I haven't read the books so everything I knew about it beforehand came from seeing pictures of the Gunslinger and the Man in Black, and the trailers. I really enjoyed the film. Idris Elba is one of those actors who somehow expresses a gamut of emotions without actually doing anything more than raising an eyebrow or narrowing his eyes. I have no idea how he does it - Mark Rylance is the same. The kid in the story is excellent too, I was rooting for him right away and he kept my attention whenever he was on screen, which is no mean feat when half his scenes are with Idris. Added to which, I thought several of the supporting characters were really strong - the mother and the psychic in the village in particular.
The sorcerous Man in Black was chilling. His powers were just so casual, and so devastatingly effective. I never really got a sense of why he was so determined to loose the apocalypse on all the worlds but that didn't really matter. He was genuinely scary, all the more so because he didn't appear to be bat-shit crazy.
Oh and I loved all the drawings.
So anyway, I'd be interested to know what other people think, especially as my cinema buddy didn't like it and said she got bored halfway through. Probably around about the time I was thinking, well, this is tense.