Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection)

All Harry Potter Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

The Harry Potter film franchise ruled the box office for a decade, but it also managed the uncommon feat of earning Certified Fresh status for every single one of its installments. It remains one of the most successful movie sagas of all time, and it’s even spawned a spinoff series. But while the first Fantastic Beasts continue the Certified Fresh streak, the second became the first Rotten entry in this cinematic Wizarding World. The third Beasts film, The Secrets of Dumbledore, releases April 2022. Now, we’re ranking all Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies by Tomatometer!

#10
Adjusted Score: 56395%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story's spell isn't as strong as earlier installments.
Synopsis: In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#9
Adjusted Score: 94944%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter's rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.
Synopsis: The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#8
Adjusted Score: 90739%
Critics Consensus: It can't help but feel like the prelude it is, but Deathly Hallows: Part I is a beautifully filmed, emotionally satisfying penultimate installment for the Harry Potter series.
Synopsis: Without the guidance and protection of their professors, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) begin a... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#7
Adjusted Score: 89781%
Critics Consensus: It's not easy to take the longest Harry Potter book and streamline it into the shortest HP movie, but director David Yates does a bang up job of it, creating an Order of the Phoenix that's entertaining and action-packed.
Synopsis: Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that many in the wizarding community do not know... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#6
Adjusted Score: 89060%
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving -- and often downright exciting -- big-screen magical caper.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's popular children's novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#5
Adjusted Score: 90061%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.
Synopsis: The follow-up to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" finds young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends, Ron... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#4
Adjusted Score: 97303%
Critics Consensus: Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.
Synopsis: As Death Eaters wreak havoc in both Muggle and Wizard worlds, Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for students.... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#3
Adjusted Score: 97486%
Critics Consensus: The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films.
Synopsis: The fourth movie in the Harry Potter franchise sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returning for his fourth year at Hogwarts School... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#2
Adjusted Score: 101832%
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
Synopsis: Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) third year at Hogwarts starts off badly when he learns deranged killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman)... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#1
Adjusted Score: 112459%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying -- and suitably magical -- conclusion.
Synopsis: A clash between good and evil awaits as young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) prepare... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

(Photo by Marvel Studios / Disney, 20th Century Fox, Miramax, TriStar)

For their bravery, wit, general badassery, and unbroken spirit in the face of enormous challenges (be they gender discrimination or acid-hissing aliens), we pay tribute to 87 Fearless Movie Women Who Inspire Us.

How did we arrive at our top 87? With the help of a fearless panel of women critics made up of some of the best writers in the industry, including a few on the Rotten Tomatoes staff. Starting with a long list of candidates, they whittled down the list to an initial set of 72 amazingly heroic characters and ordered them, crowning the most fearless woman movie hero in the process. Want to know more about the ladies who voted? We included their bios at the end! Then, in addition to their contributions, which make up the bulk of the list, we also added a handful of more recent entries chosen by the RT staff.

The final list (you can watch every movie in a special FandangoNOW collection) gives compelling insight into which heroes have resonated through the years, women whose big-screen impact remains even as the times change. We have the usual suspects along with plenty of surprises (Working Girl, your day has come!), and the only way to discover them all is reading on for the 87 fearless women movie heroes — and groups of heroes — who inspire us!


ALIEN, Sigourney Weaver, 1979, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Alien (1979) 98%

#1One of the appeals of science-fiction is the luxury to comment on modern issues and social mores, or even eschew them completely. Take a look at the diverse space crews in Star Trek, Sunshine, or Alien, where people are hired based on nothing but competence, and none have proven their competence under extreme pressure as well as Ellen Ripley. She’s tough, pragmatic, and cunning in Alien. Journey with Ripley into Aliens and we get to see her in a new light: mothering and nurturing with hints of deep empathy (Sigourney Weaver was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this performance), which only makes the Xenomorph-stomping side of her even more badass.


WORKING GIRL, Melanie Griffith, 1988 (20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Working Girl (1988) 84%

#2And on the other side of the Sigourney spectrum, Weaver here plays Katharine, a particular kind of woman who’s nasty to the competition: other women. The object of her scorn is her secretary, Tess McGill (played by Melanie Griffith), who has her great ideas stolen by Katharine. The plucky Tess in turn pretends to be her boss’s colleague, and proceeds to shake things up in this corporate Cinderella story. Who doesn’t dream of one day suddenly arriving in a higher echelon of society? Of course, it’s what you do once you get there that’s important, and the glowing and tenacious Tess makes the most of it.


Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 93%

#3Hard-drinking, ass-kicking Valkyrie makes no apologies for her choices and draws solid boundaries. Sure, she’s flawed, but that’s what makes her successes so sweet. That she’s played by Tessa Thompson doubles the fun.


Letitia Wright as Shuri (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

 

Black Panther (2018) 96%

#4Letitia Wright proved that a sister doesn’t have to sit in the shadow of her sibling simply because he’s king. Her Shuri has the smarts and the sass to cut her own path, making her technical genius essential not only to the Kingdom of Wakanda, but also the Avengers’ recent efforts to take down the tyrant Thanos.


Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures (Fox 2000 Pictures)

(Photo by Fox 2000 Pictures)

 

Hidden Figures (2016) 93%

#5Don’t ask us to choose a favorite among Hidden Figures’ Space Race heroines: Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. The Oscar-nominated drama tells the story of a real-life team of female African-American mathematicians crucial to NASA’s early space program.


Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

(Photo by )

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

#6As Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron blazed a trail for enslaved post-apocalyptic cult wives in skimpy clothing – literally. With an assist from Max (Tom Hardy), soldier Furiosa set the road on fire to rescue her charges from madman Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), leader of the Citadel.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley as Rey (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 91%

#7Daisy Ridley gave girls everywhere – and full-grown women, in truth – a fresh new hero to adore when she debuted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of humble origins, scrappy Rey overcomes her circumstances living as an orphan in a harsh environment to become an essential component in the Resistance. It helps, of course, that The Force is with her.


 

WONDER WOMAN, Gal Gadot (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

#8Despite her superpowers and privileged background, Gal Gadot as Diana – princess of Themyscira and the Amazons, daughter of Queen Hippolyta and King of the Gods Zeus – retains her humility and a genuine care for humanity. She’s also the most rock solid member of DC’s boys club of Justice League superheroes.


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher as Leia (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi (1983) 82%

#9Come on…she’s Princess Leia. She leads the Rebel Alliance. She saves the galaxy again and again (with a little help from Luke, and Han, and Chewy). She eventually becomes a revered general, but from the very start – when she first confronts Darth Vader at the beginning of Episode IV – A New Hope – she shows a defiant, fiery nature that never dims. In her defining film role, Carrie Fisher brings impeccable comic timing to this cosmic princess.


Jennifer Lawrence as Ree, Winters Bone (Roadside Attractions)

(Photo by Roadside Attractions)

 

Winter's Bone (2010) 94%

#10Before she was Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence was Ree, the role that made her a star and earned her the first of four Oscar nominations. A no-nonsense teenager, Ree dares to brave the dangers lurking within the Ozark Mountains to track down her drug-dealing father and protect her siblings and their home. With each quietly treacherous encounter, she shows depth and instincts beyond her years, and a willingness to fight for what matters.


 

Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster as Clarice (Orion Pictures Corporation)

(Photo by )

 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 96%

#11You can’t have any fear when you’re going up against Hannibal Lecter – or at least you can’t show it. He’ll sniff it out from a mile away. But what’s exciting about Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the young FBI cadet is the way she works through her fear, harnessing that nervous energy alongside her powerful intellect and dogged determination. Clarice Starling is a hero for every little girl who thought she wasn’t good enough.


Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (Universal Pictures)

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

 

Erin Brockovich (2000) 85%

#12Julia Roberts won a best-actress Oscar for her charismatic portrayal of this larger-than-life, real-life figure. Erin Brockovich is repeatedly underestimated because of the flashy way she dresses and the brash way she carries herself. But as a single mom who becomes an unlikely environmental advocate, she’s a steely fighter. What she lacks in book smarts, she more than makes up for with heart. Steven Soderbergh’s film is an inspiring underdog story.


BROADCAST NEWS, Holly Hunter (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Broadcast News (1987) 98%

#13Jane Craig is the toughest, sharpest, most prepared woman in the newsroom at all times, but she isn’t afraid to cry to let it all out when the pressure gets too great. Writer-director James L. Brooks created this feminist heroine, this workplace goddess, but Holly Hunter brilliantly brings her to life. She’s just so vibrant. Even when she’s sitting still (which isn’t often), you can feel her thinking. And while two men compete for her attention, no man could ever define her.


FARGO, Frances McDormand (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Fargo (1996) 94%

#14It would be easy to underestimate Marge Gunderson. Sure, she’s in a position of power as the Brainerd, Minnesota, police chief. But with her folksy manner – and the fact that she’s so pregnant, she’s about to burst – she’s not exactly the most intimidating figure. But in the hands of the brilliant Frances McDormand, she’s consistently the smartest and most fearless person in the room, and she remains one of the Coen brothers’ most enduring characters. You betcha.


AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, Danai Gurira as Okoye (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

#15Danai Gurira plays Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje who specializes in spear fighting and strategic wig flipping. Of late, Okoye has been seen keeping company with Avengers.


Bridget Jones's Diary, Renée Zellweger (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

#16Things Bridget Jones is prone to: accidents, fantasizing about sexy coworkers, worrying about her weight, and running mad into the snow wearing tiger-print underwear. All totally relatable things, so it’s no surprise she’s the highest-ranked romcom heroine on this list. It also doesn’t hurt that, at their best, Bridget’s movies are what romantic comedies aspire to: They’re fun, cute, and just when it feels like everything’s about to fall apart, there’s the exhilarating little twist at the end that leaves watchers feel like they’re floating on air.


CLUELESS, Alicia Silverstone as Cher (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

 

Clueless (1995) 81%

#17It’s true that Cher is a little oblivious to the world at large, but she’s just so earnest and she tries so hard. She discovers a passion for doing good after successfully matchmaking a pair of teachers, and after a series of difficult lessons learned, she makes an honest effort to escape her privileged bubble and become a better person. Like we all should.


THELMA & LOUISE, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Thelma & Louise (1991) 85%

#18Thelma and Louise, best friends who stick by each other no matter what. And when their girls’ getaway weekend quickly turns from frivolous to frightening, they find even deeper levels of loyalty to each other. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon have an effortless chemistry with each other, and Ridley Scott’s intimate and thrilling film never judges these women for the decisions they make — or for the lengths to which they’ll go in the name of freedom.


THE COLOR PURPLE, Whoopi Goldberg (Warner Brothers)

(Photo by Warner Brothers)

 

The Color Purple (1985) 81%

#19Enduring racism, misogyny, and emotional, physical, and sexual violence, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg in her film debut) transcends her traumatic life in the rural South, finding friends, strength, and her own voice.


A FANTASTIC WOMAN, (UNA MUJER FANTASTICA), Daniela Vega (Sony Pictures Classics)

(Photo by Sony Pictures Classics)

 

A Fantastic Woman (2017) 94%

#20As a transgender waitress, Marina constantly endures cruelty and confusion from the ignorant people around her. When the one man who loves her for who she truly is dies unexpectedly, she finds herself in the midst of an even more emotional, personal fight. Transgender actress Daniela Vega initially was hired as a consultant on Sebastian Lelio’s film; instead, she became its star, and A Fantastic Woman deservedly won this year’s foreign-language Oscar.


Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor (TriStar Pictures)

(Photo by TriStar Pictures)

 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 93%

#21Sarah Connor makes many want to be a better mother – or at least get to the gym and work on our triceps. The once-timid waitress crafts herself into a force of nature, a fearsome and visceral manifestation of pure maternal instinct. Played most memorably by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator movies, Sarah may seem unhinged, but she’s got laser-like focus when it comes to protecting her son, John, from the many threats coming his way.


Jackie Brown, Pam Grier (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Jackie Brown (1997) 87%

#22The return of blaxploitation queen, Pam Grier! What’s not to love? Especially in Quentin Tarantino’s killer love letter to South Bay Los Angeles. As Jackie Brown, Grier exudes classic cool with a tough exterior.


Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain (Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

(Photo by Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 91%

#23Jessica Chastain has made a career of playing quick-witted characters with nerves of steel. Nowhere is this truer than in her starring role in Kathryn Bigelow’s thrilling depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Maya is obsessively focused in her pursuit of the al Qaeda leader. She’s a confident woman who has to be extra prepared to survive in a man’s world. But when the mission is over and she finally allows some emotion to shine through, it’s cathartic for us all.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 90%

#24She’s the smartest kid in the class, regardless of the subject. The hardest worker, too. And she’s proud of those qualities, making her an excellent role model for girls out there with an interest in math and science. But Hermione isn’t all about the books. Over the eight Harry Potter films, in Emma Watson’s increasingly confident hands, Hermione reveals her resourcefulness, loyalty, and grace. She’s a great student but an even better friend.


Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

 

His Girl Friday (1940) 99%

#25Howard Hawks’ celebrated screwball comedy benefited from a not-so-small change to the stage play it was based on: In the original The Front Page, Hildy Johnson was a male. But thanks to Rosalind Russell’s lively performance, as well as a few script changes she personally insisted upon, the character blossomed into an early icon of the independent working woman who’s not only just as effective at her job as her male counterparts, but also equally adept with a witty comeback.


The Incredibles (Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

 

The Incredibles (2004) 97%

#26Elastigirl takes on all the trials of motherhood: She’s got hyper kids, a bored husband, and has to witness certain parts of her body unperkify. Elastigirl also just happens to be a superhero, with the fate of the world resting on her shoulders.


Gina Torres in Serenity (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Serenity (2005) 82%

#27Fans of the short-lived but beloved Fox sci-fi series Firefly were already familiar with Gina Torres‘ badassery as Zoe Washburne in Serenity. A veteran of the Unification War and second in command of the ship, Zoe is a strong and loyal ally who rarely pulls punches, whether she’s stating a controversial opinion or engaged in a literal fistfight. With her free spirit and deadly skills, it’s no wonder she became a fan favorite.


Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

9 to 5 (1980) 83%

#28Dolly Parton is a national treasure, and 9 to 5 allows her to light up the screen with her sparkling, charismatic personality. But while Doralee may seem like a sweet Southern gal, she’s got a stiff backbone and a sharp tongue, and she isn’t afraid to use them when she’s crossed. When she finally stands up to her sexist bully of a boss alongside co-workers Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, it’s nothing short of a revolution – one that remains sadly relevant today.


Geena Davis in A Legaue of Their Own (Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A League of Their Own (1992) 80%

#29The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is one that deserves to be told, and it’s Geena Davis Dottie Hinson who grounds this fictional account. She’s a talented local player who becomes the star of the Rockford Peaches, and it’s her quick thinking that brings publicity to the sport. When her decision to play in the World Series leads to a spectacular finish, she also demonstrates a very human vulnerability, making her a strong but relatable heroine.


Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice (Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Pride & Prejudice (2005) 86%

#30Jane Austen’s classic heroine Elizabeth Bennet jumps off the page in the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley, who gives audiences an intelligent, down-to-Earth, sometimes literally dirty, but uncompromisingly steadfast leading lady.


Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Everett Collection)

 

Legally Blonde (2001) 70%

#31Never underestimate a sorority girl. They are organized and they know how to get what the want. In the case of Elle Woods, she goes after her law school goals with a smile on her face, a spring in her step, and an impeccably coordinated wardrobe. Reese Witherspoon is impossibly adorable in the role, with a potent combination of smarts and heart to shut down the naysayers who are foolish enough to judge her simply by her looks.


Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow (©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 91%

#32Talk brashly and carry a big sword. As Tom Cruise’s character unravels a complex time travel sci-fi story, a constant in his fluctuating world is Rita Vrataski aka the killer Angel of Verdun. But Emily Blunt gives life to Rita beyond burgeoning love interest. She takes the lead and makes the movie just as much her’s.


Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

 

Captain Marvel (2019) 79%

#33When Nick Fury sent that mysterious intergalactic text message right before disappearing into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, eager fans knew what was in store. As played by Brie Larson, Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU — if not THE most powerful — and she’s in such high demand that she spends most of her time battling evil on other planets. She shows up when it counts, though, and she can rock a mowhawk like nobody’s business.


Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place (Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

#34Though hit hard by tragedy and seemingly insurmountable odds of surviving an alien invasion, mother and daughter duo Evelin and Regan Abbott prove their mettle in A Quiet Place.


Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 44%

#35Played first in film by the groundbreaking star of the Star Trek TV series, Nichelle Nichols, the role was passed on to Zoe Saldana in the 2009 reboot film. Uhura, the USS Enterprise chief communications officer, was a critical crew member throughout the franchise in both TV and film.


Dafne Keen in Logan (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Logan (2017) 94%

#36Who can stand up to Hugh Jackman’s fierce Wolverine without flinching? His cloned daughter X-23. Dafne Keen imbued the preteen mutant, a.k.a. “Laura,” with a volatile mix of anger, despondency, obstinance, and hope – that we would very much like to see more of.


Kristy Swanson in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) 36%

#37She’s Buffy. She slays vampires while juggling cheerleading and the SATs. But while Kristy Swanson gives the character a satricial bent, it’s the legendary TV adaptation that gives this character a lasting legacy. But the movie ain’t a bad place to start.

(Photo by WB/ courtesy Everett Collection)

How to Watch Harry Potter Movies In Order

Everyone came into the Wizarding World through the Harry Potter books and movies, which introduced us to a gifted 11-year-old, his friends Ron and Hermione, and their hallowed school of magic, Hogwarts. Watching the Harry Potter movies in order, seeing the story unfold chronologically in-universe, used to be as easy as finding the one where Daniel Radcliffe looks youngest and starting from there.

But the series has expanded now with the Fantastic Beasts movies, set some 70 years before The Sorcerer’s Stone. So to watch the Harry Potter movies in order, your journey now begins with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, set in 1926 and starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scarmander. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927. The third Fantastic Beasts intends to release July 2022, with two more movies to close out the Scarmander and Grindelwald saga.

Then the story of Harry himself begins, starting with Sorcerer’s Stone and concluding in the second-part of The Deathly Hallows, for eight Certified Fresh movies in a row. There’s also a Harry Potter series early in development for HBO Max. For now, see our guide below on how to watch all Harry Potter movies in order.

#10
Adjusted Score: 94944%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter's rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.
Synopsis: The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#9
Adjusted Score: 56395%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story's spell isn't as strong as earlier installments.
Synopsis: In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#8
Adjusted Score: 89060%
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving -- and often downright exciting -- big-screen magical caper.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's popular children's novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#7
Adjusted Score: 90061%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.
Synopsis: The follow-up to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" finds young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends, Ron... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#6
Adjusted Score: 101832%
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
Synopsis: Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) third year at Hogwarts starts off badly when he learns deranged killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman)... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#5
Adjusted Score: 97486%
Critics Consensus: The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films.
Synopsis: The fourth movie in the Harry Potter franchise sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returning for his fourth year at Hogwarts School... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#4
Adjusted Score: 89781%
Critics Consensus: It's not easy to take the longest Harry Potter book and streamline it into the shortest HP movie, but director David Yates does a bang up job of it, creating an Order of the Phoenix that's entertaining and action-packed.
Synopsis: Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that many in the wizarding community do not know... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#3
Adjusted Score: 97303%
Critics Consensus: Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.
Synopsis: As Death Eaters wreak havoc in both Muggle and Wizard worlds, Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for students.... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#2
Adjusted Score: 90739%
Critics Consensus: It can't help but feel like the prelude it is, but Deathly Hallows: Part I is a beautifully filmed, emotionally satisfying penultimate installment for the Harry Potter series.
Synopsis: Without the guidance and protection of their professors, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) begin a... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#1
Adjusted Score: 112459%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying -- and suitably magical -- conclusion.
Synopsis: A clash between good and evil awaits as young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) prepare... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

It’s the Super Bowl of fantasy series showdowns in the latest edition of Vs., in which we’re pitting the Lord of the Rings movies against the Harry Potter films – including, for both franchises, the prequels. (And no, this does not help either side on the scoreboard.) Do Peter Jackson’s big-screen takes on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels walk all over the movie adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s books like so many Ents stampeding through a forest? Or does the Boy Who Lived snatch up victory as if it were some quick-darting Golden Snitch? Find out as Rotten Tomatoes Contributing Editor Mark Ellis breaks down each franchise by Tomatometer and Audience Score, box office, heroes and villains, and one special wild card category.


The Lord of the Rings films are available to rent or buy on FandangoNOW, Vudu, iTunes, and AmazonThe Harry Potter films are available to rent or buy on FandangoNOW, Vudu, iTunes, and Amazon


Thumbnail images by Universal courtesy Everett Collection

As we all settle in to stay at home and socially distance ourselves, the planet has been given a unique resource not often afforded in the modern world: time. With no place to go, what shall we do with this new abundance of free hours? Time to finish that book you have had on your bedside table? Maybe take an online French class or learn to play an instrument? Time to binge every series that ever was? Or perhaps, like us, you’re thinking of all the films you wished you’d seen but never had the time to before.

Maybe one of those epic movie franchises that seemed too daunting to jump into late in the game – don’t ever admit you’ve never seen an MCU movie, ever – or a series of which you’ve caught a few entries but want to fill in the gaps. Fear not  we have you covered with our Epic Franchise Movie Binge Guide. Read below as we break down some of the most beloved long-running movie franchises – like The Lord of the Rings, Mission Impossible, or the granddaddy of them all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and tell you the best way to approach watching them, how long the binge will take, and which titles you can skip. Because hey, even all the time in the world may not be enough time to make you sit through A Good Day to Die Hard.

Disagree with our picks or have a suggestion for a franchise movie binge? Let us know in the comments. 


The Lord of the Rings

What is it: The film adaptations of the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, set in ”Middle-earth,” the fictitious medieval land where elves, men, dwarves, wizards, and hobbits co-exist, often not so peacefully. Over the course of several films, we follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins and later his young heir Frodo Baggins as they go on adventures and battle against the forces of evil. 

How many hours: Extended editions: 20 hours 30 minutes; Theatrical cuts: 17 hours and 12 minutes.

