The NYT opens with this:
“Eragon” is what happens when misguided studio executives option a novel written by a teenager (Christopher Paolini) with a head full of Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. Le Guin. Not full enough, however; this boy-and-his-dragon fantasy set in a land bristling with Tolkienesque nomenclature and earnest British actors is as lacking in fresh ideas as Tim Allen’s manager.Empire Online concludes, "Technically competent, but essentially a fantasy movie that mistakes industrial light for magic. As dragon movies go, Dragonslayer, Reign Of Fire and even Dragonheart can rest easy." Time Out says, "this cut-and-paste 'sword and sorcery' film is a painful reminder of what fantasy cinema was like before the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy re-wrote the rules." Deep Focus Review gives it 1 out of 4 stars and says, "One of the most derivative movies I’ve ever seen, Eragon wishes it was The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, but plays out like a bad video game. With hokey dialogue and plot contrivances that mirror its betters, the film fails to be anything but a pitiable offshoot of superior movies."
The Guardian calls it "One for the Freudians." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 16%.