"The Da Vinci Code," Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's literary-pop phenomenon, is a glossy and effective thriller. The production is solid, well-cast, and mostly free of frills (save for some eye-catching flashbacks and animated code-breakings). Howard manages the material well, keeping the narrative compelling and allowing a subdued Tom Hanks to drive the film as cypher-sleuth, Robert Langdon.
The film, however, comes with a caveat: full enjoyment of "The Da Vinci Code" may be contingent upon its audience's acceptance of the religious/historical conspiracy at the core of the story. For those turned off by it, the film will prove laughable. For those who might entertain the potential plausibility of the whole affair, or who are at least intrigued by the ornamental codes and symbols, the film will prove gripping, entertaining, and worthy of discussion.