Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
The last thing that I expected would improve a Harry Potter movie would be to cut out more of the source material, but I shouldn't be surprised. The books are sprawling tomes stuffed with their own complex mythology and social history, and that doesn't spell excitement for a casual fan. David Yates, whose quiet drama The Girl in the Café was great and nothing like Harry Potter, pares down the tale to its essentials, and in the process makes the most fun adventure in the series yet. It still has a certain lack of sophistication that gives it away as a kids movie, but it's one that entertains all audiences, including muggles with no interest beyond the closing credits. The film's biggest weakness is shared with the other films, letting the other (grownup) characters come to Harry's rescue while he does almost nothing to save the day himself, but at least we're used to it by now. Here's looking forward to what Yates does with movie six.