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.
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
it is notable that despite the fact that Snape and Lupin know that Sirius was aware of the passageway to the Shrieking Shack and, presumably, were convinced of his guilt, the passageway was not blocked off or guarded. See more »
(at around 27 mins) As Harry and the others run up the stairs to the Fat Lady picture for the first time, you can see the actors' focus/lighting markers on the floor. They're white crosses with gaffer tape. See more »
I thought this was excellent....better than the first two Harry Potter movies combined and better than what has followed.. That's my feeling, and I'm still sticking to it.
This was just great fun, right from the opening. In fact, the early bus scene is the best in the film. Overall, the movie didn't have as mean an edge to it as the others, although it has a number of scary moments (which might have warranted a PG-13 rating). That was fine with me. I got tired of the dark, nasty and/or annoying characters of the first two films, and especially the irritating blonde wise-guy kid. I give this major points for cutting his role down. Even Alan Rickman's character softens.
In other words, there is no despicable villain to hate throughout the film, which I thought was refreshing. Instead, we just go through one adventure after another until the final surprise ending.
Along the way are a lot of fun special effects and scenery, some humor (Emma Thompson is a hoot as an eccentric tea-leaf reader) and some fantastic 5.1 surround sound. I wish all the Harry Potter films were like this one.
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