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

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 684 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
    100
    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
    80
    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 349
  1. Nov 20, 2010
    10
    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
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  2. Jul 13, 2013
    10
    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.
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  3. Aug 16, 2010
    10
    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. RaghuM.
    May 31, 2006
    9
    A great movie.Infact the best of the lot.This movie possesses a certain warmth and security that was absent in the earlier Harry Potter films.The visuals are spectacular, so is the casting and direction.Alfonso Cuaron deserves all the accolade he is getting for putting together a polpular yarn into the big screen without displeasing most fans and critics.I was rather amused to see this film as my expectations were very low after being treated to two dry affairs previously.I would have given the movie a rating of 10, if it had not been for the miscasting of Dumbledore and that screaming Sirius Black poster.Michael Gambon is a decent Dumbledore,but he doesn't meet the poignant expectations created by the late Sir Richard Harris.I still firmly believe that Sir Ian Mckellen would have made an excellent Dumbledore. Overall a great movie recommended for any Harry Potter fan. Expand
  5. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Harry returns to his third year at Hogwarts and is joined by his loyal friends, Ron and Hermione. While attending the school, he learns a man by the name of Sirius Black is out to get him-- and is told that he was the one that turned his parents into Voldemort that led to him becoming an orphan. Later on, Harry learns that Sirius may not be as evil as the media portrays him. Expand
  6. CC
    Jul 29, 2008
    8
    Excellent film.as always the central trio undermine the fantastic story and characters with wooden performances and overall dislikability but theyre poor acting is not enough to overshadow awesome stints from Oldman,Rickman and Thewlis to name but a few. its hilarious to read the geeky fan-boys reviews stating how poorly the director adapted their beloved rowlings book to film when we all know theyre clearly in the wrong.cuaron did a masterful job with a difficult piece of childrens fiction and should have stayed on to direct the other films rather than allowing rank amateurs to toe the line as rowling had intended all along. Expand
  7. RitaS.
    Sep 22, 2007
    0
    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 349 User Reviews

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