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Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

The first film in the Harry Potter movie franchise directed by Chris Columbus.

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Harry conjures up a cinema classic.

  • Nov 12, 2001
  • by
Pros: Great Cast, fun FX and a charming tale.

Cons: May be to long or scary for some children.

The Bottom Line: A modern day classic not to be missed. This is a film that wlives up to the hype.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

One of the most anticipated films of the year, “Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone” has finally arrived amidst much hype and circumstance to the delight of fans the word over. The film is based on a popular book series by J.K. Rowling that tell of the adventures of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends while attending Hogwarts Academy of Wizardry and Witchcraft. The four books published to date have been bestsellers the world over and have inspired legions of devoted fans, so it seemed only a matter of time until Harry made his debut on the big screen.
Not since the last Star Wars film “The Phantom Menace”, has their been this much hype around a film, and advanced tickets to the first weekend have been sold out in many places for weeks in advance, and this is just the tip of the iceberg for a film that many predict will break box office records.
The movie tells of the orphaned Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), who is raised by his mean and neglectful aunt and uncle. Harry’s relatives pay him little attention and force Harry to live in a cupboard under the stairs and wait on them hand and foot. His relatives never buy him gifts or treat him as family even on his birthday and punish him for anything they believe he has done wrong, even when he has not. Worse yet, Harry’s aunt and uncle spend all of the attention spoiling his obnoxious cousin as they shower him with gifts and praise despite the fact he is a greedy and rude child. Things change for Harry on his 11th birthday when he learns that his parents were great wizards and he is to attend Hogwarts in order to develop his amazing talents. It seems his relatives have kept his parents abilities and true fate from Harry, and were determined to keep him from following in his parent’s footsteps.
Aided by the schools caring caretaker Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) Harry equips himself with the items he will need to attend school all the while learning about his parents. It is learned that Harry was orphaned when an evil wizard killed his parents and for some unknown reason, spared Harry although leaving a mark upon the child’s forehead.
As Harry travels to his new school, He meets Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger( Emma Watson). Like Harry the two are new students and they soon become good friends. No sooner do Harry and his friends arrive, when strange things start to happen ranging from a Troll running loose in the school, hidden secrets, and a suspicious Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) who seems to be up to something.
Along the way, Harry and his friends learn about the fabled Sorcer’s Stone. A magical stone that can not only turn anything into gold, but can create a elixir of immortality that the evil wizard who killed Harry’s parents seems intent on capturing for himself. Despite Harry’s warning, his notions are dismissed by the faculty at Hogwarts as many believe the evil wizard vanished for good long ago. Undaunted by the dangers that face them, Harry and his friends set out to stop the forces of evil and save the day.
The film is a triumph of imagination as it blends, fantasy, humor, and special effects in way that is charming and delightful for all ages. A sporting match played on broomsticks is a visual delight as characters zoom all over the screen in a scene that will delight audiences of all ages. Despite having some nice effects, the film never relies on eye candy to be its drawing card. An interesting, if not to deep story and likeable, well-written characters are what makes this film shine. The acting is first rate and young Radcliffe seems to be a star in the making. Coltrane gives an outstanding performance as do Maggie Smith, and Richard Harris as the wizards that not only teach Harry about magic, but about life as well.
The film moves along at a good pace, and despite its 150-minute running time, there are few slow moments in the film, and Director Chris Columbus paces the film to perfection. It should be noted that despite its PG rating, some younger people in the press screener were frightened by some moments of the film. That aside, “Harry Potter” is a modern day classic that more than lives up to the hype and is well worth seeing for fans of all ages. The second film in the series is already under way and I must say that for many people, myself included, I look forward to seeing what future adventures Harry and his friends have in store for audiences.

5 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach


Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Harry Potter and the Sorcerer'... reviews
review by . December 19, 2010
I am a really big fan of the HP series, but this is probably my least favourite in the series. It does have a lot of faithfulness to the book, and for Potter fans like myself, what more could you ask? Even if you're not a fan of the series and want to see it, you don't really have to have an extensive knowledge of the books to enjoy the film.      Besides, even if you've never touched a Harry Potter book in your life, you probably still know who he is. He's an …
Quick Tip by . September 14, 2010
This movie captured the wonder of childhood perfectly!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
keep us interested and was a movie for the whole family
review by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   It is too funny that your son and yourself fight over who is getting to read the books of the Harry Potters series but that is what happened in our house. So of course when the movies came out, it was pandemonium. I love all of the Harry Potter movies. Nothing bad to say about any of them. This was in particular a great movie and love to see Hagrid, Harry, Ron, and the Professor in action.  It is also very fun to watch Harry and all the kids grow up and the peculiar teachers at …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Very faithful to the book, but a tad bit long. Great performances by a very young cast.
review by . July 01, 2010
When I read this book, I felt scared for Harry, because of all that he went through. I would be scared, too if I found out that I was a wizard and had to go to a magical school.       I would recommend this book to anyone that might have always felt different from others.      The setting takes place at Hogwarts, a secret and magical school for witches and wizards.       This book is about a boy that who learns that he is …
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
The first of the series is so great, not only because of the happy ending and generally positive note (compared to the last volumes , for instance), but becaus eit somehow has a magical quality of almost making fantasy real and reality fantastic. I know after reading it, when being on the railway staion, I could not help to look at the walls and wonder,...what would it be like if that would be a secret passage to another world?
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
One of my favorite out of all the movies. I like how Harry finds out for the first time that he is a wizard.
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
I don't like harry potter for some reason. I have read his books, but I just never felt like I got into like everyone else did/has.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
This book is a very easy read and it's got a great storyline. I enjoyed this and the movie is good as well. I'd recommend this to anyone.
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, released in the United States and India as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is a 2001 fantasy-adventure film directed by Chris Columbus and based on the novel by J. K. Rowling. The film was the first of the Harry Potter film series. It was written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman. The story follows Harry Potter, a boy who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard, and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his magical education. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The adult cast features Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman and Ian Hart.

Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999 for a reported £1 million. Production began in 2000, with Columbus being chosen to create the film from a short list of directors that included Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner. J. K. Rowling insisted that the entire cast be British or Irish, in keeping with the cultural integrity of the book and the film. She also approved the screenplay, written by Steve Kloves. The film was shot at Leavesden Film Studios and historic buildings around the United Kingdom.

The film was released in the United Kingdom and United States in November 2001. It received a mostly positive critical reception, made more than $974 million at the worldwide box office and was ...

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Director: Chris Columbus
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: November 16, 2001
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Steve Kloves
Runtime: 159 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films, 1492 Pictures
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