It’s hard to compare any other film series to Harry Potter. Mostly because it was just so damn good. While Lord of the Rings may rank higher on my all-time favourites list, the Harry Potter series captured the heart of a generation in a way that no other series has.
The quality across all 8 installments was so consistent it was (and remains) astounding. Most franchises have trouble sustaining 3 films (or sometimes even 1 – looking at you, Twilight), but HP managed to put out 8 solid flicks.
It isn’t easy picking favourites, but here’s my ranking of the series:
8. Chamber of Secrets
The basilisk killing scene is pretty badass, but this one isn’t my favourite. They skipped the Hogwarts entrance (which always makes for a great scene) due to the Whomping Willow fiasco, and Moaning Myrtle is brutal to watch. Gilderoy Lockhart is another character I’m not fond of (not supposed to be I guess) who gets too much screen time.
7. Deathly Hallows Part 1
This one drags a bit. Tent in one location. Tent in another location. The locket is killing us. Tent in a another field. I’m exaggerating, but at times I felt this one could have been shorter. However, it provided one of my favourite scenes from the entire series (yes I’m strange); the Tale of the Three Brothers/Deathly Hallows sequence told alongside beautiful animation.
6. Philosopher’s Stone
It’s hard to hate on the original, especially since it set the tone for the series so well. Still, since it is the era of CGI, it’s become very apparent, very quickly, how old a film is. Watching it now is fun but the effects are distracting at times. The flying key scene is super cool though and the cast is so cute and little! No fault of its own, time knocked this one down the list.
5. Deathly Hallows Part 2
High action, the awesome bank break with the tortured albino dragon, and fetus Voldemort in ‘heaven’ make this a great watch. Just as it hurts to knock the first installment that made you fall in love, it’s hard to find fault with the finale that everything built up to. Still, it couldn’t quite crack the top 4.
4. Order of the Phoenix
While I want to murder Umbridge, Neville f-ing Longbottom really starts to shine in this one. The twins get their revenge and the real feeling of “things to come” make this a great watch. There’s so many different characters and great relationship development, plus the incredibly awkward and amusing Chi kiss, and I notice something new every time I watch it.
3. Half-Blood Prince
Huge leaps are made in terms of the core storyline with Voldemort, especially for people like me who aren’t diehards and didn’t read the books. The characters begin to have mature concerns and relationships, and Slughorn is seriously funny. I’ll always love the drunken exchange between him and Harry: Harry! Sir!
2. Prisoner of Azkaban
The awesome time warp scene with the pumpkins and Buckbeak pretty much make the movie. Werewolves, rats, time travel.. pretty tough to beat.
1. Goblet of Fire
I loved this one because the characters really start to come into their own. There’s drama, romance, sport, and (slightly terrifying) mermaids. Great layering with the core storyline and individual struggles, along with some great laughs, dragons, and nice symmetry with the port keys make this my favourite installment.
Think I’m way off? Which Harry Potter flick is your fave?