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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 687 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 349
  1. Nov 4, 2011
    This Harry Potter is imaginative, dark, well acted, complex and visually dazzling. Alfonso Cuaron came in and maintained the story of Harry Potter but also gave it a fresher, more vivid feeling than that of Chris Columbus'. 4/4 stars. Expand
  2. Jul 14, 2013
    This film is spectacular! With a change in director the film feels even more magical and adventurous. I love the feel of this film (the Medieval feel and style), while the material gets darker and more emotional (which is what makes a movie or story good) but keeps the great messages and light hearted moments. The music is simply divine (John Williams' best score to date), the visuals are amazing, the cinematography is beautiful, the acting is great once again. This is one of the BEST films in the series. Expand
  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. Mar 10, 2011
    Of all the Harry Potter movies, (with the possible exception of 7.1 and 7.2), this feels most like its own movie. Yes, it has similarities in plot and characters with the book, but it doesn't feel like as much of an adaptation as the other movies, and doesn't feel as chained to the books. 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. Jul 6, 2011
    So the third film takes a much darker route then the first two. I don't mind the darkness and acclaimed best Potter film but this is the shortest and yet it feels like the longest of the films. This film was dumbed down to Hollywood standard and honestly I don't feel that this director saved the series at all. The twists in this film are a lot better then "The Chamber of Secrets" and the new look of Harry Potter is visually stunning but I still feel that the filmmakers thought audience members were stupid. They included a pointless segment of the Willow Tree just to show the changing of season. We dealt without this in the first two films, why do we need it now? The only reason that I can think of is the fact that the art direction was completely lacking in this film. We couldn't tell the changing of seasons without those pointless Willow Tree shots and on top of that every character seems to now be wearing fashionable clothing. When watching the behind-the-scenes of this film I found out that the actors were allowed to choose what they wanted to wear. I feel in doing this, Alfonso and his crew wanted to make a summer blockbuster more then the wanted to make a good fantasy film. Expand
  7. Aug 15, 2010
    High on special effects and much more spooky, funny and mature than the two previous films, but the direction seems to be a lot more lazy than the other films. This has resulted in my least favourite in the whole series (this far) Expand

See all 349 User Reviews

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