All the Harry Potter Movies, Ranked

ABC Family should be held responsible for their play Sorcerer’s StoneThis was repeated throughout the 2000s. However, for many Millennials (and their children now), a chill is in the air and requires that they curl up on the couch. Harry PotterRewatch.

Although millions used to enjoy Hogwarts’ visits, it is difficult for viewers to connect with this series these days. Harry Potter taught so many about the importance of fighting against prejudice, which makes creator J.K. Rowling’s controversial comments on gender identity all the more disappointing. Rowling was accused of transphobia by some of her most loyal fans. Rowling responded with more exclusionary feminism. Now, many fans strive to find a way to derive value from the material while rejecting its creator’s views.
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Even Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who spoke out against Rowling’s anti-trans tweets, has wrestled with whether the story is irredeemably tarnished. In an open letter for the Trevor Project, he wrote, “If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe … if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual … then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that.” For many, the annual rewatch remains a tradition, albeit a fraught one.

We are now reevaluating these eight adaptations. They were all available on Peacock as well as HBO Max, and we’re able to see them both online since Oct. 15. Most fans will agree to pick their favorite film series. Most Star WarsDiehards will share their knowledge with you Empire Strikes Back It is wonderful, and Phantom MenaceIt’s a ploy to get away with murder Indiana JonesFans will swear that no sequel lived up to the original. Raiders of the Lost ArkAnyone who disagrees Dark Knight isn’t the best of the Batman movies is just trying to be contrarian. The rational mind can disagree. But for the most part, every franchise has good movies and bad movies, and it’s easy to divide films into those two buckets.

It Harry Potter Films are more challenging to rank. The awful new films are true Amazing Beasts movies will easily land at the bottom of any Potter fan’s list (spoiler alert). However, the films older than Potter are quite solid. Look up fan polls and critics’ rankings, and you’ll find there’s no consensus view on how the original eight films compare. Some people prefer the joy and excitement of the original movies while others favor the darker entries. Cinematographers may be a favorite of movie fans. Prince Half-Blood, while book loyalists take umbrage with director David Yates’ adaptation choices. Some people preferred quiet and contemplative times spent in the woods. Deathly Hallows: Part 1Some prefer action-packed, thrilling combats. Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Many fans’ views have also evolved with the passage of time. It’s easier to assess the series as a whole now that the movies have become a true cultural touchstone. And Rowling’s commentary, political views and additions of the canon will no doubt influence any critic’s perception of the films, for better or worse. Below is how the film ranks. Harry Potter films—at least for now.

10. Amazing Beasts from Grindelwald

Warner Bros.Zoë Kravitz and Johnny Depp in Amazing Beasts from Grindelwald

Incredible Beasts and The CrimesGrindelwald It reflects everything that is wrong about the expansion of the Harry Potter universe universe. Harry Potter Prequel might have offered a new perspective on the wonderful world Rowling created. Instead GrindelwaldIt plays as a cash grab. Rowling’s script tries to connect just about every new character it introduces in some forced, hackneyed and occasionally racist way to the characters we know and love from the original Harry PotterThe films. The revelation that one of the characters will become a serpent or another character is an old relative to Albus Dumbledore just muddles things.

During this time, one audience member will be present Does recognize and care about—young Dumbledore, played enchantingly by Jude Law—gets the short shrift. Rowling claims that Dumbledore was romantically involved with Gellert Grindelwald, a Hitler-esque wizard. However Rowling never wrote that story into her screenplays or books. Crimes of GrindelwaldThe story centers around a proxy fight between Dumbledore & Grindelwald, but only vaguely refers to the fact that they are one another. MightThey have been in a relationship. Rowling’s refusal to acknowledge that these two men are queer and have a complicated history is maddening. The film is void of real tension because it doesn’t acknowledge the existence of its villain and main protagonist. Meanwhile, offscreen, Rowling’s insistence that Grindelwald actor Johnny Depp remain with the franchise after his ex-wife Amber Heard accused Depp of assault, was off-putting to say the least. After Johnny Depp’s assault on Amber Heard was found guilty by a high court judge, Warner Bros. ended their relationship with him. But, the series’ fate is not over.

