Things get more emotional, and more intense, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is the fourth and middle installment in J. K. Rowling's seven-part series, and it is, in a sense, the fulcrum on which the entire saga rests. Each of the previous stories concerned a mystery that took place over the course of an entire school year, but despite a few loose threads here or there, the mysteries were basically resolved in the end. This new story starts off as just another adventure, more or less, but by the end, the situation faced by its protagonists has become much darker, and much more dire. If the previous films were like the lull before World War II, when Hitler built his army and everyone hoped nothing would come of it and life could go on as before, this film marks the invasion of Poland, so to speak. There is tragedy, and death, and we know things will get only worse.

However, there is also humor, and life. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is 14 years old now, and his passage into adolescence is believably awkward and full of surprises. Goblet of Fire is directed by Mike Newell—the first British director to work on this series—and it is somewhat reminiscent of his best-known movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral. While the central romance in that film was pretty blah, the supporting cast, and the engaging circle of friends that surrounded the Hugh Grant character, frequently stole the show. Something similar happens here; while Harry's trials remain front and center, with mixed results, most of his schoolmates get chances to shine that ought to keep their various fan clubs happy. In a way, these characters are more entertaining than the actual story in which they live.

Speaking of the story, the book Goblet ...

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images)
Genre
Directed By
Mike Newell
Run Time
2 hours 37 minutes
Cast
Eric Sykes, Timothy Spall, David Tennant, Daniel Radcliffe
Theatre Release
November 18, 2005 by Warner Brothers
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