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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Release Date: November 19th, 2010

Rated PG for violence, and some scary scenes.

Running time: 146 minutes


David Yates (dir.)


Steve Kloves (Screenwriter)

Based on the books by J.K. Rowling


Alexandre Desplat (music)


Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid

Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort

Alan Rickman as Professor Serverus Snape


Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


© 2010 Warner Bros. Ent.

Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.


Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent.  All Rights Reserved.

(L-r) RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley, EMMA WATSON as Hermione Granger and DANIEL RADCLIFFE as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ fantasy adventure “HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.


Our reviews below:


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review By John C.

**** (out of 4)

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasly (Rupert Grint), and of course Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) face dark times as they are out of Hogwarts in the latest big screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s beloved books.  The first half of David Yates’ spectacular 2-part cinematic retelling of the series finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is certain to please hardcore fans, but should also be enjoyed by those less versed in Potter lore.


Having taken control over the whole Ministry of Magic, Dark Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) power over the Wizarding World is growing ever stronger.  On a journey to track down the remaining Horcruxes, containing pieces of Voldemort’s broken soul, the famous trio of protagonists are determined to finish the work of the late professor Dumbledore.


The scenes with Voldemort’s army of Death Eaters are suitably creepy and atmospheric, but there is still much comic relief in the film.  The bickering between the two heroes and heroine are amusing, and the performances by the three young actors are spot on.  The supporting cast is excellent, playing almost as a who’s who of great British actors.


The darkly beautiful cinematography of washed-out grey tones give the film a stunning and foreboding visual look.  In one of the most astonishing sequences, we are told the story of the three brothers from The Tales of Beetle the Bard through striking shadow animation.  The visuals are aided by a wonderful score from composer Alexandre Desplat.


Although perhaps not quite in the same league as last year’s outstanding Half-Blood Prince, this is still a great ‘beginning of the end’ to an excellent series and one of the better movies of the year.  Right through to the brilliant final scene, Part 1 of The Deathly Hallows leaves us immensely satisfied, but desperately wanting more – in the best possible way.


Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review By Erin V.

**** (out of 4)

Part 1 of the ‘epic finale’ of the Harry Potter films is here.  In this first installment, we mostly just follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione (no longer at Hogwarts) as they decide how they should proceed from here.  In order to stop Lord Voldemort, who has infiltrated the Ministry of Magic, they have to find all of the broken pieces of his soul – Horcruxes – and destroy them (thus destroying him).  I won’t bother with much more synopsis here…  After seeing the film, if you want a glimpse at part 2 opening next summer, watching the first released trailer, you’ll recognize instantly which parts aren’t from this film.


How does this installment compare to the previous ones?  It’s excellent.  I think fans will find that by splitting the seventh book up into two parts, more of the story will be able to be brought to screen.  The acting is superb as always, and this one allows the three young leads to carry a lot more of the film on their own, showcasing their talents.  The score this time around is done by Alexandre Desplat, and fits the tone of the Harry Potter world nicely, as well as giving an appropriate – yet not over the top – darkness.  The special effects are awesome, although part 2 appears as though they will be even more so as we get the true climax.  Speaking of which, this film ends at an interesting point, leaving us most definitely wanting more – great final shot.  Think of it as though this one ends at the major turning point halfway through act 2…  Also, we get nice cinematography and art direction throughout as usual, and the depiction of the Deathly Hallows tale within the film, is done quite nicely in an interesting animation style.


This film is not in 3D, and although the extra dimension can be cool, I didn’t miss it here.  It would have made the already subdued and dark lighting more-so, and the special effects certainly don’t need it as a crutch to be visually stunning.  Since it wasn’t filmed in native 3D, I’m glad to not see a quick transfer like other films this year.


Long time fans of the series, as well as newcomers and film buffs all around will want to see this event film.  It is made for the big screen, and although it will hold up well on DVD, you should really see it as it is meant to be seen in true theatre scope.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review By Nicole

**** (out of 4)

Finally, the last installment of the Harry Potter series has begun.  The wizard world is darker and more terrifying than ever, with Voldemort and his army in charge of the Ministry of Magic.  Now it is up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione to find the remaining Horcruxes before it is too late.


I won’t tell much of the plot, as I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read the books.  But what I will say is that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is both shocking and exciting.  The original cast is back, and they’re just as good as ever.  The special effects are amazing.  I especially liked an animated sequence in which the Deathly Hallows are first introduced.


Those who have young children should be forewarned.  This movie is not only scary, but two beloved side characters get killed.  It also ends at a crucial point, leading straight into the second half.


There are a lot of beautiful shots in the film, namely outdoor scenes in the woods, at the seashore, and in the snow.  The score by Alexandre Desplat is also lovely.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is a dramatic lead up to an exciting conclusion.  Go see this one in theatres.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

This latest segment in the Harry Potter movie franchise is an amazing start to the big finish of the book series.  In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1, the focus is on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they desperately search for the remaining Horcruxes so they can defeat the evil Voldemort and his evil wizard army once and for all.  The entire movie is spent with the three leads on the run trying to keep Harry from being killed.


This movie has a wonderful dark tone keeping a sense of tension right through to the amazing closing scene.  Fans will be anxiously waiting for Part 2 to hit theatres.  Much of this movie is shot outdoors with the three leads living out of a tent (carried in Hermione’s amazing beaded purse).


The cinematography is beautiful with everything having a grey/sepia tone.  A lot of the action is low-key allowing more character development and interaction between the three.  When the action does ramp up, it is spectacular.  The special effects, as expected from this series, are excellent.  The most interesting special effect segment is the shadow puppet telling of the Legend of the Deathly Hallows.


Even with all the darkness and tension there is also a nice balance of light moments and humour.  The segment near the beginning with the multiple Harrys is really funny.  Lovable Dobby also provides comic relief and tragedy.  The wonderful score by Alexandre Desplat ties all the moods together nicely.


Whether you’ve read the books or seen the other movies The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is good on it’s own merits.  Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review By Tony

**** (out of 4)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 is the first half of the film treatment of the final book in the series. Not having read the books and having only seen the previous films once, I wondered going in how well I might keep up with all the characters and the action. Not to worry. Though there is tremendous detail to get through, the 146 minute running time gives us time to absorb it, while the action keeps us absorbed throughout, wanting more at the end. I won’t try to summarize it here. If you have been enjoying the films all along, I am sure you will not be disappointed, as the latest installment is one of the best, with the same fine cast, spectacular special effects as always, good comic relief at times, and a great soundtrack scored by Alexandre Desplat.


Consensus: With excellent performances, special effects, and a hauntingly beautiful score by Alexandre Desplat, The Deathly Hallows deserves to be seen on the big screen.  Part 1 of David Yates’ spectacular cinematic retelling of J.K. Rowling’s final novel in the Harry Potter series, is a great lead-up to next summer’s final installment. **** (out of 4)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Von Zuben permalink
    November 19, 2010 11:36 pm

    We just saw this first part of the final Harry Potter book and we loved it!!!! We saw it in Imax at the theatre in Whitby and it was amazing. There is one scene in particular that I am not sure I could handle if it had been in 3D . I agree with you in that by splitting the last book into two movies more of the story can be related. I did not reread the last book but I don’t think that a lot of the story was missed or changed around. I am debating about reading the first part of the last book now just to see how close it came. Anyways again, we thought this movie was fantastic and agree that you have to see this movie on the big screen!!!


    • November 20, 2010 10:43 am

      Glad you enjoyed it as much as we did. Really can’t wait for next July’s final instalment…

      As always, thanks for reading and sharing your opinion!


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