User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 499 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 77 out of 499
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  1. ConnieS.
    Mar 16, 2003
    2
    First off, I loved the first film because it played on the strength of it's young actors, beautiful scenery and managed to make a magic world seem... magical, not "buy me when you leave the theatre" Disney. On the other hand, The Chamber of Secrets leaves the trio of main characters with nothing to do but have a scary set of occurances happen to them. They do not solve mysteries, First off, I loved the first film because it played on the strength of it's young actors, beautiful scenery and managed to make a magic world seem... magical, not "buy me when you leave the theatre" Disney. On the other hand, The Chamber of Secrets leaves the trio of main characters with nothing to do but have a scary set of occurances happen to them. They do not solve mysteries, battle bullies or have an adventure; that is left to thier adult doppelgangers. Weasley's bravery (remember the chessboard), Harry's talent and heart, Hamaiady's smart pluck are gone, along with Malfoy's humanity as a bully. The teacher's protective guiadance and wisdom are replaced with handwringing or absence. I hope the third director sits down with children and actually makes a delightful classic, not a "darker, more adult" movie that fears of being called 'childish'. Expand
  2. CateA.
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    WORST. MOVIE. EVER. A "kiddy-fied" version of J.K Rowling's spectacular novels.
  3. MLK
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    "Chamber of Secrets" is one of the worst movies ever made. It's a film for audiences with a low attention span and the all the easily pleased.
  4. SamanthaJ.
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    Simply all over the place. No scene really connected to the ones around it. All we get is a narrative mess of cliched characters and pathetic acting. Try to watch a fantasy movie with story like "Lord of the Rings" or even pick out the old "Star Wars" trilogy. Don't waste any time watching this lumbering bore of a fantasy.
  5. WayneS.
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    Chris Columbus: Go back to the cupboard under the stairs. These movies are terrible! Hopefully Alfonso Cuaron will save this doomed series (I have high hopes for him!!!) Watch Lord of the Rings instead.
  6. LenH.
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    An empty, big-budget movie with a story that goes nowhere. I'm surprised at all the glowing reviews here. I admit, the books are good, but these movie versions are worse than worse. Story and character development has taken a backseat to cram as many special effects scenes in as possible.
  7. NeilP.
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    What crap! The people who made this movie should get out of Hollywood once in a while... It's bad enough that they substitute medleys for full musical numbers... but they use the WORST of pop music to do it. Oy, what a waste of time.
  8. RobertH
    Nov 17, 2002
    2
    Michelle P. thank you for your review. Overall, personally, I found the second installment tedious and boring. However, I did want to clarify something you may not have been aware of. Richard Harris was one of the greatest actors of his generation. He was dragged into doing the Harry Potter trilogy kicking and screaming by his granddaughter. During the shooting of this latest movie he Michelle P. thank you for your review. Overall, personally, I found the second installment tedious and boring. However, I did want to clarify something you may not have been aware of. Richard Harris was one of the greatest actors of his generation. He was dragged into doing the Harry Potter trilogy kicking and screaming by his granddaughter. During the shooting of this latest movie he knew he had a terminal condition and was going to die. Depite this fact, he made this work his legacy for his granddaughter. If you ever have the opportunity to see his other movies, you will learn that he was truly a great actor. As I said, I am certain that you did not know he had died a few weeks ago. Expand
  9. Elliott
    Dec 23, 2002
    3
    A reviewer below noted this as being brilliant, followed by the notion that it's "a great movie. duh." This film is superficial in its sense of style, grace, substance, characterization (which it almost totally lacks); nearly every element of the film seems contrived. Not since the first film have I sat so long in the theater waiting for something to happen, when all we get is a A reviewer below noted this as being brilliant, followed by the notion that it's "a great movie. duh." This film is superficial in its sense of style, grace, substance, characterization (which it almost totally lacks); nearly every element of the film seems contrived. Not since the first film have I sat so long in the theater waiting for something to happen, when all we get is a barrage of dazzling effects and incoherent magical garbage that attempts to weave together a story. The acting is notably putrid, the screenplay is choppy beyond belief, thus doing an incredible disservice to the extremely popular novels. True, this may not matter in a children's film, but the plot is so ill-conceived and the characters are so underdeveloped that anybody who hasn't read the novels will fell lost. Much like A.I., The Chamber of Secrets is too bizarre and hard to follow for children and for parents it is a fantastical heap of garbage with some truly incredibly special effects. Pass. Pass. Pass. Expand
  10. Abby
    Nov 27, 2002
    3
    If I was rating this movie based on its merits as a book adaptation, I would have given it one star. I left the theater wondering if the director is actually Gilderoy Lockhart. Although many of the major plot points from the book made it into the movie, the director felt the need to banish character development and any possible lulls in the story in favor of showing off what the special If I was rating this movie based on its merits as a book adaptation, I would have given it one star. I left the theater wondering if the director is actually Gilderoy Lockhart. Although many of the major plot points from the book made it into the movie, the director felt the need to banish character development and any possible lulls in the story in favor of showing off what the special FX department can do. Aside from the fact that the special FX were sub-par when compared to contemporary fantasy movies (the scenes of the flying car were particularly bad, and not all of the sound FX seemed appropriate), the pacing of the movie was atrocious. The audience is fed scene after scene after scene of action without a break. Small action sequences in the book were amplified in length to compete with the "Pod Race" scene in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Violent scenes from the book that involved protagnists (such as Dobby beating himself up) were removed, or toned down, in order to "kiddify" the movie, despite the fact that it is an adaptation of a children's book. Instead of the worried, uncertain Harry Potter from the books, director Chris Columbus transformed him into a Hollywood hero who is devoid of personality. His apparent ability to easily vanquish any and all foes robs the movie of suspense. Even so, a few kernels of humor and wonder fell through. The set designs were beautiful, and not all of the special FX were bad. The cast did an excellent job with what they had. As long as you are not expecting a deep story, you will be treated to 171 minutes of eye candy. I think the major difference between the Lord of the Rings movie adaptations and the Harry Potter movie adaptations is the difference between a director who loved and understood the books, and a director who didn't. Expand
  11. Lisa
    Dec 23, 2002
    3
    Only deeply intelligent children will be able to decipher the labyrinthian plot and only naive adults will be able to overlook the pathetic acting. It is merey a vehicle for incredible special effects and cute children in lavish costumes. For a truly delightful and magical chidlren's film, see Spirited Away, the best film for the younguns (and adults) in many, many years.
