Nov 27, 2012

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Movie Review

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

I find it only appropriate, since my husband and I are reading a book, watching the movie, reading a book, watching the movie, that I post a movie review with my book review. Being less experienced in movie reviews it will be significantly shorter and I'll leave my book review to explain the content of the story.

The Sorcerer's Stone (book review here) is the first movie of the Harry Potter Series and pulls in the main actors at the appropriate age of eleven. Having very little previous acting experience, the children did an excellent job in the first movie. The adult actors exceed their acting requirements by perfecting their roles to the characters in the books. The movie is positively enchanting with the bell-like music and the first on-screen Quidditch match.

As all movies do, it excludes a few features from the book and changes a few others. This is almost always necessary and I think the director and producer kept the important content in tact. The Quidditch and flying scenes are all a bit "old-fashioned" on the production front, mostly because a lot of computer graphics were not available at the making of the first movie. With a pinch of tolerance, I think the viewer can look past the black-lines and jilted movements of the Quidditch players.

In all the Harry Potter movies Ron Weasley (played by Rupert Grint) has a bit of a mouth on him, mainly with British-style in speaking. The severity of it really depends on your tolerance. I don't notice it much because British "swearing" doesn't really faze me since I'm American. Other than that, the language is clean, there's no romantic interest (other than small hints at possible "crushes"), and the violence level is more of an adventure-style.

Almost all the frightening scenes take place in the dark--going into the forbidden forest, fleeing in the hallways from Filch, discovering a screaming book, and the climactic end of "going through the trap door". These are all adventure based, though the most frightening one for younger viewers may be the moment that Harry and the others go into the forest for detention. They are searching for a wounded unicorn and Harry finds a cloaked creature drinking the unicorn's blood. As the creature looks up, blood drips down its face and it advances toward Harry. Harry escapes and is rescued by an unexpected friend.

The evil wizard, Voldemort, is first introduced in this movie, though we don't see much of him seeing as he's supposedly "dead" (or so they say).  It sets the scene for future movies and introduces us to the first vestiges of Harry's never-ending struggle for the defeat of evil. We also meet Dumbledore, a firm image of wisdom and the spokesperson for the power of "love". His character, through the novels and movies, pushes Harry to be greater, to be wiser, to love more, and to pursue what is "right". These are excellent lessons to learn and, though not ever reader will apply them, I found them to greatly impact my young mind when I first picked up the books and watched this movie.

Overall, I think the movie is excellent. From a Christian point of view, I address the issue of magic here. Also, the overall world-view of the movies is certainly not Christian. I don't think it's anti-Christian and I won't step out to slap a label on it. Despite the rumors and arguments regarding magic, witchcraft, and world-view, I think the Harry Potter movies and books are filled with imagination and are brilliantly developed stories. Emerging from my personal tastes, I highly recommend the books and movies to children and adults 10+.

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released September 2014 from Enclave Publishing. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at

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