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Half-Blood Prince Review Roundup: Radcliffe Has Never Been Better Than Here

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
July 07, 2009, 10:03 AM

There are a whole host of new reviews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online today before the UK premiere of the film later today in London. Most are very positive about the film, notable are comments from the Telegraph that remark on performances from both the adult actors and the Trio, especially on Dan Radcliffe as Harry Potter: "Increasingly, they give the films their backbone, a central truthfulness on which all the magic hangs. Radcliffe in particular, has never been better than here, displaying new maturity and subtlety." The review continues:

"But these young actors are surrounded by one of the finest groups of British acting talent ever assembled, and as the films get meatier, they shine ever more brightly. Here Gambon, moved from the periphery to centre stage, combines whimsy — “oh to be young and feel love’s keen sting” — and real authority. Helena Bonham Carter, as the shriekingly wicked Bellatrix Lestrange, enlivens proceedings considerably; Alan Rickman motors effortlessly from malice to pure malevolence as Snape; Maggie Smith brings emotion as well as humour to the part of Professor McGonagall. New characters are effortlessly absorbed into this Rolls Royce of an ensemble: Helen McCrory is both sinister and febrile in a tiny scene as Malfoy’s distraught mother; Jim Broadbent is a joy as the social-climbing Horace Slughorn, who makes his first appearance disguised as an armchair."

The Evening Standard is less enthusiastic, however still gives the film three stars out of five, saying: "Broadbent is affecting as a man thoroughly out of his depth, unaware of how his habit of picking teacher’s pets has been exploited. Gambon’s performance as Dumbledore is shot through with looming pathos.

Sound-Screen UK emailed us with their review, giving high marks to Tom Felton's performance as the conflicted Draco Malfoy:

 "Set a mission of his own Draco Malfoy (Felton) is elevated from one dimensional school bully to a tortured and desperate, lonely teenager. Increasingly afraid and with little hope of achieving his goal Felton gives his Hitler Youth poster boy hitherto unseen layers and proves himself worthy to the task. Acting with emotion and more than a little class you may find yourself sympathising with the previously odious Malfoy. In many ways the Half-Blood Prince is as much Draco’s tale as it is Harry’s, his actions changing Hogwarts forever."

Finally CHUD is also quite positive on the movie, speculating that the terrific performance by Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn ("a thing of beauty') might be an Oscar worthy one:

 "And it has Jim Broadbent. Could a Harry Potter film make a showing at the Oscars in a non-technical category? If Warner Bros plays their cards right I believe that they could easily wrangle a nod for Broadbent, who plays new Potions teacher Horace Slughorn. While Slughorn, a retired teacher who Dumbledore needs back at Hogwarts as he holds a vital clue to defeating the resurrected Voldemort, was never a favorite of mine in print, Broadbent takes the role and does unbelievable things with it. He plays a level of buffoonery that's hilarious - we're introduced to Slughorn when he's morphed himself into a recliner - but the actor also manages to bring a level of sadness that is palpable and affecting. Slughorn 'collects' students; his self-image comes from being the mentor to witches and wizards who went on to do great things. In a momentary lapse of judgment he helped young Tom Riddle, the boy who would grow up to be Voldemort, find the key to a kind of immortality. Broadbent keeps the sadness and shame and regret just under the surface, and when he fully brings it out he doesn't overdo things. The performance is a thing of beauty."

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141 Points

One week away! It’s so exciting to see these positive reviews come out – I can’t wait!!! This movie will be mind-blowing! :)

Posted by BwaySaint on July 07, 2009, 03:39 PM report to moderator
439 Points

The more reviews I see, the more excited I get. Also one of my local critic’s is reviewing the film this thursday and will ahve interviews with the monday. That’s WGN for those of you in Chicago. Don’t know about the other local news channel’s.

Posted by CandyCane2304 on July 07, 2009, 03:42 PM report to moderator
8876 Points

Wow … these reviews are so positive, it’s refreshing to see great reviews. I like how they focus on actors and their roles & skills & dont just bunch everyone & everything into a generalized description. I will be really upset if I cant go see this movie … if I dont go, it will be the first HP movie that I didnt go see at the theater :(

Posted by Moose_Starr on July 07, 2009, 03:46 PM report to moderator
5413 Points

One more week I can not wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Harry Potter 4 Ever!! on July 07, 2009, 03:52 PM report to moderator
738 Points

I’d be hard pressed to choose from among all the stand-out performances — from what the reviewers are saying — to speculate who might get an Oscar nomination. I DEARLY hope that this movie will be the one to start getting Academy recognition. I’ll see it in a week and a day!!

Posted by bettb [ITC!] on July 07, 2009, 03:57 PM report to moderator
2482 Points

Wait wait wait…are we talking about OSCARS?? YAAAAY! I bet this is the best HP film ever!!

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on July 07, 2009, 04:02 PM report to moderator
2573 Points

Great Reviews!

Posted by ErinM {Roar} on July 07, 2009, 04:17 PM report to moderator
13757 Points

I love seeing critics stop ripping on the HP movies..

This is a nice change

Posted by GTHunter [FTC!] on July 07, 2009, 04:18 PM report to moderator
80450 Points

I find it interesting that the reviewers are not issuing any caveats that this is after all, a “children’s” movie… Perhaps we are finally past that?

Posted by Won_Two on July 07, 2009, 06:14 PM report to moderator
2169 Points

Awesome review!

Posted by Tamyris on July 07, 2009, 06:18 PM report to moderator
22044 Points

great interview!!!

24135 Points

positive reviews are always really good to read! :)

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on July 07, 2009, 06:51 PM report to moderator
3271 Points

Really cool reviews! It makes me more excited already to see it!

Posted by Half-Blood Princess66[ROAR!] on July 07, 2009, 07:31 PM report to moderator
13757 Points

yay! +reviews!

btw rottentomatoes gave the movie a 100%

Posted by GTHunter [FTC!] on July 07, 2009, 07:50 PM report to moderator
459 Points

Yay good reviews.

Posted by lupinwandcaster on July 07, 2009, 08:02 PM report to moderator
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