On the occasion of the 20 years of the first opus, return on the Harry Potter saga and a question which divides the fans. What is the best movie?
Harry potter blows out its twentieth candle. On December 5, 2001, the little bespectacled wizard landed on our screens with the first part of his adventures. A first chapter under the direction of Chris Columbus which will be an immediate success since it will bring in no less than $ 974 million at the time of its first broadcast. Since then, with the various marathons that are organized around the world each year, the film has largely exceeded one billion at the box office and proudly sits among the biggest hits in the 7th art.
On the occasion of this rather special anniversary, we offer you a look back on this saga which has lost none of its magic. So we warn you, you will probably not agree with this very personal classification of the different films of the license. Even within the editorial staff, the matter is debated. But good wizards don’t bow to a challenge, except when it comes to taming a hippogriff.
8- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
It is the second opus of the saga, still directed by Chris Columbus. In The Chamber of Secrets, we find the little wizard as he prepares to return to the benches of the mythical school. But in the shadows, someone seems to want to stop him.
Darker than the previous chapter, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a jewel of nostalgia for children who grew up in the 2000s. For many, it is one of the first films to hit the big screen and it must be said that the experience in theaters was worth a look. From the creepy Basilisk to the chilling giant Spider, the Columbus film boasts more than compelling special effects for the early 2000s.
However, the slowness of the narration places it in last position in our ranking. Even if we watch it without displeasure at each marathon (almost annual for our part), we must admit that it is not our favorite. However, he has solid arguments, starting with the performance of Kenneth Branagh in the skin of Gilderoy Lockhart and the unforgettable score of John Williams.
7- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: part 1
As the conclusion draws closer, Harry, Ron, and Hermione set off across England in search of the last horcruxes. But tensions emerge in the clan and their friendship is more than ever damaged.
At the helm of the saga since episode 5, David Yates is unable to instill the epic impetus that the conclusion of the saga deserved. Both in terms of the narrative and the direction, this film is disappointing and sometimes downright lengthy. The call for the greenbacks was stronger than the artistic will, so the film turns into a sluggish introduction to the last film.
Even on the image side, the filmmaker does the bare minimum, contenting himself with adding blue and green tones to his image to create his atmosphere. If some scenes are definitely worth a look, the opening scene and the dragon flight, the seventh installment of the saga is just a succession of uninspired grayish landscapes. He only obtained seventh place in this ranking, it is only thanks to the sumptuous music of Alexandre Desplat, which we never tire of.
6 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire holds a special place in JK Rowling’s literary saga. A true passage to adolescence for little wizards, this fourth opus explores the mysteries of love, jealousy and friendships through the prism of the three main characters. But it is also and above all the story of a vast competition between different schools of the old continent. A unique opportunity for readers to discover what is happening beyond the walls of the famous school.
If Mike Newell’s film is particularly successful on this point, thanks to rather impressive special effects, it is the various elements of the plot of the novels that have been ignored that leave us a certain bitterness. While we understand that the game of adaptation and sometimes to review the many intrigues on bass, we would have loved to see Hermione fight for the liberation of the elves with SALE or even discover Charlie, Ron’s brother who was also a trainer of dragons. But it is particularly the lack of explanation on the Veela, these creatures who bewitch men with their intoxicating beauty that leaves readers hungry for more.
5- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This is Harry Potter’s fifth year at Hogwarts. After his confrontation with Voldemort in Greyfriars Cemetery, he discovers that no one really believes in the return of the Must-Not-Be-Named. The Ministry of Magic, in a last ditch effort to hide this information from wizards, hires a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher: Dolores Umbridge, the eyes and ears of Cornelius Fudge.
David Yates is the fourth filmmaker to look into the adventures of the bespectacled little wizard and that’s about when the saga turns. Visually uninventive (still green and blue), this component is essentially based on its casting. Imelda Stauton particularly manages to stand out, by her impeccable incarnation of the dreadful Dolorès Ombrage, just like Evanna Lynch who will then become our favorite character. We also appreciate the way in which the story explores the questions of Harry Potter and wants to be the mirror of adolescence, even if it makes us want to slap the character that we loved so much.
4- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: part 2
It is the end. While Voldemort has recruited his most loyal minions to take down the Chosen One, Harry Potter has all the keys in hand to destroy him. All? Not really, several horcruxes are still missing and it will take a lot of courage to face his destiny.
For this final part, David Yates is still in charge. But oddly, mayonnaise is much less difficult to set. Concluding the saga was not easy and the filmmaker manages to do it brilliantly. Angry, epic and at times funny, the final chapter in this vast saga is almost everything we dreamed of.
3 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry and Ron discover a strange book hidden in the shelves of the potions room. This manual, which is full of advice on the preparation of these famous essences, belonged to a certain Half-Blood Prince.
It is undoubtedly not the most rhythmic of the films of the saga. With his narration, more on a human scale, the Half-Blood Prince upsets the scriptwriting issues already introduced and redistributes the cards as the finale approaches. A recipe that works miracles, especially when mixed with a few saving touches of humor.
2 – Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone
In 2001, while JK Rowling’s novels were snapping up around the world, Warner Bros. adapted the first book of the successful literary saga. It’s up to Chris Columbus, director of Mom I missed the plane and Mrs. Doubtfire, that the task is entrusted.
And what a task since all the foundations of a visual universe must be laid, even if the novelist was largely involved in the project. Candid and marvelous, this first opus gives birth to magic, in all its light and enchantment. A regressive film that we never tire of. It holds a special place in our hearts of fans, a jewel of nostalgia that we love to see again and again, especially as the holiday season approaches.
1- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Sirius Black escaped. The Prisoner of Azkaban is looking for Harry Potter, to complete what his master has started. But as the young boy uncovers the truth about his parents’ deaths, he’s going to have to play with time to save what needs to be saved.
Alfonso Cuaron is an excellent director, that is undeniable. If he mainly distinguished himself in the rest of his career, with Roma for which he will win many awards, he already showed an innate talent for directing with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Undoubtedly the most inventive, visually, the film benefits from a real atmosphere and a foolproof narration. We never tire of the lines that fuse between the different protagonists, the way the film is inspired by fantastic films and monsters and the director’s taste for the figurative. Everything is smart, inspired and devilishly effective.
There you go, it remains to be seen if another saga will succeed in replacing Harry Potter in our hearts. After 20 years of existence, it does not seem to have managed to tire the budding magicians, who indulge without displeasure in annual marathons as the holiday season approaches. If the children of the 80s had Star Wars, the saga of the year 2000 is undoubtedly that of the little boy who lives in the cupboard under the stairs at 4 Privet drive, Little Whinging.