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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 886 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 97 out of 886

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 22, 2010
    5
    The third time around didn't charm me as well as the first two movies in the franchise. They changed the director, which had a big effect on the overall tone of the movie. It was dark and unrelenting to watch. The only thing that appealed to me was how it ended and the magical scenery around Hogwarts. The rest, I could forget about it. There never was a bright moment in the movie, and theThe third time around didn't charm me as well as the first two movies in the franchise. They changed the director, which had a big effect on the overall tone of the movie. It was dark and unrelenting to watch. The only thing that appealed to me was how it ended and the magical scenery around Hogwarts. The rest, I could forget about it. There never was a bright moment in the movie, and the only thing Harry has to hold onto is his two friends, Hermoine and Ron. Harry has enemies, he has friends. He still hasn't fully understood that he will in the end have an epic battle with Voldemort because he has an ultimate desire too. Lord Voldemort is very powerful, but his lurking presence around the halls of Hogwarts doesn't frighten him as much as it used to. The director gives us an uncomfortable viewing experience that I wan't happy with and wish this doesn't happen again in the next film. Expand
  2. KarlK.
    Sep 5, 2006
    4
    It's not as magical as the first two films. The sounds were also very poor, it doesn't seem to compliment the mood of the scenes. The only thing I liked about the movie was the environments were more detailed. Over-all, it was a bit disappointing.
  3. jalalA.K
    Jul 27, 2010
    5
    BRILLIANT!
  4. GarryW.
    May 5, 2005
    5
    I thought this was a very good movie. here's why i only gave it a five. i'd read the book expecting lots of quidditch but there was hardly any. besides the books are always better.
  5. Andrea
    Dec 15, 2005
    5
    I just finished watching the first 3 Harry Potter films on DVD, in preparation for seeing the fourth film in the theatres tomorrow. Watching the films in this way really emphaszies how different the third film is from its predecessors. If I had not seen the first two films I would probabyl have rated this film a bit higher, but what bothered me was that this director chose to change both I just finished watching the first 3 Harry Potter films on DVD, in preparation for seeing the fourth film in the theatres tomorrow. Watching the films in this way really emphaszies how different the third film is from its predecessors. If I had not seen the first two films I would probabyl have rated this film a bit higher, but what bothered me was that this director chose to change both the scenery and Hogwarth's structure/routines. I liked that the first two films played up Hogwarth's similarities to traditional English boarding schools, and I was especialyl disappointed to see that this new director chose to "modernize" so many things (including the street clothing the characters wear for much of this film). Most significant is the castign change for the role of Professor Dumbledore. Another reviewere noted here that Dumbledore is the centre of the novels, and it's important to really feel that he's trustworthy as a leader. The late Richard Harris was wonderful; the new actor plays Dumbledore as a bit of a joke, and this bothered me. Dumbledore is portrayed in this film as a doddering old man, which is absolutely contrary to the books themselves and to the prior 2 films. All in all, this film will probably be most appreciated by people who haven't read the books or seen either of the previous films. Expand
  6. Aug 21, 2010
    5
    Definitely not as good as the first to. I feel like it lacked the craft, beauty, and authenticity of the first two films and was really immature, especially at the end. I don't understand how you can end a movie, especially Harry Potter with that last scene/image. It really felt cheesy when it should be majestic and beautiful. It wasn't bad but really I didn't like it as much.
  7. Aug 15, 2010
    5
    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)
  8. Dec 2, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Overall it was another basic HP film that doesnt really do much for the series. While it does start to make use of the older cast members, The acting from the young cast members is probably some of the worst in the series (A lot of over acting from them).

    Also the film is rather corny through out and it doesnt even come close to the emotional feel that the book had.
    Expand
  9. Mar 25, 2012
    5
    Harry Potter has suffered it's first little hiccup. I didn't really enjoy the new kind of filmmaking. The story suffers from a disjointed feel which i believe which not play well with people who have read the book, like me.
  10. HeatherG.
    Jun 6, 2004
    5
    Ok, I just saw this movie yesterday, and I hate to say it, but, I was greatly disappointed in it. I felt like the the actors new acting technique was devoid of any real emotion. Also..I LOVE GARY OLDMAN, but, I felt him and the Thewlis..and well, most of the new characters were way overacted by the actors portraying them. Yes, I know that as the books go..it is going to get much darker, Ok, I just saw this movie yesterday, and I hate to say it, but, I was greatly disappointed in it. I felt like the the actors new acting technique was devoid of any real emotion. Also..I LOVE GARY OLDMAN, but, I felt him and the Thewlis..and well, most of the new characters were way overacted by the actors portraying them. Yes, I know that as the books go..it is going to get much darker, but, I just didn't feel like there was a purpose for it. Like it was left unexplained. I will go see it again and maybe I will have a different view. (hopefully) But, I hope the new director for the fourth installment will do a better job with that one then what the director for this one did. Expand
  11. C.Dent
    Jun 7, 2004
    6
    This is a great movie -- if you aren't familiar with the book. Of all the HP movies so far, this one is the worst interpretation of the book. While watching the movie, the viewer gets the sense of being rushed. Quite a bit occurs that should be explained,but isn't. The acting is first rate, and the new Dumbledore does a surprisingly good job in the role. The movie is funnier - This is a great movie -- if you aren't familiar with the book. Of all the HP movies so far, this one is the worst interpretation of the book. While watching the movie, the viewer gets the sense of being rushed. Quite a bit occurs that should be explained,but isn't. The acting is first rate, and the new Dumbledore does a surprisingly good job in the role. The movie is funnier - and darker - than its predecessors, but it is difficult the bond with any of the new characters, and one leaves the theater feeling full, but somehow unsatisfied. Expand
