Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) Poster

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Stunning movie, but where was the plot..?
Tom061014 November 2018
Let me start off by saying that I am a big Harry Potter fan; I loved all 8 HP movies, and really liked the 1st installment of Newt's adventures as well. This movie just didn't really do the trick for me. There was absolutely nothing to complain about visually; the movie was even more stunning than the first one, with even more beautifully designed 'Beasts'. And as many other people have mentioned, as a Harry Potter fan, you just can't hate this movie. Where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them only contained a handful amount of references to the Harry Potter series, The Crimes of Grindelwald has tonnes. Enough to hype up any Harry Potter fan.

The problem this movie had for me was its plot, or rather, its almost nonexisting plot. This movie just seemed to serve as background information or something for the upcoming movies in this series (for which we'll undoubtedly have to wait another 2 years or more..), more of like a setup for things to come. It introduced many new characters and revealed certain things about already known characters. But yet, some of these things just felt unnatural, as if JK Rowling just kept writing more and more to squeeze into 1 movie. This basically leads to a movie where the biggest plot is to find Credence's 'true identity' - not really much of a plot at all. Some of the reveals about characters also seemed a bit strange, but that could be just me. All in all, all this dialogue about characters made it extra confusing to know what the movie was about, in addition to it lacking much of a plot to begin with.

This movie is definitely not a waste of money or anything, you could just buy a ticket for the stunning scenes and you'd be satisfied. It's just that this movie was quite a disappointment compared to many people's expectations I think, seeing as it basically is just a setup for the upcoming movies, which lacks a good plot.
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More focused on franchise building than telling a good story!
maiajay1315 November 2018
As both a lover of the Harry Potter Universe and a lover of movie going, I was thoroughly disappointed, even angry with this movie. While the visuals are as magical as ever, it's clear that the filmmakers are so distracted by trying to build a franchise that they're forgetting to actually tell a good story! The chemistry between our main four heroes was diluted by so many new characters being introduced. With so many new people and also so many questions for our old heroes, there wasn't enough time for any kind of (explainable) character development or for the viewers to connect with anyone on the screen. The only "character development" with one of our main heroes felt random and out of character and we aren't given much reason or warning for this change. I was also very disappointed with the writing behind Tina's character as her role was demoted from a strong willed Auror and woman to merely a side kick and love interest. Huge and important elements of the story were left for us only to assume what had happened when discussing the one year time jump between the two films (like the Jacob/Queenie relationship, Jacobs memory, etc.). As a whole, the film screamed "money hungry" and "franchise building" rather than letting us really connect with the characters. It also seemed as if they were only adding in twists that would surely get a reaction from viewers despite the fact that they not only discredited the original Harry Potter films, but just felt like unrealistic and a little too convenient! In short, as a huge fan of the Harry Potter Universe, I was disappointed, upset and felt really let down, and as a film goer, I was confused with the plot and frustrated with the lack of character connection and development! The only reason I have given a 4/10 instead of a 1 is for Eddie Redmayne's perfect execution of the shy, socially awkward but loveable and charming Newt Scamander and for the alluring performances from Jude Law's Dumbledore and Johnny Depp's Grindelwald who leave us wanting to know more of their history! But in the end, it was a huge disappointment as a stand-alone movie.
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Entirely capitivating and leaves us begging for more
ujjwaluniyal-6981811 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The second installment of Fantastic Beasts, titled Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up shortly after the first where Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has been captured and is being taken transferred back to the British Ministry of Magic when he manages to escape and take over the carriage in which he is being transported. As the opening scene, this sets the visual standards for the film extremely high. As they are hurdling in the sky on a carriage in a thunderstorm, the tension and excitement build setting the stage for a fantastic film.

Newt (Eddie Redmayne) is back at his home, tending to his collection of beasts when he is approached by Dumbledore (Jude Law) to help track down Credence (Ezra Miller). Credence, after the first film, has spent time searching for his mother and who his real family is. He is lost, and alongside Nagini (Claudia Kim), he's searching for a place to belong. With Grindelwald on the loose, Credence is surely his next target for recruitment into his following which seeks to take the superior status over no mags/ muggles and restore pure blood to the wizarding world. Racing against Grindelwald to find Credence, auror, Tina (Katherine Waterston) manages to track down a lead. As Grindelwald works his magic and charisma to convince the wizarding world of his beliefs and goals, friend turns against friend, lines are drawn, and sides are chosen, changing the wizarding world forever.

