Harry Potter: Ranking The Movies From Worst To Best

8. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (2001)

Harry Potter Philosopher's Stone
Warner Bros.

Directed By: Chris Columbus

Unfortunately, the first film on this list is the first film in the series, but Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is one that many fans unabashedly loved when growing up.

It does a good job of introducing so many key things in the series: the wonderfully magical John Williams theme (who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score), the quaint suburbia that Harry luckily escapes, and obviously the perfectly chosen cast.

The fact that looking back on the first instalment of the series now reminds you of how much better Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson got as actors doesn't bode particularly well for this movie. Although, to be fair, the somewhat awkward line-reading that the principal actors have actually works pretty well in some circumstances. For example, on the Hogwarts Express, the nervousness of the actors is perfect because they are playing kids who are meeting each other for the first time. That scenario would make anyone nervous, and it's particularly difficult when you are traveling on a magical train after you have just recently been told that you are a rich and famous celebrity that vanquished the Dark Lord when you were only a baby.

So, Philosopher's Stone establishes the world that Harry Potter inhabits, but (like Harry) it took a while to get familiarised with it. Chris Columbus made this movie as a joyous and fantastical kids movie, but the later instalments would show that it could be more than "just" a fun movie for kids.

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Bryan Hickman is a WhatCulture contributor residing in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bryan's passions include film, television, basketball, and writing about himself in the third person.