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Overall Rating

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 brianorndorf

"By now, the franchise should be tired, but it keeps getting better"
4 stars

Harry Potter returns in his most successful feature to date, “Goblet of Fire.” An unusual choice of director was made with Mike Newell, but his care with actors shines throughout the picture. The darkest of the series to date, “Fire” earns its PG-13 rating. However, the maturation of the saga recharges the creative batteries, setting this franchise off in a new, interesting direction.

Looking for a trouble-free year at Hogwarts for a change, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds himself unwillingly entered in the brutal TriWizard competition, up against a fellow Hogwarts student (Robert Pattinson) and two others from visiting schools. With the assistance of loyal friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), and the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), Harry seeks to reveal who has put him in harm’s way yet again. As Harry struggles to stay alive during these brutal contests, his investigations and dreams lead him to Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who is making new efforts to rise again and exact his revenge.

“Goblet of Fire” is the crucial transition film for the Harry Potter franchise, taking it from a story of childhood wonderment to a tale of destiny. Transitions also take place behind the scenes, with some major changes in important artistic roles. Instead of demoralizing the series, the alterations to the Potter fabric reinforce the material, making “Goblet of Fire” the strongest entry to date in this powerhouse fantasy franchise.

In the last installment, 2004’s “Prisoner of Azkaban,” director Alfonso Cuaron took the series to gloomy reaches, far away from the more lighthearted, magical take on the material that filmmaker Chris Columbus trusted. New helmer Mike Newell takes the reigns of “Goblet of Fire,” and his difficult job is to juggle between the two moods, as the story for the film certainly is the darkest yet of the series. At first glance, Newell is an odd choice, spending his career making character dramas (“Donnie Brasco,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) and mostly forgettable fare (“Pushing Tin, “Mona Lisa Smile”). He would’ve been one of the last names associated with a monster-budgeted, effects-filled franchise film like this, yet the producers knew something the prerelease hype didn’t. Newell’s calm direction is a huge asset to the success of “Goblet of Fire,” along with his accomplished work with actors and production design.

Newell guides the film gracefully, and manages to keep his head above water with this elaborate story. A massive book trimmed to a 157-minute film, “Goblet of Fire,” like the other “Potter” films, take huge leaps in storytelling, trying to cherry pick the best set pieces of the book and build an organized narrative around them. Returning screenwriter Steven Kloves deserves massive credit wrestling the J.K. Rowling world into semi-coherent films, and “Goblet of Fire” represents his best work to date. Using the TriWizard championship as the core of the story, Kloves is allowed to branch out and assist the characters’ needed maturation, while still being able to return to the excitement of the wizardry and action with enormous scenes of immaculate Hogwart’s mayhem. As a non-reader of the books, I’ve become used to keeping one step behind the story, trusting that fans of the page are drinking in every last detail. However, while the climax gets a little punch drunk, Newell is still able to keep the muggles as invested in the story as the fans, which wasn’t always the case in the previous films. “Goblet of Fire” is easily the most confident of the series, with the production finally comfortable with the demands of the divided audience, and not afraid to please both.

The highlight of the film is a mid-movie ball sequence where crucial moments of teenage lust and cruelty are showcased, finally giving the series an accurate portrayal of adolescence. Since the theme of the film is transformation, Newell gives time for the three leads to grow into awkward teenagers, complete with self-conscious behavior and bickering. Newell and Kloves use the ball as a setting for Harry, Hermione, and Ron to begin confronting their newly thorny friendship, and to a smaller degree, their burgeoning sexuality (also seen in a moment with Harry in a bath while Moaning Myrtle comes on to him). The sequence is also a rare chance for the story to take a breather and enjoy the characters and the surroundings, without having to breathlessly cram exposition into every frame (which crippled “Azkaban”). It’s an unusual moment of pageantry for the series, but it elevates the characterizations away from the gee-wiz level they were stuck at, and lays the groundwork spectacularly for the hormonal trouble that lies ahead for the trio.

Also new to the series is the PG-13 rating. If the first three films were enhanced by their sense of awe, “Goblet of Fire” signals that now the story is heading into darkness and unknown dangers. The picture opens with a snake slithering slowly out of a skull, signaling clearly that Newell is upping the scare factor this time around, building on Cuaron’s subtle shift in tone. “Goblet of Fire” isn’t a gratuitously violent film, but it’s creepy and potentially disturbing to younger viewers, along with being the first “Potter” film to have a sizable body count. Harry’s challenges in the tournament might be unsettling to some, but that’s really kitten play once Ralph Fiennes enters the picture as Voldemort. Fiennes hisses and rages as evil incarnate, providing enough of a reason for the new rating with his menacing scenes alone.

Rejuvenated by an epic score from Patrick Doyle (who abandons the expected John Williams themes) and teeming with luxurious, detailed CG images (including a huge Quidditch stadium, underwater danger, and dragons), “Goblet of Fire” easily overcomes the stinging absence of beloved characters (Alan Rickman’s delicious Professor Snape merely cameos here) and an overall sunny disposition.

“Goblet of Fire” is certainly the most satisfying Harry Potter adventure to come down the pipeline, and if the final, bittersweet moments of the film are any indication, the complications and threats awaiting Harry in the future should make for dazzling cinema.

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originally posted: 11/18/05 16:20:22
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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
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
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  18-Nov-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Oct-2010



Directed by
  Mike Newell

Written by
  Steven Kloves

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

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