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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 William Goss

"Mild About Harry"
3 stars

Let’s get one thing straight: it’s hard to screw up a Harry Potter movie, with such devotion and detail spilling over from J.K. Rowling’s admired novels right into their film counterparts. Then again, making a great one isn’t so easy either, and somewhere in the middle lies 'Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire,' the fourth chapter in the fantasy saga and one that inevitably feels lesser in the shadow of its precursors. Worry not: 'Goblet' doesn’t snuff that magic spark, but the glow is starting to grow dimmer.

Beginning their fourth year at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson) arrive at school, soon followed by the appearance of a flying carriage and a submerged ship, each bringing representatives from fellow magical establishments Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Hogwarts is to host the Triwizard Tournament, in which a student from each school will participate after their names emerge from the titular fiery cup. However, Harry Potter is also deemed a contender, despite his ineligibility by both age and ability, and under an atmosphere of suspicion, he is forced to compete in the risky event.

While not a complete disappointment, Goblet of Fire is easily the weakest adaptation yet in the Harry Potter saga. Though Chris Columbus brought a genuine sense of awe and wonder to the first two films and Alfonso Cuarón gave the third entry greater purpose and excitement, the series is being helmed by a British director for the first time, Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mona Lisa Smile). This may very well account for Goblet’s lack of distinct personality and rushed result.

From J.K. Rowling’s 734-page volume, her prologue, consisting of about the first 150 or so pages, is covered too easily within the first reel. They leave the Weasley’s abode with little mention of the family itself, and once they arrive at the Quidditch World Cup, the match is set-up and then discarded, skipping instead to the post-game festivities, which are soon interrupted by followers of You-Know-Who. With so much and yet so little happening within mere minutes, Harry and company are already off to school once more, where they encounter even more trims. Gone are the Dursleys and the hallway-haunting ghosts (with the exception of Moaning Myrtle), and caretaker Argus Filch is reduced to mere comic relief. However, not all omissions are equally painful. Hermione’s entire campaign for the rights of house-elves is thankfully excised, and the brief appearances of tabloid journalist Rita Skeeter (portrayed rather flatly by Miranda Richardson) could have been removed to no loss.

At one point, the suggestion was to split the film into two volumes, one to be released at Thanksgiving, and the other at Christmas. As overwhelming as that would have been, the final cut ends up trimming too much and still drags regardless, with the all-exposition first act a necessary evil to get the story off the ground. After that, the episodic nature of the trio of Tournament tasks and the events that occur between feel like an awful lot of wheel spinning more than plot progress. As the film goes on, the time for, and between, each challenge is reduced. Each Tournament task is well executed visually, even if not nearly as compelling as desired. Each segment is then flanked by hollow opportunities for hormones-a-go-go (particularly the Yule Ball), a chance for Ron to sulk, and even more plot shaving. If one is unfamiliar with the book, the story could easily confuse relative newcomers. Bigger and bigger hints are dropped as to who the real culprit is, but what may seem too obvious to fans may puzzle others.

Those looking to see this film unaware of the conclusion would do best to skip the next paragraph, in which I discuss the climax.

The biggest redeeming factor of this film is the true end of the Triwizard Tournament, in which Harry Potter witnesses the rebirth of his nemesis, Voldemort, played with an eerie menace by Ralph Fiennes. The sequence, including the death of a certain character, carries all the proper weight that it should, and helps certify the saga’s path into PG-13 territory. The usually-gigglesome Sunday afternoon crowd was completely and utterly silent during every frame with Voldemort in it, a testament to the villain's twisted charisma. This palpably dark turn marks the shift of the remaining story arc, and it is executed well enough to compensate for the weakness evident in the preceding scenes.

As expected, everyone returns to the roles in a mature and consistent fashion, even if many of the supporting characters are shifted to the background, and Brendan Gleeson makes a wonderful contribution as “Mad-Eye” Moody, the latest Defense Against The Dark Arts professor. However, the absence of John Williams is apparent with the sparse score, and director Newell fails to really bring his own unique touch on this entry, approaching the story with less enthusiasm and ambition, instead demonstrating a greater impression of obligation than the other directors ever did. While not a complete letdown, the weaknesses of Goblet are too numerous to rank it as highly as its predecessors.

As the conclusion promises, darker times lie ahead for Harry and the rest of the Hogwarts gang. Hopefully, a different director, even a previous one (Cuarón, I’m looking at you), may arrive to rekindle the flame for adventures to come.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13497&reviewer=409
originally posted: 11/18/05 18:05:24
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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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