Film Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ is the Darkest, Loneliest Potter Film Yet

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CHICAGO – While “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is the most murky and forlorn Potter film yet, its most grave battle is the internal question between the corporate and creative types. Did the splitting of a single finale film into two parts truly improve on its ability to impart this grand tale or was it purely for financial reaping? From what we see in part one of the seventh film in this franchise, it turns out the answer is a lot of both.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Financially, the film has already smashed a franchise record by earning $24 million on its Thursday at midnight showing at 3,700 locations in North America. That performance eclipsed a previous record of $22.2 million, which was set by the opening of the sixth film “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” at midnight on July 15, 2009. In total, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is being released at 4,125 locations on more than 9,400 screens.

Delving more into the financials, its first weekend has earned the No. 6 all-time opening slot with an impressive $125 million. While this is quite shy of the No. 1 $158 million mark set by “The Dark Knight,” a weekend opening of $125 million is the strongest in Potter franchise history.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”.

Numbers aside, from J.K. Rowling’s books we know this story grows increasingly dark. And so do the films, with this film being the franchise’s most gloomy and mysterious yet. This movie is much less “for kids” than any of the previous films. The environments are dreary and sinister and the content is the most “mature” we’ve seen in a Potter film so far.

While the film is rated “PG-13” for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality, parents should be seriously cautioned about bringing kids around the age of 13. At our screening in Chicago, we saw some kids bolt from the theater in fright after the first 15 minutes.

”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Richard Griffiths, Harry Melling, Julie Walters, Bonnie Wright, Ian Kelly, Michelle Fairley, Fiona Shaw and Carolyn Pickles from director David Yates by writer Steve Kloves based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. The film, which is rated “PG-13” for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality, has a running time of 146 minutes and opened on Nov. 19, 2010.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” review.

Left to right: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Left to right: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”.
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” review.

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