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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  4 June 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 344,081 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 1,497 user | 271 critic | 40 from

It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Ingleby ...
Jimmy Gardner ...
Abby Ford ...


Harry Potter is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon's sister Marge who was being offensive towards Harry's parents. Initially scared for using magic outside the school, he is pleasantly surprised that he won't be penalized after all. However, he soon learns that a dangerous criminal and Voldemort's trusted aide Sirius Black has escaped from the Azkaban prison and wants to kill Harry to avenge the Dark Lord. To worsen the conditions for Harry, vile creatures called Dementors are appointed to guard the school gates and inexplicably happen to have the most horrible effect on him. Little does Harry know that by the end of this year, many holes in his past (whatever he knows of it) will be filled up and he will have a clearer vision of what the future has in store... Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Cast Your Spell In IMAX See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for frightening moments, creature violence and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

4 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The IMAX Experience  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£23,882,688 (UK) (4 June 2004)


$249,358,727 (USA) (29 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the scene where Buckbeak the Hippogriff is introduced, just after Ron pushes Harry forward there is a shot of the animal pooping. The CGI team believes this might be the first example of a CGI animal doing this, but the BBC miniseries Walking with Dinosaurs (1999) had done it first. This *is*, however, the first time such a scene is done for a feature film. See more »


You can sometimes see lighting devices reflected in the characters' glasses. As Harry is telling Hagrid "It'll be fine" as they are hurrying out the door, you can see lighting equipment reflected in Harry's glasses. Also, in Trelawney's first class, you can see similar lighting equipment reflected in her glasses. See more »


[first lines]
Harry: Lumos Maxima!
[five times]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits you can see one of the footprints change from a human footprint to an animal's (naming Sirius) footprint See more »


Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »


Hot Liquorice
Written by Dick Walters
Played during the 'Boggart-Lesson' on the gramophone.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Abstract and dark themes abound; still the most mature HP entry
19 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Alfonso Cuarón's masterful adaptation does the source material immeasurable justice by exploring its underlying concepts in an intelligent manner. Of course, it certainly helps that the aesthetics of the film are incredible, the acting remains stellar (and the trio of young actors handle their roles admirably), and John Williams offers an amazing (and eclectic) score. Character development is superb - Steve Kloves penned a great script.

First-time and young viewers will likely enjoy the film for its merits based on plot and 'adventure' alone, but it takes multiple viewings and a critical eye to enjoy the abstract ideas and nuances. Cuarón himself credited the source material as being laden with real-world issues: oppression, racism, loneliness, power, friendship, justice and so forth.

This is the Harry Potter film that stands on its own and as a tremendous cinematic achievement. It challenges viewers and yet doesn't patronize them or attempt to offer answers to all of the questions presented. For instance, the ending is bittersweet at best and retains a healthy amount of ambiguity.

If you've never read the books or understood the acclaim of the series as a whole, watch Cuarón's 'Prisoner of Azkaban' and you'll understand why this entry is clearly the zenith of the seven.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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