Any old actor will tell you to never share the stage with children or animals. Certainly, that is the case here, as the film is almost exclusively child and animal—and wonderful.
We all read the book so I will be brief: Every critic has described the novel as un-filmable, so apparently Ang Lee was up for the challenge. Precocious boy, Bengal tiger, life raft—how can it possibly end well? Go see it and find out.
I will use a word I rarely use when describing a movie, because it rarely applies: beautiful. This is a beautiful film. Enough said.
It’s an 8.