What the critics are saying about 'Potter'
November 19th, 2010
05:21 PM ET

What the critics are saying about 'Potter'

The seventh installment of the “Harry Potter” franchise is one of the most anticipated movies of the decade, and, as predicted, Radcliffe and the gang have racked up quite a few rave reviews.

“You don't make $5.7 billion in theatrical revenue, however, by being cavalier about your source material and the watchword for the ‘Potter’ series in general, and this film in particular, is making the audience feel like it's in safe hands,” Los Angeles Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan writes.

Josh Jackson of Pastemagazine.com says:

“Sure, there are some rearranging and compressing of scenes and facts, but the two-and-a-half hour runtime for half a book allows screenwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates the space to faithfully retell a really good story.”

Richard Corliss of Time says, “the ‘Potter’ film adaptations, after a subpar start in late 2001, have grown in richness and power until, in aggregate, they stand close to the summit of multipart movies - more sprawling if less artistically ambitious than ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ more consistently intelligent though less original than the six ‘Star Wars films.’ ”

But not everyone is pleased with “Deathly Hallows – Part 1.” Brian X. Chen of Wired.com writes:

“The latest Harry Potter film is more emo and character-driven than its predecessors, but it didn’t need to be chopped into two movies.”

He adds: “Served on its own, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 isn’t gratifying, and it probably would have been better digested as a three-hour epic.”

Are you seeing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1” this weekend? Do you think the film needed to be split into two parts?

Filed under: Harry Potter • movies

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Mandy

    I saw this movie this pat weekend. I would have to give it a two thumbs up! I absolutely love it. It had it's very intense moments, scary, and yet tear dropper! Harry Potter is awesome! Can't wait till the next part comes out next year! A totally worth while film! Every needs to see it!

    November 23, 2010 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. AnotherDay

    I'd read a few articles by movie reviewers ahead of seeing the movie. I saw mention that some reviewers were calling the movie gratuitous...simply a vehicle for Warner Bros to generate more money by splitting the final book into two movies and that there were parts that were "slow" and plodding.

    I'm actually grateful for reading these opinions before I went because it lowered my expectations. I fully anticipated being slightly bored for parts of the movie. Thank you, negative reviewers, because when I did go see the film on Friday I was smashingly surprised at how good it was.

    If I'd read the final book, which I haven't, I'm sure I'd more staunchly defend the need to break the movie into two parts to preserve as much detail as possible to this final installment. As it is, I haven't. So, I truly did see the film as a "stand-alone" tale and still thought it was superb.

    Luckily for Potter fans, Warner Bros didn't have to seek the approval of Brian Chen to get Deathly Hallows Part I made. I walked out of the theater (we saw it in IMAX) and my first words were "I want to see it again!".

    November 22, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Posh-Kenneth

      @anotherday- nicely said. now, if only we could convince others to think and respond so logically the world would be a much better (more tolerable) place.

      I saw it opening night and intend to see it again sometime this week with less people around I hope. We had one of those people running commentary the whole time behind us (explaining everything to their obvious un-potter inclined friend).

      glad you liked it XD.

      November 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Maria

    I loved and hated this movie. 2 1/2 hours flew by, but at the end, they seriously rushed Dobby's death and burial. I also missed the memorial outside the Potter's house which somehow brought extra meaning to all of those comment and the astonishment expressed at meeting the "boy who lived" way back in book 1. Important for Harry's realization that he was never without friend, without connection. Without the memorial, the house stood more as a testament to Voldemort's destruction. Also missed the lovely speech Harry made when Ron destroyed the locket, about how he loved Hermione as his sister. Little details, but they meant a lot.

    I know, they couldn't put everything in. Hmm, you know what would have been really good? Three movies ...

    November 22, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Carol

    I was told that they cut 3 hours out of the 2 part movie, so that when it comes out on DVD it could be 8 hours long,
    instead of 5 hours long.
    I would rather see a movie follow the telling of a book than have a movie with bits taken out of different places
    in a book & not tell the whole story. For those who have not listen to the audio book try it & then you will understand.

    November 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ericka

    For sunset sasaparilla, you'd have to write off a lot of authors if your requirements are for them to write completely original material, including Shakespeare! The books are highly entertaining, or they would not be loved by so many people and therefore would not have made any money for Rowling. Even hype can't make something like a terrible book be that popular. I enjoyed the film, but thought it felt like the first part of a movie and will be much better when taken with the second as a whole. They did a good job of telling the story without leaving out too much.

    November 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim

    No comment yet on the new one. I would, however, like to say that the "Half-Blood Prince" could have definitely benefitted from an extra ten minutes for the castle invasion scene. They had to make so many changes to cut the length, it made no sense whatsoever why Draco had sweated for a year to get the cabinet working. They just popped in, then ran back out! Ruined the whole movie.

    November 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Odalice feliz

    Potter has gotten so big!

