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. Apr 16, 2011
    10
    Well written, wonderfully cast, and flawlessly flowing, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets offers suspenseful thrills, honest emotion, and an obvious respect for JK Rowling's masterpiece.
  2. HuLinT.
    Nov 15, 2002
    9
    HPCoS is generally an improvement over the first movie. With less lengthy dialogue and expository compared to the first movie, it is a much more fast-paced and action-packed movie, certain to thrill audiences of all ages. Quite obviously, the movie does not follow the book religiously, and in doing so, improved upon the spider scene and basilisk scene tremendously. The action sequences HPCoS is generally an improvement over the first movie. With less lengthy dialogue and expository compared to the first movie, it is a much more fast-paced and action-packed movie, certain to thrill audiences of all ages. Quite obviously, the movie does not follow the book religiously, and in doing so, improved upon the spider scene and basilisk scene tremendously. The action sequences are intense, gripping, and definitely hold the audience's attention, without any overly-frightening scenes which may scare kids. One thing to commend is the appropriate use of humour in the show, which is done very well - I believe I was laughing most of the show, even though some of the 'jokes' had been used before in the book. This also brings me to my next point - the acting. The trio's acting has definitely improved, particularly Daniel Radcliffe. Lucius Malfoy was also portrayed sufficiently dangerous, evil and dark without overly doing it. However, there were points in the movie which were particularly boring, especially portions which followed the book very religiously i.e. the scene in Hagrid's hut where he is taken to Azkaban. This slows down the tempo of the show greatly. HPCoS is defintely an excellent movie and I recommend it to everyone of all ages - it will defintely not fail to entertain. Expand
  3. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    Somehow, this sequel manages to be even more magical than its predecessor. It unleashes a string of brand new ideas and invents some marvelous new characters. The is a film no true movie lover is going to want to miss.
  4. HLoverPotter
    Apr 5, 2005
    10
    OH my!!! This movie rules the world.
  5. ck
    Aug 3, 2009
    9
    Not a kids movie.
  6. EricS.
    Dec 7, 2002
    10
    I only see the good movies, so many of the ratings I give are 10s. I don't bother with the crap--which "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" certainly isn't. Disregarding the sinful "3" given the film by the Washington Post, did anyone take a look at the "highbrow" (cough, cough) publications that brought down it's score? "Film Threat?" "Slate.com?" "The Miami Herald?" I only see the good movies, so many of the ratings I give are 10s. I don't bother with the crap--which "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" certainly isn't. Disregarding the sinful "3" given the film by the Washington Post, did anyone take a look at the "highbrow" (cough, cough) publications that brought down it's score? "Film Threat?" "Slate.com?" "The Miami Herald?" No fair guessing whether these reviewers give a damn about style, substance, characterization, brilliant set pieces, and jovial good fun? This second installment is great, while the first film was merely good. Not only is it one of the best films I've seen this year, it's one of the most glorious and ambitious films I've seen in quite a while. This goes out to all you dissenters of brilliance: It's a great movie. Duh. Expand
  7. JohnL.
    Apr 9, 2003
    10
    I was very disappointed in the lack of depth in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Unlike the book, the movie seemed so shallow when it came to it's magnificent world and vivid characters. But in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", all of that is fixed. Character dimension, the depth of the plot and all the supporting details of the main premise is all clear and I was very disappointed in the lack of depth in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Unlike the book, the movie seemed so shallow when it came to it's magnificent world and vivid characters. But in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", all of that is fixed. Character dimension, the depth of the plot and all the supporting details of the main premise is all clear and glowing. It is full of wonderous secrets and thankfully, the "Chamber" becomes a majestic beacon of hope for the series. AAA cast filled with J.K Rowling's world helps create a truly magical movie. It is far superior to it's predecessor. "Chamber of Secrets" crushes a best-selling novel into a movie with so much going on. Way to go! Expand
  8. DorisP.
    Nov 30, 2002
    9
    The first order of business is to ask what the h*** Zrum's review is trying to portray?!Second, I'd like to make it clear that this film was just as enchanting, if not more, than the first Harry Potter and translated well from the book.
