Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Written By: Steve Kloves
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 2 hr 32 min
The Sorcerer’s Stone gets off to a pretty uneven start with the insanely over the top antics of the Dursley family. Thankfully though, once they are out of the picture and we get to Hogwarts, the movie settles down and is really very watchable. As for performances, the young cast, while very charming do let their inexperience show from time to time. They are though well supported by the more experienced adults, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane. Alan Rickman is especially effective as Severus Snape.
The technical side of this production is also a mixed bag. For the most part the effects work. Especially within Hogwarts as the students negotiate moving staircases and animated artwork. The effects become a little less impressive during the flying sequences on brooms. It’s pretty easy to pick out the moments when the live action actor has been replaced with CGI.
Overall this is a very solid first outing for the Potter series. It’s a lot of fun, and with help from an excellent score from the genius composer John Williams, quite magical!
I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there that read the book, and then didn’t see the film. If you are new the Potter series. Just expect a fun magical ride. It’s opening ten minutes are a little uneven, but once you’re past that, the film has many strengths. The story is good, and the young cast do a pretty decent job breathing life into their popular characters.
Despite some of the few questionable visual effects, this is still best viewed on a big screen. At home, a HD viewing is a must.
Best element for me:
There’s a lot to like here, but I’d have to say Alan Rickman’s performance was the stand out for me.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)