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Overall Rating
3.97

Awesome41.86%
Worth A Look: 33.14%
Average: 11.63%
Pretty Bad: 6.98%
Total Crap: 6.4%

13 reviews, 94 user ratings


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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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by Jason Whyte

"Pottermania Darkness."
4 stars

I have been thinking about what to write about the latest Harry Potter film for a few days now. It seems that these kinds of films do not need to be reviewed; that no matter how I feel about it, the film will still make a killing at the box office and all of the tie-in merchandise will fly off the shelf. As I sat down to a preview screening of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” last week, I came as a fan of the series instead of a critic doing his job. I wanted to be there.

Here is the first Harry Potter film where the first words I could think of as the credits rolled were “Emotionally Draining”. “Goblet of Fire” succeeds on an enormous level of visual and classic storytelling, a solid direction and a wonderful cast of eclectic British actors, but it shines the most on getting to the core of the characters that inhabit this wizard world. That the storytelling is getting darker and more fluid thrills me, although it may not for the younger ones.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” also succeeds, like “The Prisoner of Azkaban” before it, in being a more fluent adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s source material. Gone is the “Must Adapt Every Page” mentality of “The Philosopher’s Stone” (2001) and “The Chamber of Secrets” (2002) and are instead given a more fluent look into Hogwarts and its surroundings.

The main focus of the film is the coveted Tri-Wizard tournament at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and how this impacts the already busy lives of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Ruper Grint). The kids are no longer kids but young adults, and suddenly attractions start to build between people. Harry, who finds himself in his fourth year at Hogwarts, has his eyes on a girl to ask to the Yule Ball. Things don’t get any easier when he suddenly finds himself becoming a wild card in the tournament with three other school members.

The tournament itself will put Harry’s limits to the test, involving battling a dragon, rescuing captives at the bottom of the lagoon outside Hogwarts, and a sort of “Capture The Flag” mission in an endless maze. It must also be mentioned that Harry is too young to compete (the contestants must be 17 years of age and Harry is only 14), but since the Goblet of Fire summoned him, he is forced to compete.

And that’s the setup. I would love to dive further into the story, J.K. Rowling’s source material and all of the characters surrounding them, and yet if you have been following the previous films (which are pretty much required at this point) and/or the books, you know what you’re in for. The film’s later tournament scenes are beautiful in their design but have to be experienced instead of written about, although I will say that the later maze sequence, with all of its shrinking, oversized walls and blind corners reminded me, oddly enough, of “The Shining”.

The film’s director is Mike Newell, a successful British director who is best known for the great “Donnie Brasco”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and the not-so-good “Mona Lisa Smile”. While Newell’s visual touch isn’t up to par as much as Curaon’s flawless style in “Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004), he still elicits better control over the earlier Chris Columbus pictures. His use of the wide framing along with specific attention to detail is splendid, although it gnaws at me to think what someone like George Miller, Darren Aronofsky or even Steven Spielberg would dream up.

I should also mention at this point that David Yates, a relatively unknown Brit-director who directed the recent “The Girl in the Café” for HBO, is doing the rounds with the next Potter film, due in 2007.

Should kids see this film? The fact that it is rated PG-13 in the United States is quite noticeable, although one part of me questions how the 158 minute film, which is darker in tone, has a labyrinth storyline and contains some truly frightening material, would really connect to someone 8 years or younger. (Add to the fact, these movies aren’t getting any lighter!) The other part of me feels that as intentional as all of this is, the film is smarter, edgier and more entertaining than pretty much any other kid-pic out there right now (With the strong exception of the latest “Wallace and Gromit” film, which I liked more). So kids, if you’re reading this, bring the parents, have a good time, and remember that it’s only a movie. And a really good one at that.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13497&reviewer=350
originally posted: 11/19/05 04:58:26
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User Comments

