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Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.

Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Action, Adventure, Kids, Family, Fantasy, Adaptation, Sequel
2 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 18, 2005
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros.

Is “Harry Potter” Harmless? Answer

What is the Occult? Answer

What does the Bible say about the occult? Answer

An Open Letter to Wiccan Believers—GO

What does the Bible say about spirits being left behind on Earth after death? Answer

Harry Potter, Sorcery and Fantasy—Off-site

Harry Potter: A Journey to Power—Off-site

Harry Potter: Seduction into the Dark World of the Occult—Off-site

Featuring: Eric Sykes … Frank Bryce
Timothy Spall … Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew)
David TennantBartemius 'Barty' Crouch Junior
Daniel RadcliffeHarry Potter
Emma WatsonHermione Granger
Rupert GrintRon Weasley
Michael GambonAlbus Dumbledore
Robert PattinsonCedric Diggory
Jason IsaacsLucius Malfoy
Gary OldmanSirius Black
Alan RickmanSeverus Snape
Brendan GleesonProfessor Alastor 'Mad­Eye' Moody
Maggie Smith … Minerva McGonagall
more »
Director: Mike Newell
Producer: David Heyman, Chris Columbus
Distributor: Warner Bros.

“Difficult times lie ahead, Harry.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “In his fourth year at Hogwarts, Harry faces his greatest challenges and dangers yet. When he is selected under mysterious circumstances as a contestant in the Triwizard Tournament, Harry must compete against the best young wizards from schools all over Europe. But as he prepares, signs begin to point to the return of Lord Voldemort. Before long, Harry is playing not just for the Cup, but for his life.”

Harry where did you go? It’s like the whole movie is hiding under that stupid invisible cloak.

I thought Harry Potter was going somewhere, but this latest installment is hard to follow because it tries too hard to include everybody and everything from the first three. “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire” spends so much time trying to recapture the success of it’s predecessor’s that it becomes long and often had me wishing it would hurry Harry up and get onto the real action!

I must stress these films are getting darker, more sinister and definitely more satanic in nature. In a nutshell, Harry Potter’s world has always been inherently chaotic. He became an orphan when his parents were killed by the evil wizard Voldemort. As the rest of the wizards didn’t want him to grow up under the vengeful eye of Voldemort, they left him on the doorstep of his human relatives, his strict and often abusive Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and his cousin Dudley. This idea, although meant to shield him from harm, turns out horribly. They make him live in the closet under the stairs and shower his cousin with all the love in the family. He never felt loved or accepted in any way, and he definitely didn’t feel he had any power to change his life.

On his 11th birthday, Harry gets a letter explaining that he has special powers he doesn’t know about. He is invited to study at Hogwarts School of Wizardry where, instead of being a “nobody,” he is well respected. He meets lots of new friends, two in particular Hermione and Ron, who become like a real family to him. There, through all three preceding films, Harry has untold magical adventures.

Sounds great, huh?

Well, it’s not quite that simple. You see, Harry and all the friends in his imaginary world are witches and wizards. They try to do good things and defeat evil, but in reality, there is no such thing as a good witch or wizard. People who use witchcraft in the real world are not getting their power (if any) from God. The Bible tells us that any power that doesn’t come from God is evil. So, for our own protection, God tells us not to do these things:

Don’t sacrifice your sons or daughters in the fires on your altars. Don’t try to learn what will happen in the future by talking to a fortune teller or by going to a magician, a witch or a sorcerer. Don’t let anyone try to put magic spells on other people. Don’t let any of your people become a medium or a wizard. (Deuteronomy 18:10-11).

The actual Goblet of Fire is a sort of voting box into which names are placed by qualified students (absolutely no one under the age of 17) vying to be chosen from three select groups to be champions in the Tri-Wizard Tournament—a high echelon on the wizardry ladder. The winner takes home the coveted glowing prize: The Wizard’s Cup.

Somehow, on the day names are chosen by the Goblet of Fire, Harry’s name pops out as a fourth competitor. Everyone is shocked, especially Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), since he never even considered, much less placed his name as a contender in this grueling, dangerous and often fatal game. There is nothing that can be changed, and Harry, by rules and rights, has to play in the Tournament, as the Magical Contract is binding; once chosen you must play.

The rest of the chosen few are robust winners including from Durmstrang, girl-magnet Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski), undisputed Quidditch star—from Madame Maxime’s Beauxbatons, Miss Fleur Delacour (Clemence Poesy) with a knack for casting spells—and from Hogwarts comes Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), upperclassman, and an all-around good guy.

14 year old Harry has some other problems as well—terribly disturbing dreams—he has to convince his best friend, Ron (not to mention other students and faculty), that he didn’t cheat to get into this mess—plus he has to measure up to the task of dancing, as the annual Yule Ball is fast approaching.

Harry secretly contacts Sirius Black to find answers to his dilemma. Sirius warns that there are devils within the walls of Hogwarts, and Harry is not safe.

The Tri-Wizard Tourney does bring in many new students from around the world. This is a valuable lesson in International Magical Cooperation and allows Harry to churn up a crush on a beautiful, raven-haired girl from another region of wizardry. Alas, when he gets up enough courage to ask her to the dance, she admits she likes him too, but has accepted a date from another guy.

Harry doesn’t waste much time in asking his second choice and encourages Ron (Rupert Grint) to do the same. Not apparent to many until the night of the Yule Ball itself is that Ron has wanted to ask Hermione (Emma Watson) all along and is extremely despondent when she arrives on the arm of the ace Tri-Tourney jock, Viktor Krum. Harry’s roommate Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) makes a touching entry into adulthood as we watch him change from class nerd into confident dancer and steadfast friend.

As for the adults, Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore has a greater presence in this film, but the Draco image is downsized to perhaps two lines while Professors McGonagall (Maggie Smith) and Snape (Alan Rickman) were forced to the back of the line, which was a disappointment to me as these characters always held the cast together. The gentle giant, Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) indulges in a romance with the even-taller-than-he, Madame Maxime (Frances de la Tour).

“Goblet” has two new additions in Brendan Gleeson as Dark Arts professor Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody (with a marble eye disturbingly rotating while peering out through a make-shift sling—something the younger viewers will probably have nightmares about—and Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter, a nosey tabloid journalist that writes all the wrong stuff.

