With movie theaters serving up the latest round of Wizarding World delights from J.K. Rowling in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” here are my rankings of the nine “Harry Potter” universe films so far (I’m considering “Deathly Hallows” to be one movie, not two). Starting from the weakest and working my way to the best, this is how I rank them. Lumos!
My series looking back at the “Harry Potter” films continues with Year 6, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009):
My series looking back at the “Harry Potter” films continues with Year 4, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005):
My series looking back at the “Harry Potter” films continues with Year 3, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004):
My series looking back at the “Harry Potter” films continues with Year 2, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002):
It’s been 17 years since the cinematic birth of “Harry Potter,” meaning the film series is now old enough to do something Harry, Ron and Hermione never did – graduate from Hogwarts! To celebrate this saga of nine films and counting – with a 10th (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”) coming this year — let’s take a look back at what’s come so far. (And if you’d like to follow along, a marathon starts at 9 a.m. Jan. 1 on HBO, and the films are also available via HBO Go.) We start, naturally, with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001):
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was my least favorite of J.K. Rowling’s books because the goal-oriented plot left little room for surprises: Harry and his friends need to destroy a handful of Horcruxes — which contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul — in order to kill the baddie.
After the heart-racing wonder of last year’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” it’s time to take a deep breath and slow down for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.” And — yawn — find some Horcruxes.
J.K. Rowling did her best writing on “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” and the filmmakers rise to her level to make the series’ best film by far. When a much-loved piece of literature is adapted to film, I sometimes worry that the filmmakers will try so hard to get it right that the end product will feel stuffy. But “HBP” has a wonderful lightness at times — I don’t recall laughing this much in the previous five “Potter” films — while also conveying an overall mood of darkness.