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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 468 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. 75
    Does it immerse the uninitiated into a new, fabulous world? Yes. To the book's many readers, does this feel like the real "Harry Potter"? For the most part, yes.
  4. 70
    Is the movie any good? At the dawn of the twenty-first century, when art is defined by commerce, this question is beside the point.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    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. What's on screen, though, is a cautious approach to cinema wizardry -- broad, colorful strokes and flash-bang effects that turn J.K. Rowling's words into a long, cheerful spectacle with a Muggle soul.
  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 176
  1. EstebanF.
    Feb 27, 2006
    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
    Harry 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. Oct 24, 2013
    With well-written dialogue and stunning visual effects, as well well-executed acting performances, 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' is truly magical. Expand
  4. Jul 20, 2011
    A charming, sweet and colourful film. The acting among the young is iffy, and the effects are rather poor, but the emotion and the very faithful plot quickly pull you in. The sets are one of the key delights of this film. Everything is beautifully decorated and lavishly coloured to make it absolutely awe-inspiring. Together with the rich cinematography, it really brings the magic to life. The music also adds to the magic and the wonder, and follows the emotion closely. This can make it slightly boring, as there is nothing really converse about how it flows, but it adds something really satisfying and real to the film. Expand
  5. Oct 26, 2014
    this film is still pretty good and has a funner edge that a lot of the films from order of the Phoenix onwards didn't have but it's biggest problem is that as Il Neige pointed out the books weren't finished so no one knew what to highlight and what to cut but it has also got special effects that haven't aged well. still good movie and i can watch it and will recommend it Expand
  6. Dec 30, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was a really well done movie. I was really intrigued to see how well they would portray the book on film and I must say, they did a fantastic job. There were undoubtedly some major and minor differences but I felt almost all of these were perfectly fine. Obviously it's impossible to include every aspect but there were some things that I think they could've/should've done differently. For one, I understand you can't add everything and that some things might have to be changed in order to make the movie work but if that's the case, why add things that are completely unnecessary? For example, the moving stairs. As for the things taken out or changes, I have no problem with all of them, except one. In the end when they're making their way through the various challenges, they took out Snape's potion riddle. To me, that was the second most important and memorable challenge of them all behind the chess challenge. This would've only added another minute or two and should've been included in the movie. Nonetheless, this was a well done book-to-movie adaptation. The acting of some of the students left a little to be desired but it wasn't too bad and I've heard it improves as they, and the book/movies age. Expand
  7. Jun 20, 2012
    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 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 176 User Reviews