Harry Potter: Ranking The Movies From Worst To Best

It’s been over two years since the last Harry Potter film was released, but even though the general media attention…

Bryan Hickman

Contributor

Harry Potter

It’s been over two years since the last Harry Potter film was released, but even though the general media attention towards all things Potter has diminished, the enthusiasm of the faithful fans is still strong. Now that JK Rowling is developing a new series centered on Newt Scamander in flapper-age New York City (currently titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), and since we’ve had ample opportunity to reflect, it seems like the perfect time to analyse the Harry Potter films and declare once and for all which of the movies was the best.

This has proven to be an exceedingly difficult task and will inevitably incur the wrath of some righteously zealous fanatics, but hopefully this list will be a fun way to revisit the golden glory of one of the greatest franchises of all-time. J.K. Rowling created an expansive universe with the most beloved book series of our time, and rather than being another disappointing cash-grab, the movies can stand on their own as great entertainment. Are the movies as richly detailed and complete as the books? No, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthwhile. With a staggering $7.7 billion in ticket sales, the Harry Potter film series is the highest grossing franchise ever.

As the basis of the films, which books were the best is obviously going to play a role in the outcome of this list, but I want to state, re-state, and double affirm that this is not about which books are the best, it is about which films are the best. That means that if something happened in the book and it didn’t happen in the movie (poor Peeves, Long Live S.P.E.W.), we can’t count it against the quality of the film because it isn’t there. However, if there was something in the book that seemed impossible to film, the movie would get bonus points. Furthermore, if a section of the book didn’t particularly pop (Dumbledore forbid), and the movie improved on it, that has to be considered.

With how well everything turned out, let’s just thank the lord (a.k.a Joanne Kathleen) that Harry Potter wasn’t turned into an American animated movie that compressed the first three books into one (as Steven Spielberg was planning). It’s almost inevitable that the books will get turned into movies again at some point down the road, so we should appreciate what we have while we can.

A quick note: although the list is organised from worst to best, it is pretty safe to say that every one of the movies is actually good. While never quite achieving the critical and award success of the Lord of the Rings and Dark Knight franchises, every movie is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes (and the fact that Alan Rickman wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar for Snape pains my soul). So let’s get back to witches and wizards and magical beasts, to goblins and ghosts and to magical feasts, and touch on each of the totally awesome Harry Potter movies….