Starts with:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)  

Ends with: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)  

Best way to watch: Some would argue the second trilogy – though the first by story chronology – from Peter Jackson was an unnecessary and bloated cash grab that should be avoided at all costs, but we have a better suggestion. We suggest you begin with the LOTR animated film from 1978, which will give you all the events of the films in a quicker and to-the-point format. Then, if you are compelled to see the best of The Hobbit live-action series, we would say check out the standard edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is the best of the three. We would also suggest you try to watch the extended editions of the original live-action LOTR series – they are more than worth it for the extra content. This recommendation would make for a shorter, 16-hour watch, which could be broken up easily over two days. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. The Two Towers and The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King standard editions are streaming on Netflix.


Marvel Cinematic Universe

What is it: The 23-film saga that chronicles the epic adventures of various superheroes, based on the comics first distributed by Marvel and its subsidiaries. 

How many hours: 50 hours and 3 minutes.

Starts with:   Iron Man (2008)  

Ends with:  Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Best way to watch: Not surprising for a franchise that grossed over $22 billion at the global box office, but Marvel Studios’ 23-film, decade-long opus is quite watchable as is. Some folks would have argued in 2010 that Avengers: The Age of Ultron is a skippable mess, but as we detail here, it is essential viewing to truly appreciate the first four phases of the saga that culminated with Avengers: Endgame. Sorry for those looking for a shortcut, but watching it all is worth it. Viewing all 23 movies straight through, without breaks, however, is not the way to do it.

Instead, we suggest you go in release order and complete each day as follows: day one after Avengers; day two after Ant-man; day three after Black Panther; and finish on day four with Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you’ve previously watched the MCU and are looking to watch it in a new way, use our guide here to watch in chronological order based on the events of each film. If the thought of 50 hours of superheroes is still too intimidating for you, but you want to understand enough to get by, watch these character introduction films (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy) and these team-up films (Civil War, Winter Soldier, Avengers, Ultron, Infinity War, Endgame). Once you have finished that, check out our Oral Histories of the MCU, in which the directors, producer, and casting director who worked on the epic franchise break down all the behind-the-scene secrets.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. All of the films save The Incredible Hulk and the Spider-Man films are streaming on Disney+. The Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers: Endgame are streaming on Netflix; and Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Thor are streaming on Amazon Prime.


Die Hard Franchise

What is it: Follow John McClane, a police detective who seems to be a magnet for maniacal criminals no matter which city/structure he is in, and proves to be a tough man to kill.

How many hours: 10 hours and 14 minutes.

Starts with:  Die Hard (1988)

Ends with: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Best way to watch: The original Die Hard is so beloved that many argue it’s the greatest action film ever made – or maybe the greatest Christmas movie, but that is a debate for another day. The film and its follow-ups have a loyal fanbase, and though the second and third entries pale in comparison to the first, we still say they’re worth a watch. The fourth film, Live Free or Die Hard, is a true return to form and, frankly, it’s where you should stop unless you are a true completist. The series’ most recent film, A Good Day to Die Hard, is the only PG-13 entry on the list, and without McClane’s iconic “Yippee-ki-yay, motherf–ker,” there’s really no point pushing play.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discounted Bundle), Amazon,  iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance are streaming now on CinemaxGoLive Free or Die Hard is streaming on the Starz app.


The Fast & Furious Franchise

What is it: Follow Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew, which he calls his family, as they shift from illegal street-racing criminals to heist experts and then finally emerge as a new crime-fighting unit that tackles the world of espionage.

How many hours: 15 hours and 57 mins. 

Starts with: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Ends with:  Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Best way to watch: As Dom and everyone in the Fast franchise says – quite often – this is about family. So, if you’re looking for something to skip, it’s hard to imagine who you’d want to kick out one of the family – though, let’s be honest, 2 Fast 2 Furious is definitely not Dad’s favorite. Without Vin Diesel, that entry can barely call itself a Fast and Furious movie, and the 2009 series soft reboot, Fast & Furious, is not much better and an easy call to skip, as well. We would caution against skipping third entry Toyko Drift; its charms are significantly more than its 37% Tomatometer score would suggest (something we wax about in our book Rotten Movies We Love). Not to spoil anything, but when we finally get Fast 9 in 2021, you’ll need to have seen Tokyo Drift to understand everything fully – check out #JusticeForHan after you finish the series, and you will understand. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Hobbs & Shaw and Fast Five are streaming on HBOnow; Fast 6 is streaming on FXnow.


Rocky Franchise

What is it: Follow Philly underdog boxer-turned-champion, Rocky Balboa, as he battles various fighters in the ring, as well as his own issues outside of it, and later trains the next generation of champions.

How many hours: 14 hours and 55 minutes. 

Starts with: Rocky (1976)

Ends with:  Creed II (2018)

Best way to watch: This one’s real simple: trust us and skip Rocky V. Just pretend it didn’t happen; we’re pretty sure Sylvester Stallone did. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, VuduGooglePlayRocky Balboa is streaming on the Starz appCreed II is streaming on Hulu and Amazon.


Harry Potter / Wizarding World Franchise

What is it: The franchise based on JK Rowling’s phenomenally successful novels follows the adventures of Harry Potter, an orphan-turned-famed wizard, the evil He Who Must Not Be Named, and the Wizarding World they inhabit.

How many hours: 24 hours and 6 minutes. 

Starts with:   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Ends with:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Best way to watch: As this is a British series, allow us to put this as politely as possible: Fantastic Beasts is simply not quite on form. The first entry is saved by Eddie Redmayne and mesmerizing magical effects; the second entry is the first and only Rotten flick from the Wizarding World and very skippable at this stage. The original seven films are near perfect, but if you wanted to pass over The Chamber of Secrets you wouldn’t miss much – you won’t be too confused later in the series. (Though if watching as a family, this is one the kids tend to like.) If you follow that suggestion, you can finish the entire series in one day.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlayFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is streaming on HBONow.


X-Men Franchise

What Is It: Follow Professor Charles Xavier and his X-Men as they try to save the world and the lives of their fellow Mutants. Professor X and co. work with, and sometimes against, mutants like the powerful Magneto, Wolverine, and the wisecracking mercenary Deadpool.
How many hours: 21 hours and 43 minutes.

Starts with:   X-Men: First Class (2011)

Ends with:  Logan (2017)

How to watch: The critics will tell you that both X-Men: The Last Stand (the third of the original films) and X-Men: Apocalypse (the third of the rebooted, second-gen films) are shells of their brilliant predecessors. And with the last X-Men film to enter theaters, Dark Phoenix, disappointing on the Tomatometer and at the box office, you should essentially skip any film that has anything to do with Jean Gray’s Dark Phoenix. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is admittedly a hard watch to suffer through, but you kinda have to just to appreciate the brilliance of Deadpool and its sequel, if only for what they did differently with the character. Every film that character is in after Origins highlights why Ryan Reynolds was born to play the “Merc with a Mouth.”

Watching in the order of events is the best way to approach things if you don’t want to be confused by the time travel that happens later in the series. That order is: First Class, Days of Future Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix, X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine, Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Logan. If you leave off the aforementioned weakest entries (The Last Stand, Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix) you can complete the entire series in one day.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool are streaming on FXNowX-Men Origins: Wolverine is available to stream on the Starz app. 


Jurassic Park Franchise

What is it: In these films, we welcome you to Jurassic Park, a theme park – and eventually various associated islands, mansions, West Coast cities – where dinosaurs have been genetically recreated to walk the Earth alongside humans. Over the course of series we watch as that combination invariably doesn’t work out well for the humans.

How many hours: 10 hours and 1 minute.

Starts with:  Jurassic Park (1993)

Ends with:  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Best way to watch: This was a subject of contentious debate among the RT staff: some thought the Jurassic World part of the franchise is unwatchable, while others had strong takes on Jurassic Park 3 and The Lost World. As this is only a five-film series so far, we compromised: Watch them all and make your own determinations. Either way, we all agreed that the original Jurassic Park is a bona fide classic, and if you haven’t seen it, please remedy this injustice as soon as possible. It only takes a day to watch them all. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is streaming on CinemaxGo.


Mission Impossible Franchise

What is it: Watch secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew of talented spies as they battle the world’s most dangerous criminals along with the bureaucracy of his own organization, the IMF. The films are based on the 1960s television show.

How many hours: 13 hours and 3 minutes.

Starts with:   Mission: Impossible (1996)

Ends with:  Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018)

Best way to watch: It’s apparent after six films (with a seventh on the way): Tom Cruise really likes playing Ethan Hunt. And with every film, Cruise looks to top the jaw-dropping stunts from the last. Still, there is a stark contrast between the first three films and the rest, in regards to quality and scope. Many will tell you the second film, directed by John Woo, and the third, directed by J.J. Abrams, are the weakest of the set, but they’re still thoroughly enjoyable and feature some truly astonishing stunts – so we suggest you watch them all. And thankfully this is not – yes, we’re gonna say it – impossible to do in one or two days. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Mission Impossible: Fallout is streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation are streaming on FXNow.


James Bond Franchise

What is it: James Bond, MI6 intelligence officer and international playboy, charms women, thwarts terrorist plots, and sips a shaken martini in well-tailored suits. Based on Ian Fleming’s iconic novels.

How many hours: 55 hours and 11 minutes.

Starts with:  Dr. No (1962)

Ends with:   Spectre (2015)

Best way to watch: For completists, we recommend you start with the Connery films on day one, then do a day of Timothy Dalton, David Niven (the satire Casino Royale from 1967), and George Lazenby’s films, adding one or two of Roger Moore’s. Finish with Moore on day three, then do a full day of Pierce Brosnan for day four, and end the series on day five with Daniel Craig. If that’s a bit too daunting, you can break up the films we suggested for one day across two days instead. If you’re looking for a few to skip, we’d suggest A View to Kill and Octopussy. We’d also suggest you skip Never Say Never Again, as it is a shadow of Connery’s older work; Moonraker is only enjoyable for how laughable it is; and there’s not enough vodka on earth to make The World is Not Enough a good time. Quantum of Solace is another one you can miss, but at least watch the opening scene – it’s fantastic.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, Itunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day are streaming on NetflixQuantum of Solace and Casino Royale (1967) are streaming on HBONow.


Star Trek Franchise

What is it: These are the stories of the USS Enterprise, crafted for the silver screen. Watch Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and later Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) as they lead their crews to the furthest reaches of the universe on a peacekeeping mission to discover new worlds. The films are based on the Star Trek television series and its subsequent spin-offs.

How many hours: 25 hours and 17 minutes.

Starts with:  Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Ends with:  Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Best way to watch: At the risk of angering the original series Trekkies, the first film – Star Trek: The Motion Picture – is simply not very good (it’s 42% on the Tomatometer). The same can be said of The Final Frontier. When we shift into The Next Generation part of the franchise, the series starts off strong but fizzles with Star Trek: Nemesis. We suggest you should skip those four. When you start the reboot franchise, some would advise you to skip Star Trek: Into Darkness, which was much maligned by the fandom but which we say is worth seeing for Benedict Cumberbatch, if nothing else. As far as ordering your binge, watching the series as the films were released is the way to go. Begin with the first set of films featuring the original series characters, followed by the films centering on the cast of The Next Generation, and finish with the reboot films that started in 2009. If you are skipping films following our advice, the new order is original series (The Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, The Voyage HomeUndiscovered Country), followed by the Next Generation films (Generations, First Contact, Insurrection), and finishing with the 2009 reboot films (Star Trek, Into Darkness, Beyond).

