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

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 787 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.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. A different kind of Harry Potter movie, a better kind... It's where this fantasy series has wanted to go all along.
  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. This film may disappoint some dogmatic Old Hogwartsians: a few plot points have been sacrificed, and Mr. Cuarón does not seem to care much for Quidditch. But it more than compensates for these lapses with its emotional force and visual panache.
  5. Reviewed by: Sean Smith
    80
    The result is a film that's really moving--and really moves.
  6. In the end, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban offers what neither of its predecessors, for all their wand-waving and witch-brooms, had: real magic.
  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 362
  1. MaddieS.
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    From what I've seen people either adore this film or loathe it.I personally adore it. I think the actors are great (spesh Dan From what I've seen people either adore this film or loathe it.I personally adore it. I think the actors are great (spesh Dan Radcliffe!) even though Richard Whats-his-name was actually better than Michael Gambon. The special effects in the film are great as well and as I want to be an actress when I'm older I wish I could have acted in it. I can't wait for the 4th film to come out (Nov. 18) and I'm also waiting for the 7th book. As you can see I'm an avid Harry Potter fan. Apparently the 5th film is out in 2007. Expand
  2. Jul 13, 2013
    10
    The third instalment in the hugely successful franchise leaps onto the screen with rapturous confidence, completely reinventing what weThe 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.
    Expand
  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 homeMight 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
    9
    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 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. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    The first of the film series that I really enjoyed throughout. It has a more definite British feel and sensibility about it, mixing in all ofThe first of the film series that I really enjoyed throughout. It has a more definite British feel and sensibility about it, mixing in all of the wonder and magic that Rowling described in her series. A great blend of light and dark, with those dreary greys that can really make the magic pop on screen. I am certainly glad that they ended up changing directors - Cuaron did a job better than Colombus. Expand
  6. ChrisD
    Jul 13, 2007
    8
    Firstly if anyone else uses the phrase magical to decscribe the harry potter movies I will break their legs. It's so annoying. Also this Firstly if anyone else uses the phrase magical to decscribe the harry potter movies I will break their legs. It's so annoying. Also this has been the best film so far. The first two, Radcliffe couldn't act or make anything look at all natural. At least there was a slight increase in acting quality there. Also I thought the effects were well included and didn't look out of place. And also no need to keep comparing them to the books, as it is obviously very difficult to transpose an entire year into pictures and keep the pacing reasonable. 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 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 362 User Reviews

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