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Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 511 Ratings

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  • Summary: An adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's immensely popular novels about Harry Potter, a boy whose life is tranformed on his eleventh birthday when he learns that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    A red-blooded adventure movie, dripping with atmosphere, filled with the gruesome and the sublime, and surprisingly faithful to the novel.
  2. If the movie doesn't ultimately transport us to places The Wizard of Oz once took us, that may be partly because "The Sorcerer's Stone" is just the first chapter, with more magic waiting to be parceled out in the coming years.
  3. That sense of déjà vu is at once this Harry Potter's balm and its limitation: many charms, but few surprises.
  4. 70
    Yes, this "Harry" does indeed fly -- just don't expect the movie to soar into the higher altitudes of imagination.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    A firm, ringing yes and no on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The best thing about it may be that it will lead many back to read -- or re-read -- the book.
  6. 60
    This version of the Potter saga is fun and harmless rather than memorable or imaginative. That's certainly no crime.
  7. 40
    Given that movies can now show us everything, the manifestations that Ms. Rowling described could be less magical only if they were delivered at a news conference.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 183
  1. EstebanF.
    Feb 27, 2006
    10
    This is the most-"loyal"-to-the-book Harry Potter movie, and it's from one of the best books. Logically, results in a wonderfull, This is the most-"loyal"-to-the-book Harry Potter movie, and it's from one of the best books. Logically, results in a wonderfull, amazing movie. Even if the effects aren't so good compared with the later films, the plot line is incredible. I have to repeat it, the "loyalty" to the book was amazing, that made this film awesome. I watched it 7 times in video and 2 times in the cinema. Yes, you heard well. I repeated a movie in the cinema, without beeing a super-fan. I loved it. Expand
  2. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone brings everything a movie needs, from amazing young cast, a more mature cast, great special effectsHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone brings everything a movie needs, from amazing young cast, a more mature cast, great special effects for the year of 2001, art direction magic that surely deserved an Oscar, the script does not speak to what is really amazing how Steve Kloves was faithful to livro.E Chris Columbus for the first time (in my opinion) been in a serious movie and respected. Expand
  3. Mar 13, 2015
    9
    This is the best of the Harry Potter films, in my opinion. It truly captures the magic of the series. Even to thid day I can still watch movieThis is the best of the Harry Potter films, in my opinion. It truly captures the magic of the series. Even to thid day I can still watch movie and feel the same way I did when I first watched it. Expand
  4. Dec 25, 2012
    8
    While this is only the first installment in the series and remarkably Disney-like, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's in no way aWhile this is only the first installment in the series and remarkably Disney-like, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's in no way a groundbreaking movie, but it has no major drawbacks either. Good character build-up combined with a nicely produced movie makes this an easy recommendation. Expand
  5. Apr 23, 2015
    7
    To date, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold more than 100 million copies, won mostly adulatory reviews, and inspired a fervent cultTo date, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold more than 100 million copies, won mostly adulatory reviews, and inspired a fervent cult following, becoming one of those increasingly rare occasions in which the literary world has had an impact on popular culture. Much as a film adaptation was inevitable, it's almost a shame that Rowling's fantastical universe has been lifted off the page, co-opted from the imagination of millions of readers. And it's an even bigger shame that the chief imagineer is director Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Stepmom, Bicentennial Man), a Steven Spielberg protégé whose weakness for precocious brats and cynical button-pushing suggests that he learned all his lessons from Hook. Entrusted with the Potter franchise, Columbus was determined to stay faithful to the source, so if Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone turns out to be his best film in a walk, it's a testament to the strength of Rowling's vision and the peerless cast that brings it to life. Working from a solid script by ace screenwriter Steve Kloves (Wonder Boys), Columbus fares best when he stays close to his wry, sweet-natured hero and tells the story through his bespectacled eyes. Defying an unhappy cinematic tradition of bowl-haired moppets, Daniel Radcliffe gives a modest and winning performance as Potter, an orphaned boy who has spent the last 10 years living under the stairs of his adoptive parents' house, unaware of his grand destiny. On his 11th birthday, Radcliffe gets whisked away by an affable giant (Robbie Coltrane) who acquaints him with his supernatural gifts and invites him to study at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry. A magical castle surrounded by a black forest, Hogwarts is led by benevolent headmaster Richard Harris and a team of instructors (Maggie Smith, Ian Hart, and a wonderfully sinister Alan Rickman, among others) who teach students to cast spells, make potions, and master their broomsticks and magic wands. But Radcliffe and his two outcast friends (Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) face a larger challenge when they confront the wizard who killed his parents. A grab bag of storybook elements plucked from Tolkien, Dahl, and C.S. Lewis, Harry Potter gets off to a rousing start, as Rowling's hand-me-down universe opens up for its hero and seems fresh from his astonished perspective. But Columbus doesn't let a special effect pass without overdoing its sense of wonderment, as if the audience won't know to be awed unless he lays on a John Williams score with extra sprinkles. Harry Potter begins to lose its grip during an expensive-looking "Quidditch" match, a game that's like a cross between Rollerball and the pod race in The Phantom Menace, but is about as exciting as watching someone else play a video game. At 152 minutes, the film tries to squeeze in as much of the Rowling tome as possible, but the length grows more oppressive just as it should be gaining momentum for the finale. More Potter movies are in the pipeline, but the franchise seems exhausted halfway through the first. Expand
  6. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    The main characters acted well for children. There were some boring parts, but overall, it was enjoyable. It had a bright point of view and aThe main characters acted well for children. There were some boring parts, but overall, it was enjoyable. It had a bright point of view and a dark point of view. The background music was well conducted. Graphics were good for a movie made 12 years ago. But there were some parts that connected the seens in the book, while in the movie, there isn't some connecting scenes from one sceene to another, so people that didn't read the book and only watched the movie might be a little confused, but it was great, and I hope that they keep on developing, and make movies that get top scores. Expand
  7. Jun 20, 2012
    0
    Harry Potter the movie was great! Yes the book was better, but isn't that always the way when there is a novel to film adaptation? There wasHarry Potter the movie was great! Yes the book was better, but isn't that always the way when there is a novel to film adaptation? There was magic, friendships and basically evil magicians going around wanting to win the world and kill specific people. Great movie and fun for the kids and a good family viewing movie. Expand

See all 183 User Reviews

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