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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
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by William Goss

"V for Voldemort"
4 stars

There’s panic in the halls of Hogwarts, as everyone’s favorite scar-flaunting teenage wizarding wunderkind tries to fend off fear-mongering bureaucrats and other looming villains in the fifth film, 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.'

When Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to the academy, he finds himself gawked at, pegged by the increasingly paranoid powers-that-be as pariah du jour. Tired of authoritative interference – particularly with the wickedly prim Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) joining the Hogwarts staff – he finds himself joining the titular rebellion and prompted to lead his peers in a stand against the many oppressive forces at work.

Fortunately, the reins of the series have been handed over to a pair of newcomers, director David Yates and writer Michael Goldenberg, who have teamed up to whittle down J.K. Rowling’s bloated tome of the same name to simply the essentials, transforming a genuine chore of exposition and exasperation into a relatively brisk and satisfying effort for the screen, and curbing Harry’s angst before it grows as grating as it did on the page. Of course, it certainly doesn’t hurt the ensemble of notable thespians gathered for these films are as impressive as ever, from Alan Rickman’s ever-gloomy Professor Snape to Michael Gambon as the increasingly weary Dumbledore to Gary Oldman as Harry’s only remaining relative, Sirius Black.

Staunton’s passive-aggressive pink meanie is certainly the showiest role of the bunch, and she serves her smiling sociopath quite well, while Helena Bonham Carter does her demented best as an infamous witch who, among others, escapes from Azkaban to join Voldemort’s side. Speaking of the big V, Ralph Fiennes’ climactic appearance as the infamous Lord Voldemort carries more menace than he ever has to date. To be fair, the principal protagonists still hold their own as well as anyone and everyone. Radcliffe’s Harry, Rupert Grint’s Ron, and Emma Watson’s Hermione are all maturing – in every sense – at a fitting rate, digits be damned, and carry more consistency from film to film than even the lavish production design can claim to.

Together, Yates and Goldenberg establish an admirable set of priorities, as the fate of a realm takes center stage and Quidditch matches fall rightfully by the wayside. By this point in the series, the audience should be every bit as accustomed to the day-to-day use of magic, so it’s upon that foundation that they orchestrate the unexpectedly engaging politics at play within the world of wizards and witches. The focus similarly shifts from the magic our upstanding students are mastering, but the maturity they’re displaying. When used, the effects work well (with one giant exception), but the characters work better, maybe never better save for Alfonso Cuaron’s …Prisoner of Azkaban. While it may seem like the more universal notions of power and responsibility subdue the flashier fantasy elements, they are – if anything – enhanced by them.

There is inevitably plenty of practice and plotting and politics underway before the anticipated showdown delivers, and with the next volume, there is yet more of the same to follow, but if this trend continues, with the exposition as streamlined as it is here, the filmmakers have created more momentum for the last movie than Rowling has achieved for the final novel. In what was once a world of whimsy, the fact that there are now some serious stakes may prove to be the most compelling spell yet.

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originally posted: 07/14/07 03:33:07
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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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