Continue reading: Simply cancelAmazing Beasts Franchise Already

9. Amazing Beasts: Where to Find them

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Jaap Buitendijk—Warner Bros.

Amazing Beasts: Where to Find them was Rowling’s first screenplay, and it shows. If you squint, there’s a good movie within Amazing Beasts The rise of fascism within the Wizarding World during the 1920s. Studio owners must sell stuffed animals. So Amazing BeastsIt wraps the dark Grindelwald story in a film about Eddie Redmayne, a magical creature enthusiast who scurries across New York City looking for adorable critters. It is obvious that the cute platypus-esque Nifflers look great, as well as other CGI creatures. However, the movie about bipolarity never really ties these two movies together.

There’s hope that Rowling could rectify this issue in future films. One of Rowling’s best talents is actually intricate plotting—the early Harry Potter Books and the adaptations of them would sometimes weave together plots to create a cohesive whole. An author would carefully plant the seed of a plot point within an early book that would blossom in later books with stunning results. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge Amazing BeastsOnly the studio has produced two films, but they plan to release five more. The franchise is yet to win over the audience.

8. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter Stars JK Rowling Birthday
Warner Bros.Kenneth Branagh plays Gilderoy Lockhart Harry Potter and The Chamber of SecretsPublication date: November 15, 2002.

Please understand that there is an immense chasm in between. Chamber of SecretsAnd the Fantastic BeastMovies However Chamber may rank low on this list, it’s still a delightful time at Hogwarts. Hermione turns into a cat person! Harry and Ron ride in a vehicle! Kenneth Branagh makes fun of his public image as a narcissist by laughing at it! Sure, child actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint haven’t quite yet mastered their acting skills. But they’re pretty cute.

And yet, the movie clocks in at 160 minutes, far too long for one of the shorter and, let’s be honest, lesser Harry PotterBooks. It is sometimes slow. You might like Sorcerer’s Stone, Chris Columbus’ Chamber is slavishly dedicated to the book—except for the bizarre moment when Lucius Malfoy attempts to use the killing curse “avada kedavra” on Harry in the middle of a Hogwarts hallway. Jason Isaacs, Lucius Malfoy’s actor, improvised this line but had lost the true meaning of the curse. Columbus compromises the sense of discovery essential to the Potter stories by transcribing rather than adapting the work.

7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone - Movie Stills
Peter Mountain—WireImage/Getty ImagesHarry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe

Though it’s probably the truest book-to-movie adaptation, the Sorcerer’s StoneWith it Matilda-esque tone, doesn’t live up to the power of the rest of the series. The CGI looks clunky and the one-liners are a bit too adorable in retrospect. Christopher Columbus still managed to capture the magic of Hogwarts’ first introduction. As soon as those owls begin to invade the Dursley’s neighborhood, the Wizarding World suddenly seemed more accessible than it ever did on the page.

It was the first time that it had been seen. Sorcerer’s Failure was never a sure thing. Fantasy adaptations such as The Golden CompassAnd Eragon The film had just flopped at box office. But Columbus’ movies managed to do right by the books: Hogwarts awed; quidditch looked exactly as fans had imagined it; and the school uniforms became instantly iconic. Columbus’ team also made some fantastic casting decisions that would pay off years later, like recruiting Alan Rickman to play Severus Snape and Maggie Smith to tackle Minerva McGonagall. And they found a trio of child actors who would, over the next decade, hold their own in scenes with some of England’s most talented thespians.

7.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Warner Bros.Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1(2010)

Aha! Deathly Hallows: Part 1The most controversial movie in the series. What do you think about three teens arguing in the woods for several hours? How would you feel if the two characters involved took a break to dance?

