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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 35.79%
Average: 7.37%
Pretty Bad: 8.42%
Total Crap: 10.53%

7 reviews, 53 user ratings

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
[] Buy posters from this movie
by David Hollands

"The first masterpiece of the Harry Potter series."
5 stars

REPRINTED FROM MONDOMAGAZINE.NET: Harry Potter’s suffered a lot, and not just in terms of facing the same enemy repeatedly – Potter must also contend with horrible film adaptations. There has only been one great entry in this franchise, and even that one was marred by bad special effects. But something amazing has happened: the Potter franchise has its first masterpiece.

In Order of the Phoenix, Harry is frustrated. After last squaring off against Lord Voldemort, Harry’s still experiencing unwanted paternalism. There are signs that Voldemort is building an army. The stubborn head of the Ministry of Magic, that which governs the world of Wizards, refuses to acknowledge them. Harry is plagued by nightmares in which it seems as if he is Voldemort committing heinous acts. And Hogwarts, the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that Harry attends, is taken over by a Ministry-appointed headmistress whose job is to make sure the students remain in a constant state of ignorance and bliss.

Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg and director David Yates do well in removing the flab found in the novel. This adaptation is lean and mean. Considering how much is cut from the novel, it is surprising that the movie never feels rushed. Key moments are given the proper amount of time to develop. That’s good, since what’s here is beautiful: Harry’s first kiss under a blossoming mistletoe, tragedies shared between Harry and a psychologically damaged girl, and the revelation that Harry’s father may not entirely deserve his son’s praise, to name a few.

This is easily the most fascinating of Potter’s adventures. Sometimes the line between good and evil becomes blurred, since there’s ultimately so little separating those two extremes. The filmmakers hypothesize that one thing separates good people from bad, and if a person doesn’t realize this idea, then he or she is no better than the antagonists. To drive this home, it is shown that Harry comes dangerously close to that dark side. It’s a brave moment, and the film’s best and most frightening scene.

Also, the satire is razor sharp. Following Ministry of Magic guidelines, the new Headmistress attempts to convince students that there is no danger in our world and that students would not require skills outside of those taught in controlled environments. This ideology rings unfortunately true these days – just look at how children’s entertainment has been sanitized to the point of embarrassment, to demonstrate but one example. If we’re only taught to be ignorant, how can we understand, recognize, and combat evil? How will we be able to recognize evil in ourselves?

The acting is the best of the series. Daniel Radcliffe is excellent; his Harry Potter has a tragic world-weariness that feels real and appropriate. Emma Watson is fantastic, her Hermione Granger somehow even more adorable than in previous entries. Even Rupert Grint is great as Ron Weasley, a miracle considering he’s an abysmal actor. Ralph Fiennes channels his Amon Goeth from Schindler’s List, creating the most terrifying incarnation of Voldemort we’ve yet seen. The supporting players, including a stunning Michael Gambon as former Hogwarts Headmaster Dumbledore, are living examples of perfect casting.

David Yates blesses the proceedings with a gritty feel. Duels are shot handheld, giving the set pieces a sense of urgency and weight. The cinematography by Slawomir Idziak bathes this wonderland in darkness; not a shot goes by that doesn’t contain a shadow or intense film grain. This world looks dirty, and with good reason. The filmmakers are content with scaring the daylights out of the younger audience members. Yates holds back none of the punches, though the violence and terror are never without purpose.

It’s a necessity in this film, and there’s something sad about that, that its presence somehow feels absolutely right in what should be a child’s paradise. It’s the world we live in now, it’s the world we’ve always lived in, and it’s about time modern children’s entertainment had the guts to deal with it head-on.

