5 stars. Buy a copy for your collection.
While I will forever argue that the book would be over the heads of an average 12 year old, (You lj'ers are atypical and could easily handle the series) the movie did a great job of compiling a lot of material very quickly as long as you paid close attention to ALL the dialog. There are NO wasted words in this movie. Pay attention, go with the flow and don't get tied up with questions like, "Can you have a daemon with a human form?" and you'll have a wonderful time.
Some cool shots thumbnailed for you. Click to get the full and awesome effect.
Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter was stellar, and Dakota Blue Richards was genetically created in a laboratory in Switzerland to play Lyra.