    November 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. celebs911

    can't wait to see it:) thanks guys for some of the reviews posted. In the meanwhile we posted our predictions on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills start, Camille Grammer and her future without Kelsey: http://celebs911.com/2010/11/21/life-without-kelsey-grammer-read-on-camille/

    November 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. beasterdamas

    Let me be completely honest...This movie sucks!

    November 21, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Christine

    I am glad the split it in two, all the more story to watch.

    I am going to see it today! Cant wait!

    November 21, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. karvald

    @sunset sasaparilla: Storytelling has always been about the retelling of plot themes and the "chosen one fights against a dark evil" is, of course, no exception. J K Rowling has done a masterful job of creating an enriching and tremendously enjoyable series with plenty of original themes and characters. This final film needed to be split in two parts to do the final book justice. I just saw the film yesterday and thought it was brilliant.

    As for her "becoming richer," Rowling went from being a single parent living on the UK equivalent of Welfare to become one of the richest women in Great Britain, and she did it through her own hard work and perseverance. She's also a very generous philanthropist, have donated well over $30 million dollars to charities to help children. In fact, all the profits her Tales of Beedle the Bard and the upcoming Harry Potter Encyclopedia go to charity.

    Incidentally... I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, but A New Hope was FAR FROM ORIGINAL. It was a complete knockoff of Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress; watch it some time. Do your research, that's all I'm saying.

    November 21, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. veggiedude

    Which is better, a single three hour movie or two+ separate two hour movies? To the fans, I suspect it's a no brainer!

    November 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rachel

    We LOVED it. We had to see the 3:15 AM one because every midnight screening in Columbus was sold out. I was far from disappointed. Beautifully done. Especially the fairy tale. GORGEOUS.

    November 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ukaar


    November 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sunset sasaparilla

    Rowling appreciates the splitting of the movies as well; she gets even richer from her less then original series of books and movies that she knocked off from a bunch of other great works. SWEET GIG.

    And lets be real HP should never be compared to Star Wars and certainly not LOTR, except of course if you're going to say thats where she ripped most of her material from...

    November 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Posh-Kenneth

      @sunsetsasparilla- you can always spot a NON-book reader by their dumb ill informed comments. Are you an idiot? Seriously. JK stole her source material from LOTR and Starwars? Really... there werent epic movies\books about good versus evil BEFORE these two?

      If were making asinine comparisons then Tolkien stole all his material from THE BIBLE just like CS Lewis did for Narnia. Ugh, fanboys make me sick. Not everything revolved around\have stolen from a series you like, there's room enough in the fandom universe FOR ALL geeks loves and preferences. Idiot.

      November 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  16. comment

    also to brian x chen – true fans appreciate the splitting of the book into two movies. there is no way cramming everything into one movie and adding half an hour would do the book any justice. fans have been crying out loud for the past 6 movies because there is so much that is left out and changed. one thing i hear is that people wish there was more action, and for those who haven't read the book, do not worry. all the action takes place in the second half, as it should.

    this was my favorite harry potter movie thus far, and i'm glad it made up for the last one.

    November 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Greg in AZ

    Huge Potter fan but I have mixed feelings about the movie. On one hand I felt like the movie ACTUALLY did the book some justice. I haven't read Deathly Hallows since it came out but as I watched the movie I remembered more and more details and the movie did a good job of keeping true to the book. I wish the first part contained a bit more action BUT I'm taking solace in the fact that there is a part 2 and I'm hoping not only more action but some HUGE plot details about Voldemort and Dumbledore take up the majority of Part 2.

    November 20, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  18. K Bickers

    Ive seen it and im sorry your 100% wrong. Movie was great i give it an 8.5 out of 10 however 3 hours vs a split? People want more and not less it also takes money and time to make a great movie. I would rather wait a full year too see a total of 5 hours of content than see only 3 and throw of my hands and say thats it. Look at some of the many other movie that broke box office hits that got split.....Lord of the Rings, Kill Bill, even Stephen Kings new Movie will be split into sevral parts "Dark Towers" which we all know will break any records ever set in history of movie makeing. If you dont split a movie and add material you get movies like matrix 🙁

    November 20, 2010 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  19. Sean

    Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of the "Harry Potter" books...absoluteley love them! Going into each movie, I'm always nervous that the film version won't stay true to the book; it was no different when I saw "Deathly Hallows: Part 1" last night at mid-night. I thought for sure that with the studio splitting the movie into 2 parts, they'd be able to do the book some justice...I was right! I agree, a lot of the more important moments in the movie were sped up and the minor details eliminated, but it was still fantastic. To Brian X. Chen: yes it does need to be split in 2. It's the only way to wrap up the final chapter of this amazing story and franchise!!

    November 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  20. tbs

    I really enjoyed it! I actually wrote a review as well and would super appreciate you checking it out!


    November 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  21. babycelebs411

    would love to see it:) the split was not neccessary, just another way to bring in the Big bucks at the box office. Harry Potter always takes me back to England, and our predictions on the recent Royal engagement and a special message from Princess Diana:http://celebs911.com/2010/11/17/princess-dianas-message-to-prince-william-on-his-engagement/

    November 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |

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