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

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6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 431 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. Scenes that should have been cut are included, so as not to disappoint anyone. What could have been a small, sweet and genuinely scary film is instead a full hour too long and many millions too fat.
  5. 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.
  6. 60
    A well-chosen cast helps make the wild notions convincing, and director Chris Columbus presents it all in an attractive, thoroughly watchable package. But try imagining a universe in which the Harry Potter series existed only in film form.
  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 134
  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. Expand
  2. 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!! Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Jun 18, 2011
    8
    Although not near the best in the Potter series, Chamber of Secrets is still a good film, almost equal to it's predecessor. The lead actors come into their own more so here, and the supporting cast is as good as always. The score continues to amaze, and the direction becomes a whole lot better in this movie. It becomes darker and sleeker, things we see in latter, better installments. The visual effects, especially concerning Dobby are delightful. The main problem is the length. It is quite a long movie, at nearly 3 hours. This can be an especially long wait if you have seen the superior future installments, and even more so if you are not a fan of the book series. But, criticisms aside, Chamber of Secrets is still a very good film. If you are a fan of the other films, or the books, see it, and maybe even if you aren't, still see this film. 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 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. CRL
    Jul 27, 2011
    7
    This was the second book/movie of the Harry Potter series, and even though some important backstories are delved into, it also comes across as one of the most forgettable. However that by no means makes it a bad movie. This was where Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson started to become great actors, and the directing from Chris Columbus is among the best in the series. The storyline is well-represented from the book (something only Columbus and Cuaron managed to do), and the special effects are extremely good for a movie released in 2002. 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. Read the books, not this poorly acted adaptation. Expand

See all 134 User Reviews