Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for their third year of study, where they delve into the mystery surrounding an escaped prisoner who poses a dangerous threat to the young wizard.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon's (Richard Griffiths') sister Marge (Pam Ferris), 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 (Gary Oldman) has escaped from 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
Scabbers is three times the size he was in the previous two movies. See more »
Underage wizards are not allowed to use magic away from school, which is why Harry was sent an official warning when Dobby used magic in the house in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Yet at the start of the film, Harry is using the 'Lumos' spell to light up his wand and do his homework, something which would have seen him expelled according to his previous written warning. See more »
The movie opens with the silver Warner Bros. logo appearing from blackness, then the camera flies through the WB logo as it zooms in on Harry Potter's bedroom window. See more »
Some of the dubbed versions change the names of a few characters, to match their translated novel counterparts in each respective language. One good example is Hermione, who in the German version (of all the Potter films/books) is named Hermine. See more »
Abstract and dark themes abound; still the most mature HP entry
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.
90 of 102 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this