  9. Evey
    Dec 4, 2002
    10
    I think that the "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" movie was brilliant. I'm glad the movie didn't leave out too many scenes from the book. Even though many people say it went for too long, I don't think so. I loved Moaning Myrtle, Gilderoy Lockhart, the Quidditch and the scenes in the Chamber of Secrets so much. I also love the cast, especially the main 3, Daniel I think that the "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" movie was brilliant. I'm glad the movie didn't leave out too many scenes from the book. Even though many people say it went for too long, I don't think so. I loved Moaning Myrtle, Gilderoy Lockhart, the Quidditch and the scenes in the Chamber of Secrets so much. I also love the cast, especially the main 3, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Expand
  10. Amoviefan
    Apr 2, 2003
    10
    This movie truly is magical. The action scenes are amazing, and while the character chemistry is a little off, it is definately one of the best movies. The special effects are amazing, the acting is great, everything in this movie is just awesome.
  11. JohnC.
    Apr 23, 2003
    10
    A magical adventure loaded with action, surprises, thrills, and comedy. Definitely better than the first, and many movies released this year.
  12. Hidden
    Apr 30, 2003
    10
    While not as good as the book, (I think it's impossible for a HP movie to be, because the best part of the Potter books is what the character is thinking.) this movie is a great adaptation of the book. I don't see how Sorcerer's Stone topped this movie. I'd give Sorcerer's Stone a 5, and this a 10. This is twice as good. Twice the action, twice the suspense, twice While not as good as the book, (I think it's impossible for a HP movie to be, because the best part of the Potter books is what the character is thinking.) this movie is a great adaptation of the book. I don't see how Sorcerer's Stone topped this movie. I'd give Sorcerer's Stone a 5, and this a 10. This is twice as good. Twice the action, twice the suspense, twice the special effects, twice the thrills, twice the humor, etc. This movie almost 3 hours!? It seemed so much shorter. Much unlike Two Towers... Expand
  13. Amoviecritic
    May 17, 2003
    10
    Just to make some things perfectly clear. The Harry Potter books are not books for the kids. During this movie, parents with little kids shifted uneasily in their seats during some of the scenes, but I guarentee that they have NOT read the books. They would have been prepared. They are under the illusion that Harry Potter books are very bright, happy books in the same league as Dr. Seuss. Just to make some things perfectly clear. The Harry Potter books are not books for the kids. During this movie, parents with little kids shifted uneasily in their seats during some of the scenes, but I guarentee that they have NOT read the books. They would have been prepared. They are under the illusion that Harry Potter books are very bright, happy books in the same league as Dr. Seuss. NO.....they verge on Lord of the Rings material. I think it's rediculous that critics complain it's too frightening for little kids- little kids shouldn't be there in the first place, because it's rated PG for some scary moments, creature violence, etc. It's all there in the rating. If critics complain about the Chamber of Secrets, they will see the 3rd and 4th movies, and realize how dark the Harry Potter books really are. Anyway, that out of the way, I'd like to compliment everyone in the movie on a job well done. The action scenes were amazingly who would have thought it,) Chris Columbus, whose Harry Potter Unlike Sorcerer's Stone, which was nothing more than the book translated to the screan with nothing added and many things deleted, Columbus, this time, decides he needs to add some new stuff. The first movie seemed to lack his usual style, but it is indeed in this one. In the Dursely escape scene, instead of Harry simply kicking uncle Vernon away, he is literally dragged out the window. In the Whomping Willow scene, instead of the car's seats simply tilting and having them fall out, they are literally thrown from the vehicle. The Quidditch match is longer than in the book, as is the scenes with the spiders and basilisk, etc. MUCH BETTER DONE. What made this film more scarry than the first one is that Columbus added things not in the book, so everyone was surprised by moments. People in the theature literally screamed at one part during the basilisc scene that was not in the book. (the surprise moment.) Yes, this movie has it's faults, where many moments of Harry Ron and Hermione breaking the rules were cut, but I left this movie feeling amazed, and glad. They didn't mess up like they did in the Sorcerer's Stone. Expand
  14. SiriusBlack(femaleversion)
    May 21, 2003
    10
    Thank you "movie critic"! You stated everything perfectly! I remember going to see this movie on opening night, and I had the greatest time in a movie. The theatre was packed, which ment you heard loads of screams, laughs, and girls sqealing when Draco Malfloy entered (either that or they dreamily cried, "Draco!!!") Believe me. I NEVER scream at a movie. But I was screaming like hell in Thank you "movie critic"! You stated everything perfectly! I remember going to see this movie on opening night, and I had the greatest time in a movie. The theatre was packed, which ment you heard loads of screams, laughs, and girls sqealing when Draco Malfloy entered (either that or they dreamily cried, "Draco!!!") Believe me. I NEVER scream at a movie. But I was screaming like hell in this one with the Aragog and the spiders scene. I still whimpered when I saw that scene when watching this film for the 2nd and 3rd times. By the way, people HAVE criticized Lord of the Rings' length, but it seems like they criticize every movie's length that has ACTION in it. I suprsingly never hear anyone saying they fell asleep in movies as dull as "Possession". Weird... Expand
