Harry Potter Movie Review

Where to see the 8 greatest Harry Potter films, from best to worst

Let’s sit back and let the sorting hat rate the top Harry Potter films; I honestly declare that I am up to no good.

Do you realise that the first Harry Potter film has been on the big screen for twenty years already? The Harry Potter series is without a doubt one of the most lucrative, well-liked, and beloved in movie history. No love or excitement for the movie has ever faded throughout the years, and I don’t believe it will any time soon. It is obvious that people just can’t get enough of this film series from the memory world at Universal Studios, the flagship shops throughout the globe, and the eateries in several locations across the U.S. In today’s younger generations, the HP movies keep attracting new viewers.

HBO Max even published a limited-edition reunion special with the actors around this time. If you have ever seen an HP movie, you will understand why this movie catapulted Harry Potter back into the spotlight. Even the most heartless of people shed a tear while seeing this wonderful show, which included cherished characters. A genuine fan of the Harry Potter movies would have been overjoyed to have seen them chatting, recalling memories, and lamenting the death of a few characters. It was quite heartwarming to see the profound impact this film series had on everyone who was engaged in creating and producing these movies. This franchise had such significance to them—perhaps even more so than to the fans.

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The Harry Potter film series is a retelling of J.K. Rowling’s series of fantasy books of the same name. Harry Potter, the primary character of the Harry Potter novels and films, is a young orphan boy who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard. Daniel Radcliffe plays Harry Potter in both the films and books. After that, Harry is accepted to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he discloses the truth of the demise of his parents. After that, he embarks on a journey with his buddies that is filled with mystery, suspense, friendships, games, family, and so much more. Lord Voldemort, who is depicted as the most powerful and unbeatable evil wizard in centuries, will finally be vanquished by them while they’re at it.

Here are all the Harry Potter films in order of best to worst, so without further ado (blame IMDb; don’t hold it against us). Are you prepared for another EPIC marathon?

Below is the correct order of the Harry Potter film 1-8 series –

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – 2001

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – 2003

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – 2004

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 2005

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 2007

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – 2009

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – 2011

You can watch all the Harry Potter movies on Amazon Prime Video.

The eight finest Harry Potter films, from best to worst 

Let’s arrange the Harry Potter films according to IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and user ratings, starting with the greatest film.

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Best


Released = 2004

IMDb = 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 90%

User ratings = 90%

As the third chapter of the franchise, this Harry Potter movie was highly respectable and immensely loved by the audience. The film showcases another main antagonist, Sirius Black, the ultimate foe of the plot, who is considered a terrible serial killer and thought willing to kill Harry Potter himself. The storyline was refreshing, intriguing, suspenseful, and added a much-needed depth to the movie, especially after the horrific second part. The audience was superbly charmed by the character development, visuals, action, and the overall theme – Harry finally had a living family member!

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Released = 2005

IMDb = 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 88%

User ratings = 91%

One of the best Harry Potter movies of the series is Goblet of Fire. This film perfectly encompasses the awkwardness of teen age and brilliantly translates it to the fantasy world of magic. The entire film is happy, full of life, and joyful in its unveiling of the Triwizard tournament, yet it does not create an implausibly fictitious atmosphere. Although the competition is highly a fabrication, it feels and keeps on getting real as the tournament nears an end, giving goosebumps to the audience. The audience is kept at the edge at all times by believing that the stakes are super high, engaging and involving them deeper into the movie.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


Released = 2010

IMDb = 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 77%

User ratings = 89%

The first part of Deathly Hallows is almost at par with the second because it showcases the journey and pure emotions of the three friends as they try to unveil and destroy the Horcruxes. This movie possibly has one the best acting done by the cast in comparison to the whole series. Also, the leading trio provides a few really heartfelt dialogues that are utterly genuine and believable and shapes the relationship of the main characters. We also get to see the three friends all grown-up and going through an implausible amount of turmoil amongst themselves and their relationships, propelling a sentimental quality throughout the film – this all together makes this series extremely realistic because it started out as a fantasy movie.

4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Released = 2009

IMDb = 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 84%

User ratings = 91%

This Harry Potter movie is indeed intriguing but also heartbreaking for some reasons. It is undoubtedly the darkest movie in the series, making it all the more interesting to watch. The best and perhaps the favorite aspect of this film is the character portrayal of Draco Malfoy as he struggles with the fact that he has to become a death eater – we see him growing from a bully to a sensitive character who absolutely hates the idea of becoming a death eater like his father. The overall vibe of this film is depressing, unpleasant, and gloomy. However, there are few secrets revealed, and few love interests developed, and we see The Boy Who Lived become his arrogant yet confident self – didn’t we all kind of love and (at the same time) hate Harry’s character?

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Released = 2011

IMDb = 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 74%

User ratings = 83%

While Deathly Hallows part 1 is produced better, Deathly Hallows part 2 is executed better. The second part of this movie series packs too many details that it starts to become a tad bit overwhelming for the audience – maybe it was needed. The movie did not pull unnecessary punches and delivered the wonder and thrills that Harry Potter fans expected from the franchise’s last entry. However, the start of this film was slightly boring and drawn out, and the fight scene at the end rewarded the loyal viewers with an equally powerful and emotional ending that wore its raw heart on its sleeve. In the end, everything about this last fantasy film lived up to sky-high expectations of the fans, and they left with a life fully lived – I guess there were also some tears amongst the hoorah!