  12. WillB.
    Jun 17, 2004
    4
    I am a big HP fan and have read all the books up to date, me and my mom both share a big interest in harry potter, and we were both real excited to go out and see it together. I left the movie feeling like maybe i had fallen asleep and missed one of the important parts of the movie. The visuals were exciting but why the hell did that porno director change hogwarts into a rinky old castle I am a big HP fan and have read all the books up to date, me and my mom both share a big interest in harry potter, and we were both real excited to go out and see it together. I left the movie feeling like maybe i had fallen asleep and missed one of the important parts of the movie. The visuals were exciting but why the hell did that porno director change hogwarts into a rinky old castle and i didnt like that harry hermoine and ron were in regular clothes, it kind of took away some of the feeling from the movie, and they also could of gotten a better Dumbledore. That Couron guy need to read a few of the harry potter books himself. ...what the hell is with Tony L. The kids are the same age as they are in the book, how the hell could you replace them. read a HP book idiot then you'll see. ...Simon C. kicks ass. Expand
  13. MattT.
    Jun 4, 2004
    5
    Having read the book some how the story line in the movie diverts from the original text. there were however many key points wren't told in the movie. One e.g is the quidditch game was to short etc etc....
  14. ChristyC.
    Jun 6, 2004
    5
    The first two movies were brilliant, Chris Columbus realized perfection need not be messed with.It is a shame the new director didn't feel the same ! Chris Columbus please return to direct the Goblet of Fire , true fans of this series need you!!!
  15. MattD.
    Jun 7, 2004
    4
    Is this movie supposed to be about art, lighting, the actors' acclaim, and the director's vision? or is it supposed to be about the storyline of J. K. Rowling's bestselling Harry Potter series, specifically the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? One word: DISAPPOINTING. This movie, while decent in its own right, destroyed a lot of the established scenery of the Is this movie supposed to be about art, lighting, the actors' acclaim, and the director's vision? or is it supposed to be about the storyline of J. K. Rowling's bestselling Harry Potter series, specifically the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? One word: DISAPPOINTING. This movie, while decent in its own right, destroyed a lot of the established scenery of the first two movies and at the same time left fully two-thirds of the exposition and B and C plot lines out in favor of the A plot lines of the story. Was there a natural disaster that raised Castle Hogwarts a couple of hundred feet, or one that lowered the Dark Forest and Hagrid's hut by the same? When did they put that druid's grove of stones in outside the entrance - which they obviously remodeled? When was there ever an enormous clock, or tolling bells, at Hogwarts - and what's with the crucifixes on nearly every parapet?? And why do I remember Harry spending two weeks in Diagon Alley and not one night...oh, because that's how the author wrote it, not the screenwriter, right! If they even mentioned Crookshanks' name, it escaped my attention; I know the cat's entire subplot wasn't there, which is odd as it was quite a story of emotional and hormonal tension between Ron and Hermione in the book...maybe Cuaron should have put that in with his exploration of Hogwarts adolescence more than the scene with the boys playing in the tower room early in the movie. And how about that Firebolt? whose placement in the movie was completely bizarre and destroyed all meaning attached to it in the book? You'd think there would be some consistency with Harry's Patronus Charm...the stag is only visible to the Harry being assaulted by the dementors rather than the Harry conjuring it, though...isn't that odd... And you'd think that the stag (Prongs), might have been, um, EXPLAINED? along with Messr's Moony, Padfoot, and Wormtail, considering the attention that was paid to the Marauder's Map? Nah, not important. I did give this movie a 4; there are some things about it worthy of praise. The special effects were very good, as was their judicious use to provide amusement, i.e. the Whomping Willow and its interaction with the change of seasons, not to mention its apparent tendencies toward avian cruelty (hilarious). Cuaron successfully introduced the dark moodiness and overtones that belong to this book, a decent transition that will be useful in the portrayal of the next few books. Finally, the scenes that -were- adapted from the book were done very, very well, in such a way that the viewer is living them rather than seeing them or experiencing them as a rollercoaster ride. Bravo on the stormy, albeit abbreviated, Quidditch match; and I'm not sure I like the 'I'm the king of the world' flair given to Harry's first ride on Buckbeak, but it was tangible. Somehow, most of the movie critics love this movie, it stands on its own, it's not a 'theme park' ride, it's not overburgeoning with sparkles and detail. Um, hello? Those details are what MAKE the book and the movie. This makes the movie then nothing more than a poor adaptation, like most other movies out there, of an author's vision. But for them to have criticized Chris Columbus's work so badly in several of the reviews I've read is appalling. They must think that we can't sit through a movie longer than two hours. Personally, I was looking forward to the 3.5 hour adaptation of Goblet of Fire, but somehow I see it being reduced to 1:50, with the entire Quidditch World Cup match (and all its exposition work) being reduced to an article in the Daily Prophet, and the bulk of the movie being nothing more than Harry moving from trial to trial in the Triwizard tournament. I wonder if they'll even mention the names of the other schools... Good thing they haven't switched the actors yet, with the exception of the late Richard Harris...at least we get to see the same actors developing their characters. Wonder if that will all change, too. They also must think we all appreciate the cinematic arts as much as they obviously do. We don't. We're looking for a visual adaptation to accompany the work of our imagination from having read the books. The first two movies, which many critics feel were so bad, filled that role well; this one both skipped a lot of imaginative work and trampled the rest. There is work that can be done to save the rest of the franchise. Cuaron has set the lighting and mood appropriately for the next installments; he's also shown more character depth for the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts than was previously there. I'm not sure I like the