The tournament’s three contests provide the excuse for breath-taking CGI “magic,” and it is a visual wonder. The CGI includes a very realistic Hungarian Horntail dragon perched angrily atop Hogwarts’ highest spire, an underwater world of beastly mermaids, and a maze of hungry mobile hedges. These are images with perhaps too-realistic staying power, which may keep little ones up all night (so Mom and Dad beware). These special effects aren’t just trendy, as in the horror film genre, but organic to the Harry Potter series’ more darkening tone.

It is from this point on that “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire” deals with issues of romance, jealousy, revenge, peril and death with perhaps a heavier hand than some 14 year olds can endure. Shrouded in darkness from within the characters and the bleakly overcast weather without, this Harry Potter takes a grim form. The screen was so dark that I had a hard time telling one character from another.

I still do not approve of the PG-13 rating (adventure/fantasy) because of the threatening and malevolent images of violence, blood, emotional distress, death and of Voldemort, the devil himself! Ralph Fiennes plays the evil Voldemort (pale grey, bald, muscular, eerily noseless, and very unpleasant). This beast provides a jolt that promises to last the entire series (wherever that may lead), and to could give some children nocturnal panic. We hear the wail of a grieving father toward the end of the movie, it’s the first genuinely human moment in the “Harry Potter” films, but it is a haunting image and may cause distress in small kids.

There is a hint that spirits can be called up from the dead to save characters, and that dreams can be put together to form a bond with others, not like a prophet prophesies, but for conjuring evil. There is also a very dark and satanic comparison between the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and Voldemort (the devil) in a chant in a graveyard to summon Voldemort’s body from a “grave.” It goes a bit like this: “Bone of the fathers, flesh sacrificed, blood forcibly taken…” I, personally, took this as blasphemy.

Not that there isn’t any positive elements in this Potter edition: Harry uses more than magic to solve his problems. He uses his wits and knowledge of good and evil. Harry learns that a friend’s life is worth more than “the prize.” This tournament forces Harry to recognize his strengths, that we all must face our “dragons.” Others also see his “outstanding moral fiber.”

This Potter also takes us into the world of the adolescent at the verge of becoming an adult. It deals with and faces the challenge of first love, first date and the angst of the whole process. Dumbledore makes a relevant statement to his charges: “Soon, we must all choose between what is right and what is easy.” In the end they may not wind up happy in the “maze” of life, but they learn that “Although we come from different places and speak different tongues, our hearts beat as one.”

As in all Harry Potter films, Ron does utter a few words that are borderline problematic, such as: piss-off and bloody hell. Other than these, I couldn’t put my finger on any real foul language. I was more concerned with the images and all-around unchristian dark mood of this Potter drama.

My bottom line is to NOT take any child under 16 to this one, no matter what the rating states.

Many parents are naively unaware of the dangers of witchcraft, because they don’t know what the Bible says against it. Some Potter fans say these stories are not satanistic, but I do not agree. If it’s not from Satan, then who is it from? It’s definitely not from God, and that’s according to scripture.

I found in the World Dictionary the word “Wicca” which was connected with the word wicked, meaning evil, and also the word “witch.” So, as for the school of Hogwarts, I see it as a school of witchcraft. Sorry Potter fans, I know the books and these great movies are interesting and fun to watch or read, but we gotta call a duck a duck, no matter how the feathers are concealed. There’s this other dictionary, The Holy Bible, that has a lot to say against the practices of witchcraft that includes, sorcery, mediums, wizards, magic, etcetera. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, a female sorcerer is a witch. According to Gal. 5:19-21, referring to those who practice sorcery it says. “Those who do such things shall NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.”

II Kings 23:24, Josiah cleaned up the land by doing away with all the practices that had to do with witchcraft.

Exodus 22:18, Witchcraft was forbidden. The Lord stated way back then that anyone who practiced these things would be killed. That’s pretty strong stuff. I think that would keep me away from evil!

Micah 5:12, The Lord said He would do away with witchcraft and the soothsayers.

Acts 8:9-13, read how Simon and Samaria were active in using witchcraft practices, then later saw the mistakes and became followers of Christ. Great story.

Acts 16:16-24, read about a young girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination, but later got saved!

My prayer is that anyone who becomes interested in witchcraft by watching or reading the Harry Potter series, will search the Scriptures first. Many of us, especially children and young teens, are unaware of the Biblical warning in Revelation 21:8 and 22:14-15 which includes the sorcerers. The verses end by saying, “all these shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” And again: “The blessed will have the right to the Tree of Life, but the lost, and the sorcerers and all those who have done wicked things, will have no part of Heaven.”

Even though I may not have approved of “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire” on a Christian level, the Potter fans in the audience of this sold out theater gave it applause, cheers, and some a standing ovation. We must remember this and never disobey God by experimenting with witchcraft and magic. May God’s Law prevail in every heart and win! Harry Potter’s imaginary world may be exciting, but there is a real-life adventure that’s even more wonderful. It’s an adventure that God designed, and it’s waiting for you!

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Harry Potter series reviews

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (2010)
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (2011)

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—…The movie is easily far and away the best of the four. It was terrifically fun, funny, suspenseful, and well-done. We’ve only read about 180 pages of the book—which translated to perhaps the first 15 minutes of the movie! …Rowling bends over backwards to depict her magical world as NOT AN OPTION for ANY of her readers. … How so? Her world is divided crisply into two species, as distinct as Valar and Hobbit in Tolkien. They are “muggles” and witches/wizards. Muggles cannot do magic, period. All of Rowling’s readers are, by that definition, “muggles,” and magic is not an option to them. (Additionally, she depicts the magical world as pretty ugly and gruesome, not terribly romantic at all.)

I would also agree that this movie is too “dark” for younger children. Each parent should evaluate for himself. The rating is probably a good rule of thumb, in this case.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Dan Phillips, age 50
Positive—…the best installment yet. Watching a movie has nothing to do with your faith. Only when you start practicing witchcraft and making that your religion is when you are going against your beliefs. At least, that is how I feel on the matter.

This movie is the best out of the four so far. The first one was OK, the second one was great, the third one was so-so, and the fourth one was brilliant. SO go and see the fourth movie because if you have read the books you will probably not be disappointed. Although the fourth installment is not exactly true to the book at all times, it still has the general understanding and key concepts underlining in the story itself. Mike Newel is a brilliant director. I was so pleased with what he did with the fourth movie. Alfonso Curon, I felt took too much of an artistic approach to a very straight forward situation. But no matter, what is done is done. I can’t wait for the next installment in 2007.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Laura, age 18
Positive—I really loved this film, my only real complaint is that I wish it could have been about 30 minutes longer which, I believe, would have given it a little more depth. Having read all the books, “Goblet of Fire” is actually my favorite, as there’s just a lot to capture the imagination, with the Tri-Wizard Tournament and all, and I was completely engrossed from the very first page. Having said that, it can be difficult to put any book, especially one that long, into a movie, so I am very aware that it’s never going to be exactly like the book, and it really was a well-made movie.

