Half-Blood Prince Review Roundup


Jul 14, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Earlier this morning Joe from UK Rottentomatoes.com emailed about the collection of reviews they have on their website for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Hours later and a slew of reviews are still pouring in, with the movie “98% Fresh on the Tomatometer which makes it the freshest film of the franchise to date! Azkaban is in second place with 89%.” The consensus: “Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.”

While many are preparing to head off to a special midnight showing here in the States others have just seen the film, we do have a collection of recent reviews to pass along.

Entertainment Weekly:” Half-Blood Prince encompasses important plot developments
involving both love and death. But the story is, still and all, only a
pause, deferring an intensely anticipated conclusion. And it’s in that
exquisite place of action and waiting that this elegantly balanced
production emerges as a model adaptation. By now, as played with utmost
loyalty to the cause by some of Britain’s most illustrious actors, the
supporting characters are as familiar as the population of Homer
Simpson’s neighborhood (and that’s a great compliment). Yet with a big
assist from cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel ” a Potter newbie who
memorably shot Amélie and Across the Universe ” the filmmakers have found a way to refresh our eyes and enhance our appreciation for this rich, amazing creation. A-
Salon: “By the series’ completion, Yates will have directed half of the “Harry
Potter” movies, and that mutes the surprise element a bit. But “Harry
Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” at least ensures that the franchise’s
remaining movies are in good hands. Yates understands the bond, and the
continuity, that’s so essential between the old and the young. In one
of the movie’s loveliest scenes, Broadbent’s professor Slughorn,
slightly sozzled, describes to Harry a piece of magic worked by one of
his former students. He describes this wonderful, delicate feat so
vividly that his words are more effective than visuals would be. And,
as it turns out, this bit of magic had been worked by Harry’s long-dead
mother, Lily. It was, Slughorn tells Harry, peering at him as if
through mist, “the most beautiful magic.” That’s a measure of how
subtle a spectacle Yates has given us with “Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince.” The most beautiful magic in it is left unseen. And
still, it emerges with absolute clarity.”
New York Times
“[Voldemort]in his early embodied form as Tom Riddle, by the excellent young actors Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Frank Dillane. There must be a factory where the British mint their acting
royalty: Hero, who plays the dark lord as a spectrally pale, creepy
child of 11, is Ralph Fiennes’s nephew, and Frank is the son of the
terrific actor Stephen Dillane.
The younger Mr. Dillane, who plays Voldemort at 16, conveys the
seductiveness of evil with small, silky smiles he bestows like
dangerous gifts on Jim Broadbent’s
Horace Slughorn, a professor whose trembling jowls suggest a deeper
tremulousness. When Slughorn, the fear almost visibly leaking from his
body, shares the secret of immortality with Voldemort, you feel, much
as when Ralph Fiennes raged through “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” in 2005, that something vital is at stake.”
USA Today “Captivating from the first frame, this Potter feels more epic
than previous films, which had a less mature, more madcap quality.
Yates finds an artful way to meld the teenage romance and inherent
humor with a sense of impending doom.”
Roger Ebert “I admired this Harry Potter. It opens and closes well, and has wondrous
art design and cinematography as always, only more so. “I’m just
beginning to realize how beautiful this place is,” Harry sighs from a
high turret. The middle passages spin their wheels somewhat, hurrying
about to establish events and places not absolutely essential. But
those scenes may be especially valued by devoted students of the Potter
saga. They may also be the only ones who fully understand them;
ordinary viewers may be excused for feeling baffled some of the time.”
LA Times:“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is being described as an
excursion into the dark side for this venerable series, but don’t let
the chatter fool you. Now in its sixth episode shot over an eight-year
span, with two more features still to come, this one-of-a-kind film
cycle has become as comfortable and reliable as an old shoe, providing
a degree of dependability that’s becoming increasingly rare.”
CBC : “As always, the terrific adult cast is relegated to the background. But
even in small parts, they shine, particularly Carter as the unhinged
Bellatrix, Broadbent as the shallow but ultimately sympathetic Slughorn
and Alan Rickman, who speaks volumes with his pauses as the brooding
Severus Snape. It’s Gambon’s Dumbledore, though, who steals the movie.”
CNN: “A trio of evenly spaced set-pieces do generate enough excitement to
make this an iffy proposition for parents with younger kids; in
particular Dumbledore and Harry’s climactic cave expedition is an
intense, nightmarish standout.”
Associated Press: “Previous installments played out in a supernatural bubble bearing little connection to our ordinary little Muggle world. Half-Blood Prince
brims with authentic people and honest interaction — hormonal teens
bonding with great humor, heartache that will resonate with anyone who
remembers the pangs of first love.”
Rolling Stone: “I’ll never tell why, except to say that it’s a pleasure to
watch the mesmerizing Felton take the role to the next level, discovering a vulnerable humanity in Draco. And Rickman is a dynamo, lacing the Severus
sneer with glimmers of conscience and moral doubt.

