Horner is magical. Even if I don't particularly like a specific score or cue, I do appreciate the *immense* amount of creativity that goes into scoring a movie and/or composing symphonic music in general.
I think that while critics have their place, they should also criticize with this in mind. Anyone can stand back and make calls on what a quarterback should have done in a game. But, that person is NOT on the field playing the game, is NOT in the studio composing music.
It is said that one of the greatest challenges to overcome is exactly how to fill that blank page, whether it be for a novel or a musical score.
My hat is off to Horner for composing yet another MAGICAL score. And there are elements from his earlier scores, for sure, but they are used in ingenious ways here and not overdone. Spiderwick has a magic all its own. Before people criticize Horner (and others), I ask: have YOU composed a successful score? Or at the very least, do you compose music at all? It's much harder than most people appreciate.