Tackling the infamous wizarding world is no small challenge, but the visuals in this film are nothing short of magical. They work so well to create the perfect atmosphere for our story. From the opening scene to the very end, the visuals bring about an enchanting experience for the audience. I can't get into details without spoiling the ending, but man is it intense. Newt continues to his love and protection of magical creatures in this film, and each one is so spectacularly crafted. The scenes where he is home and taking care of the various creatures is incredible.

In this installment, we get a bit more of the backstory of a lot of characters including Dumbledore, Grindelwald, Newt, Leta, and Newt's brother, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner). The way in which it is handled is exciting; as the film unfolds, we learn more secrets of the families of the wizarding world and gives us more perspective on the origins of our beloved characters of the Harry Potter series.

The performances in the film are pitch perfect. Eddie Redmayne continues to stun as Newt Scamander. His gentle, awkward, kind, and loyal nature continue to shine through his character, making you fall in love with his character more each minute. Katherine Waterston, while a decent performance, tends to fall a little flat for me. Jude Law as Dumbledore sounded like a strange casting choice, but after seeing the film, it works so well. Ezra Miller gets better and better every time I see him on screen. No matter what he is doing, he wholly dedicates to a role to bring us the best possible version. As Credence, you feel both empathy and fear for him as he tries to navigate what his life has become at no fault of his own. Zoë Kravitz as Leta is pretty fantastic, and I love where they go with her character in the film.

The big question on everyone's mind is how is Johnny Depp? Despite anyone's personal feelings towards him as an actor, it can't be denied that he dives into and disappears in every role he tackles. Grindelwald is no different. He becomes a terrifying, intoxicating, and charismatic leader, hell-bent on manipulating the world to his liking. There are scenes where he will enchant you into almost believing him and the next, he will terrify and appall you.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes the first installment and improves upon it tenfold. In the film, we see a strict division in the wizarding world that is sure to shape the characters in a new way come the next installment. This film is darker, more magical, and more thrilling than the first. It starts big and ends with a bang, sure to delight Harry Potter fans the world over. It is all that we loved about Harry Potter and more, bringing the excitement back to the wizarding world once again. There are tons of little nods to the fans of the original Harry Potter that are hidden in the film, solidifying that this story is indeed what will shape the world we know and love. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is entirely captivating and leaves us begging for more.
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What a DISGRACE to the magical world of JK Rowling..
bagelisa14 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
If I were to describe this movie with one word , I would say it was a "Filler" It was only after the movie that i was informed that the Fantastic Beasts "franchise" is going to be a 5 movie one . After I learned that , this movie's purpose became so clear to me . I just watched a 2-hour movie in which the main characters had NOTHING to do with the plot AT ALL . This movie was all about Grindelwald finding Credence and convincing him to join his army so Credence would kill Dumbledore in the future . Newt , Tina , Jacob and Quennie did nothing in this movie but couple-fighting and catching maybe 1 or 2 magical creatures. We got to follow a story about Newt's childhood love , which led to absolutely nothing . The main characters just made it to the right place at the right time to spectate the end of the movie in which Grindelwald finds Credence , convinces him to join his army and boom , that is the movie . The only thing that Newt did is stealing the "blood-bond" between Grindelwald and Dumbledore by using the Niffler. All in all , it was a really poor movie , the plot was shallow and it was totally a filler . It just gave us a little bit of magic but that's it . I give it a 4 only because i am a huge Harry Potter fan . This movie made me really unhappy by seeing my favorite magical world being milked for money . We don't really need 5 movies with the 2 being fillers , all we needed was 3 magical rides to the Harry Potter world . Thanks for reading this . 4/10
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yifeigong16 November 2018
Where are the fantastic beasts? What are the crimes of Grindelwald? This is not magic, it's CGI. It lost that essential taste of friendship and bond between characters within magical context of the original HP series.
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A fantastic thrill ride through the magical wizarding world laid by J.K.Rowling.
brat_of_eee8 November 2018
How i decided my rating:

