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Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix a.k.a. Harry Potter 5

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

Reviewed by: Robbye Fielden
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family, Teens
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Based on a Book, Fantasy, Romance, Sequel, Supernatural, Teen
Length:
2 hr. 18 min.
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
July 11, 2007 (wide—conventional theaters and IMAX)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
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Occult

What is the Occult? Answer

THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Magic in the Bible

Witch in the Bible

Prophecy

Prophecy in the Bible

FALSE PROPHETS—Nostradamus, did he predict the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York? Answer

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Harry Potter
Ever since the popularity of JK Rowling’s first book took hold, the debate rages. What is a Christian to think of the Harry Potter worldview and philosophies? What’s wrong with Potter?
Featuring: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick), Michael Gambon, more »
Director: David Yates (feature debut)
Producer: David Barron, David Heyman, Tim Lewis, Lionel Wigram
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“The rebellion begins”

The fifth installment of the Harry Potter films finds the wizarding world divided over the tragic events surrounding the close of the previous school year. After Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returned from the portkey during the Tri-Wizard Tournament claiming that the Dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) had returned to bodily form, the Ministry of Magic began to promote the idea that Harry and anyone who believed his story were liars. Meanwhile, a small contingent of witches and wizards revived an alliance that had opposed Lord Voldemort fourteen years before: The Order of the Phoenix.

In the midst of all of this, Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) return to Hogwarts only to find that the conflict is intergenerational. Already grief-stricken from witnessing the death of classmate Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) and the return of Lord Voldemort, Harry is met with tremendous suspicion by the other students at Hogwarts. He finds himself isolated both by the lack of support from his peers as well as the grief he’s struggling to work through. To complicate matters, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position has been filled by Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) whose sickeningly sweet appearance and public behavior masks a harsh disciplinarian with a vendetta against Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts, and all those who maintain the belief that Lord Voldemort has returned. Since Professor Umbridge will only teach a ministry-approved curriculum, which does not include the use of magic in defense, a group of students turn to Harry, the only student with any real experience, to teach them to defend themselves. The group calls themselves “Dumbledore’s Army,” and begins to meet in secret in spite of the many decrees put in place by Umbridge. Together they prepare for whatever battle their future may hold.

The return of Lord Voldemort at the end of “The Goblet of Fire” marks a turn in the mood of the overall storyline. While there have been many dangerous moments for Harry in previous years, the wizarding world is now facing a real and living enemy so evil that most wizards refuse to speak his name aloud. As a result, the fifth book and movie are darker than those that have preceded it. A battle of enormous proportions between good and evil has begun. The gravity of the situation is a tremendous weight for The Order of the Phoenix to carry, and the stress is evident in their interactions and on their faces.

As with the previous Harry Potter books and movies, it is increasingly difficult to capture the level of detail in J.K. Rowling’s writing in a 138-minute film. While an avid Harry Potter reader may find that the movie manages to capture the overall events of the book, a viewer with no knowledge of the book is likely to be a bit lost in the plot. Additionally, detailed-oriented readers may find themselves frustrated with minor changes to the plot as it appears on-screen. Sadly, the limited time of the movie also allowed for little character and relationship development, so viewers must rely on very little information or their pre-existing knowledge of the story. Fans will likely find, regardless, that the directors have accurately captured the newcomers to the story, both human and non-human, from our imaginations and placed them before our eyes. Harry Potter fans will certainly consider this a must-see. As with most series, knowledge of the story and previous movies is a prerequisite for other viewers.

The Harry Potter books and movies have been controversial within the Christian community since they first became so widely popular. The primary objections to this series are without a doubt still present. (The previous four Harry Potter movie reviews cover these objections in great detail.) Harry and his friends are still wizards and witches, and they still have a tendency to knowingly defy the rules in the name of the greater good, often without direct consequences. If it is this sort of material that offends, then know that it is definitively present in typical Harry Potter fashion. There are still bad witches and wizards who will perform the “unforgivable” curses, there are more battles with magic, and Fred and George Weasley (James and Oliver Phelps) are as unruly as usual. Additionally, Harry receives his first kiss (which is rather extended for a first kiss), and the introduction of Dolores Umbridge brings up new issues of being under the authority of someone who is quite cruel in her punishments.

On the other hand, this movie creates multiple opportunities for later discussions of some deep moral issues. For instance, in one discussion with Harry, Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) reminds Harry that he’s not alone in his struggles, but that Lord Voldemort would like Harry to believe that he is isolated because he’s not much of a threat alone. For a Christian, the greatest enemy, Satan, often works in the same way. By isolating a believer and convincing him that he is alone in the battle, Satan leaves him weak and defenseless. Thankfully, we can be confident as believers that Christ never leaves nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6), and we have the fellowship of other believers to encourage us as we battle against the Evil One.

[ Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer ]

Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), also raises a very theological issue during a conversation in which Harry worries that he’s becoming evil. Sirius’s advice to Harry is to recognize that each person has both good and evil in him, but what matters is which he chooses to act on. While the characters of Harry and Sirius apparently do not know God, this capacity for good or evil that Sirius refers to is a Biblical concept. Though a Christian is forgiven of his sins, he still has the freedom to choose to sin again in the future. Fortunately, the Bible tells us that “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:5-7; see also Ephesians 4:22-24). We can rest assured that we are not slaves to sin, and therefore we are free to choose to act in a godly way in all that we do.

[SPOILER WARNING FOR THIS PARAGRAPH] One topic with spiritual implications that is especially apparent in this film is that of death. Throughout the movie many of the characters, Harry most specifically, are struggling with the murder of Cedric Diggory. Then, merely a year later, Harry again witnesses another murder, only this time it hits closer to home. Harry loses the only family he’s ever known when Sirius is killed by Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). This murder takes place within the Ministry of Magic. The room contains an archway which appears empty and quiet to Hermione, who has not experienced a death in her life, yet Harry can hear voices coming from the archway. When Sirius is murdered, he steps through this archway and disappears. While it’s not perfectly clear what the archway represents, there is an implication that an afterlife exists for those in the wizarding world.

This portion of the story provides excellent fodder for a discussion of the certainty Christians have regarding spending eternity in Heaven after death. We know that a place has been prepared for us in Heaven (John 14:1-3), and that by believing in Christ we “will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Undoubtedly there are many more spiritual issues within the plot of this movie, including even an overarching discussion of the battle between good and evil. Despite the usual objections that accompany fantasy involving witches and wizards, there was surprisingly little crude language in the movie. The PG-13 rating is well deserved, however, as there are numerous scary images and an intense wizard battle. Please be aware of this for young and sensitive children; this is not a family film.

