Quick roundup of ‘Azkaban’ reviews

  June 4, 2004 at 11:42 AM ET
  Geri     HPANA

Well it seems that the new Harry Potter movie is getting some rave reviews from critics and here is a short roundup of what everyone is saying about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

USA Todayopens in new window: "Who would think Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban could be an art film? Thanks to director Alfonso Cuaron, a dazzling storyteller with a keen eye for whimsical detail, the third film in the Potter franchise is a visual delight. It also has plenty of heart. Cuaron is not afraid to make a darker film and tackle painful emotions involving the bespectacled hero." GRADE: 3.5 stars out of 4

BoxOfficeMojoopens in new window: "For today’s child, principally for the youngster who reads and thinks, Harry Potter is an escape from the sensory-level assault on the mind. Setting a children’s tale to the broad -- and, in trying times, relevant -- idea that joy is possible even in the darkest hours, Harry Potter is both happy and smart. That Harry Potter is happy because he is smart makes his latest story -- which is best judged as part of a progression -- superior to Hollywood’s usual nonsense. One is also left with the distinct impression that Harry Potter is the purpose of his own happiness, which puts Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at the top of today’s junk heap of kids’ movies, as an antidote to mindlessness." GRADE: A

Rolling Stone magazineopens in new window: "Not only is this dazzler by far the best and most thrilling of the three Harry Potter movies to date, it's a film that can stand on its own even if you never heard of author J.K. Rowling and her young wizard hero." GRADE: 3.5 stars out of 4

RottenTomatoes.comopens in new window: Has 88 reviews from everywhere and the general tally is 78 good reviews, 10 bad reviews. GRADE: General scoring is 7.7 out of 10

Comingsoon.netopens in new window: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an excellent movie filled with action, adventure, thrills, chills, laughs, and amazing sights. It's a perfect summer film and well worth checking out on the big screen." GRADE: 9 out of 10

Premiere magazineopens in new window: "Cuarón handles multiple story lines with agility and grace, eschewing the leaden exposition that bogged down previous films." GRADE: 4 out of 4

Entertainment Weeklyopens in new window: "The Prisoner of Azkaban is still too long, with that slightly arbitrary quality that's better filtered through the fairy-tale tranquillity of Rowling's prose. But Cuarón, streamlining the book and inventing a few marvels of his own (like most of that Hippogriff ride), has gotten Rowling's spirit on screen. You can feel it in the way the paintings on the Hogwarts walls are animated, in every sense, yet never lose their gilded Renaissance glow, or the doleful way Harry emerges from his Invisibility Cloak after hiding out from the world. The universe here is always in flux: A rat turns into a ratty-looking man, and Harry confronts his fears by literally stepping out of time to gawk at himself. By letting him, and the series, grow up a bit, The Prisoner of Azkaban turns kids' stuff, once again, into serious play." EW also say that the movie will beat Shrek bringing in an estimated $95 million in it's first weekend. You must have a subscription to read the full review. This week's access code is tvsummer. GRADE: B+

Joel Siegel from ABC Newsopens in new window: "The Prisoner of Azkabanis darker than the first two Harry Potter films. It's also the best one yet, in part because the three stars have not only grown, they've grown into their parts and they've become pretty good actors." Grade: A-

Roger Ebert from Chicago Sun-Timesopens in new window: "Is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as good as the first two films? Not quite. It doesn't have that sense of joyously leaping through a clockwork plot, and it needs to explain more than it should. But the world of Harry Potter remains delightful, amusing and sophisticated; the challenge in the films ahead will be to protect its fragile innocence and not descend into the world of conventional teen thrillers." Ebert and Roeperopens in new window will review the movie on their show on Sunday so check your local listings for times. GRADE: 3.5 stars out of 4

So go out and see the movie and enjoy.


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