Jude Law - 0.9 Eddie Redmayne - 0.8 Katherine Waterston - 0.8 Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol - 0.7 Ezra Miller and Johnny Depp - 0.8 Other cast(Zoe Kravitz, Claudia Kim, Callum Turner) - 0.7 Action and adventure - 0.8 Graphics - 0.8 Story and Screenplay - 0.9 Plot twist - 0.8 Comedy - 0.4 Total - 8.4

(Spoiler free review so not giving away anything except my opinion)

Another thrilling adventure with exotic creatures with extraordinary features. Jude, Eddie and Johnny gave an exceptional performance and so did the rest of the cast. A few scenes could have been shortened or written differently but overall this movie sets up an epic story that I'm sure WB will build on.

The beasts did not disappoint either. The niffler stole the spotlight everytime it came on screen while there were also a few new amazing beasts. Although most of the focus was on Grindelwald the audience had a fair share of beasts on screen.

The on screen romances were a little forced but they didn't linger on it too long. I expected more from Nagini but maybe this movie is not for her and the next night be. Did not like Zoe's character arc and either a lot of wasted potential on a few other characters or just left open for the next 3 movies to come.

The young and charismatic Dumbledore played by Jude Law was my favourite and he added so much more depth to the character while staying true to the Dumbledore portrayed in Harry Potter .

A healthy dose of magical spells and a dash of misunderstood beasts kept me hooked to this incredible little universe that I'll re-live in my imagination forever.
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The inaccuracy of this storyline
celhamster15 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I usually don't write of even read reviews, because I find that I almost never agree with the reviews, but for this film, I simple had to. Frankly, I don't know what the writers were thinking. They obviously didn't review the history of the Wizarding world, and this caused the film to be messy, strange, and honestly, very disappointing for true Harry Potter fans.

*contains spoilers for the rest of the review. Don't read on if you don't want the spoilers.*

The most obvious mistakes are listed below: 1.) In the film Albus Dumbledore is the teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts. I sort of understand that this makes sense due to the fear of Leta Lestrange about her dead brother, but, in no way does it make sense if you know anything at all about Albus Dumbledore. He was the Transfiguration teacher, for one, and also, he refused to deal with the Dark Arts due to the influence it had had over him during his friendship with Gellert Grindelwald, resulting in his sister's death. Thus, if anything, DADA teacher would be the very last post he would ever have accepted. 2.) Professor McGonagall was born in 1935. Yet, somehow, she's already a teacher in the film, whilst she would have been only 10 years old when Grindelwald was defeated by Dumbledore in 1945. I mean, seriously, that mistake is so easy to fix! Especially because it didn't add anything at all to the storyline by putting her in the film! 3.) A fourth Dumbledore child? I mean, really?! According to the film, he was born in 1907 or 1908. Not only did Kendra Dumbledore die in 1899, but her husband had been imprisoned in Azkaban since about 1891, so how would they have possibly been able to conceive a brother to Aberforth, Albus and Arianna 8 or 9 years after the mother died and over 15 years after the father was imprisoned in Azkaban where he stayed until his death? And then there is the fact that Rita Skeeter wrote a book on literally every single fact known about the Dumbledore family, and most especially about Albus. Seeing as birth records are pretty much the first thing she would have looked at, we should have known about a possible fourth Dumbledore sibling when the Deathly Hallows was published. This plot twist is completely fabricated, and honestly, pretty insulting towards the fans. 4.) Nagini comes across as pretty moral in the film, whilst later on she would suddenly become one of the most loyal subjects of Voldemort? Seems very farfetched, as we have seen that the horcruxes only affect so much of a person's character, as we see with the anger issues Harry has, so to blame it on the horcrux would not work in the slightest. Also, she seems rather against Grindelwald, so personally, I don't suddenly see her following the next dark wizard. 5.) This one might be possible, but to me, it just comes across as a writer trying way too hard, but suddenly we have Nicolas Flamel showing up. Well, my first question was, where is Perenell? It seems rather strange that his wife is nowhere to be found, while he had apparently been living in Paris. 6.) Both Albus and Gellert appear older than they should be. Albus was born in 1881 amd Gellert in 1883. The film mentions that WWII had not yet begun, nor were there any signs of it happening, so at most they would have been around their late 40's, yet Albus looks closer to 60, whilst Gellert looks even older, especially if you consider that wizard have a longer life expectancy than Muggles, around 140 years instead of 85. Also, Albus would have only been teaching for a very short while, as he only became a teacher in 1930.

