Adults who may have been turned off by the more kid-friendly elements of the first two Potter films should sit up and cheer; this fourth installment of Harry's adventures at the magic school of Hogwarts is more mature and darker than its immediate predecessor. This year, Hogwarts is hosting the Tri Wizard festival, and there may be a plot afoot to off Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) during the proceedings. Hermione (Emma Watson) finds a man worthy of her in competing Russian Quidditch champion Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ivaneski), to the chagrin of Ron Weaselly (Rupert Grint) who, though growing into a fine, shaggy orange-haired figure of a lad, is still not quite mature enough to ask Hermione to the Yule ball. Krum's teacher may be involved in the dastardly get-Harry plot, which involves writhing snake tattoos, skull clouds, death-eaters, tournaments with live dragons, a submersible schooner, and a competing school of poised and beautiful girls run by Maxime (Frances de la Tour), who shares a romantic past with gamekeeper Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane). All the other favorites of the series are back as well, including Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, and Gary Oldman, with Timothy Spall as the odious Wormtail, while a new addition to the A-list thespian roster is Ralph Fiennes. Director Mike Newell takes plenty of time to explore character development, but the story still gallops along at a breathless pace, with memorably intense moments involving fire-spewing dragons, dark magical rites, and near-drownings at the hands of slimy mer-people, all of which may prove too much for the youngest of viewers. Everyone else is advised to hold on tight.
Producer: David Barron, David Heyman, Tanya Seghatchian
Cast: Alan Rickman, Brendan Gleeson, Dame Maggie Smith, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Jason Isaacs, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Rupert Grint, Timothy Spall
Edition: Full Frame
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