The bottom-line is that fans of the Harry Potter books and movies will likely enjoy this latest installment. Those who have not seen the first four movies or have not read the books will find little enjoyment in this film. Additionally, those who previously avoided and boycotted Harry Potter for the associations with witchcraft and the occult should continue to avoid the movie because those premises have not changed. If you choose to see this movie with children, it will be important to take the opportunity to discuss the spiritual matters afterward. There is certainly ample material to create a “teachable moment.”

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

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 available:
Positive
Positive—I’ve never weighed in on the Harry Potter debate before—but I want my position to be clearly understood. Witchcraft does exist and is in direct violation of the Word of God. It is sin, and nothing a Christian should have any part of. But there is a difference between Wicca witchcraft, goddess worship, etc. and the kind of magic we see in Harry Potter. Those who have not read the books should understand that the use of the word “witch” in Harry Potter is just a word. Those who have magical abilities in the Potter books were born with them and didn’t acquire them by calling on demonic forces or pagan rituals. It is a fictional, fantasy world and has nothing to do with the reality of real witchcraft. For Rowling, it is nothing more than a setting for her story. She professes to be a Christian, and, after reading book 7, I can tell you that the “true myth” story of Christ (C.S. Lewis' phraseology, not my own) very definitely ties in the Potter books. Enough said on that subject.

I found this movie to be my favorite of the series because of the moral truth taught in it. I very much want my son to possess the kind of moral courage found in Harry Potter—that he learn to do what is right regardless of how hard it is or how much it costs him personally. That lesson was found in this movie in abundance.

I would also like to take this opportunity to warn parents—there is an upcoming movie whose preview was shown before this movie, called “The Golden Compass.” It is based on a book written by Phillip Pullman, from a series of books called His Dark Materials. This series was written by Mr. Pullman (who is an atheist who has taken a strong stand against organized religion) as a kind of “anti-Narnia” series, devoid of the “religious propaganda” that he found in the Narnia series. If you take your children to see this movie, please be prepared to discuss the anti-religious elements involved. I, personally, will not be taking my son to see the movie.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Lisa, age 40
Positive—“The Order of the Phoenix” is by far the finest Harry Potter film to date. For the first time, the screenwriter has not only captured the vision of the novel, but surpassed it, condensing it into a two hour film that never seems to drag on, but also does not feel overly rushed. Original additions are charming rather than distracting, and we really get a feel for all of the characters, particularly newcomer Luna Lovegood, whose performance is absolute brilliance.

I would caution parents that this film is not appropriate for very small children, for the same reasons the book isn’t—but reading about something is not the same as watching it, and scary scenes in the novel are even scarier on film, particularly an attack upon a character through a nightmare. That being said, the last half hour includes one of the most tremendously impressive fight sequences I have ever seen! The CGI is beyond astounding.

From a Christian perspective—and with no desire to berate the creation of these fairy tales—none of the magic is particularly offensive; the most alarming scene has Voldemort taking possession of Harry for a short time in an attempt to kill him; but Harry is able to force him out through the use of Love, in an indirect spiritual contrast with the overall message of the series: that True, Honest, and Pure Love (Christ’s sacrifice) can always defeat Darkness (Lucifer).
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
Charity Bishop, age 24
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Positive—Wow, not at all what I expected. The end of the movie talks about forgiveness the lack of love and compassion causing evil to flourish. Throughout the movie the common theme of good versus evil was present. A very easy segue for a parent and/or Christian to common day give my children better real life passages for them to take to heart. The fact the godfather died and left him alone only to be lifted by his “friends” for the good fight. It is a great example of how as brothers and sisters in Christ must always be there for one another. This was a great opportunity for a believer to standout and turn all things good.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—John Smith, age 34
Positive—A lot of Christians have a big problem with Harry Potter because they feel a story about magic is evil, I disagree, but I understand. One thing about this film that captured my interest is the battle over Harry’s “soul.” He is worried about becoming bad and has to make a choice to do what is right even when he feels like giving in to darkness. The film has an intense battle scene, but I think it will offend sensitive viewers less than the death scene in HP:GOF. Overall this movie is positive if you can watch it for what it is, a story.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Nick, age 23
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The acting was terrific and it production was amazing. It isn’t a movie for small children which is why it has a PG-13 rating. Basically, if your kids are upset or scared easily, this may not be the movie for them. I even found it to be a bit scary, but I was expecting that. I’ve read the book.

If you are looking for a good totally Christian movie, don’t go see Harry Potter number 5. It isn’t a Christian movie, but it isn’t trying to be. It’s fantasy movie that tells an amazing story. I was raised in a Christian household and am a Christian and I wasn’t offended or up set over the material. I think I’m more upset about people remaking the cult classic, Halloween. But that’s another story. Overall, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is an excellent movie for teenagers and some preteens, but not for young children who may not understand the story.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Miranda Laney, age 19
Positive—I was raised in a Christian household and am a Christian and I loved this movie. There is a lot of violence in it, so it may be too scary for some kids to see it. As a huge fan of the books, there were obviously parts that were left out for the movie, but overall I thought it was very well made. I think by now most Christians have already made up their minds about Harry Potter, but in my opinion it’s purely a fantasy book and film. Seeing this movie just made me more excited about the final book coming out in about a week.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Karen, age 19
Positive—I’m not a great Harry Potter fan—in other words I’d struggle to tell you the names of any of the characters beyond the 3 kids and a few teachers at Hogwarts. However, my kids love the books and we have been to see all the movies so far so HPTOOTP was bound to be on our movie schedule. Don’t want to talk about whether Christians should be watching movies with witches in—meat sacrificed to idols and all that. This was a bit of a “coming of age” movie for Harry. First kiss, taking on a leadership role… but there were some other interesting life themes explored here too.

For example, if you are going to do anything particularly significant you are going to be lonely at some point; are you prepared to lose your popularity for what you believe is right. Also, are you prepared to put those at risk who trust you. Found a delightful parallel to the attitude of many churches to spiritual warfare. The authorities clamp down on real defense training at Hogwarts as irrelevant and too dangerous. This is in fact just a bid to be in control and keep the kids education nice and theoretical—able to pass exams—not fight a “fictitious enemy.”

