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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Movie Review

Jayce O'Neal, Ph.D.


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This first part of the last installment of the Harry Potter series finds Harry in immense danger as the Dark Lord seeks to end his existence. In fact, the majority of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, has Harry hiding out with his closest friends, Ron and Hermione, while also trying to figure out how to thwart Voldemort’s evil scheme. In the midst of the confusion, Harry also must try to piece together clues given to him by Dumbledore in order to stop his enemy.

Bottom Line

The majority of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows focuses on the three young companions in the wilderness. The basic story is the same as all of the Potter movies: the battle between good and evil. Will the "chosen one" be victorious or succumb to the dark plans of the embodiment of evil, Voldemort?

Thumbs Up

The best part of this new film from an objective viewpoint is the dialogue between the three primary characters: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They banter as true friends would; and the dialogue also helps push forward the story, while providing much needed comedic relief.

Thumbs Down

This second-to-last installment of the Harry Potter franchise is probably the weakest of the series so far. The plot is extremely thin; and the overall story suffers, probably from the studios desire to squeeze one more sequel out of the franchise; Part 2 comes to theaters in 2011. Most of the film is just the three friends sitting in the woods not knowing what to do. Also, this sequel does not offer audiences as much fantastical action or whimsical quirks. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 simply rehashes the same thing everyone has already seen. Harry is chased. Voldemort tries to capture Potter, but only gets so close.

The biggest issue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is that it references names and people (whom are rarely seen in the film) and spends less time on the people on the screen. Undoubtedly, the avid Potter viewer will love the movie and the slew of inside jokes and heaping mounds of Potter mythology. But, the average moviegoer may find themselves on the outside looking in.

Another issue parents will have is that the content is far more grown up then in previous films, as explained below in the "Family Friendly" section of this review.

How I Rate It

Family Friendly: This new Harry Potter film gets only 2.5 out of 5 stars for family friendliness. Some of the big issues discussed or shown in the film include suicide, murder, and even sexual innuendos. The most disturbing example is when Ron sees a vision of Harry and Hermione kissing. The kissing is extremely aggressive and the two youths appear to be naked. However, nothing explicit is seen; his view is distorted by flames.

As with the entire Harry Potter franchise, there is a slew of magic, incantations, and supernatural elements. While this movie depicts a battle between good vs. evil, many may take issue with the convention of magic as a whole.

Degree of Excellence: It deserves a 3.3 star rating for excellence. The special effects are good as usual and the dialogue is witty. However, this movie fell far short of the cinematic quality of the previous films in the series.

Take Away: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 gets 3 stars for being quite average. Even if you don’t have an issue with the premise, this movie leaves a lot to be desired.

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About The Author


Dr. Jayce O’Neal is the pastor of RED Church in Virginia Beach. RED Church is a growing church community focused on Pursuing God, Loving Others, and Impacting the World. Dr. Jayce is also the author of One-Minute Devotions for Boys, No Girls Allowed: Devotions for Boys, Crazy Circus World and 100 Answers to 100 Questions Every Graduate Should Know. He is an Instructor at Regent University and is an avid sports fan who enjoys cheering for his favorite sports teams while eating pizza with a fork. Dr. Jayce has a Doctorate, two Masters Degrees, a Bachelor of Science, and a small trophy for