This is a film situated precisely on the dividing line between traditional family entertainment and the newer action-oriented family films. It is charming and scary in about equal measure, and confident for the first two acts that it can be wonderful without having to hammer us into enjoying it, or else. Then it starts hammering. Some of the scenes toward the end push the edge of the PG envelope, and like the Harry Potter series, the Narnia stories may eventually tilt over into R. But it's remarkable, isn't it, that the Brits have produced Narnia, the Ring, Hogwarts, Gormenghast, James Bond, Alice and Pooh, and what have we produced for them in return? I was going to say "the cuckoo clock," but for that you would require a three-way Google of Italy, Switzerland and Harry Lime.
The folks at Rotten Tomatoes offer a host of links to reviews, both positive and negative.
Disney downplays the Christian aspect of its marketing campaign:
Mark Johnson, the producer of the film who has also worked on Rain Man, has responded to claims suggesting that "the church is being used by Hollywood" by revealing that only 5% of the marketing budget has involved religious organisations. Disney has appointed US evangelical publisher Outreach to promote the Christian message of the film in churches and, according to reports, the Christian radio station Premier has been urging churches to hold services based on the theme of the film. (Brand Republic)
A mostly positive article from Village Voice:
Certainly, post-Passion, the Christian demographic is more important than ever before. "The audience and network for attracting and organizing said audience is very much there and the apparatus, from marketers to grassroots teams, has gotten way more developed and sophisticated," says Mark Urman, head of theatrical distribution for THINKFilm, which next Easter plans to release The Big Question, a documentary about the existence of God shot on the set of The Passion of the Christ.