And the ultimate message is that we can choose to do the right thing regardless off our past baggage. Not bad for an afternoons entertainment. Not as many twists and turns as other movies—a bit more “grown up” you might say. A well rounded satisfying story—I think this may turn out to be one of my favorites of the series.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Rob Cresswell, age 41
Positive—'You’re going to hell if you watch Harry Potter!' I was told this by an extremely irate mother as she walked past me and heard me talking about the latest movie. First, judging others will get you to hell a lot faster than watching a fictional movie. Second, I don’t find Harry Potter offensive in the least. I have yet to find a place in the Bible that decries partaking in a work of fiction as a hell worthy offense. I fail to understand how Harry Potter is an evil work while The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia both contain magic and yet are praised by Christians the world over. It seems to me as if the vast majority of Christians simply want something to fight against. As for the movie itself, excellent. The movie making of this series has always been top notch. Warner Bros. spared no expense in bringing The Order of the Phoenix to the big screen. Duels are larger than life, Voldemort looks just as evil as ever, and the magic looks fantastic. Plus, we have the equivalent of the Yoda lightsaber battle from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Plot wise, if you haven’t read the books then the movie might appear confusing. The movie makers had to condense the largest book so far (the 7th is rumored to be bigger) down to two and a half hours or less. I think they did as well as they could. Overall, I whole-heartedly recommend this movie. If your child can’t separate reality from fiction then don’t take him/her. Otherwise enjoy this piece of FICTION.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Chris Ennis, age 20
Positive—I saw “Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix” on Sunday during the opening weekend with my Mom and Brother. We all walked out of that theater completely blown away. Even my Mom said it was the best one of them all that she had seen, and I agree. Although there is the use of magic in the film, the moral message is there, fight evil and stick with your friends. I’ve thought about this before. They do celebrate Christmas in Harry Potter, and the children that go to Hogwarts must be a mix of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and other faiths that are in the U.K. There is good magic and bad magic, and they fight for the greater good. Just be aware of what goes on in the World when you watch Harry Potter and remember your faith in God. Also another positive thing is that women and girls are treated equally and are not made to be promiscuous and sex objects.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Kurt, age 19, South Africa
Positive—Anyone who loves Harry Potter will have seen the fifth movie by now, but I figured I’d go ahead and write something about it. Only, that something turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be. So, enjoy. I only just got to see it last Sunday on IMAX. “The Order of the Phoenix” does not contain very many special sets or scenes that make it worth watching on IMAX, but it’s still a great experience. What I did not understand was why the 3-D part of the film lasted for a mere 20 minutes. If the entire film had been in 3-D it would have been more spectacular. I’m glad they did decide to use it at least a little bit, and for the best part of the entire movie: the Ministry of Magic scene where the battle between good and evil hits its peak.

Using visions of a tortured Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, Voldemort lures Harry to the Hall of Prophecies at the Ministry of Magic because He desires to possess a prophecy only Harry can take out of its holding place. Harry brings his closest friends with him, Hermione, Ron, Neville, and new to the series Luna Lovegood. Voldemort and Dumbledore have an ultimate dual during this scene and (spoiler alert) Bellatrix Lestrange kills Sirius. Sirius falls back into an archway in the middle of the room and disappears from site. Harry still hears voices coming from the archway, however. This climactic scene is the only real plot point in the entire film. The rest of the film leads up to this moment where Harry must choose good over evil in order to prevent Voldemort from taking over him.

The film has less of a plot to it, and very little mystery. The book builds more on Harry’s visions that lead him to go to the Hall of Prophecies, but the movie, with very little time, must choose what is most important to the film. I am happy with what writers and directors chose to keep. In this film you see very little of Harry’s friends and professors and lots of Harry. You will find that the development of Harry’s character in this film will become very important in the sixth movie. While the fifth installment lacks mystery, it lays the foundation for future installments. Harry deals with his dark side and must choose whether to give in or stand up to evil.

Part of Harry learning to stand up for himself comes from his experience with Dolores Umbridge and the Ministry of Magic. Too proud to admit Voldemart has returned, the Ministry turns to lies and deception to keep up their reputation. They take over Hogwarts in the form of Professor Dolores Umbridge, who tidies things up by enforcing harsh rules, firing some questionable professors, and preventing the students from practicing spells. In response, students form their own secret society where Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Death Eaters, or Voldemort’s followers. Harry grows as he teaches them, but still struggles with teenage hormones. He gains his first kiss with Cho Chang. On top of this, he still does not know what to do about his violent emotions. He says he’s angry all the time and isolates himself from his friends. Luna Lovegood reminds him of the importance of community in fending off our foes. By the end of the film, Harry has a better idea of who he is as a person and of what his purpose is in life. Although it has been mentioned in past films, (spoiler alert) he finally understands that he has something Voldemort will never have: love and friendship. He chooses the good and pushes Voldemort out of his mind. Voldemort leans over Harry and whispers, “You will lose.” The Ministry walks in and there’s no denying the truth any longer.

David Yates directs the film for his first Harry Potter flick and I have to say I really enjoyed it. While the third film was my favorite, I did not like the direction of “The Prisoner of Azkaban.” I would not mind the original director of the Potter films returning, but I also dislike the director of the fourth film. The sixth film should be interesting. I did not like the fifth book much, but loved the movie. I love the fourth book, but hated the fourth movie. I wonder what my impression will be of the sixth movie. The sixth movie is the beginning of the end of the series and cleans off looses ends from the fifth film. It will be important that it is done well and that parts of the book left out are tastefully chosen.

One thing’s for sure, I hope they bring back Nicholas Hooper as the composer. “Order” has the most beautiful and fulfilling soundtrack out of all the films. It builds off the original soundtrack in small amounts, but contains mostly new material that really connects with characters and events in the film. I highly recommend it. The acting in the film is also worth mentioning. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson have grown so much in their abilities; it’s hard not to like them. Newbies also do not disappoint. Imelda Staunton is ironically wicked as the cat loving, pink wearing Dolores Umbridge and Evanna Lynch’s calm, strangely pitched voice adds character to the role of Luna Lovegood. It really is the best Potter film yet. Helena Bonham Carter also joins the cast as Bellatrix Lestrange. Considering how few lines she has she portrays a lot about her character just by body language and costume.

I found extra meaning in this film because I recently read a book called “Looking for God in Harry Potter” by John Granger. Reading this book and thinking more about the plot lines I found three main Christian elements in the story of this film:

1. Community. Harry tries to go it on his own, but finds he can’t. Luna Lovegood reminds him that his friends provide support and loving care to him, encouraging him in his fight against evil, not to mention his fights against his own hormones. In the end, it is the memory of this love and friendship that enables Harry to say no to Voldemort. Likewise, we as Christians have many battles to face. We find support in community. We pray for each other and treat each other as we wish to be treated. We find that we all have a part to play in the building up of the church and no individual God-given gift can accomplish anything on its own. We also find community in the Order of the Phoenix, which bands together to fight Voldemort, as well as in Dumbledore’s Army, the group of students Harry secretly teaches when Umbridge forbids the practice of magic. Interestingly enough, throughout history the phoenix has been a symbol used for Christ. Dumbledore also stands as a God-like fat her figure.

