All Harry Potter movies had been rated, together with Incredible Beasts – CNET

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The Harry Potter 20th Reunion Special will hit HBO Max on New Years Day.

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It’s been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first in the Harry Potter series of films based on JK Rowling’s books, Apparated onto our screens. Words like “Apparated” became part of everyday language (at least among the Potterhead generation) and spawned everything from theme parks (mostly with souvenir shops) to not so warmly received prequel films to Lego advent calendars. Why stop with simple old Lego sets when you can cram Lego into a Harry Potter Advent Calendar?

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first film – it premiered on November 16, 2001 in the United States – HBO Max announced that Harry Potter would be the Treatment with friends and bring back the main cast including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint for a reunion. (Notably, there won’t be a seat for Rowling.) The special, streamed from the London set of the first film, will hit HBO Max on January 1st, New Years.

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Before that, here is our ranking of all 10 Harry Potter films, including the prequel films starring the adorable Hufflepuff and the famous magizoologist Newt Scamander.

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

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JK Rowling popped her scriptwriting cherry with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but her sequel to this magical prequel seemed less experienced than the first. A major edit might have cut out the dense details and drawings that seemed better placed on the pages of a book. It’s the worst-rated Harry Potter film of all, not just here, but on Metacritic (the only one that counts), with a measly 52%. The biggest criticism? Sorry, I’ve thought too much about this movie to answer this question.

– Jennifer Bisset

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

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The movie that can arguably be blamed for Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (not to mention The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1). Many would argue that the adaptation of the final Harry Potter book had to be split into two films. I agree, but his downbeat tone can be heavy and he mostly spends time setting up the second part. It’s a small marathon, riddled with terrible, tragic deaths.

– Jennifer Bisset

8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Screenshot by Abrar Al-Heeti / CNET

Spider haters, watch out. Chamber of Secrets is a perfectly acceptable movie as long as you don’t have a paralyzing fear of spiders, snakes, or Jason Isaacs. Our little trio, our first introduction to one of the biggest plot points in the franchise, takes on the heir to Slytherin, who holds the leash of a beast so dangerous that you can’t even look at it directly. However, it loses points for introducing the film version of Ginny Weasley. Bonnie Wright did a pretty good job, but we’ll never forgive the scripts for reducing Ginny from a bold, charismatic person to a two-dimensional supporting character with heart eyes for Harry.

– Steph Panecasio

7. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (2016)

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When Warner Bros decided to turn Rowling’s narrow brochure into a sprawling, multi-film franchise, it could be seen as a return to magic or cynical money-making. And thanks to the off-screen controversy (Rowling’s outspoken views on Twitter, Johnny Depp’s marital problems), the Fantastic Beasts series spat like a shaky wand.

But we will say: the first film is decent. It gives fans and casual viewers the chance to soak up the imagination without getting stuck in the world of a small boarding school, and the expanded view of Rowling’s wizarding world comes with gorgeously colorful creatures and a dandy retro fantasy vibe.

It’s also really well cast: Eddie Redmayne is great as Newt Scamander, a screen hero whose character is shaped by gentleness, curiosity, and compassion rather than violence and aggression. Katherine Waterston and Ezra Miller provide fascinatingly unusual support, and Colin Farrell is such a seductive swimmer that it’s a real shame Depp took over. Wherever the series goes next, you can find some awesome stuff here.

– Richard Trenholm

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

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The main thing I remember about this movie: Daniel Radcliffe makes strange clicking spider noises while tipsy on a potion (drug) that makes you happy. Visually almost as dark as a Game of Thrones episode, Half-Blood Prince is shaped by a vicious duel between Harry and Malfoy, not to mention the death of Dumbledore. It doesn’t really have a clear beginning, middle, and end, but feels like a big mess of teenage romance subplots. Do not complain.

– Jennifer Bisset

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

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Without this movie, we wouldn’t have had the great, perfect cast of Daniel Radcliffe, Emily Watson and Rupert Grint. We wouldn’t have the perfectly coordinated Harry Potter aesthetic. Perhaps most importantly, we would not have had John Williams’ sublime score. Outside of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, is there a more iconic and memorable Williams theme? I would argue no.

With fantastic films across the board, Prisoner of Azkaban being the most obvious example, it’s easy to forget that Harry Potter’s sequels followed a visual and stylistic template that was designed in part by the steady hand of Chris Columbus. The man directed Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire for God’s sake he knew what he was doing!

The Philosopher’s Stone is one of its best. It is far more of a children’s film than what was to come later for Harry Potter, but that’s perfectly reasonable given the source material. It’s timeless, intelligent, visually brilliant, and to this day it’s a great movie to watch with children.

– Mark Serrels

4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

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The Order of the Phoenix had many unforgettable moments. Some were funny, like Arthur Weasley in the Muggle world, and others were tragic, like the death of Sirius Black. The film also featured one of the franchise’s better villains in Dolores Umbridge. But the movie mattered to me as it first caught up with visual effects technology with the story Harry Potter was trying to tell. The duel between Dumbledore and Voldermort at the Ministry of Magic? That’s worth a million galleons.

– Daniel Van Boom

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

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Was it satisfying to finally see Voldemort disintegrate into little pieces and disintegrate like a Disney witch? Yes sir. Was it satisfying to see Ron and Hermione finally hold their lips together? Not if you’re a Harmony shipper (Harry and Hermione). Nevertheless, this (long) film managed to tie the link to one of the largest and best film franchises of all time. It’s full of tension and danger for our heroes, many of whom don’t make it to the end. A satisfactory final chapter.

– Jennifer Bisset

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

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Goblet of Fire has a bit of everything. There’s sports, bathing together, ballroom dancing, and even Sir Michael Gambon, who turns a calm, curious line into a roaring interrogation. The film takes sides and sides of exposure and makes everything seem incredibly normal.

Oh, there are two other schools of magic? Of course there is! Is there an old Triwizard tournament where school-age children compete against each other in a potentially deadly competition between schools? Secure! The worst person in the world is about to return? Brilliant! It has everything you want in a Harry Potter movie AND it has haircuts for the main characters. What is not to love

– Steph Panecasio

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

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The main argument why we should DEFINITELY have had a Marauders-era spin-off is the introduction of David Thewlis and Gary Oldman who make this an easy number one film. The only film in the franchise that doesn’t feature a rerun of the great bad Voldemort is a refreshing and fun adventure that explores the concepts of friendship, loyalty, found family, fear, and, well, the healing properties of a good candy bar.

It provides the much-needed context for the Marauders era, with the interaction between seasoned actors like Oldman, Thewlis, Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall providing a masterclass within the confines of a really good time. You are very likely to enjoy this movie regardless of your opinion on Harry Potter. Alfonso Cúaron’s entry into the series is cinematic (those Dementors, am I right?), Concise, and character-oriented, so we rightly celebrate his superiority.

– Steph Panecasio

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