Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 734 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In this third installment of the series, the infamous Sirius Black has escaped from the dreaded fortress of Azkaban and is headed straight to Harry Potter.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Susannah Gora
    Soars gloriously into fluency and magic.
  2. Potter 3 is, in its heart of hearts, a teenage angst movie...Cuaron has done a masterful job of bringing off this shift in the Potter paradigm without disrupting any disruption in the established style of the series and without any pandering concessions to the teen-movie genre.
  3. 88
    Not only is this dazzler by far the best and most thrilling of the three Harry Potter movies to date, it's a film that can stand on its own even if you never heard of author J.K. Rowling and her young wizard hero.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Enjoy the savory witches' brew that Cuaron has cooked up in his Harry pot. For on its own terms, this one is truly wizard.
  5. In the Harry Potter film series thus far, The Sorcerer's Stone remains the strongest, perhaps because the first look at any rich new world is almost always going to be more groundbreaking than its sequels. But Prisoner of Azkaban is a worthy and stylistically different follow-up, where Chamber of Secrets often felt like an unimaginative retread.
  6. 75
    Although Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban stands well enough on its own, it has a "middle chapter" feeling. In other words, there's no real beginning or ending. Little is resolved and the film's climax is low-key.
  7. 40
    Put delicately, this is one long sit, made all the more so by a turgid story, a dour visual palette and uninspiring action.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 353
  1. Nov 20, 2010
    this one is the best in the series. i have watched all of them even the nr.7 and i liked this best out of all of them. it felt so alive and magic with those things and all that happened the same year at the school. you gotta se it. my list from top to bottom is first Nr.1 Harry Potter 3
    Nr.2 Harry Potter 4
    Nr.3 Harry Potter 1
    Nr.4 Harry Potter 7 Part 1
    Nr.5 Harry Potter 6
    Nr.6 Harry Potter 2
    Nr.7 Harry Potter 5

    But still if i have a list all of them are good though. all of the harry potter movies can i see again
  2. Jul 13, 2013
    The third instalment in the hugely successful franchise leaps onto the screen with rapturous confidence, completely reinventing what we remember from the first two and paving its own path to be quite possibly the best in the series. Alfonso Quarón has stepped away from the friendly and sophisticated technique that Chris Columbus used in the previous films and injects the series with a much needed sense of purpose, that the stories are all somehow connected and we can be a part of this growing tale.
    There is certainly a sense of maturity as the film unfolds, there is much more of a gritty story and darker content that will amaze and even frighten, and it is visually stunning.
    Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is preparing to attend his third year at Hogwarts, but as the story goes not everything is going to go smoothly. He finds himself on the Knight Bus, a magical vehicle which transports him to Diagon Alley where he is informed that he is in very grave danger, his godfather, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban, and is out to finish the work of ridding the world of the Potter family.
    But Harry has his own demons. literally. He introduced to the Dementors, gruesome and soulless beings, hooded and terrifying. They are searching for Black, and give Harry nothing but grief, something his returning friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) pick up on.
    The third film is such a delight that it is the little additions that make a difference, the flicker of a wand now has a whirring sound to accompany it, it still maintains a comic touch but introduces an almost relatable world that we could be a part of, these school kids go to class with shirts hanging out, they bully and fight with each other, this is a school after all.
    The addition of key characters is welcome to the series. Michael Gambon takes a daring and edgy approach as the new Albus Dumbledore, his presence is energetic and youthful, making his own mark in the role is excellent to see. David Thewlis plays the mysterious put helpful Professor Lupin, the new man in charge of Defence Against the Dark Arts, something and someone Harry comes to know much more. We also have the crackpot Divination teacher Professor Trelawney, who has a few too many crystals balls to read.
    As mentioned, the film is stunning to watch, its visuals when being used with the mountains of Scotland are quite exasperating, Hogwarts has truly never looked better, placing it atop a mountainside and introducing various alleyways of discovery has truly been brought to life by Quarón.
    As a fan of the books, I was pleasantly surprised at how insightful, inventive and enjoyable this film adaption was, it has all the seasons, all the mishaps, all the laughter, but somehow manages to push itself to the top of one of the greatest of the series, it is perhaps the little touches that made all the difference.
  3. Aug 16, 2010
    Might be the best of the series. It's certainly the most impressive visually, as Hogwarts, which sometimes felt as thrilling as a funeral home during Columbus' films, comes vividly alive in the third film. Sirius Black is such an intoxicating and great character, he really ties the movie together greatly. This was arguably Rowling's peak in the series. Expand
  4. LeeC.
    Nov 20, 2005
    Great, but not as good as the fab book! Emma Watson and that are other guy(Cedric Diggory) are absolute gorgous (not together). I don't think Ron and Hermione should get together, Hermione is way to good for Ron. Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2013
    Very interesting story and great action in this one! It's really great, i never get tired of it.... It is possible for you not to understand this if you're watching it for first time or you haven't seen the previous Harry Potter series. So remember there's NO simple movie in this saga. My final score for the "the Prisoner of Azkaban" is 8/10! Expand
  6. derekb
    Nov 3, 2008
    I am a huge fan of the harr potter series, i have only read the first 2 books but i have watched all the movies and i was more impressed with the 2nd film more than the rest of them, but im reviewing the 3rd one, i thought it was good, sometimes during the film i lost interest but the fact that harry wanted to avenge his parents when he finds out the guy responsible is on the loose and looking for him, he wants to kill him and i love it when harry is doing anything to find this man....the darkness of the film kept me interested and some didn't but overall this film was just Ok...i give it an 8 because im a fan of the harry potter series and although it didn't impress me as much as the 2nd film, it's still good. Expand
  7. RitaS.
    Sep 22, 2007
    Seriously, it needs to be redone. Professional reviewers, most of whom have no idea what the book is about, give it a good review because of what? The special effects? The "dark"ness? Did they read the book? Did the !@^%$#!&! director even read the book!?!?! Or did someone just give him a 2 minute summary of it and he made the movie out of what he could remember from it? How did JKR agree to this? Did she even? I can only imagine her feelings of horror as she watched her book getting murdered. It seems these questions will go unanswered. Feels like scenes were mixed up and a lot of stuff has been horribly changed and a lot has been left out. Good thing the director didn't stick around for the fourth part. Good riddance. Expand

See all 353 User Reviews

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