2. Life after death. Harry hears voices coming from the archway that Sirius disappears into at death. From this we gather that there is life after death and we always have something to hope for. Luna Lovegood tells Harry at the end of the film that things have a way of coming back to us in unexpected ways.

3. Good vs. Evil. Like many today, the Ministry of Magic is too proud to admit to its statements are false and fight evil. Instead, they let evil take over and become evil themselves. Throughout the film, Harry struggles with the possibility that he could become just like Voldemort. A dark side in Harry begins to rise. He questions Sirius, asking why he feels so angry and what exactly the implications of his anger are. Both Sirius and Dumbledore indicate to Harry that everyone has both good and evil in them, it is which side they choose to act upon that matters. As Christians, we find the same thing true with our hearts. We all have a sinful nature that came with the fall. We can’t get rid of our fleshly tendencies, but we can choose to say no to the temptation when it comes. It won’t stop coming, we can still say no. Satan will try to attack our minds telling us that we, too, will “lose” (and I certainly am prepared to lose everything for God because I know God will provide and that there are more important things than the things of this world and that I have a better life to look forward to in Heaven), but with God’s help we can do anything. Once you decide to accept Christ, you belong to Him and Satan cannot take your soul. All he can do is try his best to keep you from bringing others to Christ. We all have the potential to do evil, but it is our choices that matter because God gave us free will.

So, I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and I am a Christian. No, that is not redundant or contradictory. Harry Potter is a great story that we all can learn from. You’ll find that the fifth Harry Potter film will fill you up with a lot to digest. Not just the great special effects (I especially like the transitions, dueling scene, and newspaper headlines) and great acting, but the morals and the continuation of a great story worth watching over and over again. …
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Harmony, age 19
Positive—I love Jesus with all of my heart. I was saved when I was 13 years old, and have loved Harry Potter since the 6th grade when my teacher read us the 3rd book during reading time. I have never, ever wanted to become a witch after viewing these movies. I believe this movie had less magic then the first 4. They weren’t shown learning much magic throughout the film, and most of the magic was done during the big fights scenes at the Ministry of Magic. And during those fight scenes the spells were hardly ever spoken. If anything this movie teaches about Good vs. Evil, building friendships, knowing that even though times are difficult you’re never alone.

Even though the characters aren’t Christian, doesn’t mean that they are all worshipping Satan. Because throughout the series there isn’t any devil worshipping. And “The Lord of the Rings,” a series FULL of violence, and with some magic, still a great movie. Written by a Christian author. Hmm, would I want a child of mine watching a movie with all that violence? No. Would I let my young child under 13 watch Harry potter? No, because of the rating. It’s not a young children’s series. Duh. I’m not stupid. But it’s not evil. I was talking with my Youth Leader about this problem. She doesn’t see why they are portrayed as evil either. For one, as she pointed out, Harry and his fellow witches and wizards, are born with this “gift.” They don’t suddenly decide to be a witch or wizard. From birth they are this way. They don’t practice rituals or anything of the sort. And to point out the obvious. it is FANTASYY. FICTION, not real. JK Rowling never said it’s based of true events. I rated this average, because it isn’t for younger children
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Kris, age 18
Positive—It is hypocritical to approve of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series and the “Lord of the Rings” and disapprove of Harry Potter because of its “magic,” “dark arts,” etc. elements. The characters are not Wiccans, Pagans or New-Agers; they are fictional characters who are born with magical powers, just like Aslan is a fictional character born with magical powers. And, C.S. Lewis refers to Aslan’s power as “magic” in his books. It is silly to approve of C.S. Lewis' works by just watching a movie. I bet Calvinists would disapprove of his works if they actually read them. The fantasy concept in Harry Potter is no different than the idea of fantasy in the other books oft approved of. The various characters in Lion Witch and the Wardrobe use magical tools given to them by Aslan to fight the snow queen, just as the children in Harry Potter use magic to fight evil. The kids are wizards themselves, just like there was a good wizard in “The Lord of The Rings.” All these fantasy movies are great learning tools for all ages.

I do admit I was surprised at the amount of moral lessons in this movie. You expect a movie like Spiderman to have a lot of them because he is an all American fictional hero. One moral lesson illustrated, which I liked a lot, was that evil people will use the bureaucracies to push their wicked agendas. Parents need to use Godly discretion in deciding if their children are too young or not to see the film. Also, the main children that could get carried away with the fantastical elements of the book/movie, and thus be led farther from Christ, are those who are not being trained, supervised, or given a rich and nurturing biblical culture to embrace by their parents. Those same kids will get carried away with the make-believe worlds of comic heroes, and-or the fantasia of “The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Lord of the Rings,” or Harry Potter. If children are not involved in fun and engaging activities that touch their minds, hearts and imaginations at home, church and their Christian schools, then they will look to the world to provide things that do. And who can we blame for that?
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Ariana, age 24
Positive—Great movie. I find it hard to believe that so many of you have such strong negative feelings toward a movie. Whether “magic” is used or not, the basic premise of this movie is simple. It is a struggle between good and evil. The movie depicts that no matter how strong evil is, love, friendship, and hope can defeat evil. What does it matter if the movie includes magic? The underlying theme is what matters. If we are good parents and teach our children right from wrong, they should then understand that going around and “cursing” people is not right. I should think that if we and our children understand this, then watching a movie which includes magic should have no effect on us as good people. …
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Vincent Catania, age 26
Neutral
Neutral—While I have watched this movie, I find myself at greater odds with the comments here than with the images on the screen. Are we Jewish or Christian? The old Testament in that… the old promise. We are to be reborn in Christ, and follow the guides of The new promise. This is no longer a world of '“ye for an Eye” and multiple wives. Is it not odd that was Christ was confronted with a seer, he did not destroy her, but relieved her of that sight? Have you forgotten the lesson is to be love? I will pray again, for by the looks of some of these comments we are expected to avoid acceptance, though others accepted us in our iniquity in order to bring us to life. Additionally one posted commented that this film encouraged rebellion. The rebellion is against a government that seeks to weaken and harm those it is supposed to serve, and one that is being led into evil. I would hope that a good Christian would desire to see even children rise against such an attack of the Enemy. …
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Walter, age 31
Neutral—I find it so difficult to accept and embrace comments that down this movie on the basis of Scripture that rejects witchcraft and witches. Not because I debate the Scriptures, but because I find the same people who are against this movie have a copy of “The Wizard of Oz” at home and count that movie as a treasure! If anyone has a problem with the Harry Potter movies because of the Scripture’s stance on witchcraft and wizardry, then “The Wizard of Oz,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “Fantasia,” “Peter Pan,” Pirates, Witch Mountain, etc. should all be off limits! It is fantasy, not endorsing the practice of witchcraft!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Thomas McCracken, age 38
Negative
Negative—As a former professional astrologer, I am disheartened to see the number of positive reviews here from young people. I think Harry Potter in and of itself has done more to desensitize our culture and younger generations to the occult than any other single media form.