I would not, however, take young children to see it, as there is a reason this one is rated PG-13-there are some very intense and scary images presented. You have to keep in mind, though, that the kids are growing up, and I believe Rowling does a really fantastic job of portraying that. It’s a much more realistic portrayal than I think is usually seen with this sort of thing, but that also means that the themes involved in the story are also growing up, and parents with children who are fans of the series should keep that in mind.

…when I actually sat down and read the books/watched the movies, my first reaction was “what is everyone talking about?” This is very much a made-up/fantasy world… To anyone who does not know much about the series, please understand that in the Harry Potter world, you are BORN a wizard/witch (you don’t just decide to be one), and this is a world full of magical creatures and things that don’t really exist, i.e., a truly fantasy world, and isn’t fantasy what imagination is all about? In this world, there is a clear line between right and wrong and choosing good over evil. Harry Potter and friends go to great lengths to choose “right” and to overcome evil, and there really are a lot of lessons that can be learned from that.

Please understand that I respect any parent’s right to choose whether or not to let their children watch these movies or read these books…
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Jennifer, age 31
Positive—This movie was excellent visually. However, I think it spent too much time on the action and not enough on developing characters, like Rita Skeeter, Cedric, Snape and Malfoy who, in the book, play bigger roles. …It doesn’t necessarily focus on him doing a “good” spell and winning that way. HP wins because good wins over evil. You can see HP is a moral guy. He does what is right—saves Cedric in the maze, saves Fleur’s little sis for example. Dumbledore tells him he has the choice to do what is right and what is easy. And what does HP pick? What is RIGHT. He fights Voledemort. Mind you, I don’t feel the books are as dark as this movie was…
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Lydia, age 18
Positive—…As parents, our job is to “train up a child in the way he should go” while being “in the world but not of it.” How can we protect them from all of the evils in this world? The answer is WE CAN’T. They are going to be exposed to swear words, cruel friends, angry adults, immoral pictures, violence and witchcraft SOMETIME as they grow and it is our job to filter out what we can, and deal lovingly and biblically with what we can’t. It is not the responsibility of a movie or a book to teach my child morals and values, it is mine. Harry Potter is great reading and a great movie. It is a Fairy-tale or Fantasy and that means it is, NOT REAL, and it should be an opening for discussing with our children what is real—THE BIBLE and who has the ultimate power-JESUS!
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Christy, age 36
Positive—This movie was awesome! Hands down, the best one so far. It definitely deserved the PG-13 rating, however, and I was a bit surprised to see so many young children in the theater. This is not a kid’s movie! That being said, considering how much material they had to cut out from the 700 page book, the filmmakers did a remarkable job. One word on Harry Potter: I am a devout Catholic and have no problem with Harry Potter (none of my other Christian friends do either)…
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Delphine, age 18
Positive—…very, very good. Exciting, funny, but very scary. NOT for kids, very entertaining for adults and mature teens.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Jonathan Moore, age 23
Positive—This was a very good movie, excellently done, although it did deviate from the book a bit. The CG effects were absolutely amazing, and it was really wonderful to see how Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have matured over the years. The visuals were stunning, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen for a minute. That’s my view as a moviegoer.

Now, as a Christian, I have always been able to discern truth from fiction, and have had no interest in joining the occult or in spell-casting, even after reading the Harry Potter books and seeing the movies. However, if your child has shown any signs of wanting to become a wizard or a witch, I highly recommend keeping them from reading the books or seeing the movies, at least until they realize that, while the books make for a good read, and the movies are fun to watch, real “magic” is of the OCCULT and is very, very dangerous for humans to get involved with.

There were parts in this movie that were very dark and scary. Little children could easily be given nightmares by the scenes with Mad-eye Moody and Voldemort. There is a reason they decided to rate this movie PG-13. Also, there is a lot of gratuitous swearing from Ron—he says “bloody hell” at least four times in the movie, probably more—and there is a scene where Harry Potter is taking a bath and is shown naked from the waist up, while a ghost named Moaning Myrtle keeps getting as close to him as she can. (Daniel Radcliffe himself admitted to being uncomfortable with doing a nude scene.)

All in all, I HIGHLY recommend heeding the MPAA warning and not taking your children to see this movie if they are under 13. If they are especially faint-hearted, or if you feel that as a Christian it would be unwise to take them at all, then it would be best to listen to your conscience. One last word: In the scene where the “Death Eaters” (names given to followers of Voldemort) are rampaging through the Quidditch World Cup, their dress and overall mannerisms are reminiscent of the KKK or Spanish Inquisition. Also, the scene where they gather to “revive” Voldemort is terrifying similar to ancient practices of human sacrifice, complete with “spells” and everything. It was quite terrifying, even for myself.

Please exercise caution if you take your children to see this movie. You may want to see it yourself beforehand, or even wait until it comes out on DVD and then rent it. The big screen and dark theater made the overall effect all the more frightening.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Rachael, age 19
Positive—INCREDIBLE. With the past few Potter films, I have been relatively unimpressed. They were fine entertainment, but nothing that special. The first two meandered about, and though the third entry, PRISONER OF AZKABAN, came close to greatness, it just didn’t reach the heights of what it could have been.

But with GOBLET OF FIRE, Harry Potter has reached an epic standard. This film series is going down in the history books, folks. GOBLET remains gripping from beginning to end, and not a moment is wasted. This one is effectively THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK of the Potter series, with its darkest note and rather cliffhanger ending, but without any of the slow pace that THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK presented. GOBLET OF FIRE just never lets up. It hits you hard in the beginning, and it continues to build on top of it. Unlike the previous Potter entries, there is no excess fat in its storytelling. It’s just one great moment after another until it finally all explodes. It’s a wonderful thing when a story remains focused so beautifully, especially one so epic. It’s one of the most intense film experiences I’ve had in a while—and all from a kid’s film!