3/22/15 HunterB so many fucking plot holes 1 stars
1/06/15 suck the lord of the rings beats all this shit 1 stars
7/12/12 Aimee Fontenot I really liked this movie! Very entertaining. 5 stars
1/07/11 Stack Laughably cheesy dialogue & characterization make it the weakest entry. 2 stars
8/04/10 the dork knight More streamlined than 3. Gambon rocks the house 4 stars
3/12/10 cr a good movie in the series, great action and entertaining 4 stars
1/28/10 Dane Youssef This one isn't just alive. Dark, demented, grotesque & intense. Worthy of Tim Burton. 5 stars
2/16/09 Samantha Pruitt this one is actually kind of scary, i loved it! 5 stars
7/21/08 R@veeN Ralph Fiennes is the perfect Lord Voldemort.......Voldemort rox!! 4 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT THE BEST SO FAR OF THE SERIES, BUT THAT DOESNT MEAN ITS ANY GOOD 2 stars
10/25/07 Rasockie33 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was one of the best movies out of all the others i next 5 stars
7/27/07 Bitchflaps Doesn't live up to Cuaron's predecessor, but leagues better than Order of the Phoenix. 4 stars
5/22/07 nicky love it 5 stars
4/17/07 Stevo UK Maybe someone should make a cinema where this kind of film is shown, so we can avoid it. 1 stars
2/21/07 Vin I love all Harry Potter films! Daniel U're the best! 5 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog Quit complaining or Chris Columbus will direct another one. *shudder* 4 stars
1/25/07 Cam Rowling, Your book is slow, This one is dumb as dumb can get!!! 2 stars
11/19/06 Ionicera as close to a good HP movie as we're probably going to see 4 stars
11/01/06 Anthony Feor Why did they bother after the Azkaban one 1 stars
9/02/06 Stanley Thai The best of the series. A great popcorn flick! 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Rowling, get over yourself, you're not the next Tolkien,just as medieocre as the others. 3 stars
6/11/06 Dave Webber The weakest so far - this feels too forced 3 stars
6/10/06 Billy The First two were fantastic. The Third one was pretty average. This one is borng as hell!! 1 stars
5/08/06 Diane Perkins my daughter and I loved this movie best harry potter yet! 5 stars
5/05/06 Cuenzie Wunzie The Series has gone from steel, to plastic. 1 stars
4/28/06 Tommy McLennox I marvel at how they managed to cut big bits from the book and yet still make it faithful ! 5 stars
4/28/06 no watson is a horrible actress, nobody seems to have noticed 3 stars
4/21/06 Nicko Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 5 stars
4/04/06 Valerie Not as good as the book, and not as good as the other 3 movies. But still not too bad. 4 stars
2/03/06 van zwaar LORD OF THE RINGS PWWNS THIS SHITE 2 stars
2/01/06 fluellen best potter film yet and i cant wait for the next one which comes out in 2007 5 stars
1/29/06 Smitty Let's not just pass over the excellent FX. Under Newell's direction it is NEVER boring. 5 stars
1/20/06 daveyt more of the same plot... same old, same old. Pretty though. 3 stars
1/09/06 Jack Farnsworth Boring! 2 stars
1/05/06 jeorge the movie is great but compared to the other 3 movies, the set is much worse. 4 stars
12/28/05 tony Without a doubt, the best Potter movie yet to come! 5 stars
12/27/05 Lady I thought it was the best one the trio did yet. The boys getting hit by the book. Funny! 5 stars
12/23/05 Naomi i thought it was brilliant! can't wait for the next one :D 5 stars
12/22/05 Ethan M. Special Effects Knocked Me RIght Out Of My Seat! 5 stars
12/18/05 A.T. I love you, Emma! 5 stars
12/17/05 captain craig ho-hum film fell completely flat at the end 3 stars
12/16/05 harshita singh excellent and simply superb work by the director as well as all the actors of the movie. 5 stars
12/15/05 millersxing Quidditch World Cup scenes were cut painfully short, the film may be better for it. 4 stars
12/12/05 Matt K. stinks 1 stars
12/11/05 Heidi Better than the previous, but still disappointing. Hermione is a terrible actress! 2 stars
12/08/05 HGTV fanatic It was OK, a little drawn out and boring at times, I miss the younger version of these kids 3 stars
12/07/05 Paitmi The best ever. And people hwo hate HP id like to ask you?WHY THE HECK DO YOU WATCH IT THEN 5 stars
12/07/05 Steve Gene Siskel took the easy way out, rather then see this movie. I was'nt as lucky. 1 stars
12/06/05 JKV Reeeealy sucked. Wastef my time 1 stars
12/05/05 Andrew Emotionally vacant filmaking 2 stars