There are things to adore in this movie, like the breathtaking animation of the “Tale of the Three Brothers.” And director David Yates does beautifully capture the frustrations of Harry’s Horcrux mission. It is the scenes where Harry, Ron, and Hermione wander aimlessly through abandoned fields and parking lots with a fuzzy voice over the radio, rattle off names of the deceased as they go, that capture this book beautifully.

However Part 1 He spends very little of his time in quiet discussions about Dumbledore and how he connected to Deathly Hallows. The three magic tools which are essential to the fight at the end of the next film, they only briefly. This may sound like geeky nitpicking. Good genre fiction is different from poor genre fiction in that it gives its McGuffins real meaning. If Harry doesn’t have a personal connection to the Elderwand through Dumbledore, then he’s just chasing some meaningless shiny object. Additionally, such scenes would have been a great opportunity to give the audience time with Ralph Fiennes’ Voldemort. Part 2 As one of the great onscreen villains.

5. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter Stars JK Rowling Birthday
Warner Bros.Helena Bonham Carter in Bellatrix lestrange Harry Potter and The Half-Blood PrinceReleased July 15, 2009.

The book critics are often the ones who love books. Half-Blood PrinceIt leaves out critical details about Tom Riddle (a.k.a. Voldemort), and his decision to make the Horcruxes. This means that the sequels, already packed with plots, are now forced to convey the value of these magical objects. It’s frustrating to watch Harry hunt down and destroy parts of Tom Riddle’s soul like he’s stumbling across random Bosses in a video game when Rowling gave each Horcrux a meaningful backstory in the books that rendered Voldemort a more complex character.

It’s more than any other film Prince Half-BloodIt seems that they miss the main point of these books. The pivotal scene when Snape kills Dumbledore is a prime example. Although Harry’s single defining trait as a character is his willingness to rush rashly and headlong into danger for his loved ones, the movie-version of Harry stands by and does nothing while Dumbledore is murdered. In the book, Dumbledore has put Harry under a spell that prevents him from moving to interfere with Snape—a detail skipped over in the movie. Exacerbating matters is Michael Gambon’s performance as Dumbledore, which comes across as cold and commanding rather than gentle and eccentric.

Still, cinematography is a great asset. Prince Half-BloodIt is amazing. Yates makes Hogwarts darker and less empty in this film, signaling a more grim story. It’s arguably the most aesthetically beautiful of all the movies. The film’s slower pace has been praised by many critics. It spends less time talking about Quidditch, magical battles, or character relationships than the predecessors.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Warner Bros PicturesAlan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Deathly Hallows: Part 2It’s all action. The movie starts with Harry, Ron, and Hermione breaking into Gringotts and riding on the backs of dragons to fight Voldemort. That’s not always a good thing: The audience is barely given a moment to breathe and consider the consequences of this final battle. Book readers will certainly miss some of the quieter moments of reflection, particularly between Harry and Dumbledore at King’s Cross Station after Harry dies.

But the film is able to pull off several crucial moments of character development amid the chaos, including Neville’s evolution into a bold hero, Ron and Hermione’s first kiss and Molly Weasley’s epic defeat of Bellatrix LeStrange. It ends up feeling like a sad but happy reunion. Deathly Hallows Part 1 And even up to some degree The Prince of Half Blood, These films are about isolation and loneliness. The most popular characters of the film are Harry Potter These films are lacking in series. When Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts, we get to enjoy Rowling’s wide array of Dickensian characters once again.

And the movie more than makes up for any elided conversations with the emotional punch of Alan Rickman’s performance as Snape. The series’ finale hinges on Rickman’s ability to sell the audience on the idea that his love for Harry’s mother Lily was so strong that he took on the impossible job of playing double agent. And while the books are told almost entirely from Harry’s perspective, Yates wisely chooses to offer his audience Snape’s point of view: He begins the film with shot of Snape gazing over Hogwarts and pauses to linger on Snape’s face as he dies weeping in Harry’s arms. In those two moments, elevates the story from a battle between good and evil to one of a complicated man’s struggle to cling to the power of love in the face of hatred.