In one scene, Harry and the students learn to conjure up their Patronus, a quasi-independent entity, usually appearing as an animal, that acts to protect them. The Patronus first appears in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. The description of this in the book is reminiscent of what is called in the occult a “thought-form,” sometimes considered a familiar spirit, especially if it takes the form of an animal. I learned about this in psychic classes I took in the 80s. A thought-form is a “quasi-independent constellation of psychic elements,” conjured up to “act in accordance” with the will of one who conjures it, and which is “reabsorbed” into the person’s consciousness when it has done its job (Janet and Stewart Farrar, A Witches’ Bible [Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing, 1996], 93, 240-41, 320-21).

The thought-form is considered to be an astral entity, a spirit conjured on the astral plane by someone on the Earth plane (Gonzalez-Wippler, The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies and Magic. 2d ed. [St. Paul: Llewellyn, 1996],105). The astral plane, according to some occult and New Age teachings, which I learned about when involved in the occult myself, is a dimension beyond the material plane which can be contacted in dreams, through rituals, or visited by the astral self. The astral plane is the “working ground” of the magician (someone who uses real magick—not stage magic, which is just tricks and illusions).

Using spells and magick to fight “dark magick” is called “white magick.” This shows that the books are not really about good vs. evil, but more about good magick against dark magick. However, there is no such delineation between white and dark magick in God’s view, according to his word. God forbids all spellcasting and magick, and shows that his power is greater (the Bible may use varied terms such as “sorcery,” “soothsaying,” “enchantment,” “witchcraft,” “divination,” and “incantations”). See Ex. 7:11, 22, 8:7, 18-19; Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10; 2 Kings 17:17, 21:6; Is. 47:9, 12; Jer. 27:9, Acts 8:9-11, 18-21, 13:6-12, 19:19; Rev. 9:20-21, 18:23, 21:8, 22:15.

In the book this movie is based on, Dumbledore explains that when Harry’s mother died for him, her death acted as a protective charm that saved him. By placing Harry in his mother’s sister’s home, Harry was protected further by his mother’s blood (flowing in the veins of her sister, Harry’s aunt), and thus his safety was ensured. Doing this “sealed the charm” (page 835). Far from being a picture of how Christ saves us through his sacrifice on the cross, as some have claimed (once again, reaching for Christian symbolism), this instead vividly presents an occult view of what Harry’s mother did. Her death was, or became, a charm, an act of magic. This love theme is not based on what the book presents and is carried too far to explain away the occult practices—practices used by real people such as Divination, charms, and casting spells.

Since I used to practice divination as an astrologer, I know well its dangers. It opens one to spirit contact; in fact, divination (includes astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, and may other similar things) will tend to lead to spirit contact, whether one wants it or not. Casting spells does this as well, even more so.

I think this movie, as do all the Harry Potter movies, can make the very practice of the occult or the possession of paranormal powers enticing. This is very dangerous bait.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Marcia, age Over 40
Negative—This is typical a brainwashing movie, encouraging rebellion, and people, witchcraft is encouraged in it… Deut 28., if you go to the stargazers, go ahead, but when you call to Me I won’t be there for you. We cannot fool around with witchcraft, even if it is so called white witchcraft, it still uses and encourages contact with demonic spirits. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Anisha, age 36, Netherlands
Negative—I really didn’t enjoy this movie. Not for the implications of wizardry and witchcraft. I can’t with good conscience condemn that and then cheer for Gandalf the White who is clearly a wizard. And Tolkien is heralded as a great Christian author. The movie was just a bore. Watching Order of the Phoenix was like watching a Saturday morning cartoon. Sure there’s a new little sub-plot every week, but the main story never moves forward. This is the biggest problem with the movie. Also the scenes between Harry and the other two main characters always seemed off. It’s like they were trying so hard to act awkward around each other that it just came off as kind of flat. Seriously, skip this one and watch “The Lord of the Rings” again, or “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Unless you are a huge Harry Potter fan, don’t waste your time.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Brant Shepherd, age 28
Comments from young people
Positive—I REALLY liked it. Although it was dark and a bit creepy I thought it was great. I didn’t like that they left out many things from the 5th book though, like Ron being attacked by brains in the department of Mysteries and how they didn’t emphasize Sirius Black’s death enough. I loved that character and they just sort of let him slip away. I liked how it isn’t just like the classic super hero movie where the good guy gets the bad guy right away, but it shows how he goes through struggles and sadness. I thought it was definitely a movie that only 12+ should watch. Little kids will be terrified. As long as you hold to your beliefs in Christianity I don’t think there’s a problem with it. If it tempts you to try witchcraft, don’t bother to see it.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Emily, age 12
Negative—Ok, I saw this movie. It was very well-made, but I don’t agree with it, because it’s about witchcraft which is forbidden in the Bible. I used to like Harry Potter, but now I don’t.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Troy Ivanhoe, age 16
Positive—This film was by far the best I have seen so far. I use to disagree with the movie to a certain extent, believing it to be all about witchcraft. Little did I know that even though it has some witchcraft in it, the movie portrays lifelong experiences that we as people deal with everyday. I have seen all of the Harry Potters so far, and I am definitely looking forward to the next one!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jay, age 16
Positive—Compared to the other Harry Potter films, this one is the BEST. It still has witchcraft in it, but that’s just fantasy. This film is FICTION, and it’s not like it’s real. I noticed something in the movie that interested me. There seems to be different sources where the magic comes from. (Portrayed in this film) I noticed that all the Death Eaters (Dark wizards) appear with a burst of black smoke and mist while the Order of the Phoenix enter the Department of Mysteries, they entered with white smoke and mist. It’s just something I thought about… Anyway, this movie’s rating is very accurate: those under 13 may be offended. I advise those who enjoy the book to watch this movie but remember that it is darker than the previous ones. It’s just a fantasy. Someone’s imagination.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Jason, age 15, Thailand
Positive—This movie was the best movie out of the 5!!!… I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!… this was a really great storyline acting and it was very clean!!!…
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Matthew, age 12 7/8, Canada
Positive—I went to go see this movie with my sister last night. I loved it. I was expecting a scarier movie though. I wasn’t disappointed, but I just wanted to see a scary movie. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was so funny! I haven’t seen a Harry Potter movie as funny as this one. Even after the big fight something funny happened! I really like this movie, and think that it is appropriate for any ages that don’t get scared easily.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Miley, age 12
Positive—This movie was EXCELLENT; the cast did a very, very good job. In a Christian point of view, it’s inappropriate, but in other Christian views not so bad. My Dad likes the Harry Potters: I own all 4 special Edition. The only thing against the bible is that there’s “WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY” in heavy amounts and that there is minor foul language: the d-word was used TWICE. In total, well put together movie, and I advise people to see this on the big screen IF ALLOWED OR WANTED.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Justin, age 13
Positive—This is the best movie yet! I went last night at midnight to the see the movie, after buying my ticket a month ago, and I loved it. The filming of the movie is extraordinary, especially during the wizard war in the Department of Mysteries. It is fascinating and extremely exciting when Dumbledore duels Voldemort. Daniel Radcliffe acted badly in Goblet of Fire, but he has matured in his acting abilities (not in other areas of his life), and it showed through in the movie. Rupert Grint’s acting is getting worse as he ages. Emma Watson, as my family agrees, is an extremely talented actress; she played her part expertly as usual.