12/05/05 chacha i diont like this movie 2 stars
12/04/05 Karina Yes, things had to be cut out, but they did it just fine! 5 stars
12/03/05 Aaron Prasad Totally Great - can't wait for the next one. Go Hermione! 5 stars
12/01/05 pym Excellent in every aspect. The finest of the series so far. 5 stars
11/30/05 Zidane Absolute Crap!!! It didnt stay true too the book! Get back a decent director! 2 stars
11/30/05 J.D. Pittman III Harry Potter must DIE!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/29/05 Ming They finally got a Harry Potter movie right! Voldemort could have been more sinister though 5 stars
11/29/05 Noel Jackson The best movie so far I cant wait to see the next one 5 stars
11/29/05 Koitus AWESOME dragon scene! My "1st" Potter movie; probably "better" to have viewed the others. 4 stars
11/29/05 batool ItS simplY amazing story!!full of fantasy & enjoyement!! 4 stars
11/27/05 SG72 Best of the series and the best movie of the year! 5 stars
11/27/05 Angie Much too chopped up! 2 stars
11/27/05 Daveman I prefer both the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban 4 stars
11/27/05 rabone This is the worst of the four, this movie sucked. 1 stars
11/27/05 Arnoud Rattink Too many dead ends, like Mr. Crouch sr. 3 stars
11/27/05 dbx Brilliant! They keep getting better! 5 stars
11/27/05 bearfan2112 All I can say is.....AWESOME!!! 5 stars
11/26/05 Bullit16 The best book of the first four makes the best movie of the first four. 5 stars
11/25/05 baseball-nut Definetly worth your money & I'd highly recommend you take your kids to this one! 5 stars
11/24/05 pie weakest of series. shallow plot, shallow characters - needed more story, less flash 3 stars
11/24/05 Shanequa Eh, whateva. 3 stars
11/24/05 clare Why do i keep watching Harry Potter? i'm always left dissapointed. 3 stars
11/23/05 nednevo truly dissapointed,no elves,no bagman,and why show crouch in th riddle house! too different 3 stars
11/23/05 Lily By far the weakest of the series, rushed pacing, minimal character development, weak score 3 stars
11/23/05 Craquehead Sadly, the weakest of the 4 movies so far. 3 stars
11/22/05 KingNeutron Overall pace of the film was FAR too hasty, but you'll see it anyway. 3 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Great movie. Great Cast. Great Score. 4 stars
11/22/05 Smitty exhilerating. disappointed by the graveyard scene, movie as a whole exceeded expectations 5 stars
11/22/05 The Grinch People r2 jaded. Darkest HP yet, engrossing, makes you feel like a kid, Fiennes is awesome 5 stars
11/22/05 Ophidiophile Thrilling, edge of the seat action coupled with a tale of burgeoning adulthood - fabulous! 5 stars
11/22/05 LP1 Cheryl,the innuendo was in the book! Myrtle even tels Harry she likes 2 watch boys bathing! 5 stars
11/22/05 Cheryl Coddington Poor Adaptation, Shame on them for sexual innuendo with Myrtle 2 stars
11/22/05 herkos akhaion Best Potter yet 5 stars
11/21/05 Ed Avenir II awesome film. take it for what it is, and thats a good film adaptation 5 stars
11/21/05 Flounder The first Potter movie that non-Potter fans can actually get into. 5 stars
11/21/05 Littlepurch Best book, best film. They kept almost everything in and it was hilarious 5 stars
11/21/05 Pale Dim Very, very rushed; should have been 2 films. And Volie was a drama queen. 2 stars
11/21/05 Lord Jiggy Felt choppy if well done. Emotionally engaging, great effects, needed to take more time 4 stars
11/19/05 too-much-coffee mistress A++! Great Shipping! Oops... I mean, excellent movie. Really :) 5 stars
11/19/05 Jonathon Holmes The best of the four and one of the best movies this year 5 stars
11/19/05 laura My favorite story yet! Though Azkaban still comes out in the lead. 5 stars
11/18/05 Kristina Williams It was great, and catcalls abounded in the theater when Hermoine wore that dress. 5 stars
11/16/05 Erik Van Sant Azkaban still rules... this film is a worthy follow. 4 stars
11/16/05 Adrian Absolutely stunning. Without a doubt the best of the movies. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Nov-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Oct-2010

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Dec-2005


Directed by
  Mike Newell

Written by
  Steven Kloves

Cast
  Daniel Radcliffe
  Rupert Grint
  Emma Watson
  Robbie Coltrane
  Maggie Smith
  Alan Rickman



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