Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Score: 6.7/10

After watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I can say that this is the first decent Harry Potter movie chronologically. The prior two movies were such a pile of trash that it’s nice to have a movie that is at least watchable.

In this third movie, a criminal has escaped wizard jail and is coming for Harry. In the meantime, Harry will just do normal magical student things.

This is the first movie where the actors appear post puberty. I don’t know if that was why their acting was more convincing, but their performances were better. They still aren’t great actors though. They are much improved in subsequent films.

The biggest issue I have in this film is *SPOILERS* time travel. A big crux of this movie is time travel, which I just hate as a narrative device. Moreover, the way that they just give students the ability to time travel is just silly. I know this is a fictional movie, but there also needs to be an adherence to the fictional rules of this world. Otherwise, the story just ends up a mess.

What I do like about this film is that it is the first film to introduce some darkness. I always appreciated the growing darkness in the Harry Potter books. It helped it to feel as if the books were growing up with you, showing you a more dangerous, adult world.

Overall, this is still a barely decent movie, but it is vastly superior to the prior two Harry Potter movies. At the very least, it shows a progressive improvement in the films, the story and the actors.

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