The Age: “Diehard Potter fans may be willing to forgive and endure a
boring film for the sake of a legacy they love ” as did
Star Wars fans with Phantom Menace ” but those
eager for entertainment will find Half-Blood Prince only
marginally more watchable than that.”

48 Responses to Half-Blood Prince Review Roundup

Avatar ImageMugglejeff says: Cool I am 1stAvatar ImagePetra says: Reviews are very good... OMG, I can't wait to see it....Avatar ImageJadeDanielle says: Sounds like people are loving the film! How exciting! Only about 5 hours until I'm sitting in the theater to watch it myself...:DAvatar Imagebellyrox says: The Age called it only marginally more watchable than a boring film? Not a chance, it was outstanding!! But some great reviews, so well done to WB for creating such a great movie!Avatar ImagePallargast says: I probably won't being seeing it until Saturday.Avatar ImageAgrippa1 says: Sounds like everybody except The Age is loving it - well, if they think it's boring, chances are they don't get HP at all! But we'll know soon - 5 hours where I am!Avatar Imagehorsepatronus64 says: the reviews are good! looks like it'll be really good, but there are about 4 hours until the midnight showing, and the panic of them ruining the movie is setting in...Avatar Imagenicolek77 says: I saw it on Saturday and thought it was probably the best Potter film yet. But I felt the press did play up the Harry/Ginny thing to be more than it was in the movie (so be forewarned).Avatar ImageHagiographer13 says: TIME Magazine's Richard Corliss also had a great review! IMHO -- a stunning film that deserves every accolade it will get. :)Avatar ImageHPNAIV says: Oh yay :) I'm so happy. Only a couple more hours away. I'm about to leave in two hours to go wait at the theater =]Avatar Imagebadger666 says: Yay! I'm so glad it's getting good reviews.Avatar ImageLivelaughlovepotter says: Hello The Age thinks it's boring? The only reason I'm not flipping out is bc the rest are good :] -Alright 3 hours 36 mins-Avatar Imagemollywobble says: I love how we have to search for a negative review so we don't sound overly positive. LoL. Pretty cool that so many have enjoyed it. Only a couple hours left...Avatar Imagegryffindor1991 says: I dont need to read the reviews to know its going to be a great movie.Avatar ImageOldZeke says: I a few hours I will be watching Half-Blood Prince for myself. Can't wait then I will review it for myself. That will be the best review in my eyes! Same as all of feel.Avatar Imagezoltan42 says: A little surprising Leaky is including the NY Times review, because the reviewer did not like it very much, with Rotten Tomatoes listing it under Rotten and not FreshAvatar Imagelupinwandcaster says: Now I want to see it...Avatar ImageVerity Weasley says: An hour and a half and I'll be watching it too!!!!!Avatar ImageRavenclaw65 says: I can't wait to see it tomorrow at 2! I hope that people who are going to midnight showings have fun!Avatar Imagecallicott3 says: I am impressed that Leaky is NOT being biased by only printing the "good stuff"...every film or play or piece of art has those who did not care for it or found it to have flaws....these are opinions. Based on the reviewers vision. Thank you, Leaky, for showing BOTH sides! These reviews [ALL of them} are to be commended! Can't wait until 9:00am, tomorrow, when I will be able to see for myself!Avatar ImageJillxoxo says: A big thanks to Leaky for keeping us so well informed and entertained! 98% fresh! Woo hoo!!Avatar ImageSybilT says: The Philadelphia reviewer liked it, but put too much emphasis on "high school romance" and "raging hormones." There's so much more to the story than that.Avatar Imagesplinter says: I have to wait until the 22nd to see the movie no matter what the reviews say, i will probably see it about three times in the cinema.Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Not as good as I had hoped...Avatar Imagenimbuself says: Have just seen Half Blood Prince, undoubtedly awesome, fantastic everything! There wasn't a dry eye in the place when the final credits rolled. Don't forget the Kleenex :( Avatar Imagealegria35 says: yey!,.. i'm excited... Avatar Imagemollywobble says: Saw it about 4 hours ago, and loved it. I can't believe how good Emma Watson was in this film. Yes, I did say Emma. It's as if something clicked in her brain and said, "Wait, you mean I don't have to be over-the-top?"Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: cant WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar Imagejrivas1284 says: I am glad i am hearing good reviews so far!!!!!!!!!!Avatar ImageDawna says: Saw the midnight show...was very good. A few big deviations from the book...not sure why, especially the Burrow scene. But very good and a lot funnier than most of the other movies. I can't wait to see it again!Avatar ImageBewareoftheNargles says: IT was GREAT, no matter what the reviews say. I'm seeing it again tonight! :DAvatar Imagebeewell says: A few more hours (6) and I'll be reviewing the film myself. All of the little clips and featurettes have been awesome and I feel the movie will be marvelous! Excitment is building up and just can't wait!Avatar ImageKennedyJames says: The reveiws pretty much concluded what I was thinking when I walked out of the theater @ 3 in the morning. It was. Without a doubt. My favourite movie. And I actually liked Emma in this, she didn't irk me, which was the best <3 And all they're acting abilities were just mind blowing. Seeing two more times today! : DAvatar ImageLisee_Lu says: I just woke up from a blessed 3 hours of sleep since I finished watching HBP last night. (Ah the joys of being a new mom :P) This movie was the best in the series by far. It actually flowed, was beautifully intricate, delightful and darkly brilliant. Where the plot differed from the book, it was done so well that I hardly minded (and I am a stickler for proper plot following). The trio has improved so much in their technique (especially Emma Watson - she was flawless). To everyone waiting for this film - you will not be dissapointed!Avatar ImageRAB66 says: This is now my favorite HP film. Besides the fact that, to me, it was the most faithful to the book out of all the other films, it was actually hilarious at parts and then heartbreakingly sad at others. I felt like this film encompassed everything I hoped it would from the book. Plus the young Voldemorts gave chills and made the present day Voldemort seem much scarier even though I don't remember seeing him in the film. So pretty much it's awesome.Avatar ImageJrae says: The performances of all cast members, both original and new to HBP and small parts, where fabulous. So happy the reviews are mostly positive, even from the non-HP fan critics.Avatar ImagePhylis says: The Age has no clue! I enjoyed the movie tremendously and while I missed some parts that weren't included what was included was fantastic!Avatar Imagehermione06 says: I thought it was ok... but I was overall disappointed. I felt like they spent WAY too much time on the love stuff between teenagers and not enough time on the emphasis of Voldemort. I guess since I just finished rereading the book for the who knows what time I was expecting a bit more from the movie-- and since we waited an extra 8 months-- I just wished they didn't focus so much on the awkward love stuff and stuck more with the horcrux plot. Avatar Imagegreenfire says: Who are these people from "The Age" and what movie did they just watch?Avatar ImageWolfyWizard says: The movie was amazing, it's my favorite one so far, I can't wait to go back and watch it again!Avatar Imagecindy965 says: Hate to agree with others, but I left this move quite disappointed as well. Too many details about the Horcruxes and Voldemort's growing up were left out of the movie version, and so much emphasis was placed on hormones and young love. While those were a refreshing change, I still wish they had stayed more true to the book. Also, the time spent on re-introducing Fleur into the Weasley family in the book was never even mentioned in the movie!Avatar ImageWoodette says: More emphasis should have been placed on Riddle and the horcruxes. Poor Harry is now left to find the rest of the horcruxes on his own without any clues from Dumbledore what they might be. How is Harry going to figure out the cup, Nagini and the tiarra??? Errr...Good Luck Harry PotterAvatar Imagegriffenclaw says: Very entertaining and well done... My favorite HP is still "Prisoner of Azkaban"! Still the closest adaption to the books in my opinion...Avatar ImageDlcohm7 says: I agree with the 'disappointing' as well. im sad to say. all through the movie.lots of good and important stuff put in.but also lots of important stuff not even mentioned! like um, Scrimgeour. mmm who is that? I would say if I hadn't read the book.no slytherin necklace mention,or cup,nagini.even the ring? people who haven't read the book had to have been thinking that.it was good at many parts.but they chopped it,ran it too fast, but also, the characters were so slow. I mean way too many slow scenes that dragged on.The main characters played well.The Ginny/Harry kiss? don't get me started. that scene in the book. nah.made up a scene.and the fight scene at hogwarts w/the death eaters and the whole school? nope.the romance stuff was good. even tho the change w/harry and ginny made me mad.and snape I loved.Rupert was the best. I actually wish Dan would have shown more emotion when Dumby died.I will see it again.it's not my fav.thank god we know the book is real.haha.and nothing will ever beat the book. So Jo,you are safe.Avatar ImageWingardium Leviosa says: I can't wait to see it, I'm going tomorrow!Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: good reviews are always good! :)Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: good reviews are always good! :)Avatar Imageele0206 says: amazing Salon review, the best yet

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