The characters are all used to great effect. The teachers, left in minor roles, do great there and notably Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape gets some great moments. Michael Gambon, whose Dumbledore was somewhat iffy in PRISONER, hits his stride here. His Dumbledore is not omniscient, but unsure—but no less loveable. His end speech is beautiful, and he’s also wonderfully humorous. What’s nice about Gambon as well is that he refuses to play the archetypal wizard that Richard Harris sought to play (and it did come off as a Gandalf rip-off). Instead, we have a very unique wizard who is both endearing and human.

The trio of leads also give great performances. Daniel Radcliffe finally gives a performance free of cringe-worthy moments, Emma Watson gets HOT, and Rupert Gint elicits a lot of laughs. There’s some real growth here, and the puberty element is definitely played up. It’s great to be able to grow with these characters, and they really come into their own here.

But of course, in the end, this film is about the return of Voldemort, and Ralph Fiennes in the role is wonderful. One of the flaws of the character in the book is that Voldemort represents a sort of nebulous evil foe that remains one-dimensional. Here, he’s an actual man, and it’s for the better. Ralph deserves great credit for doing a fine job at successfully bringing the nemesis of Harry Potter to life.

The ending is sad and will leave you looking forward to the end of this series. It really is one of the better cliffhanger moments in any series—and a very satisfying cliffhanger to boot. With GOBLET OF FIRE, Potter’s name has officially been engraved in the wall of cinematic history.

Now, a warning. This film is dark—for the first time, Harry Potter comes face to face with evil, and it doesn’t shy away from portraying that evil (much as LORD OF THE RINGS isn’t afraid to show the gruesomeness of evil). It’s depressing, violent, and very creepy. Not a film for younger children by any means.

But on the witchcraft debate—I feel that Christians are far too quick to condemn Harry Potter, claiming that it glorifies witchcraft. Firstly, I don’t see a whole lot of similarity between real witchcraft and the witchcraft presented in the Potter films—the magic in Potter is similar to the myths of Merlin or even LORD OF THE RINGS. Secondly, the magic in Harry Potter is presented in a very superhero-like light, where it’s given to those who have the right genetic capacity (similar to X-men). It’s not something where any person anywhere is capable of magic. Thirdly, it’s treated just as an ability, and there’s a clear moral line drawn in what the USE of these superpowers should be.

Harry Potter, in my opinion, is very strong and clear on good versus evil, and never intends to support any true witchcraft in our reality. It is NOT even trying to present anything like our reality—it is as much an alternate world as Tolkien or Lewis would create (though, admittedly, with less artistry…). If you feel your child will be attracted to witchcraft through the film, don’t bring your kid to it. That’s an issue of parental judgment. …
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Ryan Holt, age 20
Positive—On a first, non-biblical note, parents are strongly advised to not take their children to this movie if they have any doubts as to their child’s ability to take in disturbing images. As far as story goes, the film is faithful and presents Voldemort in a unsettling and frightening way. Also, the challenges that Harry faces are actual life-and-death matters; he is seriously in mortal peril for long stretches of time. I don’t think that younger viewers can handle that.

Back to Christian viewpoints… In our culture today, Harry Potter is the most beloved and most widely-read young adult character. I think of this as a wonderful thing. Harry suffers through things that all teenagers go through—tiffs with friends, peer pressure, crushes, and most of all, the choice between good and evil.

“Harry Potter” does not teach children to worship the devil and to sit around in dark basements casting elaborate spells on their enemies. Instead, the one lesson that the books continually stress is that it is the choices that we make, rather than the station to which we were born, that shape who we are and how others view us. Harry is in a constant struggle against evil, and who doesn’t face that everyday?

What children will come away from with the books is not a deep longing to become pagan witches, but instead with lessons on friendship, love, and trust. Off of the tangent, back to the movie.

Viewing it solely in terms of storytelling and filmmaking, this is one of the best I’ve seen in months. It remains true to the book without including too much extra fodder. Yet this is rated PG-13, and rightly so. There is some sexual anxiety during a scene where Harry is in a bath with a flirtatious ghost. He tries desperately to keep himself covered with bubbles, but she keeps moving closer. Funny scene, not for kids.

The challenges in the Triwizard tournament are presented very realistically. Harry fights a Horntail Dragon. That spews fire. And wants to kill him. The scene is shot as we watch Harry run away in panic and fly with very narrow misses between the castle buildings, and another tense part as he dangles from a rooftop. The maze scene at the end includes a player transformed into an almost zombie-like being, with casts on his eyes and the desire to harm other players. In the graveyard, Voldemort is the single most disturbing image that has been in any of the movies yet. Had I been but ten years younger, that character would have haunted my dreams.

This is a movie about teenage wizards and meant for a teenage audience. There is some innuendo and other awkward adolescent parts that may go over the heads of a prepubescent audience. Though I would not take young children to see it, it would be worth my money to see it again myself.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Alaina, age 19
Neutral—“Goblet of Fire” was okay. Better than the first two, not as good as the third. The third was thrillingly different; it was artistically directed and unique enough to make it a stand-alone adventure. It transcended the genre of “kid’s movie” and was gripping for adults, too. This fourth installment harkens back to the first two. It has amazing special effects, but they mask the obviously weak story.

I can’t shake the feeling, when I watch a Potter movie, that Rowling just isn’t that great of a writer. I read the first two books and thought they were mildly amusing, but lacking in depth. She’s a formula writer. The books never transcend their mediocrity into the realm of commentary on universal truths (or moral commentary). They’re not even touching enough for coming-of-age stories.

I heartily recommend the Narnia series as THE alternative for Christian parents. C.S. Lewis is a brilliantly imaginative writer. The stories are incredibly engaging AND Christ-based. They are quite moving, as well. Read them to your kids, discuss them; I guarantee they’ll love them!

I don’t think Potter is dangerous for TEENS (young children should be kept away unless they can handle the upsetting violence and magic, and they should not be allowed to view them without a parent and without MUCH discussion about the magical themes and anti-biblical worldview). The movies are just lacking in any sense of instruction or firmly rooted morality.

I think kid’s movies should always teach some kind of valuable lesson. The Potter movies are just magical spectacle. They’re not even clearly defined as good-vs-evil. Instead, they are a kind of goofy-stumblebum-thwarts-evil-by-mistake. By year four, he shouldn’t still be the same shy, bumbling, magically-challenged boy. That gets old. I blame Rowling for a serious lack of character development. Mildly entertaining, but useless overall.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Todd Patrick, age 33
Neutral—To be honest, I have grown tired of the formula of the Harry Potter films. The usual “Harry stuck at Dursley’s, uses magic to make them mad, gets out and goes to Hogwarts, plays quidditch, fights bad guy, goes back home” is getting tiresome. This movie, however, is quite different than the previous Potter installments. It has its slow moments, but is still a movie worth seeing and has some good action sequences.

