I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Huge. (Please pronounce that the way Donald Trump would. I did.) I’ve got a ton of toys, LEGO, shirts, posters, lunch boxes, a Hogwarts uniform hanging in my closet (Don’t judge me! I know what you wear on lonely nights!), all the books; and, of course, all the movies, which I’ve seen numerous times. I’ve decided it was time I ranked those movies. I’ve thought this over long and hard. You may disagree, but it’s only my opinion. Though, since I am an expert on all things Potter, it really should be considered fact. So here we go, from worst to best.
8) Half-Blood Prince
This movie. Come on. This is J.K. Rowling’s favorite of the movies. I’m not sure what her problem is.
I suppose David Yates did well with what he had to work with, but I think we can all admit that the source material is weak. Inarguably the weakest in the series. It’s a bridge from Order of the Phoenix to Deathly Hallows and not much more. Hermione’s feelings for Ron are forced on us, as are Harry’s feelings for Ginny. Like they’ve never heard of subtlety before. The cinematography is excellent, but the movie is really only good during the scenes injected with humor. The rest… eh. I can take it or leave it.
And don’t even get me started on the terrible casting choice for teenage Voldemort. It’s said repeatedly in the books that young Tom Riddle was extremely good looking. Like the Riddle from Chamber of Secrets was. I mean, I’d have that guy’s baby, evil wizard memory imprint or not. This Riddle? No. Ew. No.
7) Chamber of Secrets
Okay, so this movie isn’t terrible, but it’s never high on my list to watch. Hermione’s hair is crazy, and the kids are all awkward in that just-going-through-puberty way. The movie is kind of sentimental in the way that Sorceror’s Stone is, simply because they’re the earliest movies and they’re almost literally taken page-by-page from the book. I really like the mystery and adventure of it, but I think it could have been way better in the hands of a more imaginative director than Chris Columbus.
Though I do love me some cornish pixies. And Gilderoy Lockhart. And Dobby. Oh, Dobby. We hardly knew ye.
6) Goblet of Fire
I hated this movie when it first came out. They cut out A LOT, and yet the movie is still long as hell and so was Harry’s hair. I hated how much was cut out, and I hated how much was changed. But then Half-Blood Prince came out, and I can only viciously hate one thing at a time on account of some adult onset ADD. It’s kind of grown on me now. The movie I mean. Not the ADD. It’s actually a pretty good movie. Though I think it’s ridiculous that teenagers are expected – no, contractually obligated – to compete in a dangerous, life-threatening competition that takes up the focus of their entire year (not to mention that it’s the year right before they take their O.W.L.S). That aside, this movie is much better than I originally gave it credit for. I was a little unfair in my past judgments of it.
5) Sorcerer’s Stone
The movie is as simplistic as the book is. The first three books were literally meant to be children’s books and aren’t that great from an adult’s perspective. From four and on, things really get darker and more detailed. The movie is essentially a copy of the book, page-by-page. That’s a merit on its own, I suppose, as nobody likes to see scenes cut out of books, and you can’t really fault somebody for filming exactly what the book says, but… a better director might have done better with it. I can’t complain, though; it’s a decent movie. It’s just not as good as the later ones. Casting is perfect, though.
4) Order of the Phoenix
Somehow, the longest book in the series turned out to be the shortest movie in the series. A lot was cut out, and I was very disappointed at the removal of Dobby entirely. However, I loved this movie. Sirius’ death was great (Sad, but you know what I mean.), as was the battle leading up to it. Even better was the Dumbledore/Voldemort battle in the Ministry. Amazing. And I like how the feelings Ron and Hermione are starting to have for each other is subtle in this film; not thrown in your face the way it was in Half-Blood Prince.
Though, Cho Chang can go choke on her own ass. That stupid lilting sound her voice has every time she ends a sentence. Like everything is a question. Girl. Sit down.
Just like in Sorceror’s Stone, the actors playing Harry’s parents are waaaaaaay too old, and it makes me want to rip my hair out. They were 21 years old when they died. They should barely look older than Harry. But in both movies, they’re like 40. Do better, people!
3) Deathly Hallows Part 2
I had really only seen this movie twice and couldn’t remember much about it, so I had to watch it before writing this and choosing a ranking for it. I don’t remember liking it as much as I did during this viewing. I really enjoyed it.
The big fight scene is phenomenal. I mean, that’s not exactly how Voldemort dies, and he certainly didn’t turn to dust like a vampire, and what Harry does with the wand afterwards makes me want to scream, but still. The movie is pretty amazing overall.
There are many deaths in the recent movies; Sirius, Dumbledore, Dobby. But no movie in the series makes me cry more than this one. I got weepy when Snape dies, and I didn’t stop until the end. It’s definitely the most emotional movie.
It’s a great send off. I even like the epilogue that everyone hates. But what kind of horrible name is Albus Severus? He should get together with Renesmee.
2) Prisoner of Azkaban
This movie was a breath of fresh air after the first two. It completely changed the entire series from then on. It set the tone, in style and in design, for the rest of the movies.
Alfonso Cuaron really got it. He felt the magic, he felt the story, and he understood it in a way that Chris Columbus never did with the first two. I had a really hard time not putting this film in the top spot. It’s certainly deserving of it.
And you bastards can go on all day if you want about the time turner and the better uses it could have been put to, but whatever. If you use it to go back and kill young Voldemort, guess what, you have no story. So sit down and shutty.
1) Deathly Hallows Part 1
The book climbed higher up on my list every time I read it and so does the movie with each viewing. I’ve heard complaints that the movie was too slow; too dragged out. But you know what? It was supposed to be. It’s supposed to be slow and measured. It’s supposed be lonely and isolated. These three are on the run for months with little food, no security, no answers, and searching for something that they don’t even know where to start looking for, with a static-filled radio as their only connection to the outside world. And, meanwhile, fascists have taken over the country; hunting people down and executing them. It doesn’t need action. It needed exactly what it was given. This movie is brilliant and powerful and rife with emotion. From when Hermione wiped her parents’ memories and walked away without looking back, to Ron’s outburst in the tent before storming off, to Harry and Hermione’s quiet companionship after Ron leaves. Humor comes into play in all the right places to lighten up what is otherwise a rather sad and poignant story. The Polyjuice potion scene is hilarious, as is the scene where the trio is sneaking into the Ministry of Magic. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the acting is flawless. There’s nothing bad to say about this movie.
Well, I’ll admit I was a little disappointed they had cut out a couple of emotional Ron Weasley scenes that would really have given Rupert a chance to show off some of his acting chops.
And that “Tale of the Three Brothers” animated sequence? Don’t even get me started on how awesome that was.
So, that’s all the movies ranked. Not an easy task, but there you have it.