I was very much looking forward to watching this film, even with the mixed (to be generous) reviews it was receiving. I love books and I loved the idea of characters coming out of books into the real world. And I like, or don't mind, the presence of Brendon Fraser.
Inkheart is a pleasant fantasy film, nicely executed on many levels. There were quite a few nods to the classics, especially for some reason, The Wizard of Oz (Toto, flying monkeys, a tornado, and Dorothy's farmhouse all make appearances). Perhaps it would have been even better if characters from these real books would have taken center stage, rather than those from a third rate novel that can't even be kept in print.
I can see why the 'real' film critics generally marked it down. The directing sagged at times. The screenplay was a bit rough, with too many characters for too little (too much?) plot and not enough genuine peril. That, perhaps, was on purpose, in order to bring in the kids. But in that case the plot was certainly too byzantine. It was almost as convoluted as the streets in the bad guy's mountain village. So even though the film worked for me, I can see most adults resisting its charms.