However, I could not help but notice the movie has a very dark tone unlike the previous films. The previous films, while dealing with witchcraft and wizardry, seemed to do it in a lighthearted way, with some mild scary moments. But from the beginning of this film, everything seems bleak—in content and surroundings. There’s not one ounce of sunlight throughout the entire 2 and a half hours this film spans. Everything is gray or foggy.

I… have always thought that magic is wrong, but still liked the books and movies. They’re just books after all, I’m not practicing witchcraft. I have no urge to practice witchcraft. It’s all fictional. The movies are a fun way to kill two hours and I like the growth of the characters and to see what will happen with the villains. However, at the end of this movie, I couldn’t help but agree somewhat at what this site is always saying about how these movies are wrong to portray witchcraft.

A very grim and dark scene involving Wormtail using what I considered to be a Satanic way to resurrect Voldemort was at the end of the film. The entire end sequence was extremely dark and definitely not for kids. There’s plenty of blood, and a man willingly cuts off his own hand. Voldemort is a lot like the Devil in a way as the reviewer of this movie has stated. Maybe that was the author’s intention, to show Voldemort as being truly evil, and Harry being good. I don’t consider Harry Potter to be evil. He was fighting Voldemort, he was not like him. Harry uses magic that is more like something a superhero from a comic would use. Nothing involving pentagrams, or possession. (Although the whole talking to snakes, and having a dark mark on his forehead does give me doubts.)

Overall, I found it to be quite an entertaining film, but definitely not something a child should see by any means. For once, I think the MPAA gave a movie a proper rating by giving it a PG-13…
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Chris McRae, age 20
Negative—I wanted to add a comment on the series’ offensiveness that I haven’t seen mentioned. I decided to read the books in order to have an educated opinion on the subject. My initial objection to witchcraft is still valid, but I found something much more practical in our everyday lives. Everything these “heroes” do is based in rebellion. They are constantly breaking rules to do their “good” They never just go tell an adult, like I would prefer for my children to do.

Apparently, the message that JK Rowlings wants to spread is that adults cannot be trusted, therefore, breaking the rules is the only option. Do you really want to let your children lose themselves in this world of Harry Potter? Is fun a good reason to do something that could be damaging? Consider the maturity of your children and their ability to see this from outside if you want them to watch it. As a 28 year old, I felt I was okay to view it. Is your 12 year old? Or are they still young and impressionable?
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3½
—JD Kent, age 28
Negative—The evolution of Harry Potter has taken the world by storm and its pubescent look into the world of adolescent wizardry and witchcraft. The recent adaptation Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the latest book to hit the screen in yet another attempt to not only monopolize the franchise but also to induct a whole new generation into the cinematic versions of the books. “The Goblet of Fire” is attempting this time to reach the teen age crowd by thrusting the once “family” movies into being strictly for the above 13 genre.

The latest in the series takes us to another level of witchcraft, wizardry and puberty. Yes, I said puberty. The kids are growing up, and they want us to know just how much. Among many of the antics they director uses to display this fact, is by showing us Harry Potter’s butt in a VERY brief moment while getting into the bathtub, accompanied by a ghost who keeps trying to get a peek at his genitals, a scattering of references like checking out the new ladies rear ends and even the uses of words like “bloody hell” quite often. I guess the point they were trying to make is that the kids are now almost adults, and they can now act as such.

“The Goblet of Fire” begins with the kids starting out the new year at school where there are lots of new students inducted into various segments of teenage pockets. We have the usual back as well, like Ron, Hermoine, Professor Snap and most of the rest. We have newcomers like Ralph Fienes (Playing Voldermort) and some of the oldies from the Prisioner of Azkaban back as well. The story is about a Tri-Wizard Tournament of who will win Eternal Glory amongst the wizards. The tournament is supposed to be for those only over the age of 17, however somehow in a secret plot, Harry’s name is entered into the challenge. The Tournament consists of 3 death defying challenges of which anyone can die, live or drop out.

There is a jumbled subplot about bringing Voldermort back to life, however this whole concept of completely out of context and just tossed in so that there can be a bad guy in the movie. There are other characters brought into the movie that are supposed to feel are important, who end up being pointless and without merit. The editing in this movie is terrible, leaving us with many scenes between Harry and the gang that just go unfinished. The end happens rather quickly and then we are supposed to just assume that everything fits. However, somehow it just leaves us with a very dry and uneasy feeling.

In this adaptation, the editing was the killer, and the directing was sub par. Pay special attention to many details left out and what conclusions to characters that remain unclear, particularly one person’s father. I won’t say who, but I mean give me a break. Finish the scripting and don’t just assume we know what is happening. The culmination of “The Goblet of Fire” is a sour let down, leaving the viewer saying “what about this person,” “who what this person” and “why was this person not in the movie as much,” or even “why was this person even in the movie.”

“The Goblet of Fire” was an action packed thrill ride that lacks the style that one might expect from a blockbuster film. I do not want to focus only on the bad in Harry Potter, the movie was a fine movie with a lot of chopping action that helps keep the movie’s head above water. The acting is great and is beautifully shot and choreographed.

Did I like the movie? Well, yes, it was a somewhat enjoyable movie and did have its moments in the sun, however when all was said and done, it was decent, but not great. Was the PG-13 warranted? Absolutely, and if you take your younger kids, then you are absolutely nuts. This movie had the little kids in the theater freaking out, and I even heard one kid crying and saw one mother take their children out. There was a ton of dark violence and too many subtle sexual references. I would highly recommend against anyone under the age of 13 seeing this movie.

One of the questions many might ask, is this movie satanic and spiritually wrong? Well, being a Christian, I have a hard time condoning a movie about witchcraft, however, when looking at the grand scheme of things, this movie was not meant to be an introduction into witchcraft and wizardry as one might suppose when they over-spiritualize things, however it does certainly use witchcraft and wizardry as a vehicle to drive the movie. When reviewing a movie, I try and not delve into the controversial spiritual components, but rather share with you the movie’s content and let you derive your own conclusions. If I had kids, would I let them see this movie? If they were over 13 and ONLY with a discussion about Christianity and the Spiritual ramifications of witchcraft.

