This film adaptation of The Golden Compass/Northern Lights book is just insipid and boring. The mildly-bad rating at Rotten Tomatoes is way too generous. They removed all that was good, or at least interesting, about the book - the ethical ambiguity, the dogmatic-religion-bashing - and left the rest as the level of the Narnia film.
The director has apparently promised to do a better job if sequels come out, which I've read is unlikely. That's probably a good thing instead of counting on the same team to do better in the future. I'd rather see this project die for a decade or so, and then have someone else do a much better job from the beginning.
If you want something more than reading the Dark Materials books, try the radio play version produced by BBC. Audible.com has it, and it's excellent. I'd be very interested in a DVD that just filmed the play that was made from the books, but I'm not aware of it having been filmed.
Also on the subject of fantasy/sci-fi, I watched Cube Zero, a mediocre and unworthy follow-up to the excellent if somewhat bloody Cube. I think I'll skip the other follow-up movie, Hypercube.