I'm sure there are even more mistakes, but truthfully, these mistakes are already enough to have me think twice about seeing the next film.
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They just tried too hard
jennyms-9179614 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by saying, this cast is absolutely amazing. Brilliant acting, from Redmayne's beautiful Newt to Law's convincing Dumbledore, I am very impressed with all of the Performances in this movie.

The writing not so much. No story profits from having 10 subplots st the same time. Theres so much unnecessary drama that you forget about the main plot. Its incredibly distracting.

It also seems like Fantastic Beasts like so many other franchises tries way too hard to make everything as forcefully dramatic and tangled as possible. Credence being a Dumbledore makes no sense, timeline-wise and feels like a forced telenovela twist. His character is already interesting, there is no need for this. Leta dying had nearly no impact, we bately got to know her, her main role was making Tina jealous and having a brother who turned out to be completely irrelevant to the story.

This could've been a great movie if only they had taken their time to explore the story and these characters over the course of 5 movies instead of cramming it all into one.
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beware_of_the_werewolf1515 November 2018
As a huge fan of the first Fantastic Beasts film, I had been looking forward to this film for a while. I'm so glad that it didn't disappoint! I really enjoyed this movie, just as much as the first installment. Of course, it is a bit different, and it gets down to serious business, so the tone is a bit darker. Which of course makes sense. There was still enough humor though, and I love the characters. The storyline is great, the villain is interesting, the special effects were amazing, and the history and lore for the Harry Potter series is rich and enjoyable. Although this movie is pretty amazing, it did suffer from trying to feed us a lot of information and history. Yeah, there is a lot to take in, and a lot you find out. Perhaps this movie could've been a bit longer too as some extra scenes between some characters would've been appreciated. But with all of the information and history that was given, I found it all to be pretty exciting. I definitely feel as if this is a definite must see for any Harry Potter fan.
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Good differences whether or not you're a Potterhead.
philipfalzer14 November 2018
If you are a Potterhead, you will leave the cinema dazzled by both the revelations and references of Wizarding World. Something nice to see.

The film is a good continuation of the first, but with some medium defects of franchise. Too much open, no closed arcs, and an information bomb.

So if you're not a Potterhead, expect to be confused during the movie.

The cast is spectacular, especially Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, and my future husband Callum Turner. Of course, I wanted to say the same thing about Ezra Miller, who had incredible potential but almost disappears in what the script proposes.

The animals keep showing up for a future Newt book, and that makes me happy to see that the name of the franchise remains consistent with the story, even if it's in the background.

The CGI and 3D are impeccable, it pays to spend a little more and go in an IMAX 3D session.

Thinking of Fantastic Animals as a franchise in small episodes, it's great. Like a continuation movie, it has its flaws and does not close any arches that open in the beginning.

By the proposal, we know that the film does better than the first and opens a range of possibilities for the future of the franchise. Congratulations J. K. Rowling!
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Bloated beyond repair
rcaesar-8235915 November 2018
Basically everything wrong with the movie can be summed up with its title. Fantastic Beasts. The Crimes of Grindelwald. These two things have nothing to do with each other.

In my opinion the faults of this movie date back to the first film, where we had the compelling story of a young wizard named David Attenborough whose animals escaped in New York and he had to find them. Great. Sold. Unfortunately they had to make the film much worse by adding in unnecessary and convoluted subplots about a repressed boy named Credence who could change into a dangerous obscuris. Or something. The filmmakers obviously didn't learn from their mistakes.