humor elements he's introduced, e.g. the Mexican-seeming talking shrunken heads, and the not-so-innocuous scene with Harry experimenting with his wand under the bedsheets, but they enrich the experience. The rest of the cast needs to get its character depth back, the richness and detail of the first two movies MUST be restored, and better use must be made of the actors to reflect the books, e.g. Alan Rickman should actually teach Potions as Snape, not just one lesson in DATDA on werewolves, and Michael Gambon needs to affect the kindly and whimsical Dumbledore that Richard Harris portrayed, besides the unavailable and detached headmaster/proctor, for the next two movies. A DVD release of the Prisoner of Azkaban with about an hour of missing, I mean, added footage would help, too. In summary, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was rushed, it lacked depth and richness, it ruined the scenery and ground work from the first two installments, its high-powered and huge cast was completely underused at the expense of the central three characters, and it covered far too little of the book it is adapted from to do it justice. I will watch this film again, once, to try to appreciate it for its cinematic qualities alone; however, that's not what I went to the theater for on opening night. Maybe the numbers will tell the filmmaking community (and the film reviewing community) what the people who really count, the paying ticketholders, think of this stain on the Harry Potter story, and what we want to see on the silver screen. Expand
  16. RH
    Jan 8, 2005
    5
    I rate it well on the new "look of the movie"; it is a bit more "grown up" than the other two, which were desigened for a younger audience. I think the director's creative additions, though funny, were unnecessary and wasted valuable time that could have been used at the more profitable explanation of what was going on. To someone who had not read the book this film would be very I rate it well on the new "look of the movie"; it is a bit more "grown up" than the other two, which were desigened for a younger audience. I think the director's creative additions, though funny, were unnecessary and wasted valuable time that could have been used at the more profitable explanation of what was going on. To someone who had not read the book this film would be very confusing. There are a lot of things that are not explained so it seems the director assumed that his audience would have the book memorized, which is an unfair assumption. The scene in the shreiking shack had me wondering how Harry could accept the truth about Sirius so suddenly. A lot of things happened in the movie that did not happen in the book, which added to the confusion of those who had read the book. Several important characters seemed to be missing from this movie, Dumbledore is almost absent, and Magonagall is also pretty much missing. You never meet Sir Cadogan and the other ghosts are also not in this film. The Whomping Willow is not as good as in the second film, and it seems unlikely that the tree would be so dangerous if you can stop its motion with a simple immobulus charm, instead of the hidden knot as in the book. You never meet Cho Chang, whom Harry has a crush on and faces an important part in the next book. There is almost no quidditch at all, except the falling scene, and you never see oliver Wood or the scene where malfoy and his cronies get in trouble for disguising themselves as dementors. Harry tackels Expecto Patronum in one night, which is inaccurate to the book and also out of character, since Harry is a talented quidditch player but an average student. The movie is good and the scenery is beautiful but the scenery change is a bit too drastic from the first two movies to make the connection (e.g. since when do you have to climb a mountain to get to Hagrid's? ) The aforementioned directors effects and jokes are funny (shrunken heads, boys eating candies in the dormitories and the fat lady singing) but unnecessary, the books are both funny and entertaining enough and are works of art as they are. They do not need these trite additions to make a good film, and I am frankly surprised JKR allowed these changes and cuts to be made to her story, which she made Colombus be so faithful to before. The first two films were more childish but I think better for part of a series that people can understand and enjoy with or without reading the books. Expand
  17. Meg
    Jun 10, 2004
    4
    This movie would have been great if i had never read the book. The fact that the events were out of order and that i felt they took away from the feel of the book and the new dumbledore, i rate this movie low.
  18. CharlieH.
    Jun 13, 2004
    5
    Well i read the book loved it saw the movie was disappointed, bored. this director is terrible he took a lot out that was important, put unneeded stuff in like those stuf shrunken heads. he changed the hogwarts rounds which i hated so much. this was a wrong director why would they choose a director thats best known for his porno films? it is just wrong, for goblet get back chrisopher columbus.
  19. MattQ.
    Jun 14, 2004
    4
    I first want to start out by saying that after this movie I don't think any more Harry Potter movies should be made. It is, in my opinion, impossible to take 742 pages and condense it into a three hour movie. I don't blame the director because writing a book and creating a movie are completly different projects. I didn't enjoy this movie because I thought that too many I first want to start out by saying that after this movie I don't think any more Harry Potter movies should be made. It is, in my opinion, impossible to take 742 pages and condense it into a three hour movie. I don't blame the director because writing a book and creating a movie are completly different projects. I didn't enjoy this movie because I thought that too many things were happening all at once. It felt as if Cuaron just took the main events from the book, changed a few things, and poorly jumbled them into a script. It felt as if the magic that the first two films had brought was missing. For example: Peter Jackson had made many changes with The Lord of the Rings but I enjoyed because it kept me interested. Also each movie has at least 30 minutes extra of the movie that cut strickly for time purposes. The movie made sense. In Harry Potter 3 I was bored and marveled at the fact that Cuaron attempted to save it with a few corney lines from Sirius. I think that this movie will spoiled it for those who have or have not read the book because it ruins what the books are built on. The reader's own imagination and creativity. I still believe that another Harry Potter movie should not be made because it is impossible to put that amount of literature into a three hour movie. Expand
