November 14 marks the 20th anniversary of Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone, the Hollywood adaptation of the first book in JK Rowling’s almost inconceivably popular fantasy series. Back then, the big question on everyone’s minds was whether the films could match the success of their source material – and maybe even the first would even prove successful enough to spawn an entire series. of corresponding films. Which of course looks very quaint today, with the eighth and final Potter film now a decade in our rearview mirror and the series now a perennial of the holiday season (and cable TV all year round), despite the general rudeness of both Fantastic beasts prequels and Rowling’s public remarks.
In hindsight, it is of course possible to see a spectrum of quality in these quality-controlled blockbusters for all ages. Our own Noel Murray, in fact, offered a ranking of the whole series few years ago. But how does The AV Club feel that the franchise was still in progress, before delving into the Deathly Hallows?
In honor of this upcoming anniversary, we’ve rounded up the contemporary reviews we’ve written on each Potter installment and have done our best to rank them in general order of site preference. “Our best” because the Harry Potter franchise predates not only the AV Clubthe adoption of alphabetical notes for reviews, but also the seniority of almost everyone who writes for the website today. In addition, they were written by no less than three Stroke staff, each with probably different opinions on the best and the worst of this successful franchise. (What they all seem to agree on: none of these movies are Great, exactly.)
Nonetheless, a fluctuating enthusiasm pattern reveals itself as you work your way through each Stroke take on every new adventure at Hogwarts. Don’t tell Hermione about apple polishing, but the first couple, at least, might have struggled to get a passing grade.