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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On TV

Airs Sat. Feb. 02, 10:30 AM on SYFY

ON DISC
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.

Director:

Alfonso Cuarón

Writers:

J.K. Rowling (novel), Steve Kloves (screenplay)
Popularity
306 ( 43)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Radcliffe ... Harry Potter
Richard Griffiths ... Uncle Vernon
Pam Ferris ... Aunt Marge
Fiona Shaw ... Aunt Petunia
Harry Melling ... Dudley Dursley
Adrian Rawlins ... James Potter
Geraldine Somerville ... Lily Potter
Lee Ingleby ... Stan Shunpike
Lenny Henry ... Shrunken Head
Jimmy Gardner Jimmy Gardner ... Ernie the Bus Driver
Gary Oldman ... Sirius Black
Jim Tavaré ... Tom the Innkeeper
Robert Hardy ... Cornelius Fudge
Abby Ford Abby Ford ... Young Witch Maid
Rupert Grint ... Ron Weasley
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Mysteries will unfold. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Warner Bros.

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£23,882,688 (United Kingdom), 6 June 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,687,367, 6 June 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$249,358,727, 31 October 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$796,688,549, 10 November 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being third in the Harry Potter franchise the film is similar to being a 'reboot' than simply being a continuation of the series. For example Hogwarts looks slightly different from the first two films. Hagrid's hut is relocated down a slope rather than a lawn. The school uniforms have been upgraded such as girls including Hermione wearing tights rather than knee socks and the students wearing robes with the hoods symbolizing the colors of their respective house. Flitwick the Charms teacher though uncredited in this film is noticeably younger. And more famously Dumbledore portrayed by Michael Gambon is different in both appearance and personality from both the late Richard Harris and the book. This is also the first film in which the series takes a darker tone while the first two by Chris Columbus were more family friendly despite including Aragog and a Basilsk. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 50 mins) When Harry is bowing to Buckbeak in the pumpkin patch near the end of the movie, you can see the bulge of his microphone battery pack, which is under the back of his sweatshirt. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

At one point during the closing credits on the "Marauder's Map," a footprint goes by that is left by a person with only one foot. See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the film was shot in the Super 35 process, the Full Screen DVD version Pans and Scans as if it were shot in Anamorphic Widescreen instead of properly framing it for Full Frame as most Super 35 films are. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad: The Blunder Games/The Poop-seidon Adventure (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cumparsita
Written by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez
Performed by Alfred House Orchestra
Courtesy of Laserlight
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Best Film of the Series; One of the Best Films of All Time
4 September 2015 | by joshuafagan-64214See all my reviews

I wish Alfonso Cuaron would come back to the franchise. I know that he probably won't, but I still hope. After all, as we float through this empty, depressing world, sometimes all we have is hope. He detached this film franchise from its safe-as-a-CIA-file roots and allowed it to grow wings and fly into a silver ether. To anyone who thinks franchise films cannot be art... check out LOTR. But once you are done, check out this film. It is both ironic and darkly appropriate that this is both the lowest grossing Harry Potter film and the one that many film critic types, such as myself, say is the greatest of the octology.

The film starts off like do all Harry Potter books and most Harry Potter movies. Potter is at the house of his over-the-top, abusive, Muggle adopted family, getting tormented like he always does. Yes, I know it is explained in detail why he needs to stay with them, but such doesn't make it any less of a poor writing choice. But, when and if I do a full review of the Potter series, I'll go over those kinds of decisions.

I only bring this up because it is a base line for these movies and such something I can use to show why this is the best one. In the Columbus films, it is played with a cheerful exaggeration that reminds me of many of his eighties movies. This is not a bad thing, but it is not brimming with greatness either. In the Yates films, it is downplayed as just a backdrop, a facade, if you will, to more serious matters. Cuaron manages to combine these approaches, which is expected, as both this and GOF are the 'transition movies', while adding both sophistication and a level of charged rawness, which is not expected.

We get to see Harry's emotional landscape. Fragile but potent, unstable but unyielding, it is a sight to behold, one that belies the simpler character that we got in both the earlier and later movies. If Harry Potter developed along these lines, he might have actually been a great character instead of the flattest one among a crowd of interesting people.

The scenes are magical, but not in the try-hard way of the first two films. Around the time that I first saw them, I declared myself a true blue of the series. I haven't looked back since. The shots are magical in a way that is both wispy and intense. This is the tone that these movies should have taken, and if they reboot them, something of I am not in favor but something that is a conceivable possibility in today's Hollywood climate, this is the tone I would like them to try to take. Just the thought of that sends chills down my spine. It might even be able to challenge LOTR for the crown of best fantasy series of all time.

After that virtuoso opening, I kept waiting to be let down. I never was. Every new character introduced was interesting and every old character they excluded was not missed. The pacing is the best out of the movies; the first two were too slow and the other five were too fast. The plot was more personal to me than the other movies; this is the one movie in which Voldemort does not appear in some form or another. There is no direct end boss and so the plot has to be more creative. And so it is.

Of course, more of the credit for this has to go Mrs. Rowling for writing the book on which this film was based. But the cinematography is all the work of Cuaron's team. And it is the best in the series by far. Not to say that the other movies are poorly shot; this is Britain, after all: things may be bad, but they are never badly done. But while the cinematography of the first few movies would perfectly fit a kid's fantasies, the cinematography of the fourth movie would perfectly fit a high class ball or gala, and the cinematography of the last four movies would perfectly fit a nature doc, the cinematography of this film perfectly fits the franchise.

It is artful and well-done, but it is not show like an Oscarbaity period piece. The camera feels alive and coated with magic powder. It is exactly how I imagine the heartbeat of a troubled magic society to feel like. The music helps it out. If you listen to Window to the Past and are not sucked into the world Cuaron made for this film, then you just don't have a soul. It is introspective, ambient, immersive, and coated with the kind of cerebral wonder that I think makes life worth living. It is the best tune in the franchise. But do not think it is the only good tune in the movie. Buckbeak's Flight is a good second.

While the characters in the series may never be willing/able to turn back time after this movie for reasons cheap and nonsensical and borderline nonexistent, I hope that you will be wiser. Come back in time with me to 2004. And let the emotional waves of this picture overtake you.


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