The new casting for this movie was good, although Umbridge didn’t seem quite horrible enough. The highlight of the movie is definitely when Fred and George leave Hogwarts in their spectacular way.

Many people say that Harry Potter is extremely wicked because the Bible condemns magic. I have heard from a pastor that the Hebrew word for magic means, “gaining powers through being possessed by demonic spirits.” At no time in the books, or movie, does J. K Rowling state how the characters gained their magical powers; even though they are around ghosts and spirits, they are not possessed by them in any way.

…Harry Potter is a work of Fiction; it is a story that had been imagined by its author; it is a story that is unreal. Harry Potter also has many good morals: The fight between Good and Evil, Good triumphing over Evil, Love is the key, etc.

I myself am a young Fantasy author who has a book at the printers now. I am a boy who has always loved the world of fantasy. When writing my novels, I write to the Glory of God, and I stick to my beliefs about good magic in a work of fiction. I own all of the Harry Potter books, and movies, and will always love them, alongside the other extraordinary works of fiction written by authors just as gifted as J. K. Rowling.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Jordan, age 16
Positive—As a fan of Harry Potter I must say I’m SICK and TIRED of all the fuss about a work of F-I-C-T-I-O-N. I started reading the books when I was about 10, and throughout my life I’ve grown up with the boy wizard. When I accepted Christ at the age of 15 I was not ashamed to say I still loved the books, but God always comes first in my life no matter what books I read. The Films bring Harry Potter to life in a way the books can’t. I’ve viewed all the films in the theaters since Sorcerer’s Stone and have been amazed at how they are able to bring all the fantastic creatures to life. The fifth film is better than all of them (but I say that with every new Potter Film). There are many scary moments in the film with the dementors and Lord Voldemort maybe too scary for kids under 11-12.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Katherine, age 17
Positive—I went with my sister to go see this movie. I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies. It is the best one so far! I was reading about people saying that witchcraft is wrong and all that. It is, but I as a teen and a Christian would never practice that. If you really feel this strongly about it, don’t let your kid go see it. I loved it though.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Kalyn, age 12
Positive—…I personally happened to LOVE this movie because I LOVE Harry Potter and I have read the books so many times I can’t even count them. I think that if you look at it in a certain way, Harry Potter can be biblical. Harry is the savior of the wizarding world (like Jesus is the savior of us sinners), Voldemort is Satan, the Death Eaters are demons, the Order Of the Phoenix members are angels, and all the regular people are sinners. Besides, Harry Potter is NOT REAL! I happen to think that though the Bible says witchcraft should not be practiced, Harry Potter is awesome because it has an amazing plot and is well written and the movies are extremely well casted and acted. Besides, if you stick to your beliefs, you know that witchcraft isn’t real and that Harry Potter is MAKE BELIEVE and it could NEVER HAPPEN. …
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Christian, age 14
Positive—I am a firm believer in God, but I don’t believe this movie is trying to offend anyone especially God. People take things too literally. I would point out that this movie would be a little over a young child head and possibly even a little scary. But I do not think anyone should be offended by this movie because it shouldn’t offend anyone. It’s just a movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Anna Brenny, age 16
Positive—I like the movie. There really wasn’t a part that scared me. Harry Potter always has a choice to be good or bad. I didn’t like Voldemort hurting Harry.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Jason M. H., age 7
Negative—The movie had great potential. It could have been the best movie so far. The director that took over the project seems to be ignoring most of the plots in the book and turning into his on franchise. There was nothing in this movie that was offensive. I don’t know what all these other people were talking about. For all the people who hate the series for crying out loud it’s just a fairy tale. Lay off. I give it a 1/5 for not following the book.
My Ratings: Good / 3
—Tristian Silberman, age 16
Positive—…a good movie and definitely worth seeing at some point. I realize in the Bible God says that is wrong to affiliate with witches communicate with the dead etc. But, I honestly do not think there is anything wrong with the Harry Potter series. Every book/movie has at least one Christian Theme or morale in it. None of the films have serious objectionable content in them. And J. K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) is not a practicing witch. In fact, she is a member of the Church of Scotland. I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone 12 years or older. Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix is a good movie and a great addition to the Harry Potter Series.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Jacob, age 13, England
Positive—…I saw the movie with my mother and my sister. They walked out because my sister was scared (she’s 14), and I thought it wasn’t scary at all. Sure, Voldemort was a creepy guy, so was Saroun, or however you spell that guys name from Lord of the Rings…
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Joshua Sullivan, age 13
Positive—Although the Christian world seems outraged at the general love of all things Harry Potter, I cannot seem to understand it. How is this display of good and evil any different than CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia or Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings? Maybe because of the open display of magic; maybe because of the younger generation who is using it. I, however, began reading the books expecting to find it morally compromising or offensive, and became one of the millions of Harry Potter fans. As a Christian-Catholic, I am have conservative views; Harry Potter, to me, is not in any way a compromise of our Christian faith. For more explicit details of why, please read “Looking for God in Harry Potter” by John Granger. I found it extremely enlightening.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Amanda C., age 17
Positive—I believe this movie is very good. They did a wonderful job on the special affects and they had a great cast as well. Although, this may not be good for viewers under at least seven years of age. (Because of some frightening images.) This movie is definitely about good vs evil, love triumphs over just power. And it’s not trying to make people do witchcraft or anything. It’s expanding the viewers' imagination to the many possibilities.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Synclaire, age 14
Positive—This movie was Excellent! I saw it with my brother and cousins when we went to Maine this summer. I love all the Harry Potter movies and I wish people would not put it down. Some have said that it has witchcraft but it’s just make believe like the book. No, I don’t recommend this movie to young children, but to teenagers and adults, yes.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Kelsey, age 15
Positive—I went to go see “Harry Potter Order of The Phoenix” with a good friend of mine and we both LOVED it! We’ve read all the books and seen all the movies. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. My mom and my 10 year old brother went to go see it and enjoyed it. There is one scene that kind of freaked me out a little bit. It was when Mr. Weasley got bit by the snake. I WOULD NOT recommend this move for children under 9 or kids who get scared easily.

DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS!!! At the end when Harry is fighting Voldemort and his followers it really made me think 'Is that how it really is?' When good and evil are fighting. Also when Sirius dies it kind of makes me think of Jesus, and how he sacrificed his life for us as Sirius did for Harry and his friends.

What I didn’t like is they cut ALL of the quidditch out…
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Lizzie, age 12
Positive—I think this is probably one of the best movies ever made!!! A good friend of mine took me to go see it opening day! Of course, it was quite scary and a lot of magic. I think that if you like HP you would love this; if you don’t want any thing to do with magic, you wouldn’t want to go see it!! There were a couple kissing scenes—not like insanely disgusting or any thing. I think that any body who likes HP and is 10+ would enjoy this movie immensely!!!
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Lizzie, age 12
Positive—HARRY POTTER is getting more mature in this excellent adaptation of my favorite book in the series. I hate the bad reputation this series has received from many Christians. …this series is insanely enjoyable, and this entry is no different. Extremely well-made, as a fan of the series I cannot wait for the sixth and seventh movies. Keep making them good!!
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Joshua, age 14
Positive—…I honestly don’t see how some Christians can be so offended by this. …I decided to give it a chance, and I loved it. That verse about not practicing witchcraft and stuff, I mean it isn’t like after the movie I go out and try to do magic. I don’t pick up a tree branch and pretend to do magic. I like the stories; they are interesting and amazing. …
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Jess, age 14
Positive—I LOVE the HARRY POTTER series! The books are excellent; the adaptations are some of the best film adaptations I’ve seen (behind BATTLE ROYALE and maybe a few others), and there is a magic around the whole series that is just wonderful! The fifth movie adaptation so far, HARRY POTTER and THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (my personal favorite of all the books) is no exception. Unfortunately, this is the shortest film in the series *tear*, I find this rather ironic considering the book is the longest in the series (with more words then the New Testament). But this film is excellent, while I do wish it would have been longer, it still is really, really good captures the darker tone of the book, and it is excellently done (after the rather disappointing but still really good GOBLET OF FIRE adaptation). As for the spiritual content of the movie, they aren’t actually worshiping Satan or anything, while it is HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY, they do not actually practice witchcraft like it is in the real world. And anyone who is put down by the fact that in real life there are no real good witches and wizards are coming up with poor excuses, in my opinion. Rebellion plays a key role in this POTTER at times as well, I personally think that there are times when rebellion is necessary in the world, and that shouldn’t be a reason to skip out on this film. Overall, this movie is another excellent entry into the series and should be cherished with the rest by Christians and others alike. A+ I love this series and this movie. And personally, I think that HARRY can teach as more about good morals, honesty and loyalty then most kids shows they come out with nowadays.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Joshua, age 14
Positive—I am a strong Christian, and I love God with all my heart, but I find some of these negative comments about Harry Potter kind of silly. I am a hardcore fan of Harry Potter, I have read all the books (multiple times actually), seen the movies and all that business. Why? Because it’s entertaining. Waiting to see what happens next, or how Harry, Hermione, and Ron are going to find their way out this time. It’s the only book I will sit down and read for hours on end (I hate reading, really). To some people’s surprise, after reading and watching the movies, I didn’t turn into a Satan worshiper or in any way did it affect my relationship with God. Harry Potter is a story of courage and adventures, not evil and all the shenanigans that people make it up to be; the majority of those who have never even opened the book, or watched the movie (which I actually find particularly amusing that they should have some sort of opinion about it, if they haven’t taken the time to even read or watch it? How can you judge something you don’t even know.) If you are so concerned about the “witchcraft” and “magic” that is found in this movie and how it will affect your children if you let them go see it, shouldn’t you also be so terribly concerned about the magic in Disney’s “Cinderella” (my favorite actually) or in “Pinocchio,” “Snow White,” “Peter Pan,” and so many more children’s movies?…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ashley, age 15
Negative—I have decided not to write a long lecture about “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” I just want you to stop and listen to the Holy Spirit for a moment please. Really listen. Would God want you to watch this? Does it honor God? Matthew 12:30 says “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not work for Me, works against Me.” This verse changed my view of movies and I hope it helps you in your walk also. God bless!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Alyssa, age 17 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Faith: Jewish / Does anyone know what an abomination to the LORD means? …We are called to be set apart and Holy, not accepting and being involved with witchcraft. It doesn’t matter about the denomination, just what Yahweh says. We should all have our eyes focused on what is Holy not on worldly things. The Bible is VERY clear about not involving ourselves with ANY kind of witchcraft. Harry Potter was written by a practicing witch. The spells are not just for fun. They have power from Satan that we as believers should not be comfortable with. Please stop glorifying these sorts of movies to the youth. They are the only hope that we have for our country to turn their eyes to Yahweh instead of the Evil one! Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
—Sandra Vanus, age 35
I can’t believe what Hollywood is feeding kids these days, and that parents (even Christian parents) let there kids view these witchcraft filled movies. Let’s look and see what the bible says about this: Lev. 19:26 'Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft'. Deut. 18:10-13 'Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God' So it’s clear that God hates all sorts of magic’s and witchcraft. In conclusion it’s a waste of time and money to watch these sort of movies.
—Dan, age 14
I find it interesting that many Christians are saying this movie “is the best episode yet” and give it a positive rating. How do you justify that opinion with Exodus 22:18 which you know says “You shall not suffer a witch to live.” Most say they find gratuitous sex in films disgusting (as do I), but sex is at least natural. Some discard God’s word when it’s convenient; as someone also commented that Harry Potter is just entertainment and not real; well so is a porno film. I fail to see the difference. Please believe this is not to condemn anyone, its just how I read it.
—Sharon, age 57