Anyway, the second movie stars off pretty decent. Eddie Redmayne and Dan Fogler give two great performances, I really bought into their chemistry even more than in the first one. Jude Law is also great as always, though underused. The comedy scenes are also pretty consistently good, adding some much needed levity to this total mess. The visual effects looked great except for the times they looked awful, especially in the Hogwarts scenes which was where the film took a nose dive, never to recover.

The rest of the (far too numerous) supporting cast range from average to terrible. When Johnny Depp was revealed as Grindelwald in the first movie it was clear to me that he was totally miscast, and my suspicions were quickly confirmed. Colin Farrell was way better, you hacks. A lot of characters are introduced and have nothing to do, so just stand around waiting for an arc in future instalments.

What is this movie about? I couldn't tell you. It's not really about Newt Scamander. It's kind of about Grindelwald, but not completely. The plot is incomprehensible, and there are numerous exposition dumps so dense and laughable I wanted to burst out laughing, and did several times much to the chagrin of my friends. There's also way too much unnecessary fan service. I won't go in to details, I'll let you be offended by it.

There's two or three movies going on, and they all have different tones. One is a Fantastic Beasts movie, and it's funny and emotional, one is a dark fantasy movie about Grindelwald, and it's awful. They're all B plots, and for all the stuff in the screen, very little appears to be really happening. Why is Credence a character?? His story was lacklustre in the first one and is even worse here. Add to that an awful climax, and this movie is easily the worst Wizard movie. I don't know why David Yates is still attached to direct future instalments as in my opinion he peaked with Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Overall, if you're invested in the wizarding world go see it, you'll probably get a kick out of it. If not, give it a miss. No idea why it's called the Crimes of Grindelwald, because he doesn't really commit many crimes, nor are there enough fantastic beasts in the movie. Honestly it's more like a 4/10 but I feel bad giving a HP movie a negative rating.
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9 stars for the effects, 2 stars for the plot.
tinktinkk15 November 2018
Hence the 4 stars. Just read any review with the tag "spoiler", and you're all set for the next movie. It's just that unimportant. What a shame of a good IP.
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J. K. Rowling she's still surprising? Always!
marciodastrain114 November 2018
I was a little afraid to be disappointed with the plot because of the critics BUT like always, the critics love to hate sequels and prequels. But this one was more than incredible, the all the Harry Potter references, the surprises in the movie! The costumes magnifficent, amazing visual effects and the cast are more than incredible, special Johnny Depp and Dan Fogler. Waiting for the next one!
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Absolutely Fantastic!!
Hermione150717 November 2018
Some parts were definitely more filling than anything, but it was nice to see some progression and some awesome new creatures!!

I loved seeing how Newt's case has evolved too, I love that it's like a zoo apartment!!

The storyline was fantastic and it brought some more emotion to the franchise. I loved loved loved the ending and cannot wait to see how everything plays out in the next one.
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Stunning visual effect
Erkenway17 November 2018
Damn this is by far the second most stunning visual effect i've ever seen after doctor strange.The cinematography is so smooth and delightful to watch.But I cant understand the plot,its stagnant with a little progress over time,nevertheless good job for an eye satisfaction though Warner Bros.
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Slightly conflicted about potential plot holes and a couple forced lines, otherwise-well done
peacedisturber17 November 2018
This movie was definitely more in line with the spirit of where the series is heading-the first Fantastic Beasts was a little fluffy. I liked the tone, I liked the pacing and the backstories. I liked the expositions of new characters. I am super interested to learn more about how Nagini's story will her to being the right hand man of Voldemort. I felt like a couple lines were forced, such as "Grindelwald doesn't value that which is simple." I get that it was a recall to what Dumbledore says about Voldemort to Harry, but I felt like there was no motivation for that line since Newt would've had no reason to say this based on Newt's experiences with Grindelwald. There were some interesting things that could potentially set up some plot holes in the Potterverse. And I would say that I am not worried at all, but Cursed Child made plenty of mistakes in terms of plot direction that cheapened or poked holes in the Potterverse.

I actually like Grindelwald movie version more than Voldemort movie version (book version is a different story), he seems more sophisticated and his motives more reasonable.

