The Wizarding World became popular with the Harry Potter books, but they reached a bigger audience when those books were adapted into a series of eight movies. Now that the Harry Potter saga has concluded, Warner Bros is moving ahead with the Fantastic Beasts series that serves as a prequel to the popular saga.
The Harry Potter films made a big name for themselves with largely glowing reviews, becoming one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. How do the newer Fantastic Beasts movies stack against them? We'll be breaking down all of the movies in the Wizarding World and ranking them.
10 FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the latest movie in the Wizarding World. As the first sequel in this new franchise, the film left a lot to be desired. There were highlights in the form of Johnny Depp's Grindelwald and Jude Law's Dumbledore.
However, even they couldn't save a movie that was bloated, filled with too many characters, and desperately tried to stuff in references to the Harry Potter series. This movie seemed to bank on the success of Harry Potter more than the last, giving it a similar problem to The Hobbit movie and the Star Wars prequels.
9 THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second entry in the story. While it does improve on flaws from The Sorcerer's Stone, it also brings its own issues into the mix. The movie felt a little convoluted and didn't quite capture the whimsical tone of the books. It was still filmed under the same philosophy as the first one, trying to just capture the book in a movie.
The special effects are a bit better this time around, but it's still arguably the weakest of the Harry Potter movies. Things get a lot better for the series after this point.
8 THE SORCERER'S STONE
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was the movie that started it all. Granted, it had many tasks that it needed to do because not only did it have to introduce the characters and the world, but it also had to delve into details and plot points that would slowly build up to the final confrontation with Lord Voldemort. The Sorcerer's Stone movie also struggled a bit in finding its voice.
A lot of the actors weren't comfortable in their roles, which can be shown by their lesser acting when compared to the rest of the movies. That said, it's a respectable start to a big franchise.
7 FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the first entry in the prequel series and, needless to say, Warner Bros started out on the right foot with this one. Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander was an excellent casting choice, and he brings a lot of awkwardness and charm to the role that many male protagonists don't have.
Most of the supporting characters add a lot to the movie and there was the slow weaving of a plot involving Grindelwald. All in all, it was a nice setup to a larger Wizarding World. However, it still had some problems with its CGI.
6 THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART ONE
While the decision to split the last Harry Potter movie into two parts could've been a disaster, it's arguable that this was the story that needed it. With that in mind, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows still has a few problems.
That said, it's still a wonderful payoff to see how the stakes go up at the start of the film. Seeing Harry, Ron, and Hermione hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes and infiltrate Death Eater locations was a pure treat. That said, the most exciting part about the film was seeing it prepare itself for a climactic finale at Hogwarts.
5 THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a weird film. While it needed to be bleak as the last Hogwarts movie before the finale, it was also the last opportunity to show viewers the things they loved about the series. It was the last time we could get romantic drama and it was the last time we could see Quidditch and Potions Class.
There was a lot the film needed to do, but it worked together quite well. Seeing Harry and Dumbledore work together to find the Horcruxes was exciting to watch. There was great cinematography, and the ending left under the right pretences.
4 THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was when Harry Potter and his friends started officially fighting back against Lord Voldemort. Inspired by thriller movies, it deals with the Ministry of Magic digging their hands into what happens at Hogwarts.
In that time, Harry forms a secret army with his friends as they work together to fight the Death Eaters. It also presents some interesting moral questions about how one should protect people and what the best way is to "fight the man." Let's not forget that it also has one of the best wizard battles ever put on film.
3 THE GOBLET OF FIRE
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the moment when Harry Potter grew into an adult. While he dealt with serious events before, this was the movie where Voldemort was finally resurrected. It still has plenty of time for fun moments, but the stakes elevate heavily with this one.
It also brings together some intense magical action scenes that the series hadn't shown since. Harry competing in the Triwizard Tournament was a big step for the series. Furthermore, Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort chews up every scene that he's in. The movie is also the one that forces Harry to experience death.
2 THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART TWO
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two was the cap for the entire series. It was the culmination of everything the films had built up to since the first one and it delivered in spades. From seeing Harry and his friends infiltrate Gringotts to following them as they sneak back into Hogwarts, everything is exciting to watch. Then there's the final battle itself.
While this intense battle going on, Harry is hunting for the last Horcruxes at the same time, which provides a great sense of urgency. It was sad to see the series end, but we can take comfort in the fact that it went out with a bang.
1 THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban was the biggest tonal shift for the movies. After getting a new director to helm the project, the series was changed into something that felt more real and human. It was brought down to an audience level and directed as if it were a movie rather a book on-screen.
Alfonso Cuaron made a lot of changes that bled into the remaining films. There were excellent shots, the score by John Williams was great, and there were appropriate decisions made when adapting the book. The movie builds toward the time travel as its final act.