Thanks for being here Christian Answers. I’m not only in agreement with the previous non-viewers about the Biblical response for Christians, but I am vehemently opposed to entertaining things that oppose Truth. I was introduced to the occult at the age of seven, and it took ten years for my deliverance, and I’m thankful to God for it. Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy—BUT, Jesus came that we might have life (John 10:10). Entertaining these things will not only hurt you, but can impact the generations that come behind you. Don’t let any ploy of the devil steal you away from God’s best for your life. True spiritual power comes through the Holy Spirit at work in your life, not through witchcraft of sorcery. The devil looks for an open door into your life, don’t give him room. Think on things that are true and live the life that God has purposed for you (Phil. 4:8).
—Cheryl, age 40
…my real concern is not so much the little influences we come across in our daily lives as it is important to be aware, but if we promote films with certain content as “It’s all good” hidden within a context of “It’s only fantasy” and the kids are at least reading and if you look hard enough you can see there is a “moral in it.” Does that mean that so long as there is a right or wrong in it, or good versus evil, is that the criteria that makes a movie or a book acceptable? I think not! The bible clearly states that all forms of witchcraft should be avoided, and for that reason I will not spend my hard earned cash supporting such content. The fact is that these types of films have given rise to interest in witchcraft and other occult activities, the secular media have even recognize the link. In my opinion and as a Christ follower where do we determine what is acceptable and what is not? What should we allow ourselves to view and read? Whether we like it or not it does ultimately influences are thinking, how do we draw that line, where is the bench mark? I would suggest scripturally. (The Bible) “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20)! Again in my opinion, if this is not a direct and obvious warning I don’t know what more one can say other than: Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
—Craig Ryan, age 44
Harry Potter books, movies and related memorabilia displays and demonstrates everything the Bible forbids about witchcraft and sorcery which are tools of Satan. The memorabilia is a tool of the devil in itself. I’ll demonstrate Jesus before I demonstrate Harry Potter. …
—John Rodgers, age 41
The bible says repeatedly to depart from evil. Turn away. Magic and evil… are magic and evil. Would you watch this movie with Jesus sitting beside you? When Jesus returns will he be proud that you watched this movie, or proud you let your children watch it? This is not a gray issue. This is black or white. It is either wrong or it isn’t. People need to stop making excuses for their behavior and just do the right thing. There is no difference between black magic and white magic. Magic is magic. The only magic or power I ever want to partake in, would be that of Jesus Christ. People who honestly believe that the movie is okay to watch because it turns out “good” in the end are kidding themselves. What about the whole movie of evil that you just let your brain absorb? I will never let my kids watch Harry Potter. And I pray more people will turn away from these books and movies. What would Jesus do has become a tired saying lately but it is true. You should ask that in everything you do.
—Mary Frederick, age 29
I do not agree with the view that to watch this movie or read these books is morally wrong. I cannot understand how people quote verses about “not practicing witchcraft, letting witches live, divination being a sin,” etc. and then saying because of this, people are wrong to associate with the Harry Potter craze when in reality, people, these books just happen to be fiction. By reading the book I am not in essence practicing witchcraft and such nonsense, and I do not understand how so many people can condemn this book/movie and those who read/watch it when there are thousands of movies/books out there that have material in them exceedingly more biblically and morally offensive. Honestly, what seems more “sinful” to view, a fictional movie about good wizards fighting bad ones, or a fictional movie where the characters are involved in sexual immorality, idolatry, murder, etc. The list goes on. Yes, the movies/books may have moral flaws, and yes, they do have magic in them, and if that truly disturbs you, then by all means stay away from the films/books. But I think it is foolish for people to take this fictitious movie so seriously that they condemn it, and those who watch it. Like I said people, it’s just fiction. I myself am a Christian and am looking forward to seeing the movie, and I am not going to shun literature/movies because of “magic” content (“The Lord of the Rings,” “Chronicles of Narnia,” anyone?).
—Candace, age 17
Although I have not seen the movie or any of the Harry Potter movies, for that matter, I still feel that it is a movie that is based on evil and darkness. Yes, I know you may say that I am being judgmental because I have not seen the movies, but what I think is a bigger issue with this movie and those of its type is that it is geared toward children. Children and teens are the target audience for this movie. I don’t feel that it is fair for children to be exposed to witchcraft, sorcery, and evil images. Parents need to be advocates for their children’s minds and souls more than ever. We need to stop letting TV, movies and other worldly things influence our children.
—Geri, age 29
(NOTE: I have seen all of the movies and read all of the books, and loved every one of them, but please don’t stop reading my comment yet). I get so agitated when people rant and rave over Harry Potter and talk about how horrible they are, and 90% of them haven’t even read the book, they are just basing their opinion on the popular Christian belief. I wrote a review explaining SOME of my defense on the Harry Potter novels above in the young adult section, so please feel free to read it, but the main reason I am writing this comment is to recommend a certain book to those people who feel negatively about these books and movies, especially the ones who are judging it before they have read the books. PLEASE get and read the book called Looking For God In Harry Potter by John Granger. Mr. Granger is a Christian man with a wife and seven kids, and has given many conferences on the Christian themes of Harry Potter. John Granger was once one of those people who looked down on Harry Potter, because he, too, accepted the popular Christian belief of the books. It is a great book that I hope will change how you look at Harry Potter.

I myself enjoy writing fantasy as a hobby and hopefully soon a career. I have written two, soon to be three, books, all of which have magic of some sort in them. I like to say that I was inspired to begin writing at a young age by J. K. Rowling and other author’s success. Being interested in the fantasy genre, I have studied and read about many different author’s lives, especially J. K. Rowling’s. If you read John Granger’s book, you will come to learn a small amount of how much work she put into the Harry Potter books, and how she weaved so much Christian theme into the books. Many people accuse her of being a pagan, but she is actually a professed Christian, which you will learn if you read some of her biographies.

Lastly, for I could go on forever, I would like to say that I think that the Harry Potter books have more Christian theme and wonderful morals in them than any book I have ever read, excluding the Bible. And also, I think every Christian should read John Granger’s book, who are opposed to Harry Potter, and then read the series themselves so that they can also see how good they are. I know some people will still be opposed to it, no matter what, however, that is your decision to make. Many people I know were once opposed to Harry Potter, but after learning from my family about them, they, too, are reading them and enjoying them very much.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jordan, age 16