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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 MP Bartley

"Harry Potter and the Raging Hormones."
5 stars

I've always quite liked the fact that I've never read any of the Harry Potter books. It means that I can judge the big-screen adaptations on the merits of being films alone, and not particularly worry about what's been left out or changed. But on the whole, the first three films have not convinced me to go and pick up the books either. The Philosopher's Stone was a rote, lifeless introduction to a list of characters, although Chamber of Secrets picked up the slack and was a lot of fun. The Prisoner of Azkaban was a muddle however, confusing those who hadn't read the book. It's a great relief to say then, that 'The Goblet of Fire' is the first Potter film to make this non-Potter reading critic actually want to go and read the damn thing.

Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts turns out to be just as eventful as the previous three. Someone has entered him into the Tri-Wizard Tournament, a competition involving several dangerous tasks with the prize of everlasting glory for the winner. But Harry shouldn't have been entered into the competition, as he's too young, and it seems that someone has sinister designs on him. As well as that, Harry, Ron and Hermione have to deal with the fact that they're getting older, starting to notice the opposite sex and have, um, urges to deal with.

The main problem with the previous Potter adaptations, is that they lacked the sense of fun and character that all great children's films should have. Instead, they were mostly a slapdash portrayal of the series biggest events and characters, simply laid down in the belief that actually just filming them automatically equates them with excitement.

Well it doesn't, and this is something that Mike Newell knows and actively works against. Something of an odd decision initially, he turn out to be an inspired choice to helm Harry's current year at school. Newell works really hard to invest the action scenes with a palpable sense of danger and excitement. Subsequently, scenes where Harry battles a dragon, gets dragged into a maze which is a hellish combination of the Overlook's garden and David Bowie's Labyrinth, and battles to save his friends underwater, are more than just eye candy.They have a spark to them, a genuine wonder and excitement, and the film is much more involving for the audience as a result.

But balancing this out, are the emotional undercurrents that make 'The Goblet of Fire' stand out as the best film yet of Harry Potter. It's very, very rare that a film made by adults can accurately represent the emotional mindset of a bunch of 14 year olds, and rarer still to give it a realism without slushy sentimentality. And if you'd told me, that that film would be a Harry Potter film, I probably wouldn't stop laughing for a day. But 'The Goblet of Fire' is that film, and for once, you actually give a damn about the kids involved. So when Ron starts lashing out at Harry and then Hermione, you don't hate him for it, you feel for him, because that's what kids do at that age and we recognise it. Likewise Hermione's teary rant at Ron at the Yuletide Ball - it's not just a stroppy teenager, Newell manages to bring out the hurt and emotion that she's feeling without making it mawkish.

The potential pitfall of becoming mawkish is avoided mainly because it also happens to be the funniest of the films by far. Scenes of Harry and Ron trying to pluck up the courage to ask a girl out, are as funny as anything Cameron Crowe has ever wrote and the supporting characters are as colourful and as entertaining as they should be.

There's a great feeling throughout the film that Newell knows exactly what tone to strike and where. It's funny when it needs to be, appropriately exciting and emotional, and by the end when we finally get to meet Lord Voldemort, scary as hell (for kids). He may only have one (long) scene as Voldemort, but, heck, if Ralph Fiennes doesn't just steal the film away. After building the character up over three films, there was a real danger that his first appearance could have been a huge anti-climax, but thankfully it isn't, and he's a villain we can really anticipate seeing again soon. It's a noticeably darker film, not only in content but in language - I was shocked to hear Ron grunt "Piss off" at Harry.

Fiennes is superb, but the whole cast are starting to reach new levels of excellence. The likes of Coltrane, Gambon, Gleeson, Smith and Rickman are predictably great as ever, but it's the kids who have really come on leaps and bounds. Emma Watson is proving herself an actress of real quality, while Rupert Grint displays some great comic timing. It's perhaps Radcliffe who displays the biggest improvement however. Probably helped by the fact that his character has more to do now than just react with a "Wow! What? Who?" to things, Radcliffe gives a comfortable, confident performance, who gives the films ending the extra wallop of emotion that it needs. And, as a massive Pulp fan, this film gets extra praise from me just for casting Jarvis Cocker as the band singer at the Yuletide Ball.

The other films suffered quite a lot from having blatant holes, where huge chunks of the book had been missed out. 'The Goblet of Fire' also has this flaw - after surmising that the Quidditch World Cup must have been longer, and we should have seen the other tournament competitors battle the dragons, I wasn't surprised to learn that those sequences are much longer in the book. I honestly didn't quite understand the why's and wherefore's of the plot, a similiar flaw that crippled 'Prisoner of Azkaban', and the likes of Hagrid, Snape and even Dumbledore don't get that much of a look-in. Yet, despite these flaws, despite the fact that it's a huge book squeezed into a smaller running time, despite the fact that it looked like a series destined to never take off, Newell and his cast have done it. They've made not only the best of the series by far, but also a damn fine kids film. Which is exactly what it should be.

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originally posted: 11/22/05 21:54:08
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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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