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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 Tom Ciorciari

"Growing pains."
4 stars

Like those relatives you only get to see around the holidays here comes the latest installment in what my well end up being the most successful film series in history, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.

And much like those fondly thought of, though only annually seen nieces and nephews it is with a great sense of anticipation that we await their arrival, greeting them with the requisite oohs and ahhs at how they’ve grown over the past year. It really is quite remarkable to think that these films have only been around for the last four years, as the characters and settings are so finely etched into our collective consciousness. Yet pop Sorcerer’s Stone into the dvd player and one cannot help but marvel at just how young the three leads, in particular, were then, whereas the Harry, Ron and Hermione of this installment, though firmly entrenched in the growing pains that come with being fourteen or so, are closing in on legitimate adulthood. A curious byproduct of the Potter films’ built-in seven volume arc will be the by-passing of that awkward seemingly uncastable age limbo that has claimed so many child actors over the years (paging Haley Joel Osment). By the time film number seven hits screens, presumably sometime in 2009/10, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermione) will be out of their teens, their awkward preserved for history on celluloid. And in Goblet Of Fire these growing pains are, along with the usual collateral issues having to do with “he whose name must not be spoken” et al, ultimately addressed, if rather perfunctorily.

Like episodes of your favorite television drama the Potter films have a very specific outline that is unerringly followed: A) meet up with harry and the gang prior to the new school year; B) reconnect at Hogwarts with all the old familiar faces C) set up whatever major conflict Harry will have to deal with; D) Christmas; and E) Harry goes toe to toe with evil. In every film thus far. And in that department GOF does not disappoint. There are some minor changes, most notably, the complete absence of those guardians from hell, the Dursleys, this film opening instead with Harry and Hermione on holiday with the whole Weasley clan to attend the Quidditch World Cup, a spectacular scene set in a stadium of Pink Floyd’s The Wall proportions that gets things off to a brisk start. Alas, the celebratory tone is almost immediately put asunder due to a most unwelcome attack by Lord Voldermort's nasty followers. Back at Hogwarts the Tri-Wizard Tournament is announced, a competition in three parts spanning the school year intended for three senior students, one each from Hogwarts and rival schools the Beauxbatons Academy and the Durmstrang Institute. Somehow Harry’s name is also drawn from the goblet of fire itself, making him a fourth contestant, much to the chagrin of Ron in particular, who thinks that Harry’s holding out on him. Ron’s woes are further exacerbated when he procrastinates himself out of accompanying Hermione to the Yule Ball, leaving himself dateless and the never-lovelier Ms. Granger furious with him and on the arm of Quidditch superstar and Tri-Wizard competitor Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski). Things are smoothed out in time for the third Tri-Wizard challenge and Harry’s long-awaited/dreaded face-to-face with the freshly resurrected–and wasn’t Christopher Lee’s Dracula brought back to life using the same methods in those Hammer movies?–Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

As has been the case thrice previously the state-of-the-art visuals are splendidly rendered, if not quite as eye-poppingly after a fourth go-’round, though new-to-the-company director Mike Newell (Four Weddings And A Funeral) does create at least two sequences that rival any of the previous films’, one of which, Harry’s breathtaking battle both in the skies above and atop the gothic spires of Hogwarts, may well be the visual highlight of the entire series to date. (And yet, the unnerving mermaids introduced in a lengthy underwater sequence never truly convince; the effects in the entire sequence rather sub-par by series standards). Of course, effects do not a great film make (just take a gander at the newly released dvd of last year’s eye-popping, but heartless Polar Express), and for the first time a few cracks appear in the foundation.

Perhaps the task of paring down a 700+ page novel to the relatively tidy confines of a 2 1/2 hour film is simply an unrealistic one, but this Potter feels oddly partitioned; major events occur only to be forgotten come the next scene. The growing pains and rising resentments of our young protagonists, though important in the overall fabric of the characters’ history, are touched upon as if they’re to be the film’s driving theme, only to be unceremoniously tossed aside to make room for the action. Curiously, though friendship has been a recurring theme, when things get down to the nitty gritty (and this pretty much goes for all of the films) it’s Harry’s show. Yes, I know, the books are about Harry Potter, hence his name being strategically placed in the title of each novel and corresponding film, but in GOF Ron and Hermione feel shoved into the background. Ron’s older brothers, the twins Fred and George (James and Oliver Phelps), are given as much screen time, and certainly as much story relevance, as the two ostensible secondary leads.

But most distressing this time out is this film’s inability to stand alone without the support of the films that have preceded and, more importantly, will succeed it. For the first time a Potter film feels unresolved, as if we should see the legend “To Be Continued...” up there in big block letters. Having not read the source novel (I know, I know, they’re great, I’ll get to them one day), it’s hard to say whether the flaw is Rowling’s (I’d guess probably not), series screenwriter Steve Kloves’ (welllll... could be) or director Newell’s. Not wanting to point fingers I’ll only say that this is a flaw that should be addressed immediately by whomever helms the next installment.

Though not a cause to panic (and, hell, with the box office this film is going to make, as long as these films don’t suck outright I’m sure there’s nary a drop of flopsweat being spilled by the honchos over at Warner’s), GOF is arguably the weakest film of the series to date, most probably due to what happens when 700 pages of story is pared and condensed into a 160 page screenplay. By no means a failure, this Potter will probably be remembered as the BACK TO THE FUTURE II of the series; an important cog rendered somewhat as just that: a cog.

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originally posted: 12/15/05 17:37:43
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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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