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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 339,464 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 1,520 user | 251 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 58 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Derek Deadman ...
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Ben Borowiecki ...
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Griphook the Goblin (as Vern Troyer)
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Storyline

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first film in the Harry Potter series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. It is the tale of Harry Potter, an ordinary 11-year-old boy serving as a sort of slave for his aunt and uncle who learns that he is actually a wizard and has been invited to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is snatched away from his mundane existence by Hagrid, the grounds keeper for Hogwarts, and quickly thrown into a world completely foreign to both him and the viewer. Famous for an incident that happened at his birth, Harry makes friends easily at his new school. He soon finds, however, that the wizarding world is far more dangerous for him than he would have imagined, and he quickly learns that not all wizards are ones to be trusted. Written by Carly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wizard | friend | witchcraft | boy | birthday | See more »

Taglines:

The Magic Begins November 16th. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary moments and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harry Potter  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$125,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,350,290 (France) (14 December 2001)

Gross:

$317,557,891 (USA) (17 May 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The floating candles in the Great Hall were created using candle-shaped holders containing oil and burning wicks and suspended from wires that moved up and down on a special effects rig to create the impression that they were floating. Eventually one of the wires snapped due to the heat of the flame causing the candle to fall to the floor. Fortunately no one was injured, but the decision was made to re-create the candles using CGI for the following films as using real candles was determined to be a safety hazard. See more »

Goofs

The mechanism which makes the Quidditch box shake can be seen underneath the box when Wood falls over after catching the Bludger. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Professor McGonagall: [as a cat] Mraow!
Dumbledore: I should have known that you would be here, Professor McGonagall.
[Professor McGonagall transfigures into her human self]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Richard Bremmer, the vocal and facial source for the computer generated Lord Voldemort is credited as "'He Who Must Not Be Named.'" See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Flying to New Heights (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's a true adaptation, but lacks an edge like the novel. *** (out of four)

HARRY POTTER / (2001) *** (out of four)

Here's a method of evaluating a movie based on previously published material: ask yourself if the film makes you want to read the material from which it is based?

Before the release of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," I was one of the few remaining souls who had not read J.K. Rowling's fantasy book series. After screening the first film installment, I did want to read the book. Borrowing the novel from a family member, I briefly skimmed over the chapters. The book's intelligence and similarities with the film really surprised me.

With over 100 million copies sold in over 46 different languages, J.K. Rowling's best-selling series of books has become a worldwide phenomenon. Naturally, with soaring expectations abound, the filmmakers felt great pressure to create a faithful adaptation. They have. This film is essentially a visualization of the words in the novel, with very few differences.

That said, the film does run into a few conflicts with the book's story. The middle of the movie has nowhere to go. It's like a false second act; almost nothing of major significance occurs in this period of the film. The young characters wander from scene to scene with nothing much to do and nothing much to say. We're left with a grand display of eye-popping special effects.

"Harry Potter" certainly dazzles us with a solid beginning and an engaging final act, however. We first meet a young wizard boy named Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). Soon after the film opens, the boy discovers he has magical powers. He's then thrust into an enchanting world of sorcery, magic, and witchcraft. He's sent to a school for young wizard children, where he meets new friends, learns about magic, and participates in fun competitions. But someone at the school doesn't like Harry, as mysterious events begin to occur. Harry soon finds himself in the middle of a diabolical scheme of revenge. Who is the culprit and what do they want with Harry?

The film asks some involving questions. Too bad it doesn't give enough depth to the side characters or subplots. We don't really care about the mystery because we don't know enough about the suspects. The movie does conclude with a twist, but it doesn't encourage another examination of the movie. It lacks a foundation altogether. The story spends so much time foreshadowing the villain's identity, it is pointless for the story to abandon its proceeding plot points and develop a new villain at the end. The book gets away with this; the movie does not.

After his gentle "Home Alone" and sweet-natured "Stepmom," many questioned the ability of director Chris Columbus to bring a sense of darkness to the story-and for good reason. "Harry Potter" contains charming, likable characters and a rich pallet of lush, inventive images. Unfortunately, the film lacks an edge. It's missing the dark atmosphere Rowling's novel so vividly brought to life. Columbus does construct some memorable sequences, but the individual scenes themselves are much better than the movie as a whole.

Despite it's childish story and pre-teen characters, many define "Harry Potter" as a film for all ages. While that's debatable, during my screening, adults were plowing through the isles every five minutes. Going to the bathroom? Getting drink refills? Buying concessions? Who knows? But not a single child budged from their seat. Their eyes were glued to the big screen.

Conclusion: It's a sure-fire experience for children, especially if they've read the books. But adults may not encounter the same enticement as kids. Then again, if I had nothing better to do than to count the people leaving the theater, why am I recommending the film?


41 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I'm pretty sure that the movie's story didn't take place in the 90s DoctorPerson
Small detail but kind of funny DoctorPerson
Why lie? danaenicole
Too Faithful to the book ReeseJohn
HBO series!!! volz-andy1
Where do they go to school before they go to Hogwarts at age 11? abbelee

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