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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (PG-13)

deathly_hallowsBy Mary McCarthy, Editor


An early quote in the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow Part One film: “These are dark times, there is no denying” is indicative of the grim nature of the latest installment of the Harry Potter film series.

(Spoiler alert: fans who don’t want to know plot points, beware…)

Sure, Harry Potter fans have read the books already, so they won’t be surprised at the foggy bad-guy castle meetings, death-eaters, graveyard scenes and deathly-hollow DEATH in general. But I’m not sure, until you see it on the screen, you’re quite ready for how this is truly the “Grown Up Harry Potter” zone.

Honestly, an R rating was probably narrowly avoided on this one. It is a very scary and mature film. In a good way, I think- but definitely dark. Ralph Fiennes continues to be both nose-challenged and fantastically evil as Voldemort, and believe it or not, there is even a fantasy sequence in which Harry Potter and Hermione are making out and (top-half and tastefully done) naked.

Speaking of Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, these actors are not kids anymore.  Radcliffe is 21 and Watson is 20, and though I guess the same people who got upset about the Glee cast being sexy in a magazine might be upset about Harry and Hermione making out like muggles, I personally didn’t find it offensive.  

Hermione’s character in the film is cool in a girl-role-model way. She’s smarter than the boys, has a spell for everything and a bottomless purse full of clothes and furniture, and is the only one who knows how to order cappuccinos in a coffee shop. Harry Potter is cool and ‘the chosen one’ and all, but it’s usually Hermione who saves the day.

I’m not the kind of mom who shelters her kids from scary things- honestly, I can’t stand it when kids are raised to be wussies. However, even I have to say that the fact that Harry Potter’s OWL dies, we have to deal with Dobby the cute elf’s death (and burial by Harry) and there’s a Harry-Potter-at-his-parents’-grave scene? Are all pretty awful for a kid. I would definitely recommend that younger kids skip this one.

But the teens and parents? Will love it. It’s a roller-coaster action ride from start to finish. The movie ends abruptly with a cliffhanger, leaving theatergoers at the edge of their seats and ready for Part 2…which won’t be until next July.

This movie is Rated PG-13- and unlike many films with this rating that are fine for kids a bit under age 13, this rating probably is accurate, so we wouldn’t recommend it for kids under 13 unless they are very familiar with the books.

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