  20. MarcosG.
    Jun 19, 2004
    4
    I watched the first two movies and found them great fun! So I had extremely high expectations when I entered the movie theater to watch the third one. What a disappointment! I couldn't believe people who wrote all those favorable reviews had watched the same movie I had. I did not have the action, the constant surprises and a plot that kept you interested and that surprised you all I watched the first two movies and found them great fun! So I had extremely high expectations when I entered the movie theater to watch the third one. What a disappointment! I couldn't believe people who wrote all those favorable reviews had watched the same movie I had. I did not have the action, the constant surprises and a plot that kept you interested and that surprised you all the time as was the case with the two previous ones. Ok, the looks were great and all that, but the movie simply dragged on for over two hours and the reaction of those watching it was telling, the theater was surprisingly quiet and a few yawns could be heard here and there. I hope the next sequel, if one is ever made, is not directed by the same director again, bringing back the thrill of the first two movies. Collapse
  21. AndrewK.
    Jun 4, 2004
    6
    The best Harry Potter so far, and the only one that did not make me want to kill the filmmakers. The last two sucked so much ass, and made this one a huge sigh of relief. Not that it wasn't still corny in some places, and Radcliffe's acting was still horrible. Not to mention the kid who plays Malfoy. Any comments about leaving out information at this point is meaningless, as a The best Harry Potter so far, and the only one that did not make me want to kill the filmmakers. The last two sucked so much ass, and made this one a huge sigh of relief. Not that it wasn't still corny in some places, and Radcliffe's acting was still horrible. Not to mention the kid who plays Malfoy. Any comments about leaving out information at this point is meaningless, as a better precedent should have been established by the first two movies. This film can at least stand on its own. Expand
  22. KerryM.
    Jun 5, 2004
    6
    I am a huge Harry Potter fan and Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book and this movie did not do it justice. That isn't to say that it isn't good or worth seeing, because it is. However, it was dissapointing to see that they left out a lot of details that were integral to the story. There were many things left unexplained. I know the movie was long, but all that I think needed I am a huge Harry Potter fan and Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book and this movie did not do it justice. That isn't to say that it isn't good or worth seeing, because it is. However, it was dissapointing to see that they left out a lot of details that were integral to the story. There were many things left unexplained. I know the movie was long, but all that I think needed to be added is a maybe 10 minutes of dialogue to explain a few things. It comes down to editing... for example watching Harry eat funny candy and have steam come out of his ears is funny, but explaining the whomping willow and the relationship bettern James, Sirius, Lupin and Snape would have been a better use of 3 miuntes. Also, a lot of the stuff in the book was out of order and context, for no good reason. I know this review sounds negative and it isn't completely. I did like this movie, I would recommend it, but above that, I would recommend reading the books because this movie just did not do this third movie justice (as the first two did respectively). Expand
  23. ElliotS.
    Jun 7, 2004
    4
    Matt D. says it all.
  24. JasonH.
    Jun 9, 2004
    5
    It seems the third attempt at unleashing a Harry Potter on the unwashed masses was a success. . .that is unless you've read the books and actually care about the story on which the films are based. I'll allow that there is some credence to the assertion that a movie shouldn't be judged by its book counterpart and shouldn't necessarily contain all plot elements, but the It seems the third attempt at unleashing a Harry Potter on the unwashed masses was a success. . .that is unless you've read the books and actually care about the story on which the films are based. I'll allow that there is some credence to the assertion that a movie shouldn't be judged by its book counterpart and shouldn't necessarily contain all plot elements, but the Prisoner of Azkaban is such a departure from the original (books and movies) that it leaves anyone who loved the first two films and Rowling's books with a feeling of detachment from scene one. I honestly don't understand the raving reviews over Cuaron's rendition here and the critic that termed Chris Columbus "hack" is denying the very essence of J.K. Rowling's Potter series as he tried (and succeeded, I believe) in giving a true depiction of Rowling's storytelling. Sadly, we find ourselves in a time and place where a movie is unendurable at three hours long and where more dialogue that visual action is a recipe for box office disaster. I'm eagerly awaiting the fourth film, which I can only hope will return with the innocently joyous and enchanting soul that was so loved in the first two films and completely absent with Cuaron behind the wheel. Expand
  25. AngelinaY.
    Jul 11, 2004
    4
    First, I just have to say that JK's books absolutely ROCK! It's difficult to make a film up to the level of her writing. I really liked the first two movies... and while there were some great parts in the 3rd movie, the entire feeling of the film was too different. The scenery and camera shots and views were just so... well... different. I thought that the actors and actresses First, I just have to say that JK's books absolutely ROCK! It's difficult to make a film up to the level of her writing. I really liked the first two movies... and while there were some great parts in the 3rd movie, the entire feeling of the film was too different. The scenery and camera shots and views were just so... well... different. I thought that the actors and actresses were excellent and I don't know what I will do if they ever outgrow the roles. I guess it is just hard to fit such a developed and involved story into a film. I just hope that the next film will be excellent. Goblet of Fire is my FAVORITE!! I am hoping that the next film goes back to the way that the first two were made! Expand
