movie film review | chris tookey

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone / Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone / Harry Potter

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - all rights reserved
  Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone / Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone / Harry Potter Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.50 /10
Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe, Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint, Hermione Granger: Emma Watson
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Directed by: Chris Columbus
Written by: Steve Kloves, from the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling

Released: 2001
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US/ GB
Length: 152

MIXED Reviews

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Less a $120 million movie than an expensive, elaborately planned military operation. Caution is the watchword, and securing territory the imperative — victory achieved by simply eliminating defeat. There's a palpable avoidance of risk as this new mythology is wheeled gingerly into the marketplace and carefully positioned to zap your pre-sold brain... John Williams's emphatic score clashes with the tone of British understatement. Solid but uninspired, Harry lacks brio. It's respectable and a bit dull. I can't say it made me yearn for my own sense of childhood wonder, but speaking as an adult, it did stir up some suppressed memories. I never thought I'd feel nostalgic for the coercive go-go vulgarity of Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Empire Strikes Back.
(J. Hoberman, Village Voice)
A rigorously faithful adaptation of the novel. With the exception of occasional details, short scenes, and a poltergeist, everything in the book is in the movie. And at least 75% of Steve Kloves' dialogue is lifted directly from the text. For Harry Potter fans looking to see how their favorite scene appears on screen, this is a boon. But there's something almost workmanlike about Columbus' approach to the project. Movies and books are different media, and the best approach for adapting the latter into the former is not always an unvarnished translation. Columbus doesn't use any imagination beyond that which J.K. Rowling previously supplied for her book. There's no denying that the film is diverting, but it isn't inspired. One of the most delicious aspects of reading the books is absorbing all of Rowling's offhand comments. Columbus and Kloves' straightforward approach fails to find a creative way of incorporating these.
(James Berardinelli, Reelviews)
Treating J.K. Rowling's debut novel with a reverence that wasn't even accorded to The Bible, Hollywood serves up a two-and-a-half hour fantasy that gets the introductions out of the way, paving the way for more plot-driven tales in what's sure to become the biggest franchise of all time... The three young leads - Radcliffe, Grint, and especially Watson - deliver likable, natural performances, while the film's biggest joy is watching the spot-on performances of their peers: Maggie Smith plays Professor McGonagall like Miss Jean Brodie with a pointy hat, while Robbie Coltrane steals the show as loose-lipped Hagrid. Alan Rickman, meanwhile, sneers for England as Professor Snape. Indeed, the whole film plays like an advertisement for historic old England - if this doesn't get Americans buying our castles and cathedrals, or at least coming to look at them again, nothing will. Hell, even King's Cross station looks pleasant. The film's not flawless, though. It's half an hour too long and much of the book's humour is jettisoned. Still, it's refreshing to witness a big-budget movie where the impressive special effects complement the story, rather than merely compensate for the lack of one.
(Adrian Hennigan, BBC Online)

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