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Star Treks 1-6, First Contact, Insurrection, and Generations are streaming AmazonStar Trek: Into Darkness is streaming on FXnow; and Star Trek Nemesis, First Contact, Generations are streaming on Crackle.


Thumbnail image: yParamount, Paramount, courtesy of the Everett Collection 

It’s been seven years since Rupert Grint played Ron Weasley, but it could be 70 and Harry Potter fans won’t forget him. So when Grint found himself filming the second season of his Crackle series Snatch in Costa del Sol, Spain, he met Harry Potter fans unlike any he’d met before.

“[They’re] touching, quite tactile,” Grint said. “Hugs are a big thing down there.”

The hands-on fans didn’t hold up filming at all, however. Most of the scenes in Snatch occur in remote beachfront settings. And when the crew ventured into the city proper, Grint was impressed by the Harry Potter devotion he’d see — plenty of fans he encountered had their HP love inked on their bodies.

“The most classic tattoo I see is the Deathly Hallows symbol,” Grint said. “It was nice. They’re quite passionate fans over there. It’s kind of big in Spain. It really sparked something in that culture, I guess.”

Grint shouldn’t have been too surprised, since the off-the-grid actor — he’s not on social media at all — still gets snail mail from fans, many of them located in Spain. But hugs, tattoos, and fan mail are the closest Grint gets to Harry Potter these days. The movie franchise has moved on to Fantastic Beasts, Grint has pretty much ruled out a return. By the time the timeline catches up with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Grint would be old enough to play a Hogwarts teacher.

“I’ve kind of really closed that book, I think,” Grint said. “I mean, I never say never.  I saw the play a few years ago, and it was very strange seeing someone else embody a character that you know so well. I’m very emotionally connected to that character so it was a very strange experience.

“If they made a film about The Cursed Child, I don’t know how I’d feel if I saw someone else play Ron,” Grint continued. “That’d be quite weird. A weird experience.”


Snatch (Sony Crackle)

(Photo by Crackle)

With 20 total hours of Snatch over two seasons, Grint has racked up about as much screen time as Charlie as he did as Ron Weasley. Although the Hogwarts crew reunited every year to make another film, they had the job security of seven books to assure them they were coming back. Season 2 of Snatch was more of a gift.

“This was a little bit more unexpected,” Grint said. “With Potter we always knew that was coming around the corner. It was a much more intense process. Plus I was in school as well, so it was a whole other kind of thing. It’s a very similar experience on Potter really, really getting to know one character you can grow over a long period of time. I really enjoy that.”

The second season of the Crackle series was delayed, and its location was changed several times before the details came together. Series creator Alex De Rakoff considered seasons in Colombia, Fiji, and the Dominican Republic, and each would have told a different story. But something about Spain just made the most sense.

“That is a perfect place to set Snatch, I think: the Costa del Sol,” Grint said. “A lot of British criminals, it’s their first port of call when they leave the country. They go to the Costa Del Sol and hide out. You can really feel that in the air. This place is probably, at that very moment, hiding a lot of bank robbers.”

Season 2 reveals that, after the gang sailed away from England with the money at the end of season 1, hijackers attack the boat on the way to Spain and make off with the score. The group washes up on the beach and subsequently attempts to go straight by running a beachside bar. Albert (Luke Pasqualino) especially wants to run a legitimate business, but it’s not long before the life of crime comes calling again.


(Photo by Sony Crackle)

This restart means it’s a perfect entry point for people who didn’t see season 1.

“The first season is rarely referenced really,” Grint said. “I think it helps to know these characters but it’s a good point because we have nothing. We have to start again. Now Albert is in control, and he’s telling us all what to do, which is kind of great for Charlie.”

Charlie isn’t necessarily made for the criminal life, which made him a very difficult character for Grint to wrap his head around.

“He’s a very strange character,” Grint said. “You never really know where it’s going to go. He is kind of an illusion. Charlie’s just not a very natural fit for this kind of world. He’s just not made for this. He hates violence. He hates guns, which is kind of a problem with this vocation. It’s quite interesting watching him struggle.

“I think in this season he’s very much desperate to take charge,” Grint continued. “That’s why he and Albert butt heads a lot. They’ve got very different strategic plans.”


(Photo by Sony Crackle)

Adapting to the Spanish lifestyle was a major task for both the actors and the characters of Snatch — style included. Charlie still wears suave suits, but they’re much more colorful and bright.

“It’s something I’d never wear myself,” Grint admitted. “It wasn’t the most practical thing to wear in this really hot season, but it was fun. There was a light blue one that was quite cool. The cravats were a new thing as well. Quite an accessory. Whenever you can get as much costume as you can possibly get, it’s more layers, the more of a mask to escape into.”

Even less comfortable was the fake tan they painted on Grint to simulate having spent months luxuriating on the beach.

“They’ve bronzed me up, because he’s supposed to be there for six months, and I am the most palest, transparent person,” Grint said. “They used a lot of fake tan.”

Television has been a fruitful place for the former Hogwarts class. Tom Felton did Murder in the First, an arc on The Flash and the upcoming Origin. Even Daniel Radcliffe has the upcoming comedy Miracle Workers. While separate careers have kept them apart, Grint says the Harry Potter cast will always have a bond.

“We all experienced such a unique way of growing up, there’ll always be a bond there,” Grint said. “Whenever we do see each other, it’s very quick and very easy to reconnect, just like we never left. It was a mad, mad time in our lives, and I think it’s been nice to do new things and unwind from that. We’re still very proud to be a part of it. It’s great to see it live on in lots of different ways.”

Snatch season 2 hits Crackle on Thursday, September 13.


The Harry Potter film franchise ruled the box office for a decade, but it also managed the uncommon feat of earning Certified Fresh status for every single one of its installments. It remains one of the most successful movie sagas of all time, and it’s even spawned a spinoff series — currently in progress — with the Fantastic Beasts franchise. With all of that in mind, we decided to take a look back at every Harry Potter movie ranked, Total Recall style!


8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) 77%

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)

After struggling for years to trim J.K. Rowling’s increasingly unwieldy books down to feature length, Warner Bros. decided to split the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, into two films — a controversial move that was applauded by those who felt it would give the filmmakers an opportunity to spend more time fleshing out the story, and derided by others, who saw it as a money-grubbing move by the studio. Whatever the reasons for the split, it meant that Deathly Hallows, Part 1 would end roughly in the middle of the book, which finds Harry, Ron, and Hermione on the run from Voldemort and his minions while they struggle to find and destroy the Horcruxes — bits of the Dark Lord’s soul, magically preserved in a series of artifacts, granting him immortality as long as they exist. It all adds up to a film that couldn’t help but feel like a setup for the final chapter, which had a definite dampening effect on some critics’ enthusiasm. For others, though, the penultimate Potter stood on its own merits: “Even though it ends in the middle,” argued the New York Times’ A.O. Scott, it “finds notes of anxious suspense and grave emotion to send its characters, and its fans, into the last round.”


7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) 77%

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

As the curtain rises on the fifth Potter film, the wizarding world is in a tizzy over Lord Voldemort’s return, split between two factions: those who believe Harry’s contention that He Who Must Not Be Named is back for vengeance, and those who think the whole thing is nonsense. Unfortunately, Hogwarts’ newest professor, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), falls squarely into the latter camp — and when Harry, Ron, and Hermione take it upon themselves to lead a group of students through secret self-defense courses, she makes it her mission to keep them in line by any means necessary. New director David Yates and incoming screenwriter Michael Goldenberg had their work cut out for them when it came to whittling down the 870-page book, and ultimately, plenty of fans and critics felt Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix suffered in its screen translation — at 78 percent on the Tomatometer, it’s the worst-reviewed in the series. But even if it wasn’t quite on par with its predecessors, Phoenix was enough for critics like Desson Thomson of the Washington Post, who said Yates and Goldenberg “have transformed J.K. Rowling’s garrulous storytelling into something leaner, moodier and more compelling, that ticks with metronomic purpose as the story flits between psychological darkness and cartoonish slapstick.”


6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) 81%

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

By 2001, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were a worldwide phenomenon, with the first four installments in the series selling millions of copies and helping reignite the market for young adult literature along the way — but that was still no guarantee that filmgoers were going to turn out when the Hogwarts gang showed up on the big screen. Of course, we all know what happened next: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone kicked off our ten-year cinematic infatuation with Ron, Hermione, and the Boy Who Lived, grossing nearly $975 million while doing an impressive job of managing the nearly impossible balancing act between staying true to the book and offering a reasonably streamlined film. It entertained audiences while piquing the curiosity of critics like Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader, who wrote, “I hear the J.K. Rowling books are great, and on the basis of this 2001 movie I’m ready to believe it.”


5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) 82%

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

After setting up the war between Harry and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) with Sorcerer’s Stone, the Potter series set about untangling the mysteries of the Dark Lord’s past with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which posed a crucial riddle (Tom Riddle, to be exact) regarding the evil wizard’s true identity while foreshadowing Harry’s eventual romance with Ginny Weasley. Along the way, Chamber served up a deft blend of comedy and drama, plenty of magical thrills, and a terrific supporting cast that included John Cleese and Kenneth Branagh. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is superior to its predecessor in every way,” wrote Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press, calling it “more thrilling, more entertaining and, yep, more magical.”


4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) 84%

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

For most of the Harry Potter films, Voldemort lurked in the peripheral darkness, gathering his forces and getting ready to strike — but after the climactic battle that closed The Order of the Phoenix, everyone was aware of his return, and all bets were off. As Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens, Voldemort’s campaign of terror has begun in earnest, and his army is everywhere — even within the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, where Harry and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) are working overtime to thwart a plan involving Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and Harry’s nemesis, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). Calling it “the franchise’s best so far,” David Germain of the Associated Press praised Prince for “blending rich drama and easy camaraderie among the actors with the visual spectacle that until now has been the real star of the series.”


3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) 88%

(Photo by Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)

At a whopping 734 pages, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire nearly doubled the length of Prisoner of Azkaban, leaving screenwriter Steve Kloves the more-difficult-than-usual task of pruning away all but the most essential bits of story for the film. The final result clocked in at more than two and a half hours, but still skipped over or condensed quite a bit of the book. Fortunately, the story that remained — an account of an underage Harry’s surprise entry in the Triwizard Tournament, his struggles to overcome the challenges of the contest, and his first showdown with an ever-more-powerful Voldemort — was more than enough for filmgoers, who shelled out more than $895 million at the box office, as well as critics like Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, who wrote, “It’s not until Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that a film has successfully re-created the sense of stirring magical adventure and engaged, edge-of-your-seat excitement that has made the books such an international phenomenon.”


2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 90%

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

In Harry Potter’s world, things are often not as they seem — whether they’re magical train stations, flying cars, talking paintings, or even the legends of long-lost family friends who have been locked away in wizard prison for murdering one’s parents. It’s a lesson Harry learned in Prisoner of Azkaban, which introduced filmgoers to the menacing Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), a shapeshifting convict whose escape is of grave importance to Harry and his friends — but not for the reasons they might think. The recipient of the Potter films’ best reviews (until Deathly Hallows, Part 2 came out, anyway), Azkaban found things getting mighty dark for our young wizards — and gave Alfonso Cuarón a turn in the director’s chair, taking over after Chris Columbus handled the first two installments. As far as Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek was concerned, it was “The first true Harry Potter movie — the first to capture not only the books’ sense of longing, but their understanding of the way magic underlies the mundane, instead of just prancing fancifully at a far remove from it.”


