Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(2 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for frightening moments, creature violence and mild language)
Directed By
Alfonso Cuarón
Run Time
2 hours 22 minutes
Cast
Daniel Radcliffe, Richard Griffiths, Pam Ferris, Fiona Shaw
Theatre Release
June 04, 2004 by Warner Brothers

The children, they grow so fast. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the tale in which J. K. Rowling's young orphan wizard becomes a teenager, and the first thing that strikes you about the new movie is how much more mature its protagonists have become, at least on the outside; the boys' faces are leaner, longer, a bit more rugged, definitely free of baby fat, while it seems Hermione Granger (played by Emma Watson), the one girl of any import, is about to blossom into an adolescent beauty.

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe

This physical maturity is matched by a darker thematic and artistic sensibility. Unlike the first two films, which were directed in a typically clunky, treacly fashion by Chris Columbus, The Prisoner of Azkaban is the work of Alfonso Cuarón, a Mexican whose eclectic portfolio covers everything from the cute-as-a-button kids' flick A Little Princess to the sexually provocative Y Tu Mama Tambien. Cuarón brings darker colors and bolder, more imaginative visuals to this entry in the series, and for once, it can be said that a Harry Potter film has been made with something resembling a genuine artistic vision.

And just in the nick of time, too. The Prisoner of Azkaban is perhaps the most emotionally complex of the Harry Potter stories to date; it is here that Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) first encounters the Dementors, fearsome creatures which can suck the joy out of anyone who crosses their path, and it is here that he wrestles with his darkest, most murderous impulses. As the story begins, Harry is staying with his mean, muggle (i.e. non-magical) relatives, Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths) and Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw), and they are visited by the even meaner Aunt Marge (Pam Ferris), whose insulting remarks about Harry's parents ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueJen Pollock Michel: God Is a Homemaker Who Does ‘Women’s Work’
Jen Pollock Michel: God Is a Homemaker Who Does ‘Women’s Work’ Subscriber Access Only
And other thoughts on the biblical and theological significance of home.
Current IssueEven in Canada, Conservative Churches Are Growing
Even in Canada, Conservative Churches Are Growing Subscriber Access Only
Mainline churches with evangelical leanings outpace their liberal counterparts, study says.
Recommended
Redeeming Harry PotterSubscriber Access Only
The initial Christian outcry against the boy wizard seems to be dying down. Maybe that's because more and more of us are discovering multiple redemptive themes in the series.
Read in EnglishRead in EnglishRead in EnglishRead in EnglishRead in EnglishRead in English
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickThe March for Science Is Willing to Get Political. But Will It Welcome Religion?
The March for Science Is Willing to Get Political. But Will It Welcome Religion?
How evangelical scientists square their place in the global movement.
Christianity Today
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.