I just got back from seeing "The Golden Compass." If you haven't read the books, you're gonna love it. If you've read them, it still very, very good. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
I recently read "The Spiderwick Chronicles" (yes, I know they are for children only, unlike most kids books these days) and while the story was simplistic it is a very good story. I'm really looking forward to the movie (saw the trailer at "Golden Compass"). The movie looks like it's targeting an older crowd than the books.
Since I'm discussing movies made from books, don't bother with "Stardust" if you've read the book. They got most of the names right, but that's about it. In fact, if I were the author, I'd sue for defamation of characters.
I'd guess that if you never read the book, you'll probably like the movie but it's one of the worst adaptations I've ever