites to a troll that could have sprung from Jurassic Park—spike this dark adventure, shot marvelously by Caleb Deschanel. With Mary-Louise Parker, Joan Plowright, and the voices of Seth Rogen and Martin Short. PG, 97 min.
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