3.Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire

Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe in HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
Warner Bros.—courtesy Everett CollectionEmma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire”

It’s unfortunate the movie version of Goblet of Fire doesn’t fall at the top of the heap when the book version ranks #1 or #2 for many Potter fans. But director Mike Newell made some irksome choices that diverge wildly from the original text, including, notoriously, Dumbledore screaming at Harry, “Did you put your name in the goblet of fire?!?” a line that Dumbledore uttered “calmly” in the book. Worse still, Goblet is at its heart a mystery novel, but the adaptation undercuts the whodunnit at the center of the story—who Did put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire?—by showing the culprit in the Very first scene

That said, it’s pretty hard to screw up Rowling’s best story. Goblet The story takes a break from the previous three books and focuses on the Triwizard Tournament rather than the regular school year events. The three terrifying tasks are a joy to behold, and the angst-producing Yule Ball plays host to some of the most fraught—and delicious—teen drama in the series.

The movie also successfully balances the fun of the tournament with the gravity of Cedric’s death, a major turning point in the franchise. Robert Pattinson, young and star-powerful, shines in this important but small role. And as Cedric’s father mourns over his body, even non-readers realize the story is about to transform from a boarding school romp into a deadly battle between tolerance and prejudice. Plus, Ralph Fiennes’ inaugural performance as He Who Must Not Be Named is appropriately terrifying and wonderful.

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore in
Warner Bros.Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

The book Place an orderPhoenix often gets knocked for its preoccupation with hormonal teenagers’ mood swings. But that’s the brilliance of the story. Our heroes These areTeenagers with hormonal problems who act on their impulses and make poor decisions. The book does force readers to spend a lot of time inside Harry’s head when he’s at his most angry when Voldemort has invaded his subconscious after Cedric’s death. This is not something the movie shows. Because of medium, we only see Harry’s external reactions, and Radcliffe smartly chooses to play Harry as defeated and depressed, a decision that engenders sympathy rather than alienating the audience. Harry only shares his darkest fears about something evil burgeoning inside him in intimate scenes with his godfather Sirius, which makes Sirius’ sudden and surprising death at the end of the film all the more painful.

There are other things we recommend Order of the Phoenix Quieter conversations that plumb the characters’ emotional depths; nightmare-inducing performances by two of the series’ best late-game villains, Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix and Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge; and no quidditch, a game that was getting deadly boring by the second film. The best thing about this film is the final battle in the Department of Mysteries, between Voldemort and Dumbledore. That battle—the only one we get to see between the two greatest wizards in history—takes plenty of license but does so in the best way possible. Film adapation’s power is exemplified by the clash of water and fire, and the transformation of glass into sand.

1.Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe,
Warner Bros/Everett CollectionEmma Watson and Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman and Daniel Radcliffe are in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

It’s no surprise that Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón directed the best of the Harry Potterflicks. Others might refer to them as flicks. Azkaban prisoner more “adult” than the first two movies. And while we’re of the philosophy that anyone can enjoy and appreciate Harry Potter, it’s certainly fair to say that Cuarón made a more atmospheric movie. Cuaron clearly enjoys working with children actors. The director let them style their uniforms as they wanted, giving the movie a more real and intimate feel. His eye for detail also brings Hogwarts truly to life for the first time, from the candles that look like spinal columns floating in Professor Lupin’s classroom to the reimagined Whomping Willow, which marks the passage of time by huffily shaking off its leaves in autumn.

There are a few choices to quibble with: Deciding not to film a flashback scene featuring Harry’s father and his friends prowling the Hogwarts grounds as Animagi (wizards who can transform into animals) was a missed opportunity. And Cuarón may have unwittingly given away Snape’s allegiance when he directed Alan Rickman to throw his arms across Harry and his friends to protect them from a werewolf, an impulsive act of selflessness that seemed uncharacteristic for the snarling professor. There are thousands of plot holes, questions, and many more to be answered by the Time Turners. But, all of those choices are part of a time travelling sequence that is, with the huge clock ticking, pitch perfect.


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