I see Christians point fingers at the Harry Potter movies, yet they jump on the band wagons to take their kids to see movies like E.T, Star Wars and so many others. Spiritually speaking, it astounds me when parents let their kids see movies like E.T, where an alien comes to Earth and heals the sick, rises from the dead and say “believe in me and you will live forever.” That tends to be a lot more dangerous than Harry Potter. One is obvious to the Christian and the other is too subtle. Other movies like Star Wars “Episode II” where the force is clearly explained as being the Holy Spirit, and we find out that one of the main characters is born of a Virgin Birth can be a lot more spirtually warped than Potter as well in my opinion. …

Movies are Movies and if you do so choose to let your kids see spiritually controversial movies, then you should be responsible and have a conversation about such movie.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2½
—John Kehrli, age 31
Negative—…I just want to comment on how much this series has negatively affected my child. I let my son read the first book and took him to the movie. I didn’t much care for the movie but didn’t realize how much it made my son want to be a wizard. He started carrying around a stick and trying to cast spells on things. I thought, “oh this is just a phase. He’ll grow out of it.” Then he tried to fly with my broom… off the roof of our house. He broke both of his legs because he is possessed by this book.

I haven’t let him read or view any of the other ones, and I won’t but he is clearly possessed because he keeps asking me if he can, and he still wants to be a wizard, and he doesn’t want to go to church anymore. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Paul Daniel, age 32
Negative—Why would I, or any Christian, think about watching this movie. We read in the Bible God’s command to avoid witchcraft, witches, soothsayers et al. and yet feel that if there is a lesson to be learned or an entertainment to be had we can put asides God’s law and decide for ourselves what is good for us to do. Should we commit adultery because it helps us love our husbands or wives better? Should we steal because it helps us put our children through Christian school? Why can’t we all just obey God and not second guess what He has said is best for us. The reward is far greater than what titillation such entertainments can offer, and these titillations are certainly not worth losing our reward.
—Peter Rhebergen, age 45
Negative—I cannot believe that there are Christians who would actually view this movie, especially parents who would take their kids. It is blatant witchcraft. The Bible says “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour.” Let’s wake up!! The enemy is targeting our kids, our next generation. The bible also says this (please get this next point, it is crucial). In Matthew 24 the bible says this,

And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

I want you to notice that last verse, “Because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold.” Did you know that the word “lawlessness” is translated from the Hebrew to more accurately mean the word, “witchcraft”?

Second point I want to make in this verse is where it says, “the love of many will grow cold.” The word “love” in this verse needs to be understood. Love has a few different meanings in the bible. There is Phileo which is worldly love, a love between friends, but then there is Agape. Agape is God’s love. Now you need to understand that only Christian can have Agape love, the love they receive from God. So what I am trying to say, is that this verse is directed toward Christians, not unbelievers!

Let me now paraphrase that verse with a new understanding…

Because witchcraft will abound, the love of many Christians will grow cold.

God has called us to be on fire, not lukewarm, not cold, but passionate and on fire. So when looking at this Harry Potter series, can you not see that the enemy is trying create a generation of kids that will practice witchcraft and have their love grown cold?? If your kids are christians, protect them. It’s not just a movie, it’s an assignment from the enemy.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Scott, age 31

Comments from young people
Negative—…a new impressive way the devil snares children and those who truly don’t know the dangers of witchcraft and sorcery. …these movies promote sorcery and witchcraft. …Though the movie was pretty good in film making and cinematography, I still see a satanic element in it. Especially when one character is cutting Harry with a dagger to extract blood to put in a pot for some sort of concoction to raise “Lord Voldermort.”

I strongly, STRONGLY advise… please, please!!! Don’t take your children to see this movie! I guarantee, they will be affected. Like Paul’s statement, whether it be real or not, I guarantee you, your children will subconsciously want to have powers like Harry and his friends.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Jorge Figueroa, age 17
Positive—I myself am a huge Harry Potter fan, I’ve read all the books… It was easily the best movie yet, and possibly one of the best movies of the year. Yes, there was swearing, and some suggestive innuendos, but that doesn’t really bother me because I’ve read the books and I know why they’re doing/saying what they are.

…it really does depend on how mature the kid is that’s watching the movie. I really don’t think you should see this movie if you haven’t read the book, because they left a lot of things out. All in all, I really liked it and I would go see it again if I got the chance. …please don’t bring your little kids to this because there was this little girl sitting behind me and she talked through the entire movie. There are some scary moments, but it’s not really THAT bad. If your kids are sensitive, and don’t know right from wrong, then don’t take them to this movie. It’s that simple. …
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Rachel, age 12
Positive—Excellent movie! the acting was amazing as well as the special effects and story line. Many christians are worried that Harry Potter changes kids and lead them to Satan. But in Harry Potter, magic is looked on as an organized society of witches and Wizards, NOT as a religion of blood-drinking Satan worshipers! In the magic world, there are still rules that need to be followed and punishment occurs when the rules are broken. And remember, this is fantsy! Witches and Wizards have been in children’s literature for many years! Look at the “Wizard of Oz” and “Fantasia.”

Anyway in this movie we see Harry growing into a teenager and facing troubles and is faced with the easy way and the right way. the movie reminds us to stay close to your friends, and at the end Dumbledore gives a speech about love and loyalty and our choices that agree with what the Bible says. In conclusion, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is an excellent movie with adventure and suspense. It is PG-13 and contains violence, but anyone over 12 who knows the difference of fact and fiction with a knowledge of right and wrong should enjoy it!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Katie, age 14
Positive—I love the Harry Potter movies, every one of them. This was the best one so far in my opinion. In response to another rating that I read, children do take movies seriously, especially ones about make-believe and magic. My advice is watch your children and don’t let them end up on a roof with a broom! Talk to them about how the movie is just make-believe BEFORE you go see it. They may take it too literally. Being a teenage christian, the violence is not intended for small children, and I can’t speak for parents, but I don’t think the violence will alter your 8 year old too terribly. GREAT MOVIE!!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Lanae, age 14
Positive—…This movie is clearly the best so far. …This movie is rather violent, so its smart also to make sure you’re not taking them to a movie just to drag them out halfway through. We see all of the characters maturing and the climax is amazing and worth waiting for. Even if it’s not the happy ending you pictured. If you’ve read the books like me, you’ll probably nitpick over scenes taken out, just remembers its already two and a half hours long. All in all, everything was awesome.