1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) 96%

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

After teasing all that pent-up demand for the final showdown between the Boy Who Lived and He Who Must Not Be Named, there was a lot riding on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 — and director David Yates delivered with aplomb, using Hallows‘ halved structure to leave himself more than two hours to play with in an action-packed final chapter. Everyone knew it was going to be a hit long before it arrived in theaters, but few would have dared predict just how successful Part 2 would be on a critical level: at 96 percent on the Tomatometer, it outpaced every other entry in the series, sending the franchise out on a triumphant high note. “It has been extraordinarily fun, and now the decade-long saga has reached its grand finale. The best,” wrote Claudia Puig for USA Today, “has been saved for the last.”

Everyone wants to feel like they belong, like they’re accepted, and sometimes, the best way to achieve that is to join a club. For example, if you were, say, an older woman interested in Twilight-inspired erotic fan fiction, you might seek out the cast of this week’s Book Club, in which four lifelong friends bond over tea, cucumber sandwiches, and the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Or, you know, maybe that’s not your thing, and if it isn’t, then we’ve got 24 other clubs from the movies that might interest you. From bad boys to mean girls, musical ensembles to secret societies, check out the full gallery below.

Alan-Rickman

(Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

 

Alan Rickman, whose dramatic breadth and distinctive vocal delivery made him a legend among cinematic villains and a versatile supporting player in a long list of critically acclaimed films, has passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.

Born in the Acton ward of London’s Ealing borough, Rickman gained his first acting experience as a teenager, although his working-class background prevented him from immediately seeking it out as a profession. Initially pursuing a career in graphic design, he eventually auditioned with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, earning a spot among the student body and winning several awards during his tenure at the school.

Initially focusing his efforts on the stage, Rickman picked up some early TV credits — including an appearance in the 1982 BBC program The Barchester Chronicles — but his first taste of widespread acclaim came courtesy of his Tony-winning portrayal of the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a role he held during the play’s 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company run and reprised when the production moved to Broadway in 1987.

Rickman’s first major film appearance arrived in 1988’s Die Hard, in which he played Hans Gruber, the delightfully snide terrorist whose takeover of a Los Angeles high rise is foiled by the indefatigable efforts of New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) — but not before hero and heavy engage in a battle of wits and one-liners that spawned several sequels and a legion of countless action-thriller imitators. It was followed by a number of memorable roles that included eminently loathable bad guys (like the Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), comedic turns in films such as Dogma and Galaxy Quest, and several appearances as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.

Along the way, Rickman continued to compile a varied list of stage and television credits. He moved into directing, helming The Winter Guest (1995) and A Little Chaos (2015). His voice could be heard in episodes of King of the Hill and Back at the Barnyard. He won a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his work in the 1996 HBO movie Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny — and as a recent testament to his range, in 2013, he portrayed Ronald Reagan (in The Butler) as well as legendary club owner Hilly Kristal (in CBGB).

One of Rickman’s most frequent collaborators, Emma Thompson, was among the first to pay tribute after news of his passing broke, sharing that she’d “just kissed him goodbye” and offering a tender eulogy filled with fond memories of their relationship. “He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics,” wrote Thompson. “I trusted him absolutely. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”


Touted as the first great horror movie of the year, The Witch offers a visceral exploration of black arts and superstition in a bloody tale set within 17th century New England. The film inspires this 24 Frames gallery of the most iconic witches from movie history.

Lily Collins was born into fame — her dad, Phil, could bang a drum and write a hit tune or two — but she found her own way into an acting career, performing in stage productions as a kid before working as a teenage Hollywood reporter and scoring small roles in movies like The Blind Side. This week she steps into the limelight as the star of Mirror Mirror, director Tarsem’s visually energetic remix of the Snow White fairytale — the first, and likely funniest, of this year’s adaptations of the classic story. As the fairest of them all, Collins dazzles in the late, great Eiko Ishioka’s exquisite costumes, while getting to put Julia Roberts’ evil queen in her place and sharing her first kiss with Prince Winkelvoss, er, Charming, played with a degree of good sportsmanship by Armie Hammer.

We sat down with the English-born Collins recently in her adopted home of Los Angeles, where she talked about the movie, working with Tarsem and her thoughts on Kristen Stewart’s not-really-a-rival take on Snow. First up, she talked us through her five favorite films.

Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003; 63% Tomatometer)



These are so raw — this is who I am, these movies. [Laughs] They’re very girly. In no particular order… Love Actually. Most of these movies have British accents in them, because, being from England, there’s something about films that I watch that have a British accent that I just feel so at home with. That film I can watch any day and it makes me smile; and I love Christmas, so it kind of matches perfectly.

Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005; 86% Tomatometer)



Pride and Prejudice. I love sweeping British drama period pieces and I hope that one day I can do one just like that, because, to me, I love old English literature. And I’m a big Keira Knightley fan. It’s just so beautiful aesthetically and in terms of story.

Harry Potter series (Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates; 2001-11; 78-96% Tomatometers)


Harry Potter. All of them. [Laughs]

That’s cheating. Do you have a particular favorite?

Is it cheating? [Laughs] It’s hard to pick. I wouldn’t necessarily know which. I mean, I love the Goblet of Fire. I don’t know. Maybe the Goblet of Fire. I read those books so quickly when I was a kid, because that whole world was so, like… it took me out of my reality. And I just love magic and I loved that whole world, the creatures, and just how you felt so friendly with all the characters. The way they translated that into movies, I thought was genius. You know when they take a book, and they make it a movie, and you hope that it’s gonna be everything that you hope for and more? To me they just succeeded. I don’t know, I just love them so much. Every time I’m sick I’ll watch a marathon of them and I can repeat all the words.

Hopefully you’re sick for a while… I mean, so you can watch them all.

[Laughs] I know, they’re so long. I just had laryngitis, so…

The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985; 91% Tomatometer)



Breakfast Club. I was actually having trouble because I would say Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club, but that would be three. Of all three, Breakfast Club is my favorite. But those John Hughes films, with Molly Ringwald and the Brat Pack, those are my favorite grouped films. They’re just so… they’re timeless. I feel like, even when you’re watching them now, they’re so modern, and the characters are so real. They’re just so appealing to me. I watched them with my mom when I was really young. I always would watch things with my mom that maybe other moms wouldn’t allow their kids to watch. I associated with them right away. I just really, really love John Hughes.

Who’s your favorite character in the movie?

I love Molly Ringwald. But I also love the basket case, Ally Sheedy — you know, with the pixie sticks and the crunching of the sandwich. She’s so fantastic.

Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954; 91% Tomatometer)



Sabrina, with Audrey Hepburn. I actually spent my New Year’s this year watching Sabrina, and as it turned midnight I paused it and it was just her face on screen, smiling. I was like, “What a cool way to start the New Year.” She is just someone I’ve always admired. She says so much without saying anything at all. And back then they didn’t do such fast cuts in films; they stayed on a character’s face long enough for them to go from one emotion to another, and for the audience to really feel the emotion with each character — and she in that movie just goes from so many endearing moments to moments of sadness and laughter. It’s just such a classic, and I love black and white. So, that’s my list!

Next, Collins on playing Snow White in Mirror Mirror, what she thinks of Kristen Stewart’s take, and her favorite song by her dad.

 

I noticed you’re nostalgic for a kind of idealized English home, but you moved here when you were quite young, right?

Lily Collins: Yeah, I moved here when I was about six.

So you went back and forth between LA and England?

I did. I used to go for every summer, for like two-and-a-half to three months. The last two summers I haven’t been able to because I’ve been working — no complaining — but I haven’t been able to go in the summer. But I’ve been going at Christmas time. And I can put the accent on. I auditioned for this film, Mirror Mirror, with an English accent, but they went in a different directions. I mean, I did it in both accents. I can turn it on really quickly. There’s something at times that feels more just, natural when I have a British accent. It just feels very me.

Your mom is American?

Yeah, my mom is here and my dad, obviously, is English. I pick up things when I go back, and I still say things like “the car boot,” or “the loo,” or “the bin.” It’s just so beautiful over there. It’s something, like — ’cause I go out in the countryside, so it’s not the hustle and bustle of London. And LA compared to the countryside, I just relax right away. I just love going out in the garden and walking and reading and not answering my phone; just being and talking to people. You know, it’s like all these revolutionary ideas that you just don’t do in the big city. It’s a slower pace way of life. I love it. [Pauses to look out over the Santa Monica beach] I say that as we’re here with the lovely ocean — you don’t get that out in London. [Laughs]

Let’s talk about Mirror Mirror. Were you worried at all about playing an icon like Snow White?

I was more excited, I think, than anything. I was one of those little girls that created their own fairy tales in their head, growing up, and I know that every young girl has their own version of what a fairy tale princess is and should be. So I wasn’t really worried about making sure that I felt like I was everyone’s version of a Snow White — I just wanted to be a young girl that people, you know, that young girls as well as adult women could relate to. I felt like everyone has a little bit of Snow in them. So I wanted to be someone that people thought, “She could be a friend of mine.” Not a caricature of a fairy tale princess, because the [Disney] cartoon does enough justice. The cartoon is the cartoon, and the animation does what it does; it serves its purpose and it’s amazing. You don’t wanna just take that and make it a real-live person. You wanna take something different about it and modernize it and make it more real. My concern is that I wanted to make sure that she was a real girl.

You’ve worked with Sandra Bullock and now Julia Roberts — two of “America’s sweethearts” — and yet, in this movie, Julia is so awful to you.

She was horrible!

I trust she was more civil between takes.

Oh, she’s so cool. The second they yelled “cut” she’s all apologizing, and so sweet.

Is it true that she ripped some of your hair out?

Yes! In one of the scenes, because my shoe got caught in my dress, and I wasn’t as close to her as I was in the rehearsal. But we didn’t stop shooting, because my dress was so big and no one knew, and I wasn’t about to stop the scene. She leans over to do the hair pull, and had to pull me a bit further and harder, and so she pulled my hair out. I was like, “Okay, I’m not gonna react because they’ll probably use this,” and they ended up using that take in the movie, where she ripped it. They yelled “cut” and she goes “I’m so sorry!” So she totally was cool, when we weren’t filming. Even when we were filming, I was having so many moments in my head where I’m looking at her being mean to me and I’m beaming inside and so excited, but I’m not supposed to be smiling — so it taught me a lot about how to mute out everything else you’re thinking but what’s in the scene. If I was showing what I was feeling, Snow White would have been smiling from the get-go.

And yet she’s smiling at you, even while she’s spitting out the nastiest remarks.

I know, right? It’s like in high school when someone’s saying, “Oh I just love your sweater, it’s so cute…”

And they’re really thinking, “I’m gonna kill you…”

Exactly. It’s scary. You don’t know if you love her or hate her.

 

Have you talked to Kristen Stewart about her Snow White, and is there any competition between you two?

It’s funny, we’ve actually laughed about the fact that we’re apparently rivals — because we’re so not.

So you’re friends?

