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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  16 November 2001 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 394,052 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 1,542 user | 257 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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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 59 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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

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:

£16,335,627 (UK) (16 November 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

Warner Bros. originally considered making the entire "Harry Potter" series as a set of CGI animated films, or attempting to combine several of the novels into a single movie. The studio's reasoning mainly had to do with concern over the rapid aging of child actors-if production ran too long on any of the films, or if production was delayed between sequels, the leading actors might have to be recast. Author J.K. Rowling vetoed both the ideas of combining books and an animated film, so the studio decided instead to produce all seven (later eight) films back to back so the same child actors could play their roles in every film. See more »

Goofs

In Diagon Alley when zooming to the Nimbus 2000. The store behind the broom has a blue screen background. 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

Ian Hart, whose character carries the face of Voldemort, is credited as Quirrell and then again at the end of the cast as Voldemort. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Pure cinematic magic
12 November 2001 | by (CA, USA) – See all my reviews

To millions of children of all ages, November 16 has been more eagerly anticipated than Christmas, as the long-awaited film version of J. K. Rowling's beloved novel "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" hits the screen.

Each of Rowling's four Harry Potter books have been critically acclaimed worldwide best-sellers, turning a generation of video-game playing children into avid readers.

In translating Rowling's world of wizards and magic to the screen, the film makers claimed to be intensely aware of the fans' high expectations and had sworn to be faithful to the book.

"Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" is indeed the most loyal film adaptation of a book that this fan has ever seen.

It's the story of an orphaned boy who discovers on his eleventh birthday that his parents were wizards and that he is in fact a famous and powerful wizard himself.

Released from the clutches of his desperately ordinary (and non-magical) Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia - and their deliciously obnoxious son Dudley - Harry takes his place in the wizarding world as a first year student at the venerated Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

A great deal of "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" is an introduction to this fantastic and dangerous world and its richly drawn characters. There's not only a lot of plot to cover in this film, but an entire world to create.

At two and a half hours long (hit the restroom before it starts), the film includes the book's most memorable scenes, bringing many of them to life with pure cinematic wizardry.

The Quidditch match (a soccer/hockey/rugby thing played on broomsticks) is much more exciting on the screen than on the page, as is the bathroom battle with an enormous mountain troll and the larger-than-life game of wizard's chess.

The frightening aspects of the book are in full force in the film, and its PG rating (for some scary moments) should be taken seriously.

Screenwriter Steven Kloves ("Wonder Boys") has done a fine job of streamlining Rowling's tale while maintaining its spirit. Director Chris Columbus ("Home Alone") makes good on his promise to be faithful to the book. But at times the film is a bit too reverent; you want the actors to cut loose and have a bit more fun.

Columbus clearly understands that fantasy works best when it's played most real. Across the board, his fine ensemble of actors are so perfectly cast that they appear to have literally stepped out of Rowling's book.

In the title role, Daniel Radcliffe pulls off the very difficult task of playing an introverted hero who spends most of the movie reacting to the amazing sights and events around him. He beautifully captures the deep soul and untapped potential of Harry Potter. And when this kid smiles the screen lights up.

Rupert Grint is delightful as Harry's sardonic buddy Ron Weasley and Emma Watson nearly steals the film as their overachieving friend Hermione Granger. Three cheers to the film makers for giving three unknown child actors the top billing they deserve.

The strong cast of veteran actors includes Richard Harris as the wise Headmaster Dumbledore and Robbie Coltrane as the lovable giant Hagrid. Alan Rickman is wonderfully villainous as Professor Snape and Zoe Wanamaker has just the right touch of girls gym teacher as flying instructor Madame Hooch.

As the strict but just Professor McGonagall, Oscar winner Maggie Smith seems born to play the role - and is ready for another Oscar.

John Cleese (as Nearly Headless Nick) and Julie Walters (as Mrs. Weasley) have all-too-brief cameo roles, but if the next film "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" remains true to the book, we'll be seeing more of them.

In addition to being highly engaging, the film is a marvelous thing to look at. From the bustling wizard street Diagon Alley to the magnificently gothic Hogwarts School to the dark and misty Forbidden Forest, the film breaks new ground in imaginative production design.

To paraphrase the film's tagline, let the magic (and box office records) begin.


75 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is Dumbledore not a bit of a douche at the end? ohlssonlinus
I'm pretty sure that the movie's story didn't take place in the 90s DoctorPerson
Isn't broomsticks and wands a bit silly and unimaginative? Dommedagsprofet
Why lie? danaenicole
Too Faithful to the book ComicNerd
Where do they go to school before they go to Hogwarts at age 11? abbelee

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