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Released = 2001

IMDb = 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 81%

User ratings = 93%

Sorcerer’s Stone is an age-old classic and refreshingly nostalgic. It is the film that people will remember as the peak of the Harry Potter movie collection for a long time – as it introduced us to the mystical world of magic and Wizards. The movie highlights the glimmer of hope in the eyes of children admitted to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, completely unaware of the darkness lurking behind those doors. Remember the time when the worst thing was to get expelled? The innocence! The film does a tremendous job of epitomizing the nuance necessary in the first movie of this epic fantasy series. Although the movie encompasses the naïve nature of Harry and his friends, the acting and storyline are somewhat fair and not that great.

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Released = 2007

IMDb = 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 77%

User ratings = 91%

Let’s just say that The Order of the Phoenix is not the best film of the lot. However, it is said to be the most heart-warming film. The audience saw Harry’s life and the fact that his character seemed totally content with his life. Sirius is shown as a father figure for Harry, which is endearing for the audience because we finally get to see Harry having a chance at real family – someone that he can look up to. The movie has its high and low moments, but alas the only high moment was the one where the characters greet each other with love, especially Serious and Harry.

8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Not best (eh)


Released = 2003

IMDb = 7.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 82%

User ratings = 90%

Chamber of Secrets is definitely an awkward and weak attempt at maintaining the nostalgia that the first movie created but failed terribly. The introduction of a house elf, Dobby, is probably the only best addition in this film, even though he appears only for some minutes throughout this Harry Potter movie and then reappears in the end to (somehow) magically save the film. Overall, this Harry Potter film fails to find a decent follow-up to the first movie – maybe because the first one was inclusively loved by everyone OR because of its horrible plot. This movie also has the worst Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, which single-handedly ruined the viewers’ experience.

Harry Potter spinoff movie series: Ranked best to worst

Unwilling to cast aside one of their most successful and best franchises, Warner Bros. sanctioned a spinoff series by introducing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016. Although this new movie failed to impress the audience and could not achieve the same commercial and critical reception as the other Harry Potter movies, it was successful enough to keep the Wizarding world’s boat floating(something is better than nothing, yeah).

Until now, Warner Bros. has released three spinoffs, so let us rank those from best to worst.

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


Released = 2016

IMDb = 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 74%

User ratings = 83%

Post the ending of the Harry Potter films, Warner Bros. studio found itself at a bridge of the Wizarding world with a million sprawling ways to exploit it. It then struck them to opt for the spinoff book Fantastic Beasts. Where to Find Them is the first book and movie showcasing a compendium of several distinct magical creatures within the Wizarding world. J.K. Rowling herself wrote the screenplay that centers on Newt Scamander, the fictional book’s author, and his trip to the city of New York in the year 1920.

Fresh and brimming with excitement, this new adaptation of the magical world was intriguing enough to tempt Wizarding fans back into the mystical world. The film featured impressive visual effects, an engaging-enough storyline, and a slew of likable performances (including Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, and Colin Farrell, who was criminally underutilized). However, the terrible ending brought down the entire movie by retreading into a familiar and clichéd territory. With that said, this Fantastic Beasts first movie, for the most part, was a promising and, most importantly, a new fresh start for the Wizarding world.

2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald


Released = 2018

IMDb = 6.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 36%

User ratings = 79%

The first chapter of Fantastic Beasts was indeed successful, but only enough to demand a sequel. So, the writers and producers focussed on Gellert Grindelwald, the Dark Wizard, in the next chapter of this Harry Potter film spinoff. The movie attempts to expand the series’ legends but is a kick in the teeth by focusing only on (yet) another Dark Wizard, who stood no chance whatsoever against Voldemort. So, a general question about why did they bother telling his story was raised by the audience (highly disappointed sigh)

The Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald is merely an ugly and disheartening stain on the Wizarding world. Plain, erratic, and uneven, the movie poorly juggled several plots without knowing what to actually do with them. Above all, it makes the worst possible mistake of being supremely uninteresting, making the fans feel every damn second of this two-hour fourteen-minute loooong film. The movie has absolutely nothing of value despite the extended runtime. The fans sigh of relief the moment the credit rolls wondering why was the movie even made.

3. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore


Released = 2022

IMDb = 6.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes = 46%

User ratings = 67%

After it became clear that J.K. Rowling was a comparatively weak screenwriter, Warner Bros. recruited the experienced Steve Kloves, a Hollywood player and the man behind almost all the Harry Potter movies. As they say, a screenwriter can make an impeccable difference. And the result, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. It is a film that seemed great when compared to what came before. However, it did little to keep up with the expectations of the audience as the bar was already in the mud. All we can say is credit where credit’s due.

Although this third movie of the Fantastic Beast franchise is ambitious, it is perhaps way too much for its good. The Wizarding world depicted in the movie is unnecessarily complicated and uninviting at times. Plus, the storyline remains directionless and chaotic. However, the ever-sprawling cast slightly uplifts the film, especially Jude Law, who does everything in his power to lift the plot. That being said, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is yet another bewildering entry in this mystical movie series.

Mischief Managed


The Harry Potter movies brought to life everything that book readers had fantasized about in their heads. With the creative input (and blessing) of J.K. Rowling, the movies evolved and grew just as the novels did! Four diverse directors brought their own talent and added a medley of flavors to the movie series from scene to scene without sacrificing the character, storyline, narrative, continuity, and authenticity. It certainly is a magnificent accomplishment on everyone’s behalf, and the fact that there is not one bad movie in the assemble makes them all the more impressive and downright AWESOME!

Have you watched Harry Potter movies yet? Tell us your favorite of the bunch in the comments below.

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Nicole White

Nicole White stands as a distinguished figure in the world of entertainment journalism, holding dual roles as both an Editor and Contributor for the reputable Cover Hollywood Magazine. Her name has become synonymous with providing in-depth, thought-provoking pieces that offer readers a fresh perspective on Hollywood's buzzing scene.

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