Yeah. She’s so cool, and I’m very excited for the other film. It could not be more different. They’re polar opposites. I think the advertising campaigns prove to everyone how different they are: everything from the tone to the rating to the costumes; everything. She and I, we’re very, very different characters and we just have laughed about it. I’m happy for her, she’s happy for me. I think there’s definitely room for both.

Tell me about working with Tarsem. He seems pretty out there, in a good way.

[Laughs] He’s so cool. He’s lovely. He’s definitely got an interesting sense of humor: you either understand it or you don’t. I totally get it, but things can be taken out of context. But he is — visually, he’s a visionary genius. He’s so… he’s a wizard when it comes to the aesthetic of a film. And also, when it comes to actors, he is all about, “Do you feel comfortable, do you feel confident? How are you feeling? What do you think? Let’s collaborate.” It’s so nice to work with somebody that truly has your best interests at heart and wants you to forget about all the nonsense or politics and just really focus in on your moment: “This is now, here — how do you feel, and let’s work on this together.” It was a really nice environment to be in when you’re taking on this kind of a role; when you’re fighting and you’re hot and you’re tired but you have a director who really believes in you. And from day one he really believed in me, and he never made me feel any different.

I’m compelled to ask this, because I’m an idiot: Does your dad sing “Lily, don’t you lose my number” to you?

[Laughs] Well he used to sing to me all the time.

Do you have a favorite song?

A favorite of my dad’s songs? It’s funny because everyone will probably go, “Really? Not one of the classics?” But I think, because of the sentimentality of it, the song from Tarzan: “You’ll Be In My Heart.” I was there throughout that entire process of creating Tarzan and the songs and everything. I was there for the process of each song, and the animation. Part of that song was written as a lullaby to me, so it’s such a personal song. I just see him as dad. Obviously I know everything he’s accomplished, but when I think of his songs I think of what touches me the most — and that song for sure is one of them.


Mirror Mirror opens in theaters this week.

“It’s actually a thrill to be talking about something else,” Daniel Radcliffe chuckles, pausing to consider a question about his new movie The Woman in Black. He is, of course, referring to the ubiquitous presence of a certain blockbuster franchise that has consumed almost half of his life on the planet. Radcliffe was just an untested 11-year-old when cast as the eponymous hero of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone way back in 2001; now, having triumphantly wrapped the series with last year’s Deathly Hallows, he’s a seasoned 22 and ready to spirit himself into the realm that lies beyond Hogwarts.

“To be honest,” Radcliffe admits, “I want to just cram in as many, and as diverse a range, of parts in films as I possibly can in the next few years — while I’m in this stage of transition from out of the world of Potter.”

Though he’s done a couple of small films between his wizarding gig (and received praise for his stage work in Equus), The Woman in Black represents the first significant step in the actor’s post-Potter direction. Based on a popular English novel and produced under the vintage Hammer label, the Gothic horror is set in a remote village whose children are being terrorized by the specter of dead woman. Radcliffe plays the young lawyer dispatched to investigate — and it’s a role the actor hopes will help cultivate a new screen image.

“The fact that the part is different, in that I’m playing older and I’m playing a father; there’s stuff that will physically separate me from Harry in people’s minds,” he explains. “But what’s more important to me is that the story of this film is so compelling — that even if people go in thinking, “Oh let’s see how he does in his next thing,” within, like, 15 minutes they’re going to be, hopefully, wrapped up in the story; because it’s a great story, and really compelling and scary.”

Audiences will have their chance to see Radcliffe’s transformation (and marvel at his dashing new accoutrements) when The Woman in Black opens in theaters this week. In the meantime, we asked him to talk through his all-time five favorite films.

12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957; 100% Tomatometer)


My five favorite films change all the time. Well, no — the top three never change, but the last two are kind of up for grabs constantly. 12 Angry Men is, I think, a feat of writing. It’s brilliant. The fact that it all takes place in one room — I think there’s maybe two minutes, three minutes of screen time that is not in the one room in that film — and yet it is one of the most compelling things I’ve ever seen. I mean, you can’t look away. You’re gripped by the dynamics between the people, by what’s gonna happen, and by the fact that it’s a whodunit, based in one room, which is brilliant.

A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven) (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946; 95% Tomatometer)



I think A Matter of Life and Death is one of the great works of imagination in cinema. It’s a brilliant story. David Niven could not be more charming in it if he tried. He starts off, you know, as a World War II pilot about to crash his plane whilst quoting Andrew Marvell down the phone to the mayday operator, who he then falls in love with. There is one shot in it, actually, of the heavenly court before it goes into session, which we absolutely — and I haven’t actually spoken to Mike Newell about this — but we lifted almost identically for the start of the Triwizard tournament in Potter, in the fourth film. There is one shot — because I think I watched Matter of Life and Death shortly after we finished that film — which I watched and went, “Oh my god, we’ve just stolen that!”

Well if you’re gonna steal, steal from the Archers.

Absolutely; if you’re gonna steal, you can’t do much better than those guys. So that would be one of my favorite films. Possibly — possibly — even more than 12 Angry Men.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964; 100% Tomatometer)



Dr. Strangelove showed me, I suppose taught me, a lot about comedy. The stuff that’s funniest is the stuff that scares us most — because all good comedy comes out of fear of death, fear of humiliation, fear of public awkwardness, fear of, you know, all those kinds of things. To have truly, really dark comedy where at the end of the film everyone in the world dies, that was very funny to me. I went to the Kubrick exhibition and there was this whole section on how originally the film had ended with a gigantic pie fight, and it was cut; but in a way I get what that might have been going for — the fact that it is all so ridiculous.

Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, 2006; 91% Tomatometer)



Little Miss Sunshine: I find it to be the sweetest, funniest… it’s a modern classic, I think. And I think Steve Carell is brilliant in it; heartbreaking. Also the fact that it came out of nowhere — that I went to the cinema knowing nothing about it.

Jason and the Argonauts (Don Chaffey, 1963; 96% Tomatometer)



The fifth, because it is the film of my childhood, and I still think the skeleton sequence is one of the scariest effects sequences ever, is Jason and the Argonauts. That is the film that, within the first six months of a relationship of any girl that I’m with, I have to make her watch that film — and if she doesn’t react the way I’d like, then that’s kind of a deal-breaker. If you don’t like Harryhausen’s stop-motion then you are not going to be in my life. [Laughs]

Has it ever come to that?

No, fortunately not. Fortunately I think that they all picked up that the stakes were quite high — so at least they pretended to like it.

Really, what kind of awful person wouldn’t like it?

You really have to kind of just have a heart of stone to not be able to get into that film, ’cause it’s just brilliant. You know the other film I like? The Vikings, that Tony Curtis-Kirk Douglas one. It’s really good, just because it’s… well, it’s Vikings; but I think Ernest Borgnine plays, like, Ragnar, the king of the Vikings, and it’s a hysterical film — ’cause made in the ’50s, and there are these shots where they’re panning down the rows of Vikings and they’ve all got horned helmets and scraggly hair, and then you get to Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas who’re just perfectly coiffed, beautiful men still. [Laughs]


The Woman in Black opens in theaters this week.


Five Facts About Micmacs

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Jean-Pierre Jeunet is one of France’s most revered directors. His 2001 modern classic, Amelie, is the most successful French-language film of all time, raking in over £112 million at the worldwide box office. Dalliances into Hollywood have been less successful, with 1997’s Alien Resurrection receiving a critical mauling and an attempt to adapt Yann Martel’s Life of Pi abandoned at the eleventh hour.

Now Jeunet is back where he belongs, in France. And his extraordinary imagination has created a new set of highly original characters for his latest film, Micmacs. In it, Dany Boon is a hapless slacker who enlists a bunch of quirky underdogs to help him defeat the weapons manufacturers responsible for his father’s death. RT brings you five facts about Jeunet’s latest creation (and, yes, we do explain that baffling title…)


Five Facts About Micmacs

Fact #1: The Unlikely Inspiration is Disney Meets Sergio Leone

“You know Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” exclaims Jean-Pierre Jeunet, waving his arms around with excitement. “Well, I wanted to create something funny and imaginative like that: a stupid band of seven people. And also I wanted a story of revenge because I love Once Upon a Time in the West so much.

“I put everything I have into this film,” laughs Jeunet. “There are no limits — it’s all of my influences at once. Guillaume Laurant, my writing partner, and I note down everything we hear. Then, when we write a script, we open the box of details and use them. Only when the box is packed full of ideas to we start to write. The principle of the Walt Disney Company is to have one idea per shot and I try to do that too.”

Continue onto the next page as Jeunet talks about his star Dany Boon, working in Hollywood and Harry Potter.

Five Facts About Micmacs

Fact #2: Jeunet Loves Dany Boon (Despite a Touch of Friendly Rivalry…)

“Dany has a childlike spirit,” explains Jeunet of his leading man. “He’s so funny, but he can also be very emotional. This role wasn’t easy because he plays a character with a bullet lodged in his brain. Sometimes he has problems with the bullet and has to slap himself on the head. Of course, it’s not easy to play that without looking ridiculous, but he can. Also, the film mixes slapstick comedy with the serious issue of weapon sellers and Dany can pull that off. Despite his huge success, he is still very polite and funny and never late. He doesn’t act like a star.”

As a successful director in his own right, however, Boon did bring out Jeunet’s competitive side. “Dany got 21 million admissions for his film Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis in France, can you believe it? I am a little bit jealous. Amelie had only eight and half million admissions,” Jeunet mock-frowns before raising an eyebrow. “But, in the rest of the world, Amelie is still the biggest success!”


Five Facts About Micmacs

Fact #3: Fans Should Savour Micmacs, As His Next Film Won’t Be Any Time Soon

It has been six years since Jeunet’s last film, the Oscar-nominated A Very Long Engagement. Admirable as it is to take his time, refusing to churn out films on demand, what on earth is taking so long? “I need time to find the right idea,” he protests. “Right now I am reading a lot of books because I would like to make another adaptation. It’s very difficult to find the right concept because I’m going to spend three years working on it. And I write the script myself, which is a big, big deal. Then you have to find the money, which is always a long process. It’s also a long process to make the film because I am very picky and I pay attention to every detail.” It’s worth it in the end though, right?

Five Facts About Micmacs

Fact #4: After Working in Hollywood, Jeunet is Glad to be Back in France

“The main difference between France and Hollywood is freedom,” he explains. “In Hollywood, I was pretty free towards the end but I had to fight. It was a struggle every day to convince people that my edit was right. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t work.”

1997’s Alien Resurrection is the only film that Jeunet has completed in Hollywood. He now dismisses it as “for teenagers with acne,” and the critical response was mixed, to say the least. “I try to never read reviews,” he says now. “Even if it’s a good review, it’s bad for you because we are so sensitive. So I prefer to avoid reading them. I ask people, ‘is it good?’ and that’s enough for me.”

Another bad experience was the time he spent in development hell on the troubled Life of Pi, which never began shooting. “I lost two years on that film,” he says of the project, which is now in pre-production again with Ang Lee at the helm. “So it is not about the money.”

Money certainly wasn’t a consideration for Jeunet when he turned down the chance to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. “It was a great honour to be asked,” he admits. “But I like to create a world and, for Harry Potter, everything was ready: the production design, the set, the costumes, the casting. And the actors know their characters by heart, much more than I could. So I had the courage to say no.”