Overall, I liked the tone. And felt encouraged by this installment. It seems to be following the Potter series in that it improves with each installment. I just really hope she does not poke holes in timelines, or plot points.
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Frees itself from the "Fantastic" genre to a very good movie in all
jmariano9915 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I am a big Harry Potter fan and therefore I like the movies in general. But I have always liked them partly because of the own nature of the movies, because they were in the HP world. This one is the first one I can say it completely freed itself from that category: it is a GREAT movie, in almost every aspect. Starting with the actors: Eddie Redmayne continues not disappointing and has his acting just on point with his character: the naivety, the "being apart from the trouble", all of it; Dan Fogler was a great satisfaction: if in the first movie, although he was amazing, his role was a bit easier because of the repetition of the amazement towards everything that met his eyes, in this movie this was not so much the case: he was already "included" in the magic world but he didn't truly belong there also, and he was amazing; now, Johnny Depp: there was a lot of talk around this choice and I do think he responded very well: he captures incredibly well the essence of Grindelwald, the evilness, the lies, the power of persuasion, the subtlety of the character. Plus, his last scene, when he casts his spell after the speech, that maestro-type movement of his: that´s excellent acting, and if anyone gets there still with doubts about him, that scene will for sure end them; lastly, Jude Law: I don't have much to say about him per say: he did as he was told, and he did it very well, although he didn't really have a great part in the movie. What is worth mentioning tho, is the merit of JK Rowling in writing his lines and movements: there was a lot of expectation to see how this "young" Dumbledore was going to fit in with our well known Dumbledore (moreover, with us being aware of his relationship with Grindelwald), and she dealt with it very well: you can see the old Dumbledore in Jude Law. Secondly, the script: a lot of merit there: I have already talked about Jude Law, but the whole script in general, without having any big fight (the first movie had more of a big fight than this one) manages to combine very well the action (and the type of action) with the pure story telling, with the absurd talks between Newt and Jacob: it's very entertaining, and it's writing at its best. As a consequence of the script, comes the directing, which managed to deal very well with all those constant changes of types of scene that the script provides and it managed to create amazement in the spectator when it was due (presenting Hogwarts, showing the place where Newt and Jacob take the portkey, etc etc etc), as well as tenderness (the boggart classes with Newt and Leta), and even gave a pretty decent portrait of Paris' life style and art. Last but not least, the special effects: simply phenomenal. The last scene, of the counterspells against Grindelwald spells is one of the best scenes I have ever scene, if not the best, in what comes to special effects: you can really see those effects as just right, and that's very rare. 10/10 out of 10 for me, and I find it very difficult for me to understand this 7.9 (and it will go further down for sure) in Imdb right now. It is a "serious" movie, and it is an excellent movie.
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A filler for better things to come.
jeetubhat30-233-64693414 November 2018
Although a lot was promised in the trailers, it falls short of those promises in the movie. Having said that, this movie is much like Deathly Hallows Part 1 in the sense that it does not stand out when watched in isolation but understandable in the greater scheme of things, as it sets up the future movies perfectly without offering much on its own. The acting did a good job although the script doesn't allow for anyone to standout apart from Johnny Depp, who seems to make audiences aware of the fact that he's Johnny Depp every once in a while. Overall, I feel this movie will be better received when its sequels come out, but mediocre as it stands.
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I don't even remember it
deandsouza1589216 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The one thing this movie successfully does, is cast an obliviate on you. I literally just watched it, and I don't even remember what it's about. The magical element of this film is simply having so much happen, while simultaneously, nothing really happens.

There's a little bit of nostalgia, with Easter eggs and great visuals; the actors are great- Johnny Depp has the most menacing introduction I've seen; Jude Law convinced me that he is young Dumbledore; the music is spectacular. But none of that can hide the truth of the fact that this movie is just BORING.

There is literally so much plot thrown at you non-stop. The movie expects you to care about, invest in and remember so many characters, that at some point, you mentally clock out. I'm an intense potterhead, and I love learning more l about the wizarding world. But this is just too much information, being force-fed in very little time. I've enjoyed every single Harry Potter film so far... but I just can't stomach this story.