  15. BrianN.
    Aug 19, 2003
    9
    Excellent movie, One of the best of 2002. It is filled with invention and great acting.
  16. KittyC.
    Jul 24, 2004
    10
    This is a wonderful movie but as already stated.. PG means may be unsuitable for young children. Many people think it means 'Little children won't get kicked out'. Great plot, characters (except Ron, who needs to stop being used as comic relief) are like the ones in the book and excellent special effects.
  17. AdnanA
    Jul 19, 2008
    10
    Again this movie has also been criticized for following the book too much. Personally, I think staying true to the book is the strongest point of the movie. Staying with the book imparts the same magic of the book which has created the Harry Potter phenomena. The story... well I don't have to say anything about that because the success of this franchise has already proved it. Again this movie has also been criticized for following the book too much. Personally, I think staying true to the book is the strongest point of the movie. Staying with the book imparts the same magic of the book which has created the Harry Potter phenomena. The story... well I don't have to say anything about that because the success of this franchise has already proved it. Acting... couldn't be better. The trio, Daniel, Rupert and Emma were born for these roles. All the adults are perfect for their roles and create the same attitude and personality as their characters have in the books. Direction... Warner bros did a very smart thing by giving it to Chris. A person like him knows how to make a family movie which not only entertains but remains in your memory forever. Even though many have criticized Chris for making such a kiddish movie but I think that as this is the first year you have to stay with the kiddish atmosphere as the children are only 12. Visuals... for a 2002 movie it's visuals are excellent. Even today they look fantastic! Overall I'd rate this movie an A because the book created the world and the characters but the movie has created the true images of the Harry Potter world. Expand
  18. LouisP.
    Nov 18, 2002
    10
    A true family film. Parents and kids alike will love this flick. It can be scary for younger audiences but it's worth it.
  19. LindaW.
    Nov 18, 2002
    9
    When I went to see this movie on the premiere, the theatre was completely packed. I think it should be, because Harry Potter 2 was a very good film which delivered every single thing it needed to it's target audience. It's not really intended for people in high school or university, so just accept it if it's childish! The acting has improved hugely in Ron and Hermione, When I went to see this movie on the premiere, the theatre was completely packed. I think it should be, because Harry Potter 2 was a very good film which delivered every single thing it needed to it's target audience. It's not really intended for people in high school or university, so just accept it if it's childish! The acting has improved hugely in Ron and Hermione, although Harry sucked. Overall HP2 was a lot of fun and I recommend it to anyone!! Expand
  20. BobM.
    Nov 18, 2002
    9
    Great movie! Much better than the first!! I am a 22 yr old male and the "kids" movie did a great job holding my attention for all 2 hrs and 30 or so minutes. I would recommend this to anyone, except those apposed to anything fantasy or unreal.