It’s actually easy to relate to Harry. He wants to be normal, but he never will, neither will Christians. And its okay. Dumbldore is Harry’s guide and in a way is like God. (Like Jesus actually, for those who read the sixth book.) One line in particular made me and my mom smile. “Its time to choose between doing what is right, and what is easy.” —Albus Dumbledore…
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Hannah, age 16
Positive—I really loved this movie!! It had action, mild horror, and laughs too. …Yes, it does introduce witchcraft and wizardry, but it is the person’s choice whether or not to fall into it and want to become a wizard. I am a strong Christian, and I adore these books and movies. I try my best to go see the movies on the day they come out. But, I am not negatively affected by them. It just depends on the person.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Bree, age 13
Neutral—“Goblet of Fire” was pretty darn good!! It was my favorite book out of the series, so I was really excited to see the movie, but I wished they had put a few more things in like SPEW and the begriming with the Dursleys! The characters were a lot better, and they did a great job of playing up the awkwardness of teenage years. Ron was hilarious, Harry seemed a lot more like a real teenager, Hermione was still herself but in a more grown up way, and Fred and George were hilarious as always!

So about the whole witchcraft thing… that’s kind’ve hard to miss! I definitely think you shouldn’t see the movies over and over or read the books frequently, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good! Its a matter of personal judgment!

…there is a reason for the PG-13 rating! The movie is a lot more dark and evil. You see two people killed and several things that might scare a little kid! Just like you wouldn’t take a little kid to see Lord of the Rings don’t take them to see this movie! Most likely they wouldn’t be able to handle it because sometimes even I couldn’t. Overall, one of the best so far!!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Kathleen, age 14
Positive—This move was very well done and Harry’s decisions are very moral and on a Christian’s path, if you will, although they left out some key things from the book (and I’m not talking about the Dursley’s) made me a little disappointed but, the story, acting and message behind it is great.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Mina, age 14
Negative—Horrible movie(s)! Harry Potter has changed the younger generation for the worst! Children are obsessed with Harry Potter and it is becoming more and more spiritual! When you read these books and watch these movies, it opens the door for evil to come in even if you are a Christian and you think nothing bad could happen to you. I do not read or watch Harry Potter because of the effect it has had on my best friends.

My best friend was the sweetest person in the world. She loved everyone and would never swear or do anything bad. She was a strong believer in Christ. Once she started reading and watching Harry Potter, her life changed. Every other word out of her mouth was a swear word. She started saying spells that were in Harry Potter and acting just like Hermione. She started to smoke, drink and do drugs in 7th grade!

She cut herself and turned gothic and before I knew it, she was wiccan. She believes wiccans aren’t bad witches, but in reality, all witches are the same. …(Just so you know, we are all in 9th grade right now.) These movies effect your children at a young age! Don’t take your children to see them! Keep the doors closed to witchcraft!!
—Gidget Smith, age 15
Positive—…I found this movie keeping me on the edge of my seat and amazing music and picture! The only thing that I didn’t like about this movie was the fact that they did a lot of skipping!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Colby, age 13
Positive—Since I am just 13, and have read all the books and watched all the movies, I must say that this new one is awesome. As a teen, I say that the movie doesn’t ask us to become witches or wizards. I think it’s just for our entertainment. The Bible tells us that we should not practice witchcraft. And I agree with that. I watch the movie for my entertainment, NOT to learn witchcraft and such. I advise that if parents are going to take kids to watch the movie, they should first make sure that the children aren’t going to make the movie their idol and that they know it’s just a make-believe movie and not real.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Jason Tsui, age 13
Positive—I loved this movie. I felt that it portrayed the book wonderfully in the amount of allotted time. I own all 6 books and have read them numerous times. I also own the first three movies on DVD which I have watched plenty of times. I am also a Free Will Baptist Christian. However, I do not believe that the Harry Potter series portray any sort of santanistic beliefs. Harry Potter Series are just books based on imaginary things and places. These books are extremely well written and have caused many children to read more. All in all I feel that there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything Harry Potter and that the fourth movie was absolutely wonderful.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Gen, age 16
Positive—I personally really enjoyed this movie. The acting and special effects were just great and it was 10 times better than any of the other movies. The three young actors/actresses have really grown up not only physically but in their acting abilities. …These stories are about a teenage kid and his life. He goes through tough times with the loss of loved ones, bullies, making friends, going out for the team, and that sometimes life can be cruel.

…I do agree though with some of the other commenters on this movie that it is very dark and little kids should not see it. Parents should tell there kids that believing in magic is not a good thing and to let them know how God feels about the practice of witchcraft.

The Harry Potter series has a lot of good elements to it. Standing up for what is right, being true to who you are and to your friends and family. It tells that there is darkness in the world and unless there are people who are willing to fight it, we will be overcome by it. It says in this movie that there are dark and difficult times in every person’s life. But you have to fight through them and with some help things will get better. To put it simply: Fake Harry Potter = Good; Real witchcraft = Bad
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Steve Marks, age 16
Neutral—Personally, I have nothing against this movie. I do agree that it is, of course, very wrong to practice witchcraft and magic. But Harry Potter is not a satanic… …Of course, you can rest assured it’s not from God, but it isn’t from the devil either. Some things are just of the world. …It’s good entertainment, end of story. The movie was somewhat disappointing though. Many scenes were cut and it got very rushed towards the end. But Cedric’s death was good. It is an improvement from the other movies, but there should have been quidditch. …The PG-13 is somewhat warranted, it can get creepy for little kids. But seriously, teenagers handle worse stuff than this. It’s hardly offensive. Basically, it’s an average movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Fedora, age 15
Positive—…I was very pleased with it. I have read all 6 books, and seen all 4 movies. …On an artistic level, this installment in the series is way beyond the previous ones. It is very well-made. The cinematography and directing is definitely beyond any of the others. Lastly, the content is somewhat intense, and a short section contains some pretty violent material. I would not advise taking young children to this movie. As for anyone else, if you want a movie with good morals (selflessness, love, friendship, doing what’s right even when it’s difficult), no sex scenes, and no heavy language, go see “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Chris S., age 16
Positive—This movie was pretty good. There are a lot of funny parts! Everybody at the theatre, including me, laughed. It had a great story to it, and it was better than the rest of the series. I will have to warn you though that this movie should only be viewed by ages 9 and up. The movies are getting more violent. There are some creepy parts, I was even creeped out a little. It only gets creepy when it comes to the part where Harry and the rest of the wizards/witches in the triwizard tournament enter the maze. From there to the end, it was creepy. Also, there were parts where somebody said God’s name in vain, and there were parts where Ron kept on saying bloody h***. …
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Carolyn, age 12
Positive—This movie was spectacular! The main actors—Daniel, Rupert, and Emma—have really grown and matured and improved in their acting. The other actors—all of the teachers except Dumbledore and Moody, students, Sirius Black—had smaller parts, which was sort of disappointing but understandable (the movie can only be so big), but the people playing them performed very well and to the best of their ability.

