Which Harry Potter Movies are Fans Favorite?

Which Harry Potter Movies are Fans Favorite?

Peyton Chanley, Contributor

Have you by any chance read Harry Potter? Perhaps you’ve watched the movies instead? But one thing is for sure, Harry Potter is definitely one of the world’s famous series. The series (written by author J.K. Rowling) has seven books and eight movies; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows, and Deathly Hallows Part 2 (though the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a movie, the Deathly Hallows written by J.K. Rowling is all in one book). So which movies are fans favorites? 

(I don’t recommend reading this if you haven’t finished the Harry Potter series)

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

The importance to the Harry Potter Series that this movie holds is astronomical. Not only does it introduce new characters, it shows how each character is slowly finding themselves and their meaning. You might notice that the mood is set differently and things change into a darker mode. Well that’s because the Harry Potter franchise got a new director. Director Alfonso Cuarón successfully altered the mood and feel of the series without changing what previous director Chris Columbus had set in. Actors Gary Oldman played Sirius Black, the father figure Harry had been longing for. And that wasn’t the only thing that changed for the Harry Potter series. Actor Richard Harris sadly passed away after completing the second film. So for this movie, Actor Micheal Gambom stepped in to play Professor Albus Dumbledore. Applauds to Gambon and Cuarón for stepping in and helping film/act in this movie! 

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 

The final movie to the Harry Potter franchise! This movie shows how the war between Voldemort and Harry ended, and what happened after. Favorite characters died, legacies were fulfilled, characters were named legends. Director David Yates had the inevitable task of finishing the Harry Potter series. As the movie goes on it goes back to where it all started; Hogwarts. Not only are the set pieces exhilarating, but it is anchored down by the characters we’ve grown to love. Yates took advantage of fans ‘ attachment and showed our favorite characters deaths in the most gut wrenching way; surrounded by their friends and family. Shockingly that was not the hardest thing of this series to film, no, instead it was to show how Severus Snape was indeed a hero and died a heroic death. Director Yates, and Actor Alan Rickman rise to the challenge of fulfilling one of the most emotional moments of dear Snape and solidifies Harry’s purpose; he must die. There were so many ways that this movie could’ve gone wrong but given how wonderful the filmmaking team was, I shouldn’t really be surprised on how amazing it turned out. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 

The Half-Blood Prince is certainly the funniest film of the franchise. With Yates and the cast portraying the film in a more romantic comedy most of the movie. Jim Broadbent did an excellent job in representing Professor Slughorn; the new potions master. Radcliffe, Grint and Watson did a great job in turning this movie into a light and more heartfelt movie. But the movie definitely had just as much dark material as it did funny scenes. With Draco joining the Death Eaters and Dumbledore dying, the movie definitely had many plot twists and heart wrenching material. The directors definitely went out of their way to make sure fans had a deep understanding of Tom Riddle’s past and what horcruxes are. They closed the film with an appropriate goodbye to Hogwarts and then the cast and company began to work their way into the 2 part finale. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix

The franchise got yet another director; Director David Yates, which I’ve previously mentioned in the beginning of this. This film also happens to be the only Harry Potter that is not written by Steve Kloves (Micheal Goldenberg took on scripting duties when Kloves declined to return, though he quickly changed his mind and was back for Half-Blood Prince). Yates navigates the themes of power and corruption through character Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton, who just might turn in the best performance of the entire franchise. The character is disgusting, disarming, and terrifying all at once, and her impact at Hogwarts spurs Harry and his friends. Fans have often been disgusted with the actor herself because her performance was so wonderful. The return of Sirius Black affects the film’s emotional impact and Harry finally found his father figure, only to later have it taken away from him later in the movie. The movie ends a battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort at the Ministry of Magic in a manner that is both unexpected and deeply impactful. With his clear handle on character, theme, and set pieces, it’s no wonder Yates stuck around to see this franchise through to the end.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

While this film might not be the most extreme, flashy or as impressive as the other movies, it definitely started off the series on the right note. The Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for the Potter purists) was told through the eyes of the 11 year-old Harry Potter, so the film was not as intense as the latter ones. Director Chris Columbus was not only responsible for putting together the incredible cast, but he also captured Rowling’s wizarding world on film in a manner that felt relatable and made the fans really feel as if they were a part of it. Columbus refuses to talk down to his audience and wisely side steps delving into cartoony kids’ movie land. It also really showed us fans the depth of the Golden Trios friendship at the beginning.  While it is the lightest movie of the bunch, it certainly set our expectations high for the next films in the series. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It was with Goblet of Fire that J.K. Rowling’s novels took their big first step towards adulthood, expanding not only in size but also in scope, and director Mike Newell likewise rises to the challenge of introducing a wizarding world much larger than Hogwarts while also giving the franchise its first major onscreen appearance of Lord Voldemort.  Newell handles filming this quite well, with plenty of drama for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to go around on account of the looming ball and arrival of foreign students. But throughout the film it becomes unwieldy and the pacing of the film suffers a bit in places, but the emotional beats of the third act really land even if the arrival of Voldemort isn’t as frightening as the books made it to be. The movie’s theme mainly follows Harry’s perspective again and shows his struggle in the tournament and how the “Chosen one” really doesn’t have a say in his life. Goblet of Fire is arguably Rowling’s best Potter novel in the entire series, but here’s where things get tricky, just because it was the best book does not make it the best movie. It is certainly not a bad movie but did struggle in some places. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 

It is tough to judge the film that is half of a story, but since it is presented as a separate entry into the Harry Potter series, Deathly Hallows – Part 1 must be evaluated as such. And while Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is captivating for the first hour or so (seeing these characters out and about in the muggle world is a nice change of pace), it definitely loses steam in its second half. This is due in part to the fact that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on a directionless hunt, disapparating from one gorgeous location to the next as they bicker amongst themselves. But the character conflict is completely necessary to set up for an emotional roller coaster in the next and final film in the franchise. Perhaps the reason people don’t like it as much is because of anticipation they have for the next one, or maybe it’s the fact that they are so used to the characters being in school that it seems almost strange for them to be in a completely different setting.  The movie also makes fans realize that these characters are still kids, kids that are completely and utterly alone fighting this mini war, all to lead up to the big standoff in the next one. 

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

Almost 161 minutes, this movie is the longest in the series, and perhaps not so coincidentally it’s also the last film to try and fit (almost) everything from the book into the movie. Director Chris Columbous expands on the beautiful wizarding world that he created in the first film, with a darker and more plot-heavy sequel, while the movie isn’t necessarily bad, it is the most laborious of the bunch. Though it’s certainly too long and wanders in places, there’s still much to like about Chamber of Secrets. Columbous nails Dobby the House Elf, saying fans really loved him and his part in the movie. He also does a good job in showing fans Hogwarts dark history, and some wizards and witches views on blood stasis. While the movie is enjoyable enough, it simply does not live up to the magnificence of franchise. 

This was a very fun and interesting news story to write, it simply showed me (and readers) how much effort was put into making these movies.  And I almost completely agree with this list!