Harry Potter went from a YA literary phenomenon to a cinematic juggernaut. As of 2022, there have been 11 films in the franchise - the eight original Harry Potter adaptations as well as three (and counting) entries in the Fantastic Beasts prequel series. But how do these films stack up against each other?
Most fans agreed that the series got off to a relatively slow start, with the first two entries from director Chris Columbus feeling somewhat juvenile. Later films from Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, and David Yates expanded the Potter mythology, taking a darker tone and considerably expanding the scope of the universe. Now it's time to answer the question: What's the best Harry Potter movie?
The original series began in 2001 with Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone in the UK), and finally concluded with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 a decade later in 2011. The film's cast and writing staff remained remarkably consistent, with all but one original major cast member (Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in two films before his passing) remaining throughout. Meanwhile, Steve Kloves wrote all the Potter films (with assistance from Harry Potter author JK Rowling) except for Order of the Phoenix, which was penned by Michael Goldenberg.
- 14,891 VOTESHarry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) third year at Hogwarts starts off badly when he learns deranged killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison and is bent on murdering the teenage wizard. While Hermione's (Emma Watson) cat torments Ron's (Rupert Grint) sickly rat, causing a rift among the trio, a swarm of nasty Dementors is sent to protect the school from Black. A mysterious new teacher helps Harry learn to defend himself, but what is his secret tie to Sirius Black?
- 24,148 VOTESA clash between good and evil awaits as young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) prepare for a final battle against Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Harry has grown into a steely lad on a mission to rid the world of evil. The friends must search for the Horcruxes that keep the dastardly wizard immortal. Harry and Voldemort meet at Hogwarts Castle for an epic showdown where the forces of darkness may finally meet their match.
- 33,815 VOTESAs Death Eaters wreak havoc in both Muggle and Wizard worlds, Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for students. Though Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) suspects there are new dangers lurking within the castle walls, Dumbledore is more intent than ever on preparing the young wizard for the final battle with Voldemort. Meanwhile, teenage hormones run rampant through Hogwarts, presenting a different sort of danger. Love may be in the air, but tragedy looms, and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
- 43,834 VOTESAdaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's popular children's novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents' mysterious deaths.