The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. And I’m super excited. I can’t wait for my friends and me to ride the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, especially since it will be more elaborate than the version in Orlando. We’ll also be able to stroll down Diagon Alley just like we did when we visited Universal Studios Florida. And best of all, we’ll have a chance to pose with Moaning Myrtle and Bellatrix Lestrange in the Hogwarts Express replica train car. But before we go, I thought it would be fun to watch all eight movies again so that we’re refreshed on magical spells, dragons, curses, and Thestrals… not that you could ever get this stuff out; of your head!
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is not only the final film of Harry Potter but also the highest-grossing film of the series. The film was released in 2011 and earned over $1 billion at the box office. It’s also currently ranked 8th on IMDb’s list of highest-grossing films of all time—no small feat for a book-to-film adaptation, especially one where its source material is as lengthy as Harry Potter’s seven novels are!
David Yates directed this installment, who previously helmed Order of the Phoenix (2007), Half-Blood Prince (2009), and The Goblet of Fire (2005).
2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is the best Harry Potter movie. It is the third movie of the series and David Yates’s first time directing a Harry Potter film. This was also the first Harry Potter film to be rated PG-13 by the MPAA, which allowed for some darker themes to be explored in this story.
This movie is an excellent example of how stories can be told through visual storytelling without relying on dialogue or exposition. Every single shot tells us something about what we need to know about this world—who these characters are, what they’re doing there, how they feel about each other—and yet not one word of dialogue or explanation is spoken throughout it all (except maybe when Professor Lupin introduces himself at Bill and Fleur’s wedding).
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is based on J. K. Rowling’s fourth book in the series, and it’s one of our all-time favorites. It was released in 2005, directed by Mike Newell, produced by David Heyman, and stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter (Rupert Grint portrays Ron Weasley).
The movie follows Harry and his friends as they compete in a dangerous tournament called the Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If you haven’t seen this film yet or are reading this article to decide if it’s a good choice for your kids to watch over Halloween weekend… go for it! You won’t regret it!
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a fantasy film released in 2001. It was directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The movie is based on the first novel in J.K. Rowling’s popular book series about young wizard Harry Potter, who discovers that he has magical powers and must attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry after being taken from his non-magical relatives’ home by a giant named Hagrid.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth installment in J.K. Rowling’s massively popular Harry Potter movies. It was released in 2007, based on her fifth book of the same name, and directed by David Yates. The film follows Harry as he decides to join an underground group called Dumbledore’s Army while working at his new job at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry: A monthly meeting where students can talk freely about their feelings regarding current events, including Voldemort’s return to power and how best to fight back against him.
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The sixth installment of the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is a 2009 fantasy film directed by David Yates.
The film is based on J. K. Rowling’s novel of the same name, which is set during Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as he struggles with Lord Voldemort’s return to power.
The film was released worldwide on 15 July 2009 and grossed $938 million against its $125 million budget. It was released on DVD/Blu-ray worldwide on 19 November 2010, as well as a 3D version released in select cinemas around this time frame.
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in J.K Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series, following Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The first film adaptation, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), was directed by Chris Columbus and saw Daniel Radcliffe as a young wizard. He fought Lord Voldemort alongside his friends Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom. This film sees Harry return to school after being rescued from his aunt’s house by his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, where they reveal that he has been granted special powers due to being a wizard. However, when new student Ginny Weasley appears on campus with consequences for everyone involved with her past life as well as her potential future fate as well., it becomes apparent that something dangerous is happening at Hogwarts: someone has opened up an entrance leading into an underground chamber known only as “the Chamber of Secrets” – which contains magical creatures sealed away centuries ago – leaving students paralyzed or petrified around them until they find out who did this terrible deed before time runs out…
8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The plot of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows Newt Scamander, a British wizard who arrives in New York City circa 1926. He’s there on behalf of the Ministry of Magic to check out what’s happening with the magical community and report to them. Unfortunately, he loses all his creatures when his briefcase gets switched with someone else’s during an altercation at the train station. As you might expect from this synopsis alone, it’s a film about magic (duh).
The cast includes Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, and Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski. David Yates directed this one; you may remember him for directing several other Potter films, including Harry Potter & The Order of Phoenix (2007) and Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince (2009). It was released on November 18th, 2016, in both 2D and 3D formats; the budget was $180 million; its genre is fantasy drama, adventure comedy, romance action thriller, sci-fi horror thriller sci-fi fantasy, western comedy-horror suspense thriller, true crime, documentary drama-documentary romance comedy action-adventure science fiction mystery horror-thriller crime thriller war drama love story biopic psychological thriller-horror nonfiction documentary action fantasy music history romance family animation historical fiction fantasy drama biographical crime comedy satire superhero western adult animation children’s animated raunchy comedic, satirical black comedy humorous, satirical political-social satire slapstick farce tragicomedy comic book superhero parody parody
I hope you’ve enjoyed this top-8 list and learned a little more about the wonderful world of Harry Potter movies! I’m not sure if you caught on, but there’s also an underlying theme here—the stories get darker and stranger as they go along. This is no accident; the characters and the plots are maturing. Many people believe that the second half of the series is even stronger than its first (if you want to know why check out Order of the Phoenix!). So if you haven’t seen all eight yet, don’t judge them based on what I’ve said here today: just keep watching!