Release Date:  July 15th, 2009

My Rating:  **** (out of five stars)

Jul 23, 2009

By Josh Munson

Harry and Dumbledore draw closer to finding the key to destroying Lord Voldemort.

“ In my life I have seen things that are truly horrific. Now I know you will see worse. “ – Albus Dumbledore.

This one quote sets up the tone of the sixth adventure in the ever-popular Harry Potter saga. The movies, like the books they are based on, are growing up with the audience who first tuned in back at the beginning of the series.  It was then that we found out “the boy who lived” was destined to do great things as a famous wizard. The sixth movie finds the worlds of wizards and muggles mixing ever more together, thanks in part to the increasing attacks by Lord Voldemort and his followers the Death Eaters. The opening scenes show not just an attack on Diagon alley, but also on a Bridge in downtown London.  This brings us to what young Harry is doing in a London Subway Café.

Since the incident at the Ministry of Magic, where Harry faced off an attack by Voldemort to possess his mind, Harry has spent his time away from the safety of his home with the Dursleys and instead enjoys the comfort of being by himself riding the rails of the Subway. Harry is finally starting to notice women as he talks up a waitress in the café and even gets asked out on a date by her. The date will have to wait as Dumbledore shows up and asks Harry to accompany him to acquire the new potions professor, Horace Slughorn. Dumbledore believes that with Harry’s help he will finally persuade Horace to come and teach at Hogwarts. Horace is a collector of sorts, he likes to surround himself with famous or talented people and Dumbledore thinks he will try to collect Harry. He encourages Harry to pursue this attraction because the professor has information pertaining to the downfall of Voldemort. Getting this information becomes Harry task through the course of the movie. By the time the credits roll things will be revealed, friends will become more then friends, characters who were friends become enemies, and even a couple major deaths occur. They all lead up to a nice To Be Concluded scene that says tune in next fall of 2010 and Summer 2011 when this series will come to an end.

I enjoyed this movie. As a die-hard fan of the books I was disappointed at the material that was cut out, but I was also happy with what was left in. I think that the director and the screenwriter captured the spirit of a long book and translated it as well as they could for the screen. This movie has it all; comedy, action, drama, romance, and some scary scenes so parents are cautioned, there are some scenes that will scare your little kids easily. The cast is excellent. The three leads, Harry, Ron and Hermione have really grown as actors and it shows. The best in my opinion is the work of Michael Gambon playing Dumbledore. It is the best the character has been played since Richard Harris played him in the second movie of the series. His comedic timing, regal appearance, and gestures make each scene he shares with Harry a delight to watch. He even gets some of the best dialogue in the movie. I also enjoyed the pace and direction of this movie. Director David Yates does a much better job with the material in this movie then he did with the last one. The plot is a little confusing to follow if you have not read the books or seen any of the prior movies but, it is one of the better movies out there this summer and one the whole family can enjoy.

Cast & Credits

Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe

Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint

Hermione Granger: Emma Watson

Bellatrix Lestrange: Helena Bonham Carter

Ginny Weasley: Bonnie Wright

Horace Slughorn: Jim Broadbent

Albus Dumbledore: Michael Gambon

Severus Snape: Alan Rickman

Warner Bros. presents a film directed by David Yates. Screenplay by Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. Running time: 153 minutes. Rated PG (for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality). Now playing in theaters nationwide.