Aaron Shurtleff: “It ruled.”
The first question you should be asking yourself is, "Have I read this already?" Seriously. I cannot stress the importance of reading the graphic novel (or it's graphic-less novel form) before seeing this movie. The story (which is by Neil Gaiman...if you are familiar with his work, that will mean something to you, take it for what it is) in the movie is not exactly identical to the graphic novel's plot, which was something of an annoyance to me. I think that a lot of the appeal to me of Gaiman's works is the way he tells a story, and relates everything to everything else. This movie, while still enjoyable, changes enough of the novel's original plot line that it really end up lacking in the end, though what it is that is missing escapes me.
This is, to give it the best genre I can, a magical, romantic fairy tale. A young man, trying desperately to win the heart of a woman who intends to accept the marriage proposal of another man, sees a falling star, and swears to return that star to his beloved, if she would but consent to marry him. Feeling that such an oath is so much hot air, she accepts, and thus young Tristan sets out on a quest to return the star to her. Unfortunately, the star has fallen on the other side of The Wall, which is the border to a magical realm (in the novel, it's Faerie, but that's not mentioned in the movie, in which the land is called Stormhold). And, if you are familar with Neil Gaiman, there are a host of sub-plots and side plots that all run parallel to the main story, which would be too much of a spoiler to discuss, I think.
The acting is very good. Michelle Pfeiffer plays an evil witch. Robert DeNiro plays a dashing pirate captain (the funny twist on this character does not happen in the novel!). Charlie Cox does a very good job with the role of Tristan. And the star of the film (pun intended) is, of course, the lovely Claire Danes, who plays the part of Yvaine. You'll understand the pun when you see the movie! Of course, I have a huge crush on Claire Danes, so take that into consideration.
In summation, I give this a It Ruled, but I am bothered by the changes between the novel and the movie. I'd say see the movie and read the novel, and see which you prefer, but see the movie!
Kelly Hardie: As a Gaiman fan, I am satisfied. However, I am again reminded that Claire Danes can't act. It looked like she was having a stroke while trying to act out some of the more touching scenes. − September 8, 2007 more by Kelly
Scott Hardie: Aaron, I'm a big Claire Danes fan too, but I have to side with Kelly on this, and not because I'm a bigger Kelly Lee fan. Danes was an exceptional actress as a teenager, but she doesn't seem to have advanced her craft much since then. What's that line from Sunset Blvd? "It's the pictures that got small." − September 10, 2007 more by Scott
Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”
Big ideas are the currency of Stardust and it gets pretty far on them, with lightning pirates and aging witches and fratricidal princes. But Claire Danes is terrible as the blank female lead, and the homophobic jokes just fall flat. Too bad.