So this is coming from me, Harry Potter-phile that I am.
The movie was awesome. Visually stunning. Well acted. Stayed true to the core of the series and the novel itself. And, frankly, the book was too long and the film was able to tidy up some especially drawn out parts from the text.
I do feel bad for those who see these movies without reading the books because some of this stuff must go WAY over your head, but, hey, go read the books then.
One shocking news flash during the previews--MY FAVORITE SERIES as a kid was The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. They have apparently made a movie of the second book. I had no idea that was happening. I'm not sure they have stayed faithful AT ALL to the series, but between that and Golden Compass' arrival this Christmas--it's almost too much movie magic to bear.
Also, not a good thing to see a movie where London figures prominently when you are desperate to go on a trip to London next year. Keep those toes crossed, people!