  26. KevinR.
    Jul 13, 2004
    4
    Call me a naysayer, but I didn't like this movie, and not because it didn't follow the book, like others here have testified. I think the problem IS the source material. Don't get me wrong, I like fantasy. In fact LOTR is probably my favorite movie of all time. But I don't like Harry Potter because nothing is earned in these plots. Problems just seem to get solved so Call me a naysayer, but I didn't like this movie, and not because it didn't follow the book, like others here have testified. I think the problem IS the source material. Don't get me wrong, I like fantasy. In fact LOTR is probably my favorite movie of all time. But I don't like Harry Potter because nothing is earned in these plots. Problems just seem to get solved so conveniently by someone waving some magic item or calling out a spell that makes everything better. It's so deus ex machina (look it up, kids). I understand that magic is part of the wonder of this world, but it all just comes too easily and conveniently to be very satisfying. Consider the end of this movie. I'll try not to give anything away, but I just can't get too impressed and amazed that brave, frightened Harry has managed to save the day by--gasp--yelling out two words. I mean I was ever so worried that he might forget the words or perhaps stutter them or something. Expand
  27. EgleW.
    Jul 26, 2004
    5
    This movie had many weak places. First of them - acting. Dumbledore (Gambon) looked like any other ordinary wizard, not like the most intelligent and powerful of them all. Grint was great, he doesn't have to act - he IS Ron, Watson did a great job as an actress, but not as Hermione (her hair didn't look like Hermione's, appearance too, I mean something was missing), but This movie had many weak places. First of them - acting. Dumbledore (Gambon) looked like any other ordinary wizard, not like the most intelligent and powerful of them all. Grint was great, he doesn't have to act - he IS Ron, Watson did a great job as an actress, but not as Hermione (her hair didn't look like Hermione's, appearance too, I mean something was missing), but Radcliffe was a disaster - that crying scene made me laugh, like many other scenes with him where he is angry or attacks Sirius (while reading the book I almost cried at that climax scene, but in the movie it looked cold and ordinary). It looks like he was doing exactly what he was told - without any spark, so he ruined all movie. Movie's action went too fast and I couldn't find time to enjoy. When I came out of the cinema theatre I completely forgot all the movie - it was not memorable and quite stupid - I mean what a dumb werewolf would believe in that AA-UU! "Azkaban" had great parts like flying hippogriff too but in general it was disappointing. Expand
  28. JasonB.
    Aug 3, 2004
    6
    Although this wasn't a total bummer, there was still a lacking quality about the whole film. Perhaps the moments weren't as I expected, or the acting on Harry's part was just a tad horrid at times, but nevertheless... there is something lacking. Basically, the famous gang of unordinary teenage wizards are back in Hogwarts to fight another one of Voldemort's traps -- or Although this wasn't a total bummer, there was still a lacking quality about the whole film. Perhaps the moments weren't as I expected, or the acting on Harry's part was just a tad horrid at times, but nevertheless... there is something lacking. Basically, the famous gang of unordinary teenage wizards are back in Hogwarts to fight another one of Voldemort's traps -- or at least something closely related. There are many plot twist, turning points, etc., however if one had already read the literary piece, then everything is quite expected with no exclusion. Its alright... but not perfect. Expand
  29. Anthony
    Jan 29, 2005
    4
    Only slightly better than the bastardization of cinema known as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". I watched this film a scant two days after seeing the magnificent sequel "Spider-Man 2", so its flaws became even more evident: There is no "acting" in this film. Just cloying children who become too syrupy in the more emotional Only slightly better than the bastardization of cinema known as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". I watched this film a scant two days after seeing the magnificent sequel "Spider-Man 2", so its flaws became even more evident: There is no "acting" in this film. Just cloying children who become too syrupy in the more emotional scenes, whereas in "Spider-Man 2", Tobey Maguire and the cast never allowed the sentimentality and cheesy qualities of the story get in the way from a dramatic impact. The special effects are more imaginative, but there are too many of them. And the story is too basic and turgid. Maybe J.K. Rowling can liven up a little bit and present a good story not stuck in the trappings and gooey sentimentality and over-the-top quirkiness. I believe Alfonso Cuaron, director of the amazing "Y tu Mama Tambien", can do much better than this recycled trash. However bad the little kidlet fans want it to be, "Harry Potter" ain't no "Lord of the Rings". Expand
  30. JimB.
    Jun 11, 2004
    6
    Didn't explain enough about the story.
  31. AlansitoV.
    Jun 13, 2004
    4
    It Was Just The scenes that were the more important 1s. It S U C K E D.
  32. NickR.
    Jun 21, 2004
    6
    The story line was totally off from the book. Many of the important parts from the book were taken out. Other than that the movie wasnt half bad.