  21. ToolFan
    Nov 22, 2002
    10
    I personally loved the movie. I think most people who reviewed this are too damn picky. I did not like the second book as much as the first, just like Michelle P. Harry seemed to act better in this film. I still think Alan Rickman is the best actor in the film and the best person to play Snape. He's so perfect at it! The movie was not childish at all. They didn't remove scary I personally loved the movie. I think most people who reviewed this are too damn picky. I did not like the second book as much as the first, just like Michelle P. Harry seemed to act better in this film. I still think Alan Rickman is the best actor in the film and the best person to play Snape. He's so perfect at it! The movie was not childish at all. They didn't remove scary parts of the movie. The basilisk at the end was nicely done. The movie left out many of the things in the book, of course. All movies based on books usually must and in this case, I think it was for the better. Expand
  22. GilbertMulroneycakesAndThePhilosopher'sStone
    Nov 29, 2002
    10
    Harsh, Abby, very harsh. Columbus has read the books; Columbus cares about the books; Columbus understands the books. The world of Hogwarts is brought to even more life than before in Chamber of Secrets, thanks in part to some great FX (how you can say they were terrible I don't know...the car bit was great, I thought..mind you, I'm a Doctor Who fan so I've got a high FX Harsh, Abby, very harsh. Columbus has read the books; Columbus cares about the books; Columbus understands the books. The world of Hogwarts is brought to even more life than before in Chamber of Secrets, thanks in part to some great FX (how you can say they were terrible I don't know...the car bit was great, I thought..mind you, I'm a Doctor Who fan so I've got a high FX threshold). Deep Story? For a kid's book, it's a hideously complicated plot, which Columbus manages to keep a grip on, just. It's better than Philosopher's (PHILOSOPHER'S) Stone, it's brighter, it's more exciting, more complex, more complete, more...more. Last chance to see Richard Harris, too - shame, he would have been so great in Goblet of Fire...so utterly great..damn it. Please don't miss this film. Expand
  23. ErinM.
    Mar 18, 2003
    10
    I absolutely LOVE this movie! it's an awesome movie with much better special effects and such than the first. i've read each of the books about six times and the second one is definately one of my favorites. I love the suspense and going from one suspect to another, it's a great movie and book!!! I would also just like to add that Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy is extemely HOTT!!!!
  24. SimonL.
    Apr 11, 2003
    9
    T'was a fine film.
  25. LeviG.
    Apr 14, 2003
    10
    These Harry Potter movies are great! This had a great storyline and just good entertainment for the whole family. And if you haven't already, read the books also.
  26. HarryPotter
    Apr 21, 2003
    10
    A very magical movie.
  27. JakeS.
    Apr 24, 2003
    10
    Makes up for the lame first movie in every way imaginable. GOOD JOB TO EVERYONE INVOLVED!
  28. MichelleP.
    Nov 16, 2002
    9
    I've read the reviews, and plenty have said, "It was boring". I've read the book (how many times?) and saw the movie at the evening premiere, and it was NEVER boring compared to the first one, but that was all Richard Harris' fault since he had no exspression whatsoever in the first one, unlike this one where he's a much better actor. It's funny, but I thought the I've read the reviews, and plenty have said, "It was boring". I've read the book (how many times?) and saw the movie at the evening premiere, and it was NEVER boring compared to the first one, but that was all Richard Harris' fault since he had no exspression whatsoever in the first one, unlike this one where he's a much better actor. It's funny, but I thought the first book, in my opnion, was better than the second one, but I thought the first movie was worse than the second one. It felt lifeless and fake, whereas the second one had better acting, special effects, and even the Hogwarts setting felt better, while in the first one it felt cold, dirty, and some where you don't want to live. I was suprised at the lack of intelligiance the S.F. chronicle had when trying to "support" their opinion. Basically, all they were saying was, "Harry Potter is supposed to be a SWEET, cute, little movie. There are some scenes that should have been deleated like the snake and spider scenes". First of all the Harry Potter series (both book and movie) didn't intend to be sweet. It's actually quite dark, especially the 3rd book, Harry Potter isn't supposed to be a cute fairy tale. It's dark fantasy. And secondly, about the spider and snake scenes, well, if they didn't have those scenes then: 1. The movie would be EXTREMELY unfaithful to the book. 2. It wouldn't have a plot without those two scenes. That person either hasn't read the books, or hasn't even heard what they're about. Then again, the S.F. hates all the best movies (well, they did like Lord of the Rings, but that was the only time) and love all the ones people hate or don't even deserve to get the highest score (like "The Ring".) It was fun seeing this one too. I screamed (for the first time in a movie) at the part when ..... Not to mention I had a few energetic laughs as well. Kudos to you Columbus and co., for not screwing this one up like you did with the first one. Expand
  29. PaulaM.
    Nov 22, 2002
    10
    This movie was definitely better than the first one, the first one was good but this one was better than the first one. it is also good if you read the book first before you see the movie otherwise you don't really know what's going on, and that's why I gave it a ten out of ten.
  30. LaurenH.
    Nov 24, 2002
    10
    I've read all four Harry Potter books twice and think that the movie, Chamber of Secrets was totally awesome. I love Daniel Radcliffe!!
