The Hot Button has a review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban stating that this movie "actually qualifies as cinema". Compared with its first two predecessors, this movie is something everyone will want to see, even those who aren't Harry Potter fans according to reviewer David Poland.
An excerpt of the review:
I haven't read the books. I couldn't stand the first movie. I didn't much like the second one.
So why am I so taken with Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban? There is one central reason… Alfonso Cuaron. He makes this episode of the ongoing series into an actual movie, not just another children's toy in shiny cellophane.
The differences between Cuaron's Potter and Chris Columbus' are endless, both large and small. But the key thematic difference is that Cuaron treats his primarily young audience with the respect that viewers who will watch a movie over and over and over again deserve. What is said is said once, not repeated until the filmmaker is sure that the least perceptive viewer got the message.
Not only is this the best Harry Potter movie, it is the first Harry Potter movie that actually qualifies as cinema. I'll be going to see it again before it opens… not because the kids will drag me, but because I want to.