Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Colin Bertram
    100
    It's action-packed, darker, more epic and thankfully schmaltz-free. And it's the best "Harry Potter" film yet.
  2. For all its portentousness, this is the best Harry Potter picture yet. In some ways, it improves on J.K. Rowling’s novel, which is punishingly protracted and builds to a climactic wand-off better seen than read.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    100
    In narrative terms, not that much happens, but as for Harry's emotional journey--well, that's nearly epic.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Not just a ripping yarn but a powerful, poignant coming-of-age story.
  5. 88
    It will hook you good and keep you riveted.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    The special effects continue to be masterful, but villains are given a new twist, and Order of the Phoenix is all the more fun because of it.
  7. 88
    For those who have gotten their Harry Potter fix entirely through the cinematic incarnation, the script is lucid and fast-moving.
  8. The flourishes don't answer the question most on Potterites' minds -- who lives, who dies? -- but they briefly stupefy.
  9. Yet, as good as it is in so many ways, there's no getting around the fact that this briefest Harry and first directed by an unknown filmmaker (David Yates) is the least substantial of the bunch.
  10. 83
    The whole film is about innocence and experience, and if it isn't a Blakean song, it is a sturdy and vibrant piece of prose.
  11. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    80
    It won't win new fans, but as Potter movies go, this is the most filmic of the lot, suspenseful and action-packed.
  12. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg and director David Yates have transformed J.K. Rowling's garrulous storytelling into something leaner, moodier and more compelling, that ticks with metronomic purpose as the story flits between psychological darkness and cartoonish slapstick.
  13. 78
    Timely metaphors abound in The Order of the Phoenix, but the story (of which there is much) stands on its own magical merits, dark and darker still though they may be.
  14. Destined to be remembered as the one that handed the screen Harry his first kiss. Like much of the film, the smooch comes and goes briskly, without a lot of fuss.
  15. 75
    The most amazing magic yet for the wildly popular franchise: It is genuinely engrossing.
  16. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Darker, leaner, less expansive , and meaner, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is all business, and it casts a spell utterly unlike the first four films.
  17. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    75
    Pheonix is smartly-constructed enough that non-acolytes interested in checking out Harry's world won't need too long to catch up.
  18. Is there an admired British thespian who hasn't toiled in Potter's field?
  19. Given a choice between this and the navel-gazing of the novel, I'll take the short ride on a fast machine.
  20. On balance, the filmmakers do a terrific job with one of the weaker stories. It's welcome news that Yates is coming back for one of the stronger ones; he's set to direct "Half-Blood Prince."
  21. Harry comes through loud and clear as a conflicted, edgy, avid young man. He's turned into EveryTeen.
  22. 70
    This is a gangly, confusing sprawl, and yet there are enough patches of beauty scattered throughout that it's impossible to reject it wholesale.
  23. 70
    A sleek, swift and exciting adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s longest novel to date.
  24. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    The movie is brisk and lively, if not exactly action-packed.
  25. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Considerably grimmer and grittier than the previous pictures.
  26. 67
    Save for the thrilling opening sequence, there's not much to remember about the film beyond Staunton (Vera Drake), who masks her bottomless malevolence behind a pasted-on patrician smile.
  27. 63
    Whatever happened to the delight and, if you'll excuse the term, the magic in the "Harry Potter" series? As the characters grow up, the stories grow, too, leaving the innocence behind and confusing us with plots so labyrinthine that it takes a Ph.D from Hogwarts to figure them out.
  28. Standouts are Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, Harry's sly father-surrogate, and Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge.
  29. 63
    This fifth film should please fans who rate the films based on their fidelity to the canonical texts. But for the uninitiated, it's a dry and slightly dreary introduction to the world of Hogwarts and Azkaban.
  30. "Phoenix" might go down as the problematic film, full of plot but little fun.
  31. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    60
    Director David Yates, who is new to the Potter franchise, moves the story along briskly, at the expense of texture and nuance.
  32. 50
    There are lots of special effects, but sadly, no real magic.
  33. Taken as a motion picture, the new "Harry" comes up short. But taken as a visual aid to the experience of reading a book, the new "Harry" does its job.
  34. 50
    Something of a letdown. Previous statements aside, I understand Warner Bros. has to set the table for "Half-Blood Prince" and "Deathly Hallows," but too much of Phoenix is filler. And with only two movies left, we better get to the main course in short order.
  35. It finally can't transcend the limitations inherent in being no more than a way station in an epic journey, a journey whose cinematic conclusion is several years away.
  36. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    The storytelling seems occasionally disjointed, but more important, for all the special-effects wizardry, that touch of film magic never surfaces.
  37. Less magic also means less fun and discovery, as Harry battles depression and a hostile press; this is the bleakest Potter installment to date, and under David Yates's choppy direction, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson, and David Thewlis have little more than walk-ons.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 681 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 249
  1. Sep 23, 2011
    7
    With newbie director David Yates in control of the Harry Potter franchise, the movie's 'order' has been severely complex, making the wonderfulWith newbie director David Yates in control of the Harry Potter franchise, the movie's 'order' has been severely complex, making the wonderful acting from the potter trio & the marvelous CGI kinda hard to follow. Full Review »
  2. Aug 21, 2010
    5
    Aside from the fantastic dementor attack at the beginning, this movie was pretty much not good. WHAT happened at the end in the department ofAside from the fantastic dementor attack at the beginning, this movie was pretty much not good. WHAT happened at the end in the department of mysteries? All of the shelves just start falling down and there was no cool wand battling in the different rooms like in the book. That was the best part of the book and they left it out. The fifth book has a lot of really good important stuff and moments that they either butchered or just left out. Full Review »
  3. Dec 17, 2011
    9
    With it being the longest book and shortest film they had a lot of work to make this not rushed and boy did they do fantastic. StrongWith it being the longest book and shortest film they had a lot of work to make this not rushed and boy did they do fantastic. Strong performances, beautiful visuals, great action, thrills and some heartwarming moments. I give this movie 92% of a good film. Full Review »