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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 Marc Kandel

"4th Entry Wins 1st Place. Think about that. I say that's damn clever."
5 stars

Dobby the House Elf fans be warned… dark days are here for your beloved character. Um.. Dobby fans? Hello? Anybody? You know… Dobby? The elf that's not Legolas? Dobby? Hmmn. No Dobby fans. None. Wow. Absolutely none. Not even one. None. Wow. Ok. Ok, good, moving on then...

With "Goblet of Fire", director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) brings a terrific balance to the book-to-film series that promises to satisfy everyone, be they newcomer or Potter veteran, book fan or film viewer. If there's a weak link in the chain of films to be found yet, its certainly not here. This is my favorite entry in the Potter films, changing the composition of if not completely altering the formula set by the prior three chapters.

"Goblet of Fire" chronicles Harry Potter's unwilling participation in the Tri Wizard Tournament, a challenge to three young wizards randomly chosen by the movie's titular cup (or is it a vase?), to compete against one another in three exceptionally dangerous tasks of intellectual and physical skills… With some magic thrown in of course, otherwise, you'd simply have Gymkata. Well, only if you lost the intellectual part and added slavering mental defectives with pitchforks and a conveniently positioned pommel horse- none of which are found in the Potter canon to date, thankfully. Um. Anyhooo… Someone has manipulated events so that the underage Potter has been added as a fourth champion for reasons unknown and now, not only must Harry survive the ordeals of the tournament, but he must unravel the mystery of who is guiding events behind the scenes. The film also smartly chronicles Harry starting to feeling tingly around girls, and his best friend Ron's mounting jealousy of Harry's continual attention by the wizarding world. Hermione continues to work her way closer to adult hotness. So does Ron's sister. That was a gratuitously cheap, morally vacant observation on my part. Excuse me whilst I go slam my genitals in the door for writing those last two sentences.

Alfonso Cuarón's "Prisoner of Azkaban" felt somewhat rushed and incomplete both in emotion and plot at key points in the story due to some questionable omissions made ostensibly for running time. Entertaining and delightful though it was in its own right, one too many pieces of vital information that should have been addressed were absent. As a result, the last film failed to tie many of the characters and their motivations together as effectively and deeply as it could have. The film simply didn't resonate properly with me and I feared for the future, as the books only quadruple in size from here on out. After all, "Goblet of Fire" is pretty much the Yellow Pages of the Harry Potter series. I'm the first to admit you can't throw it all in the film, but really, you can't just put your faith in somebody reading the books to piece it together either. There should be a careful balance of what the audience needs to know, and what can be left to the vagaries of that strange, elusive animal that is "the film adaptation of the book."

Newell's film gets it right, keeping a great many plates spinning all at once, managing to blend logical cinematic compression with smart targeting of the source material to create a show of wonder, deftly combining compelling drama, well timed humor, fantastic action, even effective horror; Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is remeniscent of a creature you would find in a Dario Argento film, and is surprisingly unnerving and grotesque. Yes, there's plenty from the book that you won't see in the film. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 4 or 5 plot threads whose passing a dedicated reader will take immediate note of. But are they conspicuous absences? No. When your only true casualty is the aforementioned Dobby the House Elf, you've done a pretty damn good job of tightening up your bear of an adaptation. Thank you Mike.

More noticeably and lamentably absent are Harry's overbearing Aunt, Uncle and Cousin- but its a wise move, the right move- an expositional joke that no longer needs to be repeated to echo through the continuing story. The fact that the film is not introduced by Harry's interment at his abusive family's home lets the audience know right from the beginning that change is in the wind- much moreso than Cuarón's wand-practice-as-masturbation joke, nudging the audience to acknowledge Harry and Co's entry into full blown puberty. This film differentiates itself by being the first to break loose of the established formula: There is no Quidditch match shown here- only enough of a clever introduction to one to let the audience fill in the imaginative blanks whilst setting the stage for an important character in the film. Wizarding classes are few and far between, more emphasis placed on the Tri-Wizard Tournament (Though watching Harry struggle to keep up in classes might have made for some better tension). The various personalities of the professors take less time to establish here; most notable is Professor Snape's hilarious, yet silent disciplining of Harry, Ron and Hermione during a class- clever innuendo and ominous statements are no longer bandied about: Snape simply and efficiently swats them repeatedly. Finally, the dynamics of the trio of friends begins a true change only hinted at in the prior film; resentment, love, the mercurial nature of adolescent friendships.

I don't care how old these kids get. The cracked voices the puberty-stretched faces, it doesn't matter. I simply don't care anymore. Me, I'm ready to continue suspending disbelief for as long as it takes- everyone inhabits their roles beautifully, and I'd hate to switch back to unknowns at this point, as I'm fully invested in everyone's accurate portrayals, and really, not a bad one in the bunch.

Daniel Ratcliffe and Emma Watson continue to amaze with their ability to step right out of the pages as Harry and Hermione. A standout of this film is Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, whose character will come increasingly under the spotlight as the movies progress, and who has always managed to show depth in what was initially a klutzy for-laughs character; Neville's story takes a more sinister turn here as we learn that there is something behind his hesitant, introverted personality. Even Rupert Grint, returning as Ron Weasley, who was starting to catch a lot of flak as the "comic relief" buffoon as of the last film due to a mostly underwritten part, gets a chance to prove that there's some good acting chops underneath the mannered wincing and whimpering. With a cold "Piss off" snarled to Harry early in the film due to resentment of Harry's notoriety and his role as wacky sidekick, we see a human being underneath the schtick, and a growth in Ron and Harry's relationship. These actors have worked hard, and left indelible impressions of themselves on these roles.

If we can have over a decade of TV where high school teenagers are played by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties, I think we can give a little slack in the rope to the Harry cast, and trust them not to hang themselves with it. Of course, by film's end, we are warned that change is in the wind. Is it change in Harry's life as a happy, innocent student in a controlled, supportive environment, or is it a wink from the filmmakers that we are about to see a more aesthetic change as they recast their young actors, many of whom are no longer signed past this film? I hope for the former, as I've grown fond of the ensemble as a whole. The adult cast turns in sterling work as usual.

Condensing the tome without skimping on the truly important events and details, this one's a winner, plain and simple. Personally I think the most magical thing of all is the hot Asian chick with the Scottish accent. Ugh. I know, I know, genitals... slamming door... Goodbye.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13497&reviewer=358
originally posted: 11/23/05 05:05:39
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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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