Inkheart is a phenomenal story. Unfortunately, it stars Brendan Fraser and has a jumpy plot and shaky cinematography.
I think Brendan Fraser is a talented actor, but his talents lie mostly in being a grunting oaf (George of the Jungle) or a troglodyte (Encino Man). That's not a dis on Fraser -- I happen to have enjoyed each of those movies in its own right. :) As Inkheart's leading character, Mo Folchart, his talents fall short.
Mo Folchart is a silvertongue: when he reads aloud, the book comes to life. Part of the book. Characters, treasures, events. Mo can't control which part of the book, and when something comes out of the book, something from life goes in to the book.
When his daughter, Meggie (played by Eliza Bennett), is young, he reads aloud from the book Inkheart, not fully comprehending his silvertongue powers. As he reads, characters from the book, including the villain Capricorn, come out and his wife, Resa, goes in. The story of Inkheart (the movie) picks up 10 or so years later, with Mo spending all of his time searching for another copy of Inkheart (the book) with his daughter Meggie, who doesn't remember what happened to her mother.
In his search for the book, Mo finds another character that he has read out of the book, Dustfinger, a fire-eater who only wants Mo to put him back in the book where his family is. Dustfinger, Mo, and Meggie become part of a great adventure to find Resa, return Dustfinger, and defeat Capricorn, who is bent on bringing as much evil as possible into this new modern world that he is enjoying so much.
Like I said earlier, I love the story and all that it could be. The movie adaptation is, I think, lacking the finer detail that must be found in the book. The plot jumps and seems inconsistent at times, as if details found in the novel were left out for time's sake. And, as I mentioned, the cinematography is shaky--literally. There are too many strobe light-esque scenes for me, and often the cinematography detracts from what is actually going on in the movie. Seeing this movie made me resolve to read to book to experience the story as Cornelia Funke, the novel's author, intended.
Final word: C. I'd recommend reading the book over renting the movie, even though I've yet to actually read the book. If you must rent it, diminish your losses by redboxing it for $1.