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Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 492 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: This second installment in the Harry Potter series finds young wizard Harry Potter (Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) facing new challenges during their second year at Hogwarts as they try to discover a dark force that is terrorizing the school.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. 100
    Brimming with invention and new ideas, and its Hogwarts School seems to expand and deepen before our very eyes into a world large enough to conceal unguessable secrets -- What a glorious movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Darker and more dramatic, this account of Harry's troubled second year at Hogwarts may be a bit overlong and unmodulated in pacing, but it possesses a confidence and intermittent flair that begin to give it a life of its own apart of the literary franchise, something the initial picture never achieved.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Moves the franchise even closer to Indiana Jones territory, with bloodcurdling action scenes and a passel of climactic computer-generated slime beasties unparalleled in their potential ability to -- I'm quoting from both book and film here -- '' rip, tear, rend, kill. ''
  4. 63
    It remains an expertly assembled companion piece to its source material, with charms you can't overlook. But the great Harry Potter should be casting a more powerful spell.
  5. Chamber is chockablock with action (including a far more exciting game of Quidditch) and crafty special effects.
  6. By the end, instead of feeling stirred to a high pitch of anxiety and excitement, you may feel battered and worn down. But not, in the end, too terribly disappointed.
  7. Big, dull and empty -- nobody associated with this production appears to have thought hard about storytelling.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 146
  1. Apr 16, 2011
    10
    Well written, wonderfully cast, and flawlessly flowing, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets offers suspenseful thrills, honest emotion,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. Expand
  2. 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 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
  3. 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 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
  4. Mar 19, 2011
    8
    While the Chamber of Secrets isn't as good as the first but it's still a great movie, and if your a fan of the first movie and like the booksWhile the Chamber of Secrets isn't as good as the first but it's still a great movie, and if your a fan of the first movie and like the books you should like this one. Expand
  5. Jul 12, 2013
    7
    Twice as spellbinding and twice as magical as the first, but a side-swipe story has left the Chamber of Secrets as one of the weaker entriesTwice as spellbinding and twice as magical as the first, but a side-swipe story has left the Chamber of Secrets as one of the weaker entries in the massive franchise, this aside, Harry and his companions return in fine form for more secrets to unfold from the magical castle of Hogwarts.
    Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all reprise their roles as Harry, Ron and Hermione respectively, and its remarkable how quickly these actors grow up, their tasks at Hogwarts also reflect their growth, they must deal with fame, lies and of course, magical happenings. When several students become petrified, as case of paralysis where the subject is frozen still without an immediate cure, Harry and his friends find themselves at the centre of it all again, more so for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Of course there is still fun to be had, with Qudditch returning and looking better than ever, and of course the comedic tone remains on par, especially with addition of Kenneth Branagh as Professor Lockhart, a man who isn't everything he seems, we are also introduced to Dobby, a house elf who is out to help Harry in any way possible, but seemingly gets in the way at every turn.
    Its clear from the beginning that the tone has shifted slightly darker from the debut entry, with equally as many thrills to be had and some spectacular set-pieces equate to quite the blockbuster film, but much of the cast feels underused, understandably its difficult to adapt a book into a two hour film but I feel some scenes could have been shortened to make way for the excellent cast, like the returning Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, in his last film as Albus Dumbledore after passing away, and of course the sublime Alan Rickman.
    Watching the film back, it does feel like a go-between, and while much more of the essence of the books is explored, it isn't one of the better entries in the films, it lacks the punch of fantasy that the others possess, and ultimately falls behind the rest.
    But moaning aside, this is still a deserved entry in the series, it continues to amaze and carry the lives of our unlikely heroes, brimming with excitement, touches of horror and emotion, but turning into a darker path which suits the story it is telling. But the film is truly made again with the glorious cast who portray their characters with pride to the books but also to suit their own methods. Not the best, but certainly worth the watch.
    Expand
  6. TomK.
    Aug 19, 2007
    7
    The second film is not much better than the first film, it's still childish and not matching the book's environment, but it's The second film is not much better than the first film, it's still childish and not matching the book's environment, but it's still enjoyable as a film. Expand
  7. 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.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. Expand

See all 146 User Reviews