[UPDATE: Read our Harry Potter and the Deathly Harrows: Part 2 review.]

Critical reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 are almost pointless, if we’re really being honest. Most fans of the books, the movies, or even those who have casually followed the cinematic journey of the Boy Wizard from a distance, are all likely motivated already to show up and see how the story ends, regardless of what critics think.

Still, while official reviews may not be all that important, we’re betting that some of you Potter fans out there will be eager to read some of the early reviews of Deathly Hallows: Part 2 that are now emerging online.

So how is the final chapter in Harry Potter’s movie franchise faring with the critics? In a word: Excellent.

Below we’ve posted a handful of quotes from some of the biggest publications that have already posted their Deathly Hallows: Part 2 reviews. Click on the name of any of the publications to check out a full review. Our official Screen Rant review will be posted next week alongside the film’s release.

Variety:In keeping with its predecessors, “Part 2″ delivers below-the-line work of an immaculate standard. The visual effects are so deftly and artfully handled that the magic seems almost commonplace, and Alexandre Desplat’s fine score incorporates a gratifying blast of John Williams’ familiar themes and, most poignantly, a mournful Nicholas Hooper composition from the sixth pic. D.p. Eduardo Serra’s brooding, beautiful work gains little, however, from the underwhelming stereoscopic conversion; this is the first Potter film to be released entirely in 3D as well as 2D, and on this count, at least, one can be grateful that it will be the last.”

The Telegraph UK: “Perhaps the greatest triumph of this final film is its ability to overcome the deficiencies of J K Rowling’s writing. In the last Harry Potter volume, she failed singularly to muster the epic feel needed; as a result, on the page, the concluding battle at Hogwarts was a damp squib. But Yates here transmutes it into a genuinely terrifying spectacle, as bloodied students fight desperately against a horde of screaming black-robed Death Eaters…This is monumental cinema, awash with gorgeous tones, and carrying an ultimate message that will resonate with every viewer, young or old: there is darkness in all of us, but we can overcome it.”

THR: “It ends well. After eight films in 10 years and a cumulative global box-office take of more than $6.3 billion, the most successful franchise in the history of movies comes to an obligatory — and quite satisfying — conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Fully justifying the decision, once thought purely mercenary, of splitting J.K. Rowling‘s final book into two parts, this is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now. If ever there was a sure thing commercially, this stout farewell is it.”

The Wrap: “If you have no affection for these British teen wizards, of course, this is not the movie that’s going to make you change your mind. But if you’ve been a devoted follower of the Potter saga in print and at the movies, you’ll come away from this final chapter with a feeling of catharsis and, perhaps, a slightly damp handkerchief.”

Daily Mail UK: “Really, the entire series of Potter books and motion pictures has been leading us to this final showdown between Harry and Voldemort. It could easily have been a letdown. But the fight here between good and evil is  more than satisfying. It’s thrilling.”

So there you have it – early word indicates that if Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has one flaw, it’s that at approximately two hours it’s not long enough. Totally the opposite of what you tend to hear these days about movie runtimes (see: Transformers 3). One other thing of note: you may want to skip the 3D ticket price. Doesn’t seem to be worth it.

However, as stated, this is one movie where the critical reaction will likely have a reduced effect (if any) on moviegoer decision making. Still, that all being said, how do you guys feel about these strong early reviews? Will Harry Potter be THE film event of 2011?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will be in theaters on July 15, 2011.  Be sure to check back next week for our official Screen Rant review of the film.

Sources: Variety, THR, The Wrap, Daily Mail UK, The Telegraph UK