  31. G.M.D.K.
    Dec 24, 2004
    10
    This is the least best of the 3, but still manages to enchant young & old.
  32. Aug 21, 2010
    9
    The is the best of the Harry Potter movies by far. It follows the book extremely well, the setting and scenery feels really authentic and the story flows along and is exciting and a great adventure. It really captured the mood, tone, and visualization of the book well. Plus the music was by John Williams which they are really lacking with the new Harry Potter movies.
  33. Jan 13, 2011
    9
    This is all nonsense. I enjoyed the film every time I watched it. It isn't the best film, but the best Harry Potter film to date. (Not including Deathly Hallows, haven't watched it yet)
  34. Nov 13, 2011
    10
    This Harry Potter film lives up to the original with a darker story and more exciting action. This film helped character development for most of the series.
  35. Nov 22, 2011
    10
    This is a magnificent sequel to a magnificent start. This movie continues to follow the story of a young wizard and it matches the book point blank. UNDERRATTED!!
  36. Dec 28, 2011
    9
    Almost as much a triumph as the first adaptation, Chamber of Secrets suffers slightly from some awkwardly-placed dialogue. But this doesn't significantly detract from the viewing experience, and its climax is among the best seen in any Harry Potter film.
  37. Jan 24, 2012
    10
    Hands down the weakest in the series, which considering it was still good, that could be a point in the series favor overall.

    The story isn't as good as the latter or the later, but the acting has improved, and the main NEW character Doby is a good addition to the movie (and overall series). Without comparing it to the book (something that should never be done, because you should judge a
    Hands down the weakest in the series, which considering it was still good, that could be a point in the series favor overall.

    The story isn't as good as the latter or the later, but the acting has improved, and the main NEW character Doby is a good addition to the movie (and overall series). Without comparing it to the book (something that should never be done, because you should judge a movie on its own merits, not by a book it was based on), this is a good sequel to the first, and although it won't leave you completely spellbinded, it is still a magical experience.
    Expand
  38. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    The Chamber of Secrets is a very good film. Still just a magical as The Sorcerer's Stone. The movie stuck true to the book. Which is key to keeping the series going well.
  39. Jun 9, 2013
    9
    This is wonderfully exciting and adventurous. Watching it the first time was great and it still remains that way. This movie still evokes what I think Rowling was trying to achieve, and how it should be carried out.
  40. Jul 5, 2012
    9
    A classic plainly and simply. Worth it just for the soundtrack, then worth it again for the movie itself! Fantastic British cast, perfect casting and a great story from a great book.
  41. May 10, 2013
    9
    Amazing with new ideas and glorious adventures, an amazing piece of art as the first one, more magical and more dangerous! But more for kids
  42. Apr 14, 2013
    9
    This is easily one of the best films in the franchise. It is every bit as good as the first one but maybe even a little better. From start to finish, it's an incredible experience. In my opinion it should have been rated PG-13.
  43. Mar 23, 2013
    10
    Perfect story, great emotions and for sure the best Harry Potter movie! As i said in my review of "Sorcerers's stone", if you like mysteries and fantasy and you haven't watch a Harry Potter movie... then you should definitely watch the whole saga,because you missed a lot!
  44. Mar 15, 2014
    10
    Well written, wonderfully cast, and flawlessly flowing, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets offers suspenseful thrills, honest emotion, and an obvious respect for JK Rowling's masterpiece.
  45. Jul 14, 2013
    10
    While the story is getting darker, the film balances the light hearted moments with the dark. This film boasts of spectacular set designs, visual effects, direction, music (again John Williams is amazing) and acting. It improves upon the first film, while also keeping the classic feel of the first one while adding another feel to it and also staying extremely close to the book material.
  46. Oct 24, 2013
    10
    With an intriguing storyline and visually dazzling effects, 'the Chamber of Secrets' is one of the better earlier films in the franchise and stands out as one of the best films of the series.
  47. May 4, 2015
    10
    Igual de mágica, divertida y épica que la anterior, solo que en esta vez, la trama es mas oscura. The Chamber of Secrets sigue con el mismo estilo que su antecesora, solo que esta vez, la trama toma un giro mas maduro y oscuro. Es un espectáculo mágico, cargado de momentos épicos e inesperados.
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.