  33. NOTAFAN
    Jun 24, 2004
    5
    I am not a fan of the Potter series. I did read the first three books though and my favorite book by far was the 3rd. To my surprise I liked the first two movies. They were faithful to the books, which gave the movies the amazing depth and plot that made the books good. The only thing I disliked about the first two movies was the look and feel of them was a little too kiddish. I was I am not a fan of the Potter series. I did read the first three books though and my favorite book by far was the 3rd. To my surprise I liked the first two movies. They were faithful to the books, which gave the movies the amazing depth and plot that made the books good. The only thing I disliked about the first two movies was the look and feel of them was a little too kiddish. I was looking forward to POA, because it was my favorite book in the series and they hired a new director Alfonso Cuaron. With a new director I thought that the Potter series would have a new, better look than the first two. I got my wish, the movie looks alot better than the first two. What disappointed me the most is that it wasn't faithful to the book. These means that nearly all the depth of the book was taken out of the screenplay. If it had been much more faithful to the book, the movie would be one of the best movies of all time in my book. Other than the depth it lacks, the movie dosn't do a great job explaining whats going on so we are clueless at some points of the film. The only reason I give this a 5 is that I liked the dark look of the film, which played well with the plot. Expand
  34. MovieViewer
    Jun 4, 2004
    4
    What I saw was visually well done, but not story-wise. It was like sitting through 2 hours of previews for the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Each scene just kind of jumped into being then as quickly disappeared. One cut scene mashed against the next. It was like trying to catch bubbles with your back to the wind. What you say might have been beautiful but there was no warning it was coming What I saw was visually well done, but not story-wise. It was like sitting through 2 hours of previews for the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Each scene just kind of jumped into being then as quickly disappeared. One cut scene mashed against the next. It was like trying to catch bubbles with your back to the wind. What you say might have been beautiful but there was no warning it was coming and no time to grab hold of it to enjoy it before it whisked past and was burst in the wind. It also seemed there was no attempt at a faithful addaption of the book. The overall events were there but with so much extra added in and taken out that my 8 and 6 year old children were complaining about missing their favorite parts. I can't understand leaving out important events like explaining the origin of the map, the roll of the cat, and a hundred other things, only to add crap like Hermoine howling at the werewolf. No attempt was made to build any kind of personality behind the new characters. It may just be me but the joy of a trip is the journey not just arriving at the destination as fast as you can. Overall quite a disappointment. I hope they have a different director for the next movies. Expand
  35. KenM.
    Jun 6, 2004
    6
    I just feel like it should have been better; all through the movie, I kept waiting for the movie to really grab my attention. There were funny moments but it seemed almost boring.
  36. DanB.
    Jun 6, 2004
    6
    It wasn't so good. It wasn't horrible either - more like a very long episode of some very nicely shot television show. Harry can't act, not much suspense was built throughout... the critics are praising it only because they like the idea of an arty director making a huge commercial movie, not because it is any better than the previous pictures.
  37. DanJ.
    Jun 6, 2004
    6
    As just a movie, it's absolutely great. But as a Harry Potter movie, it was extremely disappointing. I thought it Would be the best one yet, by the reviews and seeing that the third book is my favorite. i don't what made it worse was the parts the were cut out. They just annoyed me, especially with the Firebolt at the end. But from the very beginning it didn't have the As just a movie, it's absolutely great. But as a Harry Potter movie, it was extremely disappointing. I thought it Would be the best one yet, by the reviews and seeing that the third book is my favorite. i don't what made it worse was the parts the were cut out. They just annoyed me, especially with the Firebolt at the end. But from the very beginning it didn't have the right mood. It wasn't not as serious the first two, they wasn't the suspense that the others had right at the start. I'll give him credit for making it a lot funnier, but it didn't make up for all the other faults. It seemed like every scene he didn't desribe enough. You just go from one place to another seeing only the bare neccesaties for the plot. And another thing that annoyed me, was the wardrobe. Isn't supposed to be weird for them to dress up in muggle clothes(4th book), i barely see them in cloaks the whole entire movie. Besides all this, most of the other stuff was great. The acting, effects, movie elements like that stood out in this movie. True fans of this book should be disappointed by the movie. Expand
  38. Babs:))
    Jun 6, 2004
    4
    Beautiful effects, ok....but....but: if you haven't read the book you will find yourself wondering too many things. ok it is more than two hours already...but it is not convincing like the previous two, you've got to respect the plot of the novel, not only omissing things, don'tyou? anyway, it will be even more difficult for the goblet of fire....
  39. NickG.
    Jun 6, 2004
    6
    A prettier movie than the other two, but a great deviation from the books. Quiddich doesn't play as big of a role in this one as it should have been. All and all a well made movie, if you have not read the book.
  40. TammiJ.
    Jun 7, 2004
    5
    I say that it's a good movie if you have never read the books, but if you are like me and are a big Harry Potter fan and know the books cover to cover, it's a disappointment. So many scenes in this movie were changed and it was so unnecessary. The scene where Harry and Lupin were walking outide talking about Harry's mother and father? That didn't even happen, the I say that it's a good movie if you have never read the books, but if you are like me and are a big Harry Potter fan and know the books cover to cover, it's a disappointment. So many scenes in this movie were changed and it was so unnecessary. The scene where Harry and Lupin were walking outide talking about Harry's mother and father? That didn't even happen, the storyline between Ron and Hermione and their argument over Crookshanks and Scabbers was not embellished, Goyle just disappeared from the movie totally and became tall and skinny, I felt the whole movie was rushed to get to the point. I also don't like how they portrayed Lupin and Sirius. Lupin was too animated, more like a cartoon character, and Sirius was insane, that's not how I perceived them to be in the book. Dumbledore just didn't seem right either although he was alright. I just don't understand how they could change the ending entirely like they did seeing as the fourth book Harry stays with the Wealeys. He was asked to stay with them by Ron before they all went separate ways for the summer. The Firebolt was a big storyline as far as everyone thought Sirius was trying to kill Harry, which they barely touched on in the movie, that was one of the biggest story lines. Well, I give this movie a five because I love the books and the movie was alright, albeit disappointing in alot of ways. This will not keep me from reading the last two books or seeing the fourth movie, this is just my opinion and I respect anyone who loved it or hated it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, it's what makes the world go 'round :) Expand
  41. AshlynW.
    Jun 8, 2004
    6
    I'm a huge harry potter fan, and with the poa my fave book i was expeciting a little better, i must admit. I was really surprised about how much had been cut out!! And snape was almost completly cut out, the boggart snape had a better part. Still it was a good movie and i will be the first in line when it comes out on dvd but as a harry potter fan i must say that i was a bit disappointed!
