Top positive review
A Magical Family Adventure
on May 21, 2016
Just as the first three Harry Potter books are the best of the novel series, the first three Harry Potter movies represent the best of the films series. After that, both the books and the films turn excessively dark and pretentiously wordy, adding nothing new of wonder to the world created. The first three books and films, however, are an imaginative delight. Chris Columbus directs the first two films and produces the third. Under his direction he creates a glowing and richly detailed world that is lavishly faithful to Rowling's books, giving you the same wondrous yet homey feeling of hanging out with your friends Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Gryffindor common room.
"The Philosopher's Stone" takes its sweet and glorious time introducing us and Harry to the wizarding world, but the second film, "The Chamber of Secrets," may be the best of the "Columbus Trilogy," as it launches us into a dark mystery from Hogwarts' past and contains the brilliant Polyjuice Potion scene. Alfonso Cuarón directs the third film, "The Prisoner of Azkaban," which is the best of the novels but the movie strays a little too much from the story. It fails to provide important information about the Marauders while inserting pointless scenes with shrunken heads or the Whomping Willow killing harmless birds. It's quirkiness for the sake of being quirky and that's never a good thing. The film also suffers from looking also overly processed and contrasty. Still, the climactic scene with the Time Turner is brilliantly executed (no pun or spoiler intended) and more than makes up for Cuarón's hubris. All three films represent a great achievement in cinema and will remain timeless family classics.