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Every Harry Potter Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

Warner Bros. pulled off the impossible when they constructed eight enjoyable Harry Potter films.  With the Fantastic Beasts prequel franchise gearing up for the long haul, it appears there are no signs of stopping films from the wizarding world.  But which movie ranks as the best?  Let’s take a look:

#9: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

The Chamber of Secrets builds upon The Sorcerer’s Stone in dramatic fashion, going darker and a little more mature.  The movie delved deeper into the backstory of Tom Riddle AKA Voldemort, showing us how he was a child and student.  We begin to learn more about the villain and how he became the darkest of wizards.

You’re lying to yourself if you don’t think Gilderoy Lockhart’s actions are hilarious once he looses his memory.  

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image via BasementRejects

#8: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

I give The Sorcerer’s Stone a ton of credit for introducing the Harry Potter universe.  It does a great job of showing you to all the intricacies that J.K. Rowling created when she first wrote the book.  The thing thatholds the movie back is that it is largely focused towards kids and the actors involved have yet to mature yet at their craft.  The third act is still perfectly enjoyable, however, especially the reveal of Voldemort on the back of Professor Quirrell’s head.

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image via Cosmopolitan

#7: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts began the planned prequel pentalogy (quintology?) with somewhat mixed results.  But, ultimately the film was whimsical enough to make everyone want more from the wizarding world before Harry Potter.

Let’s be honest, the film is basically a setup for future movies to come.  Luckily, the film had director David Yates to provide the same feelings as the other eight Harry Potter films.  Its charm may be based solely on memberberries, but Fantastic Beasts stays sweet enough with the help of a new, mostly-likable cast.

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*To read my full review for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, please click here.

#6: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)  

Deathly Hallows Part 1 is solidly acted and beautifully filmed (it might be the most picturesque of all the Harry Potter movies).  However, it largely feels like the setup it is to the grand finale that is The Deathly Hallows Part 2.  It doesn’t help that the film also feels like a camping trip for wizards.

Despite it’s inherent deficiencies, it packs the full amount of emotion that Harry’s ever-darkening story line deserves.  If you didn’t shed a tear the first time you saw Dobby die, then you’re made of stone.

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image via Collider

 

#5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Director David Yates does a solid job condensing the longest Harry Potter book into the shortest Harry Potter movie.  Though it does drag at times to give exposition, Order of the Phoenix continues the darkening tone of the Harry Potter movies with a deeper understanding of the link between Harry and Lord Voldemort.

The battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort in the third act of this movie is unbelievably riveting.  It may be the best action sequence of the entire franchise.

Image result for harry potter and the order of the phoenix voldemort vs dumbledore

image via Tumblr

#4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

While The Goblet of Fire is known for giving us the haunting introduction of Voldemort into actual human form, I don’t think this film gets enough credit of continuing the world building of the franchise.  The introduction of the Triwizard Tournament and the other wizard schools.   It really speaks to the writing (the writers of the script certainly had some decent source material to choose from) and direction of The Goblet of Fire that it feels fresh even though it’s the fourth installment of the franchise.

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image via Pinterest

#3: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

I don’t think this film gets enough love from Potter fans.

Arguably the darkest Harry Potter movie, The Half-Blood Prince toys with your emotions in every possible way.  You feel sad upon seeing Dumbledore die, you feel angry once you see Snape betray Dumbledore, and you even feel happy during the scenes where Harry uses the liquid luck.  Moreover, this movie also has heart-pounding action as Harry and Dumbledore begin to look for horcruxes.

Also:

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gif via Tumblr

#2: Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)  

Prisoner of Azkaban is the most unique of all the Harry Potter movies.  It uses its time travel storytelling device to perfection behind the direction of director Alfonso Cuaron and is arguably the first movie in the series that is fully emotionally satisfying for adults as well as children.  It’s also the introduction of Sirius Black into the franchise who is played brilliantly by Gary Oldman.  It even adds the Dementors to Harry Potter lore which absolutely helps contribute to the more mature tone and dark imagery.

Image result for harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban dementors

image via Mr. Movie

#1: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) 

Was there any doubt that this would be number one?  The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is one of the most satisfying last movies to a franchise ever put to film.  It’s complex, dark, but also incredibly hopeful at the end.  As if the first seven movies didn’t already do it, it even further explores the link between Harry and Voldemort and offers arguably the best redemption to a character ever in Snape.  The Deathly Hallows Part 2 isn’t just a great fantasy movie, it’s a great movie period.

Image result for harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2

image via YouTube

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Thanks for reading!  What’s your favorite Harry Potter film?  Comment down below!

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What should I review next?  Whether it is old or new, the choice is up to you! 

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Nick Kush

A current college student, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 in order to provide insightful film analysis that is meant to educate and entertain. Nick is also a member of the Internet Film Critics Society.

10 Responses

  1. I agree with the list for the most part, however: I wouldn’t say that The Chamber of Secrets was the worst. I’d actually rate the the Deathly Hallows Part II as the worst, but that’s just my opinion.

    I’d then have the fourth movie first, followed by the sixth, then the second, and so on.

  2. irvinjee says:

    I’m a huge, huge potterhead and while i agree that The Deathly Hallows 2 was nothing but an epic ending, it was far from being the best. Prisoner of Azkaban was great for it closely followed the book but my favorite really was Goblet of Fire. It perfectly segued the somewhat light childish adventure of the first three films to the much darker, grittier tone of the last three.

  3. I agree with this list except for where the Goblet of Fire was placed. I am a MASSIVE HP fan and the Goblet of Fire really disappointed the fandom due to it not following most of the book at all. There were several glaring inconsistencies but it wasn’t a bad movie. But that is just the fandom nitpicking really. lol. Good list though! 🙂

    • Nick Kush says:

      Thanks! I do think it’s tough to distinguish the movies from the books. We all have our perfect image of what we want to happen and when that doesn’t happen we get upset.

  4. Hallow says:

    I’d switch place on Deathly Hallows part 1 and Goblet of Fire, only because Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is my least favorite book in the HP universe. The book is a lot to translate to film and I don’t think they could’ve done a better job really, but I still feel it’s a lot of competition and little of what makes the world of magic so great in the movie version of Goblet of Fire.

    With this being said, I absolutely adore the entire series, books and films.

  5. Jansen says:

    As some who considers himself a connoisseur of all things Potter, a self proclaimed ‘Pot-head’ if you will, I found this list surprisingly refreshing. However, I would argue that the first movie deserves a higher position when you consider it as part of the whole series.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As some who considers himself a connoisseur of all things Potter, a self proclaimed ‘Pot-head’ if you will, I found this list surprisingly refreshing. However, I would argue that the first movie deserves a higher position when you consider it as part of the whole series.

  7. Mariel says:

    I’d MAYBE switch Goblet of Fire and Half Blood Prince, but besides for that this is spot on!

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