  42. JeffM.
    Jul 4, 2004
    5
    First, let me say, that if you haven't read the book, or don't care if its faithful or loyal, raise the score three points. The two things that made me most disappointed in this movie were pacing and characters. I realize that the movie cannot cover every single point of the book, and that yes, it should have some comic relief so the movie doesn't seem monotoned First, let me say, that if you haven't read the book, or don't care if its faithful or loyal, raise the score three points. The two things that made me most disappointed in this movie were pacing and characters. I realize that the movie cannot cover every single point of the book, and that yes, it should have some comic relief so the movie doesn't seem monotoned emotionally, but the events in the movie didn't seem to have a good sense of priority to them. In the Shrieking Shack, where everything finally comes together and Sirius' innocence is explained to the people who have for a whole year (or more depending on your raising!) believed you were guilty for murdering twelve people, is suddenly blown over, lines delievered at 60 mph and doesn't nearly convey enough to convince the audience (although the characters, who he should really be working to convince, are automatically buying it). Other scenes with just as little action took longer than that minute-long, haphazard explanation. Even more grating were the new major characters introduced, namely Black, Pettigrew, and Lupin. Black was made to be a rapidly degrading lunatic, Pettigrew, the image of a fat overgrown furry cosplaying as a rat, and Lupin, rather than a man hated and feared for being a werewolf, a perfectly well-groomed Frenchie, complete with cliche moustache. While Lupin carried the most conviction of these new characters, he was acceptable at best, and his transformation which still looks more human than wolf (as if they saw Van Helsing and changed the model at the last minute) brought his character far down. Shoddy development and subpar acting worsen this movie. The experience for a newcomer to the book can be likened to a beginner playing Tetris on level 9. Nothing pieces together and its an exercise in frustration to try. Expand
  43. Jaime
    Jun 11, 2004
    5
    I must admit that I was a little disappointed with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I think the majority of people cheering the fact that this movie lacked the "Disneyfied" atmosphere of the last two movies are most likely teenagers or adults themselves and have forgotten that this is a CHILDRENS' book and a CHILDRENS' movie. What did you expect? I liked the fact that I I must admit that I was a little disappointed with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I think the majority of people cheering the fact that this movie lacked the "Disneyfied" atmosphere of the last two movies are most likely teenagers or adults themselves and have forgotten that this is a CHILDRENS' book and a CHILDRENS' movie. What did you expect? I liked the fact that I could take my children to a fun and entertaining movie that touched our hearts with it's magic, humor and happy ending. I was disappointed that they changed the setting of Hogwarts and that they didn't do a better job portraying Dumbledore. Not only did he lack in appearance, he also lacked in mannerism. Where was the soft spoken voice and the twinkle in his eye that the last actor portrayed so convincingly? Even with these disappointments I still give this movie a five. I was impressed with the dementors and the Knight Bus and enjoyed the overall plot of the movie. In the future, when making The Goblet of Fire I hope the director will keep in mind that this story is in fact a childrens' story. Those of you that want to see a Lord of the Rings type movie should go and see the Lord of the Rings! Expand
  44. JamailS.
    Jun 12, 2004
    6
    The third installment of the harry potter series is all about family. it must be remembered that during this point harry is going to learn more of his parents. he is going to meet three (3) persons who have not only spent time with his parents but also their best friends. and that is something that is left out in this installment maybe because they paid attention to computer graphics and The third installment of the harry potter series is all about family. it must be remembered that during this point harry is going to learn more of his parents. he is going to meet three (3) persons who have not only spent time with his parents but also their best friends. and that is something that is left out in this installment maybe because they paid attention to computer graphics and animation that they forget the importance of the emotional angst that is going through harry potter at this stage. all of us during this stage has a certain degree of yearning on who we truly are and i think this should have been more emphasized. also the desire to make it a "movie" diminished its quality as a literary work. i believe the movie should have been made on the point of view of the readers rather than on the prospective moviegoers. just for the record harry was such a big hit because we read the book and i think the same respect must be given unto us. Expand
  45. CourtneyL.
    Jun 12, 2004
    4
    After reading a raving view in US Newsweek I found myself, as well as my friends, eagerly anticipating the time when we would see it. When we finally went to see it, we found ourselves stupefied with disbelief. How could this be the same movie which had earned such great reviews?! We were in shock at its lack of unity with the book and the liberties Curaron took with this film. If we After reading a raving view in US Newsweek I found myself, as well as my friends, eagerly anticipating the time when we would see it. When we finally went to see it, we found ourselves stupefied with disbelief. How could this be the same movie which had earned such great reviews?! We were in shock at its lack of unity with the book and the liberties Curaron took with this film. If we hadn't read the book much of the plot would have gone have gone right over our heads, (as it did to many others in the audience apparent from the "but I thought's....." and the"what just happened's") so eagerly was the movie skipping from, scene to scene. It seemed jerky and fragmented and did the book a great dishonor. Many wonderfully drawn and colorful characters in the book, such as the magnanimous Albus Dumbledore and the haunted Sirius Black seemed pushed aside and blurred in the movie. The characters (all except for the main trio of Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint ) seemed to lack the depth which made them such a joy to love or hate in book as so inclined. Oh and for those of you who say to dispel the opinions anyone who gave it a low score, that's just because your too unimaginative to visualize the book as your reading it and most likely need a movie to do it for you. The only thing I can say good of Cuaron's directing is that the darker, icy, more seductive tones of the movie seemed to fit right in to reflect the setting, plot and feelings of the characters. Also to those of you who say this movie needs to be more "Disneyfied" and that it is a children's book need to sorely re-think that statement. The story focuses on Harry, a TEENAGER, NOT, a child...I can at least , if nothing else praise Cuaron's darker tones. Harry,Hermione and Ron are NOT children and have more complex feelings, and darker moods. It is not said the teenage years are the most trying only so some can try to portray it as happy and fun. As a teenager myself I know and appreciate this. Those of you want fuzzy warm feelings and happiness should go see The Cat in the Hat or some other movie. I, on the other hand will at least take solace in knowing that the director cannot affect J.K. Rowlings excellent writing abilities. Expand
