According to its official score on Rotten Tomatoes, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the lowest-rated film in the Harry Potter franchise. In fact, it's the only film in the entire Harry Potter franchise that received a "rotten" rating, meaning it scored below 60 percent.
The tenth film in J.K. Rowling's cinematic Wizarding World series, and the sixth film to be directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald follows the events of 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It centers around magizoologist Newt Scamander (Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne) after he's recruited by a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to keep the infamous Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from carrying through with his dark agenda. Also starring Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Zoë Kravitz, Claudia Kim, Callum Turner, and Ezra Miller, Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald has failed to live up to the hype, according to critics.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the official score for Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald is 55 percent. In terms of "lowest rated" films in the Harry Potter franchise, it's followed by its predecessor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is the second lowest-rated film in the franchise with a 74 percent rating, as well as 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is the third lowest-rated film in the franchise with a 77 percent rating. As a comparison, the highest-rated film in the franchise is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 with a 96 percent rating.
Some of the main issues that critics have pointed out stem from an overcrowded cast and muddied narrative. Between constructing an original story to fit organically within the remaining three Fantastic Beasts movies and constantly referencing established lore in the Harry Potter series in order to flesh out its universe, Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald appears to include too many lingering subplots that ultimately mar its main narrative. That said, the visual spectacle and special effects, as well as the film's central performances, appear to be the standout positive elements.
A divide in opinion between audiences and film critics is nothing new, so diehard fans of the series, as well as casual viewers, may be able to overlook the movie's flaws. Surely, the opinion of a few is unlikely to sway individuals who are fans of a seventeen-year-old franchise, so there's no harm in deciding for themselves. That said, the consistency in opinions may be telling of certain negative elements that are simply impossible to ignore.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018