Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart. I started reading the books because my parents said I could watch the PG-13 ones if I finished them. The idea of viewing a scandalous PG-13 motion picture enthralled me, and I immediately picked up the first book at the library. I blew through the series so quickly, that the pages were singed afterwards. I finished each book within a week. (With the exception of the bore that is the Order of the Pheonix. That took me a month.) The books were so interesting, so accessible, and they really felt magical! After I finished a book, I watched the corresponding movie. That made Goblet of Fire my very first PG-13 movie. I was officially a big boy. I loved the movies just as much as I loved the books. With the recent release of The Crimes of Grindlewald, I thought it would be fun to rank the ten films in the Potter-Verse.
(SPOILERS AHEAD! AVERT YOUR MUGGLE EYES!)
10- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Harry Potter and the Everlasting Camping Trip is easily my least favorite Potter flick. The first part is great, the last part is great, and there is a great scene in Gringotts in the middle. Everything else is camping. And while they’re camping, they spend their time with stupid middle-school drama. Deathly Hallows should not have been two movies.
9- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The romantic plots in Potter films have never been great, and Half-Blood has the most of them. Besides the romances, nothing really happens in this movie… until it does. The really dark third act is really jarring after 2 hours of quirky fun times with the gang. With that said, that third act is amazing. And Draco’s arc is really interesting.
8- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
You can read my full review here, (https://moviemort.movie.blog/2018/11/25/the-crimes-of-grindelwald-movie-review-the-latest-entry-into-the-wizarding-world-is-a-magical-mess/) but here’s the short take. There are some amazing moments here. I love the new characters, and returning characters do a great job. The screenplay is what’s keeping it from being great. Multiple plot-lines are edited and written together in lazy and convoluted ways that will makes your head spin. It’s a shame, because there is so much to love here.
7- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Here is where the ranking gets tough. I love the concept of the Tri-Wizard Cup, and it’s executed really well for the most part. Each event is unique and exciting, and each of the competitors are surprisingly well-developed. I really like the Mad-Eye Moody plot, and David Tennant is great as Barty Crouch Jr. This is also the first film to feature a fully-formed Lord Voldemort. But Ron sucks. Also Harry and Dumbledore, but mostly Ron. They are all edgy and annoying teens throughout the entire movie. The Quidditch Cup is also extremely underwhelming.
6- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
This is the campiest film in the series, and I love it for that. Professor Lockheart is a character that is wonderful to behold. Every second he is on screen is another second added to my life expectancy. The story is meh, but it is a lot of fun.
5- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Although it never really convinces me that the 5 movies planned for this series is necessary, it delivers a great cast of characters and excellent world building. The tone that is very different from any Potter film before it and the New York setting make the movie feel like a 50’s romance… in a good way. The Credence plot is lame.
4- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone if you’re a British fellow)
I don’t think that people give this movie enough credit. It probably had a 75% chance that it would flop. Book adaptations are rarely good, the magic in the movie requires a higher budget than most movies at the time, it is very hard to find decent child actors, and it was being directed by the guy that did Home Alone? Sounds like a flop to me. But somehow, Chris Columbus pulled it off and made it the cultural phenomenon that it is today. There is no movie like the Sorcerer’s Stone. The feeling that it gives is unparalleled. Seeing this magical world brought to life never gets old, and you feel the wonder that Harry feels. The kids do a surprisingly good job around the board.
3- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
This movie manages to tie up the franchise in a satisfying fashion and deliver a badass movie in its own right at the same time. It is the most emotional of the movies by a long shot, and some scenes will bring you to tears. It does a great job of giving nearly every character their time to shine. Be it seeing Snape’s storyline wrap up so perfectly, or Mrs. Weasly’s grin after killing Bellatrix, this movie is full of great character moments. The film has a breakneck pace that acts as a great relief after Part 1’s edgy camping, and it leads to one of the most satisfying conclusions to any movie series.
2- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Gary Oldman is very good. I really don’t need to say anything else. But I will. After the two light-hearted Chris Columbus movies, Alfonso Cuarón pulls up the series’ Big Boy Pants and delivers a very artistic and memorable film that is full of dread and timey-wimey stuff. It’s also full of interesting backstory and evolving characters. It’s got the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Lupin, who’s got some really good teaching methods and is also a werewolf. This movie rules. Also Gary Oldman is very good.
1- Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
I love this movie very much. It took my least favorite Potter book and made it my favorite Potter movie! I love Umbridge as a villain, it introduces the best Harry Potter character of all time, (Luna Lovegood) it has the best soundtrack, Gary Oldman is very good, and I actually like Harry Potter in this one! Seeing him teach his fellow students is empowering and awkward all at once. This movie captures the beauty of being a stupid teenager very well, and it makes the intense and epic scenes at the end that much more captivating. This is just a very happy movie. I love it. Also Gary Oldman’s death is very sad and very good.
What is your ranking of these good good wizard films? Let me know in the comment section.