  46. MarkB.
    Jun 21, 2004
    5
    When you've got a great house that you want painted, you don't want Matisse, Monet or Manet to do the job...you just want a really, really good housepainter. That's why I'm casting my lot with the Columbusites over the Cuaronistas--and frankly, I'm sick and tired of hearing Chris Columbus being repeatedly slammed over the last 3 years for being "too faithful" to When you've got a great house that you want painted, you don't want Matisse, Monet or Manet to do the job...you just want a really, really good housepainter. That's why I'm casting my lot with the Columbusites over the Cuaronistas--and frankly, I'm sick and tired of hearing Chris Columbus being repeatedly slammed over the last 3 years for being "too faithful" to J. K. Rowling's delightful books, as though that were some kind of cinematic crime. Don't forget: when you adapt an author's work to the screen, you owe the literary work some degree of respect: no, you don't have to be slavish, but go too far the other way and you end up with such atrocities as the softcore Puritan-porn version of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (starring G. I. Jane and Akzaban's very own Gary Oldman!) Don't get me wrong: the talented Alfonso Cuaron never comes close to reaching those depths, but his inventions, additions and deletions are inappropriate at best (the reimagined Whomping Willow IS amusing, and perfect for a Monty Python film, but NOT HERE), wildly misguided at worst (if you're going to treat the Quidditch game so perfunctorially, guys, why not just leave it out altogether?), and annoyingly distracting in between (I really hated the kids' modern-day get-ups; they constantly pulled me out of the moment). Some critics might have found Columbus' kid-in-a-candy-store interpretation unimaginative, but what's the point of having all that marvelous set design and art direction if, Cuaron and his cinematographer are going to make the lighting so "moody" and blotchy that you can barely see any of the details? I disliked Cuaron's apparent decision to throw out anything that didn't contribute directly to the bare bones of the plot--it makes the movie seem rushed and strips it almost completely of any real emotional resonance: Ron and Hermoine's feud is barely touched upon, and nothing whatsoever is made of Harry's response to the wonderful offer to NOT have to spend his next summer with his relatives-from-hell being suddenly and cruelly yanked away from him. It certainly is available to keep a movie franchise going while tweaking the formula or altering the characters here and there (the latest Bond film, Die Another Day, did some of this brilliantly)...and I'm aware that Rowling herself may very well have applauded Cuaron's decision to turn the likable kids of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber into Adolescents With Attitude, and the movies themselves from cozy to edgy, but I (and apparently, about half of this site's contributors) would have been happier if Cuaron had invested his talents and energies in a different, more appropriate movie sequel: Y Tu Mama Tambien, Tambien. Expand
  47. AlbertW.
    Sep 25, 2004
    4
    The worse ot the three original book os too good not to be followed religiously this did not need a director's creative input.
  48. melissame
    Dec 26, 2004
    4
    Ho-hum. Worst of the three.
  49. Apr 26, 2015
    6
    One thing I don't get about this movie is all the overwhelming praise it gets. In my opinion this one of my least favorite of the Harry Potter movies.

    Granted the effects are top notch, as usual, acting is mostly OK but perhaps a bit over the top at times. The plot, while interesting, feels rushed and the movie on th e whole feels like th e cliff notes to a much bigger story (one could
    One thing I don't get about this movie is all the overwhelming praise it gets. In my opinion this one of my least favorite of the Harry Potter movies.

    Granted the effects are top notch, as usual, acting is mostly OK but perhaps a bit over the top at times. The plot, while interesting, feels rushed and the movie on th e whole feels like th e cliff notes to a much bigger story (one could argue that all the movies are like this, but this one just feels like it more.)

    The darker atmosphere, while done well, really is brought on too quickly when compared to the lighter hearted predecessors. It felt too much like the new director was trying too hard to give it a look and feel of his own.

    Overall:
    HPatPoA is good movie, it just feels like it is missing something that left me thinking "Is that it?"
    Expand
  50. Nov 18, 2015
    6
    In my opinion, this is probably the weakest Harry Potter film considering the plot and the directing. The cast does a good job again as the characters but the story just isn't there. The movie has entertaining scenes and some nice twists but it's not as enjoyable as the other Potter films.
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. A deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon, achieving the neat trick of remaining faithful to the spirit of the book while at the same time being true to its cinematic self.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    70
    Visually dazzling and considerably darker than the prior incarnations, the story suffers from a slightly disjointed feel that will prove less accessible to those not intimately familiar with every corner of author J.K. Rowling's world.