When it comes to the kids-lit adaptation Inkheart, fans are probably better off sticking to the book, say critics. Brendan Fraser stars as a father with the power to bring characters off the page to life, but the special-effects-driven movie fails to capture the "dark whimsy" of the best-selling original, Sheri Linden writes in the Los Angeles Times.
The medieval-tinged world conjured up on screen is initially enchanting, but it is soon bombarded "with a noisy overload of characters and subplots," as endless fictional villains emerge, writes Prairie Miller at NewsBlaze. Inkheart drives home its message on the power of the written word, Matt Stevens writes at E! Online, but "this flaccid adaptation proves the book is mightier than the film."