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.