Five Facts About Micmacs

Fact #5: But He Doesn’t Aim to Please

From the infuriatingly inaccessible title (the full version of which, Micmacs a tire-larigot, roughly translates as “loads of dodgy dealings”) to the ludicrous premise, Jeunet refuses to pander to what international audiences might want.

“I do hold test screenings,” he concedes. “But, if some people say they don’t like a scene that I love, I just say, ‘I don’t care!’ I won’t cut the scene.”

This stubbornness may be another reason why the nonconformist director prefers to work on his home turf. “In Hollywood I would have had to cut the scene because the audience is king,” he admits. “In France, I have more freedom.”

Micmacs is released in the UK on Friday 26 February,

RT Interview: David Yates on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

When David Yates was hired to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, fans took one look at his TV-heavy resume and panicked that he wouldn’t be able to bring the same scale to the franchise that previous directors Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Alfonso Cuaron (A Little Princess) and Chris Columbus (Home Alone) had managed with aplomb.

If the resulting feature didn’t settle those minds — and it largely did — then Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince most certainly will. Yates is only the second director to return to Potter, and while Chris Columbus struggled to find a unique voice to bring to his second Potter, Chamber of Secrets, Yates doesn’t seem to have had any such problem with Half-Blood Prince. On its day of release the film is one of the best reviewed of the year, and certainly the best-reviewed Potter film. RT sat down with David Yates on set to learn more.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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I can’t imagine how intimidating it is to take the reins of a Harry Potter film, but you’ve done it once and it was an incredible success. How does it feel coming into your second Potter film?

David Yates: It’s great fun, actually, and I enjoyed it so much last time which is why I came back. We had some guests on set about two weeks ago and the first thing they said after they’d had a tour around the studio was that they couldn’t believe that it was a film set and everyone seemed to be smiling all the time. There’s a really positive atmosphere here, so it’s a great working environment; everyone feels very committed to their particular craft and what they’re doing. There’s a terrific vibe and while you’re creating, and working and trying to deliver story, that atmosphere really helps.

I’m having probably even more fun on this one than I had on the last one. The last one was quite intense because of the scale of it; these are big films to make, and they just inevitably require you to multitask a bit, and I think I’ve gotten used to that multitasking approach to directing. Which is now, for me, quite an adrenaline rush; I think I really enjoy having two or three sets going at any one time.

I’ve got a terrific second unit director called Stephen Woolfenden who I worked with on Order of the Phoenix and we have a very close working relationship. We’re like twins, really. Traditionally second unit directors go off and do their own thing, but Stephen and I work really closely together and that’s terrific.

I’ve also brought a new D.O.P. called Bruno Delbonnel who shot Amelie and A Very Long Engagement. He’s French and he’s got a really good sense of humour. So we’re having a good time so far!

What does he bring to the film?

DY: It’ll be warmer than the last film. Order of the Phoenix was dealing with teenage angst and it was dealing with that period in life where you start to rebel a wee bit and you’re struggling against authority and all of that, while this film is much warmer and much more romantic. It’ll have a much richer and more romantic feel to it than Order of the Phoenix which was a bit darker and bit more intense.

Is it fair to say there’s more character as well?

DY: There is. The sixth book essentially deals with the politics of romance. We’re tuning into the spirit of all of that and because the characters are all getting a little bit older and the actors are all getting a little bit older, there are more nuances, I think, in the relationships. There’s a lot more character development in this one.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

With Daniel Radcliffe and Bonnie Wright.

You’ve added a couple of scenes to the film that aren’t in the book.

DY: Yes. In the sixth book Jo talks about the Death Eaters attacking, kidnapping and striking terror into communities and she plays that idea backstage in the book. You read about it but you don’t experience it. We wanted to bring that experience to the fore for the audience so they kind-of felt what it was like and they could actually see what the Death Eaters were doing. We’ve introduced two moments in the film where we see the Death Eaters do what Jo actually described them doing, but off the page as it were.

In the book Jo describes the collapse of a Muggle bridge. We never see it but she relays it. I just thought it’d be really cool to see that, again just to make the audience feel what the Death Eaters are doing to the Muggle world. It’s such a cool thing to experience and it’s quite frightening. So again we just took it straight from the book, the notion of it, and we’ve just put it into our story at the beginning. None of our principal characters will be involved.

The other scene is at the beginning at the railway station; traditionally these films have always opened at the Dursleys’ and there’s a pattern, the audience is used to that. Steve came up with this notion of breaking it. You sit down, you see the WB sign, you hear the tinkly-tinkly stuff and then, oh, it’s the Dursleys. It’s that comic Dursley bit at the beginning and then we’ll get on with the story. Steve came up with this notion that after Order of the Phoenix Harry’s in this quite intense, dark place and he’s riding the trains to free his brain a wee bit and he meets this really attractive waitress who he really likes. You immediately set up the notion that suddenly these characters are a bit more sexualised if you like, they’re aware of the opposite sex. Their hormones are kicking off and I thought it was a really charming, lovely idea.

But the scene in which the new Minister of Magic visits the Muggle Prime Minister didn’t make the cut?

DY: Scrimgeour isn’t in this particular film, no. We struggled to keep him in. It’s great scene in the book where he goes to see the Prime Minister. We loved that and it was in and it was out and it was in and it was out again.

We have brought Quidditch back, because I love Quidditch. I wanted to get Quidditch in the last film but we were so overstuffed with things that it was really hard. There’s a moment where you’re making a film where you want to go, “We want to do this, this, this and this,” and fiscal reality and schedule reality kicks in and so we were determined to get Quidditch back this time. And it’s a really fun Quidditch sequence. Kind-of comedy Quidditch!

From what I understand Dan isn’t as thrilled as you are about the return of Quidditch!

DY: [laughs] Dan’s not particularly pleased with Quidditch [being back] because he has to sit on this broom for five hours a day! If you’ve ever sat on one of these brooms, and I’ve never, it just looks incredibly uncomfortable. They’re not the most seat-friendly contraptions.

Continue on to page 2 as Yates talks about character development, franchise energy and how to bring things to an end.

RT Interview: David Yates on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


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Are there any characters you’ve particularly enjoyed developing in this film?

DY: All of them in a sense. Hermione is suddenly discovering that her feelings for Ron are developing rapidly and she can’t quite express them coherently and she struggles with those feelings because Ron isn’t the most ideal partner in many ways. He’s not particularly bright! But she just has a real soft-spot for him. It’s a wonderful place to put that character to realise that she’s growing up and she’s becoming much more sexually aware. Because she’s so cerebral, expressing that emotional side is a real struggle. There’s a real tension in that character that we’re developing which I think is really tender and funny and true.

Ron as a character is really developing enormously. He becomes the Quidditch goalkeeper and he’s sort-of slightly arrogant, there’s a sort-of middle-aged quality that develops in the character which is incredibly frustrating and irritating but very charming at the same time. He, too, is suddenly realising that he has this deep-seated attraction to Hermione and he’s a little slower at recognising it than Hermione is.

With Dan, what’s interesting about his development with Harry is that you’re seeing someone who’s learning to play by grown-up’s rules. He’s learning to manipulate and manoeuvre and flatter and do things which, in a way, you could argue are quite cynical. He’s been charged by Dumbledore to get information from Slughorn and he’s employing all these quite interesting tactics which we’ve never seen him do before. In a way he’s not been an innocent but he hasn’t quite operated at this level before. Harry does a few things in this story, and Dan’s doing a few things, which show you a very strategic side of this character that we’ve never seen before, which is quite interesting.

There’s a good line in the book and in the film which is that, “if the monster was there it was hidden deep within,” and this notion that Harry’s learning these skills and developing these abilities at an interpersonal level, a human level, the way you deal with people which could be used for good or bad, it’s interesting to see that in Harry who’s always just been Harry.

How has your knowledge of what happens in Deathly Hallows affected or enriched your approach to Half-Blood Prince?

DY: There are a few connections that we’ve got. I think Deathly Hallows is such a stonking book, actually, it’s incredibly great fun. The big thing is Dumbledore’s wand and we’ve kind-of altered our story really to make sure we don’t tread on the toes of what comes in Deathly Hallows. The whole Hermione and Ron relationship, we had a kiss planned for this movie which we’ve sort of saved because we think it’s better to maintain that sexual tension. There are a lot of things we’ve given a nod to so we make sure we don’t tread on the toes of Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

On the Great Hall set.

One of your predecessors, Alfonso Cuaron, mentioned that his period on the films was enriched by a sense that there was a beneficial energy surrounding the universe of Harry Potter – have you felt that?

DY: Very much. I think it starts with Jo Rowling on the book side because for someone who is so successful and so famous she’s actually incredibly down to earth and self-effacing. She’s just a normal human being. And David Heyman who started this whole thing by optioning the books, he’s got a great spirit and he’s just a lovely man with very positive values. For a Hollywood picture you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone here at the studio at the upper levels who doesn’t want to bring anything but a good vibe to work. There is a very positive atmosphere around which I’ve encouraged since I started because it’s always been my experience making any film that you get so much more out of people by empowering and inspiring rather than shouting or cajoling so I encourage all of that and I think it’s a wonderful thing.

I like happy sets. Happy sets are good, and I think people feel comfortable on them. When fear arrives in any context it’s just boring and it closes people down. If people feel inadequate or if they feel bullied… It might work for some people but I think, as a rule, it just takes any joy out of the creative process. We have a very happy, positive set and people feel they can take risks and try things. It’s a much nicer place to come to work as a result.

And it seems to show in the films. The general rule from Hollywood has been that big-budget blockbusters are cold, unfeeling, impersonal things, but there’s a lot of heart and personality to the Potter films.

DY: I hope so. Even though we’ve got this big machine I think that ultimately what I’m interested in, and I think what the audience are interested in, is the delicacy. You get all the bells and whistles, that’s a given, but it’s the little, nuanced character moments. I love these characters. We’re filming a scene today with Emma and Rupert and the nuance of that relationship is this kind-of stopping and starting, stopping and starting thing. It’s the delicacy of that relationship that you’re interested in and you want the personal stuff. I think it’s more valuable than the biggest CGI set piece ever.

J.K. Rowling has been quoted as saying that she felt this was the first half of a two-part ending, six and seven. How do you make sure it’s its own project and film even though it has this big cliff-hanger ending?

DY: It’s really tricky and we’ve struggled with it a lot. I think ultimately it will feel like part of a bigger journey. I think that’s inevitable. I think audiences are invested in the series now, so rather than fight it I think my job is to make sure that it’s as tremendous a ride as possible but that the audience’s commitment to this journey will continue beyond this and that you feel that there are things that aren’t quite resolved. That’s an acceptable experience for the audience now, they can acknowledge and accept and embrace that notion that we’re part way through. We’re still trying to make the journey as complete as possible in many ways but I like the idea that this is an involving story and I like the idea that you can sit in a movie theatre for two and a half hours and still come out and go, “Wow, I want to go back and see what comes next.”

I think it will be satisfying and fulfilling. I feel confident that it will be an enjoyable two-and-a-half hours. But I think there’s more to come and I think rather than fight that it’s better to embrace it and I think audiences have done over the course of the movies to date.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is out now.