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originally posted: 08/24/09 12:21:53
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User Comments

2/14/15 jason gracio the WORST FILM EVER MADE TIE WITH TWILIGHT 1 stars
1/06/15 suck i can honestly this the worst film i have ever seen 1 stars
7/26/09 David Worst of the series 3 stars
7/14/09 cody this movie is another good fllim in the harry potter series, that teacher is a butt!!! 4 stars
10/27/08 Michael M Yates creates an emotional connection with the audience when none of the previos flims did. 4 stars
10/26/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 4 stars
9/01/08 Samantha Pruitt could have been longer, but still great, helens bonham carter was awesome! 5 stars
5/05/08 Franklin D Roosevelt Great movie 5 stars
3/21/08 Soph Very rushed; I almost expected Harry and co to start talking in squirrel voices. 2 stars
1/18/08 X Wang Yes, there are differences from the book - but still a very entertaining movie 4 stars
12/13/07 ES Enjoyable for a kid's movie 4 stars
11/15/07 Awesome People who only watch the movies will never get the whole story of the movie. 5 stars
11/15/07 PIMP It's the best one of all times 5 stars
11/07/07 Mohammad nawaz harry potter is great novel 4 stars
9/30/07 pamela ruvalcaba the movie is very good, i like daniel radcliffe 5 stars
9/08/07 pete total crap nothing like the book,totaly lost until I read the book great acting and effects 2 stars
8/27/07 Dan Leaves out key points from the book, and i have a fealing this movie ment to be longer. 2 stars
8/22/07 dude!!! this was a awsome movie but you need to read the book to get it 5 stars
8/21/07 SGlassman Worst movie. No character development which is important later on. 1 stars
8/17/07 Lilly potter Please get another director. Someone with imagination. 2 stars
8/13/07 U Don't Wanna Know This movie a few great effects, but thats all, if you havent read the book u're lost. 1 stars
8/12/07 Gurdeep People have to realize that books are one thing and movies another, I think it was great!! 5 stars
8/11/07 Kaitlin extremely disappointing! the acting was good but the film was nothing like the book. 1 stars
8/10/07 David's Sister It's totally gutted the masterful plot and character development. 1 stars
8/09/07 Neila Very disappointed ,worst hp ever 1 stars
7/31/07 Riktor Worst Film so far, Completly not like the book at all, Remove David yates Plz. 3 stars
7/29/07 sue the best one i have seen - dark and dangerous just like all good thrillers 5 stars
7/28/07 Navin R Whoo ,big letdown .This film stank 1 stars
7/27/07 Bitchflaps The worst Harry Potter film yet. I pray David Yates doesn't screw the next one up. 2 stars
7/26/07 sunny the best movie ever 5 stars
7/23/07 C Note Easily best of the series; Harry finally takes charge instead of being led around 5 stars
7/21/07 Randy This was nothing like the book! So many plot changes, it's unbelievable! 2 stars
7/20/07 Janet If you read the book, you hated the movie! They should have made it longer !!! 1 stars
7/19/07 miss elliott bloody brilliant 5 stars
7/19/07 Jake B Not a fan of the books, but this is a great instalment of a great FILM series 5 stars
7/18/07 melissa great movie..the battle and rebellion : really interesting..acting n effects : great 4 stars
7/18/07 Austin Wertman terrible 1 stars
7/18/07 orpy ho hum 3 stars
7/17/07 pin Entertaining yet, flat. Adaptation a bit superficial. They lost the story for the details. 3 stars
7/17/07 NeoMalfoy After the letdown of Goblet this was a releif best Potter adaption yet! 5 stars
7/17/07 SteveM A lot lot better than I thought it was going to be 5 stars
7/15/07 R K Felt let down. Effects / characters /acting great. Story line sucks and predictable. 3 stars
7/15/07 Jed Not flawless but it was entertaining 4 stars
7/15/07 Dark Enchantress it was good, im not a big harry potter fan, bit i enjoyed the movie 4 stars
7/15/07 KingNeutron Highly recommended - I see parallels of this film in my own life. 5 stars
7/14/07 Sourav Good one to watch...better than most of the other Harry Potter films expect maybe the 1st 1 5 stars
7/14/07 sarah not so good 2 stars
7/14/07 Matthew Extremely well done, the best of the Harry Potter movies 5 stars
7/14/07 Ole Man Bourbon Much better than the others I've seen--Order was suspenseful and even interesting at times. 4 stars
7/13/07 Adrian A perfect adaptiation of the most expository book in the series. 5 stars
7/12/07 Hello Stranger harry is completely tortured by the end of the film. no smiles. no action for 3/4 of film. 3 stars
7/12/07 Stacy Acting, casting, mood -- great as always. The adaptation this time seemed messy, though. 3 stars
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  11-Jul-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 11-Dec-2007

  12-Jul-2007 (12A)

  11-Jul-2007 (M)

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