The special effects were simply brilliant; the filmmakers, while not as good as those of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, definitely did a superb job at the dragon, the maze, the lake, the graveyard, the brief shot of the Quidditch World Cup, the Goblet itself, and loads of others.

The costume designers were brilliant, also—when I first saw the Death Eaters, chills went down my spine and just the thought of imagining those people dressed and sounding like that breaking into my home—well, needless to say, the costume designers definitely put the point across that these people were *meant* to scare you. Actually, they were just as scary as Voldemort! (Ralph Fiennes did an excellent job as him, by the way! Matched all of my imaginations expectations, minus that he didn’t have red eyes).

Now, to the story in itself. The story was, in my opinion, brilliant, but not all of the people I know that saw it thought as much. My grammy, who went to see it on the first night with me and otherwise liked it rather well, asked a couple questions, such as was “that mean blond-haired boy’s” father who was also in the graveyard scene one of those people wearing a mask at the Quidditch Cup?

That’s what led me to believe that they could’ve cut down on Lucius Malfoy’s lines in the graveyard scene and used that time to have Voldemort comment about Lucius’s “having fun at the Quidditch World Cup but should’ve come to look for him” (I paraphrased a line from the fourth book), or something like that, to explain that Lucius really is on Voldemort’s side (that is, he is evil).
Then there’s why an adult (a Ministry person, that’s all I’ll say) was killed, which is never fully revealed. It was expressed that the person who murdered the Ministry person showed an obvious dislike (and hatred, as shown later on), but I still think more of that could’ve been revealed.

Also, one of my friends thought the Moaning Myrtle scene in the bathroom was “just wrong,” and I have to agree with her. I don’t know why the filmmakers had to add that, because although it is a bit funny at first, I’m certain that many people, including myself, will think it’s disturbing by the time we see it for the third or fourth time once it comes out on DVD, or even while it’s still in theatres.

However, there was some good points of the story. For one, the script is as close to the book as it’s ever been (I mean by lines spoken). Second, the things most important were shown, even if not in perfect detail. My final thoughts on the film is that, while not perfect, it could’ve been a lot worse. And anyway, you have to hand it to Steve Kloves—it could not have been easy to make a 734-paged book into a movie, but he did it pretty well.

The emotions of the characters were, for the most part, well expressed. The only characters that I did not fully get (and have a feeling that people who did not read the book will not get at all) are Cedric and Barty Crouch Sr. Cedric is rather poorly written in some scenes (some, not all), and Movie!Crouch Sr. was very different from Book! Crouch Sr. Other than that, the story was pretty well written—some characters and subplots were cut (Winky, S.P.E.W., how Crouch Jr. really got out of Azkaban, the maze’s creatures, etc.), but that’s expected, and they did pretty well with the characters they did use. I was particularly thrilled by Jason Isaacs’ return (he plays Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s dad), because Jason is one of my favorite actors.

Last I will comment on is the graveyard scene: a character’s death, another’s torture, Voldemort’s resurrection, the connection of the wands. I will describe what I think on them in detail below: First of all, I would like to say that, while I did not cry, my heart felt very heavy when one of the main characters died (three people died in total, but this is the one with the most involvement in the story).

Next, I would like to comment that Daniel Radcliffe did an excellent performance of being tortured by the Cruciatus curse (a curse that causes lots and lots of pain, and is therefore, if used, a one-way ticket to a life-long prison term). Most importantly, there’s Voldemort’s resurrection. Many reviewers …say that it’s “satanic.” And, although it is rather immature, I’m afraid I must say this to them: DUH!! It’s *meant* to be satanic! Voldemort is evil! His mark signifies evil things! He and his followers *do* evil and terrible things! He is, in essence, the Devil of the Harry Potter world! So it would make sense that his resurrection was satanic, because really, that is the point that J.K. Rowling is trying to get across: Voldemort is satanic and thereby evil!

Lastly, the connection of Voldemort and Harry’s wand. This is another thing that caused a bit of disappointment from me. Their connection is not explained, so people who did not read the book the movie is based on will be confused. However, I think that both actors did really well on acting this scene, not to mention the difficulty, abruptness, and alarm was well expressed, by the actors and the special effects and just the general feel of the moment (characters there, what had happened before, what had been said before, what you knew could possibly happen)—I heard my grammy say something along the lines of “fight, Harry, fight” during that part, which I thought was pretty cool and very exciting.

My overall opinion of the film: could’ve been better, but it could’ve been A LOT worse. It’s also, like I said before, the best film yet. And although it’s scary, it’s meant to be, so if you find your kids covering their eyes while seeing this, don’t blame the filmmakers. I’m not saying blame yourself, either, but really, even if you hadn’t read the book, the rating (PG-13, the first HP film to be rated that) should’ve been enough of a warning to make you think “hey, maybe I should check this out first before letting the kids see it.”
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Cassie B., age 12
Movie Critics
…Darkest yet… As I looked around the theater and saw little children dressed as wizards, watching one horror after another on the big screen, my heart broke for the sheer lack of parental discernment. …
—Crosswalk, Lisa Rice
…Darker magic… strong pagan worldview with very strong occult content…
…glamorizes witchcraft… it gets harder to make light of the sorcery when a potion requires that a man hack off his own hand, borrow a bone from a rotting corpse and drain blood from Harry’s arm…
—Plugged In, Bob Smithouser
…oddly less scary in some ways than last year’s “Prisoner of Azkaban”… the movie verges on overlong…
—Boston Globe, Ty Burr
…If “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” isn’t the best in the (so far) four-film franchise, it’s certainly the most entertaining. …
—Sun Newspapers of Cleveland, John Urbancich
…indisputably the best movie in the franchise thus far…
—Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Eleanor Ringel Gillespie