RT Interview: Daniel Radcliffe on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

19 year-old Daniel Radcliffe wants the world to know he’s a grown-up now. It’s tough to walk past a magazine stand on the eve of the release of the sixth Harry Potter film without seeing him trying to look as different as possible from the wide-eyed boy wizard who brought him fame. It’s no surprise, as with only two of the blockbusting fantasy films left to release, he’s more determined than ever to keep on acting when they finally call “cut” at Leavesden Studios. His turns on stage with Equus and TV with My Boy Jack send the message that he wants to be taken seriously beyond Potter, but most feature pieces seem to miss just how seriously he takes the franchise itself.

RT had the chance to ask Radcliffe about playing Harry this time round, how he’s preparing for Deathly Hallows, and a whole lot more, when we sat down with the star on the set of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which is released today.


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In the last movie Harry seemed to face psychological and physical challenges, whereas in this movie the problems he faces are more intellectual, as he tries to piece the puzzle together. Does anything change in your approach to the character?

Daniel Radcliffe: I don’t think a huge amount does change in terms of how you approach it. You come to every scene with the same basic tools. You come to it with knowledge of your character and knowledge of what their fundamental wants and needs are and how they would go about getting them. And you would just apply them to whatever situation they’re in. The real challenge of acting for me, I suppose, is just getting to know a character very, very well and just applying what I know about them to every single scene. That’s what it can be broken down to.

In the case of Harry in this film, his want – or his need – is basically to kill Voldemort and he realises that the way in which he’ll do this is to become Dumbledore’s favourite foot soldier. That’s the role you see him gradually moving toward in this film.

He’s preparing for the battle to come.

DR: Yeah, absolutely, he’s preparing for the seventh [and eighth] film.

Has anything changed, for you, between the way David Yates has approached Order of the Phoenix and the way he’s approaching Half-Blood Prince?

DR: I think David’s a lot more confident this time around. He was brilliant on Order of the Phoenix, I think he did an amazing job, but the way he is on set now, I think he feels a lot more comfortable here. And that’s understandable because it is quite an intimidating environment to come into when a lot of us have been here for seven years. I think he’s been a lot more confident this time around.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Radcliffe with David Yates on Order of the Phoenix.

Harry doesn’t really suffer Slughorn too gladly and yet I can imagine working with someone like Jim Broadbent is nothing but a pleasure – how has that been?

DR: Working with Jim is amazing just because he’s such a brilliant actor and he’s so immersed in the character which is always a treat to see. But, in a way, because he is so in character it kind-of makes it easier to act the way Harry does around him.

But I think Harry ultimately does like Slughorn. I think he thinks he’s a very good person and his heart is in the right place but he’s just very opportunistic and totally self-obsessed. I think Harry, in a strange way, finds that endearing and in an even stranger way perhaps actually likes the fact that Slughorn is fascinated by the aura of fame and glory that he sees surrounding Harry. And Harry also finds it, obviously, very useful in the film, because he has to exploit it.

How did you enjoy shooting the cave scenes with Michael Gambon?

DR: The brilliant thing about [that sequence] was that we did it at the end of a three to four month period where Michael and I had been working together almost exclusively. For about the first two or three months of this film we were almost the only two actors in. We did a few scenes with Rupert and a few scenes with Jim but other than that it was few and far between that you’d ever see any other cast members on set. The relationship between me and Michael really built up over that time and got to the point where after three or four months we were absolutely ready to do the cave stuff.

It’s almost like a play to be working so constantly with so few other actors.

DR: Totally. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, but there was that kind of dynamic where you get to know someone very, very well in a short space of time and your relationship becomes based on certain things. I think mine and Michael’s relationship is very much based on our senses of humour. We’ve got very similar senses of humour and I think when you know that you’re both going to have to work together very closely doing very difficult stuff over the next few months you really need to very, very quickly find something that you can sort-of bond over. I’ve worked with Michael a lot over the last few films but more so in this one – by a long, long way – than I ever had before. It was great stuff.

Continue on to page 2 as Radcliffe talks Dumbledore’s outing, getting up-close and personal with Ginny and what Rowling told him about the series’ end.

RT Interview: Daniel Radcliffe on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


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Has it changed the relationship you have with him?

DR: I think so; I think we’ve got a lot closer. I didn’t really know him very well before. And I wouldn’t say I know him well now, but I certainly know him a lot better and I think I now understand the way he works more. I certainly think we’ve become much closer through it.

What was your reaction to hearing that Dumbledore had been outed?

DR: I thought it was hilarious, but what was even funnier about it was the reaction from people who were up in arms about it. I don’t think it really matters. He’s [J.K. Rowling‘s] character and she can do what she likes with him.

I think Michael thought it was really funny. He was really camping it up around set for a couple of weeks after that! I thought it was great.

How would you compare the romantic scenes you have with Ginny to shooting the stuff with Cho on the last movie?

DR: The thing is that when Katie [Leung, who plays Cho] came into the cast we knew she was playing the love interest whereas with Bonnie [Wright, who plays Ginny] was just brought in to play Ginny. It’s very odd because I’ve known Bonnie since she was about nine. It’s quite strange, really.

Did it take you by surprise that they’d hook up when you read Half-Blood Prince?

DR: No, I thought it was quite fitting, really. I was quite glad of it, I suppose. It seems right.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Ginny and Harry kiss.

Had you been privy to information from J.K. Rowling about the course the series would take?

DR: Not that much. Only to the extent that I had dinner with her one night almost a year ago and I said to her that I’d love to know what happens to Harry. Or, at least, what he state he ended up in. I think my exact words were probably as tactless and unsubtle as, “Do I die?” She said, “You have a death scene.” So it was very obvious that it didn’t mean, “Yes, you die.”

And you had to keep that to yourself?

DR: Yes I did.

Was that difficult?

DR: No, it was really great fun! I’d say, “I know something,” and everyone would go, “What, what?!” I’d just go, “I’m not going to tell you!” I quite enjoyed that to be honest. For months and months in interviews before – because we did the press junket for the fifth film just before the seventh book came out – to endless television journalists I was just lying and saying, “No, no, I know nothing…” [laughs] Then when I did the interviews for My Boy Jack, which I did after the book came out, they were saying, “So, did you know anything?” I could say, “Yes, I knew all along, HA HA HA!” I enjoyed that, definitely, but it wasn’t as hard to keep it quiet as people might think.

Did your theory change before that? For the longest time you’d said you thought he was going to die and then you changed your mind and said you thought he wasn’t…

DR: It was partly because suddenly it seemed too obvious that he was going to die. That came before I spoke to her because I was having a conversation with David Heyman [one of the film’s producers] and I was saying I thought he’d die. David actually talked me around and said he thought that it’d be too obvious for Harry to get killed. That’s when I came to the conclusion that I could speculate as much as I liked but in the end she was going to come up with something much cleverer than I could even dream of.

Continue on to page 3 as Radcliffe talks about his experience with Potter’s directors, and what he’s excited about in Deathly Hallows.

RT Interview: Daniel Radcliffe on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


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Did anyone know about Dumbledore’s death before the book came out?

DR: Not that I know of. No-one had any knowledge of Sirius’ death either. I, in fact, told Gary Oldman, I believe. No-one had any knowledge of Dumbledore’s I think. The only person who was privy to any amount of information before was Alan Rickman. I don’t know what, exactly, he knew, but I’m sure he knew something.

I’m sure I remember Robbie Coltrane boasting about knowing something before the book for Order of the Phoenix came out.

DR: I’m fairly certain he was just throwing you a red herring; that’d be a very Robbie thing to do!

You’ve mentioned in the past that you want to direct. Did you ever have a desire to direct a Harry Potter film?

DR: Oh God no, not at all. Never, never, never; absolutely not. I don’t want to direct until I’ve learnt a lot more than I know now and if I ever do I think I’d like to start with something less ambitious. Short films rather than this big $280m – or whatever budget these things have – movie. I don’t think that’d be a good place to start!

You’ve worked with four fantastic directors on the Potter films, each of them with their own styles and ways of working, so you must’ve learnt quite a bit over the years.

DR: I’ve learnt a lot about certain things but you also learn through your own experience. I love working with David and I love his style of direction because I love the way he works with actors. There may be actors out there who wouldn’t like that same style. I’d say the thing I’ve learnt most of all from watching these directors is how to direct actors. But at the same time I’ve learnt how I like to be directed and that’s the only thing that can influence how I can direct anyone else.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

With co-star Emma Watson.

In terms of the technical side of things I’m still pretty clueless. I know a certain amount and I can see a certain amount of what’s going on but technically speaking I really don’t know. But then I said that once, and it’d have been either to David or Mike Newell, and he said, “Oh, don’t worry about that, you just need a good D.O.P.!” So I thought that was quite a good piece of advice!

But, certainly, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with four amazing directors, so I’ve been very, very lucky.

Well, not just four…

DR: Absolutely, Brian Kirk, Simon Curtis, Thea Sharrock… John Boorman on The Tailor of Panama, who’s a very good director but did then say that my life would be ruined so I hold that against him a little bit!

What are you most looking forward to doing in Deathly Hallows?

DR: I think it has got to be the walk into the forest to find Voldemort. And, also, the King’s Cross chapter. I’m looking forward to doing all of that. It’s weird because those scenes always seem to be the ones you shoot about two weeks into filming. Which is great because you get them over with and you’re not worrying about them, but it’s the difference between getting a book and going straight to the back and going, “OK, fine,” and getting a book, reading it through, and being moved by it. In my dream, idealised world, we’d do that scene on the last day of filming and I’d get very, very emotional and it’d just be great. But that won’t happen. It never happens that way!

Generally, all the on-the-road stuff will be great, because we very, very rarely go on location with these films. It’ll be lovely to get out of the studios.

Continue on to the final page as Radcliffe talks about leaving Hogwarts behind, Harry’s weaknesses and whether the films are still exciting to him.

RT Interview: Daniel Radcliffe on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


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Very little Hogwarts, too…

DR: Very little, so I’ve no idea what’s going to happen to the sets. They’re going to keep them, but we’re going to have to knock some down…

What do you think Harry’s greatest weaknesses are?

DR: I think he’s quite reluctant to listen to other people sometimes. Some might say he’s overly opinionated. I think he can make a martyr of himself sometimes; I think he likes the suffering, lonely hero mystique. Sometimes I think he revels in that. Not always by any stretch of the imagination; I think 90% of the time he’s absolutely genuine, but I think 10% of the time he slightly revels in it a bit too much.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve had during filming?

DR: I was talking to someone recently, funnily enough, and they said an interesting thing about acting. Acting is really instinctual and I think you can overanalyse what you’re doing. A lot of it has to be based on instinct. Someone said something really interesting which is that you should never move or feel you have to change your expression just because you haven’t changed your face for a while. Wait for that just to happen and almost try not to be in control of it because then you’ll be in control of it in the moment. I’m explaining it really badly but basically it’s about waiting for the impulse to come to you rather than forcing it to come.

You’ve been on these films for a long time now. Is there still a sense of excitement or does it dull?

DR: I’m here doing a job that I love and I get to see some of my best friends every day at work. I’m incredibly lucky and I do still get excited to come to work and I still do get wowed by some of the sets that I see. When I walked onto the cave set, obviously some of it is green screen but of what’s actually there, it’s amazing. You’re still very wide-eyed and overawed by it, definitely.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is out now.

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