Harry Potter 1-8 or 7 part 2
Updated: Jan 4
So, this review is going to be slightly different due to getting Sky Cinema recently I have decided to sit and watch all of the Harry Potter movies pretty much one or two every day for a week and it gave me a new idea for a blog. I am going too briefly summarise each film and give each one a score out of 5. I will then work out the average score and that will be the whole series score and will then make a conclusion based on said score.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone (2001)
An orphaned boy enrolls in a school of wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world.
The first film has one of the highlights of the whole series for me and that is when Hogwarts is revealed when all the kids are going down the river in their little wooden boats holding a lamp with the John Williams score makes for such a great bit of filmmaking by Chris Columbus. The film as a hole was a wholesome tale and created a magical world that led to the creation of many more movies but other than that doesn’t have a lot going for it.
I rate this movie a 3/5.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
An ancient prophecy seems to be coming true when a mysterious presence begins stalking the corridors of a school of magic and leaving its victims paralyzed.
The second one builds on the friendships that Harry Potter has made and began to explore some more dark undertones in the world of Harry Potter. Directed by Chris Columbus again he tried to deliver a mysterious story with a darker concept. One moment that stands out to me is when the reveal of Aragon, the giant spider in the forbidden forest, happens with his deep loud voice that seems to go over Ron and Harry like they mean nothing. It points the way in which the series is to go but does feel like it is held back by the fantastical world to an extent but I actually think I prefer this one more than the first as there are more dynamic and complex characters.
I rate this film a 3.5/5.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for their third year of study, where they delve into the mystery surrounding an escaped prisoner who poses a dangerous threat to the young wizard.
Prisoner of Azkaban is a true favourite of mine in the Harry Potter series and Warner Bros. decided to get a new director for this instalment in Alfonso Cuaron. At the time he was a completely unheard-of director and now he is one that people should know about, going on to direct movies such as: Children of Men (2006), Gravity (2013) and Roma (2018). This film had some great direction one scene in particular that stands out to me is when Mr Weasley pulls Harry to one side to talk to him about Sirius Black and as the conversation goes on Mr Weasley literally moves Harry away from his friends and makes him more isolated. This is a fantastic bit of direction and a stroke of pure genius. Another trick I cannot get my head through in this movie is how the hell do they get the camera too look like it is passing through the glass effortlessly within one shot (if anyone knows please feel free to share). By far my favourite of the lot in terms of filmmaking.
I rate this film a 4.5/5.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter finds himself competing in a hazardous tournament between rival schools of magic, but he is distracted by recurring nightmares.
Now film analysis aside and focus on just which Harry Potter movie is my favourite is The Goblet of Fire. This is where the end of the series truly begins and the wheels get put into motion. It uses a simple portkey established at the beginning of the film as a mere magical moment to be observed and turns it into a plot device that ties the story together near the end. I love the concept of the Triwizard Cup and it is amazing to watch unravel on screen and watch as Harrys world crumbles around him as everyone begins to judge him for entering a competition at aged 14 for people above the age of 17. It makes for a truly fantastic watch and probably the movie I could watch on repeat the most.
I rate this film a 4/5.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.
Probably one that people think is the worst instalment of the series but one I rather like. I liked the whole Wizarding world denial that Voldermort isn’t back and that the whole media and Minister for Magic is in on the denial. It makes no sense for them to be in denial but for some reason they are and it interesting to watch. The fact that the Ministry for Magic interferes in Hogwarts sending Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) to teach there and put the school in its place. What a performance as well from Imelda Staunton I think everyone who loves Harry Potter or has watched it will remember her character and how horrible she was and it was a perfect performance. The film finishes with a great battle sequence between Dumbledore and Voldermort. Resulting in the Minister for Magic turning up and seeing Voldermort in the flesh resulting in a stop and a simple line of ‘He’s Back’ is almost the perfect way to end the film.
I rate this film a 3.5/5.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.
This is another one that I really like, one that Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) really shines his enigmatic character really draws me in throughout this film and gave it that extra dynamic that really pushed the story forward. I loved the whole idea of Harry toying with his morality of what to do with the potion book that has got him so far throughout the year. I think this had the most complex story that helped expand the world further. So brilliant moments that connected Harry and Snape really well.
I rate this film a 4/5.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
As Harry, Ron, and Hermione race against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, they uncover the existence of the three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: The Deathly Hallows.
This part of the movie starts off really nicely the movie has a great tone to it and is the perfect tone after the end of The Half Blood Prince which finishes on a truly bleak tone. The film explores a very emotional tone and real homes in one the three lead characters. There isn’t much in terms of conflict within this movie other than internal conflict and I think that this is where this movie falls a bit flat. The lack of external conflict really takes away from this film that leaves it feeling a bit empty. I understand that it is more of a go on the road start to a journey but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have external conflict.
I rate this film a 3/5.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.
Now it only occurred to me as I got to this last film how perfect the balance between practical effects and CGI neither are truly overbearing and I didn’t even think of the effects and that goes to show that they have been used in the completely right way ‘to tell the story’ not as just a green screen backdrop because it was filmed in a studio because its cheaper but the effects whether digital or practical had a purpose to the story and I think that is what a lot of movies now miss. This film tied up the story and world of Harry Potter up nicely but also provided a basis for a new world to be built on. However I do feel it was a bit rushed with the fact that they seem to find so many horcruxes in the last movie.
I rate this film a 3.5/5.
So, the average score for the whole Harry Potter series is: 29/40. Which averages out to 3.625/5.
Whether that is good or bad I’ll let you decide. I think it’s a good score but not amazing. Maybe I’ve been harsh but I’ll leave that too you to decide.
Overall, I think that the Harry Potter series is thoroughly enjoyable and well worthy of a slightly above average score. The pros are that it creates a world that will forever stamp itself in British culture and the franchise will forever be remembered. Alan Rickman was fantastic as Severus Snape and his character was so complex that it really drew me in in the last few films. As a whole it is heart-warming and is a series of films that really cements the groundworks of the fantasy genre so may deserve a higher score.
I enjoyed this review and it was something really different and I hope you enjoy my thoughts.
Until the next one,