Remember at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, when you enjoyed watching it,but you hesitated to gravitate towards it. You had a small shred of doubt if it was a one time thing,or does this genuinely have the potential to be something incredible. There's no longer a doubt.
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An Overstuffed Sequel Loses Some of Its Magic
nsharath00911 November 2018
The second sequel in the fledgling spinoff follows a familiar pattern, but too many characters and too many storylines rob it of its most enduring charms

Even magic takes a little bit of planning, and in David Yates' "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," both are in short supply. In it second outing, the cracks are starting to show in J.K. Rowling's much-hyped followup series to "Harry Potter," a franchise that is at the mercy of slapdash planning (these films are cobbled together from various pieces of "Wizarding World" material, not single novels) and the kind of higher-up decree that promised five films (five!) before the first one hit theaters. It's a lot of time to fill, and while the second film in the franchise nudges its narrative forward, it's at the expense of a bloated, unfocused screenplay.

Mostly, "The Crimes of Grindelwald" is hampered by the unwieldy meshing together of disparate plots that could service their own films (some of them surely better than others). At the center (when he's not been shunted aside by all those competing narratives), there's ostensible franchise star Eddie Redmayne as nervous magizoologist Newt Scamander. Newt's ditzy charm grounded the first film; and when he's allowed to lead this second story, it's as whimsical and good-hearted as any in the franchise.

It's all the other subplots that damage that notion, from a charisma-free Johnny Depp taking over the role of evil Wizard Gellert Grindelwald to a convoluted section all about the family tree of Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Portions involving a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) can't reach their full potential; they're consistently cut short to zing back to yet another plotline (and that's without diving into all the subplots about Newt's brother, his ex-girlfriend, his beloved New York friends, and Credence's companion Nagini). All this convolution promises to converge during Grindelwald's coming-out party, a fear-filled rally that is as timely as it is unsettling. Before that, Yates and Rowling must bring together a motley crew of wizards and muggles both good and bad.
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Come on people...
sanjins9017 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Everyone who is convinced they made up and added a fourth Dumbledore, don't you think Grindelwald made up the story about Credence being a Dumbledore to turn him against Albus?
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ponasdivergentas7 November 2018
Amazing movie! Just like I was expecting! I really liked Leta Lestrange and Grindelwald
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I absolutely love the HP universe
otto-lennestal14 November 2018
With that said I am disappointed in CoG. The movie itself is quite good, a bit convoluted with to many subplots, but structured better than the first film. The problem is if you love Harry Potter's world you will see all the glaring errors done and all continuity faults.
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Overwhelming, but absolutely superb
samyoung-8264815 November 2018
Rowling is a master story teller. Fantastic Beasts part 1 was a brilliant popcorn flick. The series is filled with solid actors who you can love and admire.

The second movie is crammed full of scenes, story, characters and art. This sounds crazy, but, there was almost too much to this movie. However, most of the highly intelligent and non-prejudiced movies are all coming from outside of the US in recent years - it seems the more the US push for "inclusiveness", the more sexist, racist and intolerant US movies become. This movie is no exception in avoiding the current US trend of prejudice. Not once did I feel that someone was pushing sexism or racism on the screen (cf Zoe Kravitz antics off-screen which have made me lost a lot of respect for her and her superficial "skin deep" judgement of people).

The movie is dark at times, definitely darker than the first movie. However, my young child (about 10yrs old) was not scared at any stage. The themes, whilst intelligent, were not beyond my little one. It's also wonderful to see a villain that's more than one dimensional. Depp played the character very well (despite the misandrist media's intolerant and unfounded "mob rule, fact devoid" statements).

If you're looking for a good popcorn flick, this is certainly one of the best for the year. Suitable for most kids 10+. The movie avoids sexism (which is extremely rare today - cf sexist movies like Wreck It Ralph 2 that we as a family will gladly skip). Definitely recommended.
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Don't believe the naysayers
s-sohaibsiddiqui16 November 2018
The movie is brilliant. It's not Harry Potter guys. It's relates to a different world and kids are not involved here.

Again It's a Harry Potter spin off. It's the same world though. It's not about Hogwarts. It's about everything else.

Have an open mind and you will love it.
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