OPINION: Ranking the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

DJ Stover, Commentary writer

When “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” came out in 2001, it took the wizarding (and human) world by storm.

Followed up by seven other movies, the fanbase quickly escalated and the series grew into what it is known as today: a legendary and high grossing film franchise.

I’ve loved Harry Potter ever since reading the book series and then watching the movies directly after, and with fall being the prime Harry Potter watching season, here are my rankings of the movies!

Side note: if you haven’t read the books or seen the movies – SPOILERS AHEAD!

#8 – The Deathly Hallows part one 

The seventh installment of the series is about Harry, Ron and Hermione setting out on their own to track down and destroy the horcruxes (which is the key to Voldemort’s immortality) so they can finally take down Voldemort.

Even though the movie presents the plot well and is action packed at some points, I think it can be a bit boring and dry because of how long the producers and directors stretched it out.

The movie is a set-up for the grand finale, “The Deathly Hallows part two”, and it did the best that it could do in a runtime of  two hours and 26 minutes.

#7 – The Half-Blood Prince 

As Harry begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as “the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Voldemort as the end of the series is nearing.

Alan Rickman did a tremendous job playing his role as Snape in the series but no other movie shows it more than the Half-Blood Prince. The tortured and lovesick professor is misunderstood through his heroic ending. 

Even with Alan’s incredible acting and the darkness behind the movie, I feel like the narration is a bit slow compared to other movies in the series which leads to it not being as interesting.

#6 – The Chamber of Secrets 

Being the second movie in the series, and seeing how successful the first one was, Director Chris Columbus decided this is where we finally get to see some action.

Harry starts his second year at Hogwarts, we meet Dobby the house elf, Harry destroys the first horcrux (along with the Serpent of Slytherin) in the Chamber of Secrets and we learn that Harry can speak parseltongue.

Even though this movie was okay, there were others in the series that I enjoyed more, but with it being the second one in the series, you’ve got to give it props.

#5 – The Sorcerer’s Stone 

When “The Sorcerer’s Stone” was released, it instantly became a box office hit.

It may not be as action packed or intense as the rest of the movies in the series, but “The Sorcerer’s Stone” still deserves props. The movie set up the standard for all the greatness to come and it definitely set the scene for what the series was going to bring.

Sorcerer’s Stone is arguably the lightest film of the series, but it certainly doesn’t miss when it comes to introductions.

#4 – Deathly Hallows part two 

Coming out in the summer of 2011 and as the eighth and final movie in the series, “The Deathly Hallows part two” did a great job of tying the series to a close.

As the second part of the Deathly Hallows, the movie shows fans what they’ve been wanting since finding out about Voldemort: an epic showdown between the two. It couldn’t have been better.

There were so many great moments in the movie: The epic bridge collapse as Voldemort’s Army charges Hogwarts, Neville slaying Voldemort’s snake Nagini on the staircase and Harry and Voldemort’s final battle together.

“The Deathly Hallows part two” is a powerful and emotional conclusion to the beloved Harry Potter series. The only part I hated was that Fred was done dirty.

#3 – The Order of the Phoenix 

“The Order of the Phoenix” is listed at number three because there is so much to unpack here.

In this film, we get to see the power and corruption of the Ministry of Magic which brings a more dark and serious tone. Secondly, we are introduced to (in my opinion) the greatest villain to ever be in the Harry Potter franchise: Dolores Umbridge. Third, we see Harry set up Dumbledore’s Army and help get them prepared for Voldemort’s return. Lastly, we see the return of a beloved character, Sirius Black, the godfather of Harry.

The movie’s pace is on point and we see some key action along with the maturing of the characters throughout the film. 

#2 – The Goblet of Fire

Out of all the movies in the series, “The Goblet of Fire” definitely ranks second.

This was the first film in the series to progress and show the drama, earning it a PG-13 rating, which makes sense because it is notably more darker and serious than the first three films. 

This film also shows us Voldemort in full form near the end when Harry and Cedric get transported to the graveyard and the viewers get a crazy mini-battle between Harry and Voldemort before he ultimately kills Cedric.

Between all the action it shows from each event, the storyline that it pursues, and the maturity, this film delivered.

#1 – The Prisoner of Azkaban 

“The Prisoner of Azkaban” is a masterpiece and I’ll tell you why. The narration and the pace of the story are very engaging. I never got bored while watching this film. The cinematography and screenplay are both very delightful and fun.

With an immersive and hair-raising atmosphere, director Alfonso Cuaron brought the magic of “The Prisoner of Azkaban” to life.