  12. Anthony
    Jan 26, 2005
    0
    A godawful piece of sluggish, incompetent and stinky filmmaking. How this production was released clocking in at 160 minutes is completely unthinkable. Chris Columbus, the director, is third only to Uwe Boll and Edward D. Wood as a maker who are so utterly devoted to the crap they do. Is J.K. Rowling's series in the same league as the Bible? Of course not; so stop treating it like it A godawful piece of sluggish, incompetent and stinky filmmaking. How this production was released clocking in at 160 minutes is completely unthinkable. Chris Columbus, the director, is third only to Uwe Boll and Edward D. Wood as a maker who are so utterly devoted to the crap they do. Is J.K. Rowling's series in the same league as the Bible? Of course not; so stop treating it like it is. Peter Jackson is justified for the 3 to 3 1/2 hour lengths of "Lord of the Rings" because of its timeless theme and well written story. "Harry Potter" is simply pop culture garbage able to entertain loads of ADD-addled children AND simplistic adults. The action sequences of this abomination, as well crafted they may be, are annoying, totally distracting and lacking in originality. Spielberg should sue. And my god, what of the "acting" (if you can even call it that)? I personally had to rewatch "The Godfather" and "Pulp Fiction" to remind myself that true acting does exist. When the children aren't cloying, they're gooey, sentimental and totally incomprehensible because of their thick English accents. The adults are sadly wasted with their 30 second cameos, while the script still has time for that stupid Quidditch. The latest film in this series, "Prisoner of Azkaban", was a slight improvement, but in the day and age of the Internet and pop music, it really doesn't matter. Stick Columbus in the deep fryer so he won't make another annoyingly self-indulgent effort again. What a travesty. Expand
  13. JaredC.
    Jul 29, 2007
    0
    Really boring, it may have some use for the series, but doesn't do anything special. Chris Columbus just doesn't get it. Could have been so much better.
  14. RandyT.
    Apr 20, 2003
    0
    There is no magic here at all. Only 161 minutes of long, drawn-out scenes with no wit, no excitement and no imagination. It's a drab mystery tale that would've made a wonderful Saturday morning serial.
  15. DannyC.
    Apr 13, 2003
    1
    I watched it and it sucks dont waste your money on this buy starwars episode 2 now THATS a good movie.
  16. FantasyL.
    Nov 15, 2002
    4
    This is a movie strictly for children. It is not for kids (parents) of all ages. Chamber of Secrets has been so hyped that it should do well at the box office. To be perfectly blunt there isn't much there.
  17. Jun 28, 2013
    0
    Boring as hell. Painful to sit through this. My Lord, it is a good thing they changed directors even though they were just as horrible too. Read the books, not this poorly acted adaptation.
  18. [Anonymous]
    Dec 2, 2002
    4
    Even though this was a big improvement on the first film, I still found the movie to be more annoying than enjoyable.
  19. MikeD.
    Dec 7, 2002
    4
    In leaving the movie theater, I really believed I had just seen the first film all over again, just not as good. As is so often the case, it lost a lot the second time around, with little character development that was in the book, and should have been in the movie even if it wasn't in the book.
  20. Jan 3, 2013
    2
    I saw this at a friend's house along with the first Harry Potter movie after it was released on video. This movie just bored me to death. I don't see what all the hype is about. Maybe you had to read the book, my friends who have read the book tell me that the book is way better than the movie. Rating it as a bad movie since it was so boring that I don't even remember any of it. AfterI saw this at a friend's house along with the first Harry Potter movie after it was released on video. This movie just bored me to death. I don't see what all the hype is about. Maybe you had to read the book, my friends who have read the book tell me that the book is way better than the movie. Rating it as a bad movie since it was so boring that I don't even remember any of it. After seeing the first two movies, I never bothered seeing any others since I was so bored by the first two. Expand
  21. May 4, 2014
    3
    The effects and the score and wonderful but thats not enough to save this wizard this time. Chamber of secrets, like its book, is very dull and boring. Honestly Its hard to watch it the full way through and not fall asleep
  22. Aug 12, 2014
    4
    A good film overall, fulfilling its promises. But there is nothing new that has not been seen in its predecessor, and features a less satisfying plot. Must watch to keep track of the series.
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    40
    I can't think of a movie this long that has left me so starved for a movie.
  2. Chamber is chockablock with action (including a far more exciting game of Quidditch) and crafty special effects.
  3. Columbus never quite captures the depth, the rich complexities of Rowling's novels. She's written four Harry Potter books for kids that adults swoon for, too. Columbus has made two Harry Potter movies for kids … and we'll leave it at that. That isn't bad. But I suspect there's something better just around the bend.