Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)


Dave’s 3-Word Review
Cute and adventurous.

Back in the day when I didn’t review movies, I remember how much my mother shunned me away from the “evil” ways of magic and sorcery…witchcraft was a devil thing you see, and even though it is only a movie, it still advertises Satanism…or something like that. So Harry Potter was clearly off limits…even though I didn’t agree. Years later, after several Potter films have already been released, my curiousity was simply too high to watch…but I did something dumb and watched the films that have been released in reverse order. I’ve seen every one of the films, and they all seem to blend together like…Neapolitan ice cream. So to separate what’s what, we begin with the first film in the franchise: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) was born to be a wizard, but his evil Uncle and Aunt forbid it…obviously jealous of being nothing but stubborn muggles. So when he turned 11, Harry was picked up by Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) to start school at Hogwarts. On the train to the school, he meets his trusty sidekicks, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint). It is at the school where they learn of the Philosopher’s Stone, a powerful stone that allows its holder to have everlasting life. Its power in the wrong hands can hold disastrous results. Can Harry Potter stop a mysterious man from stealing the stone before it’s too late? Only time can tell.

Gotta say…the movie is cute. I was told about how this series is a children’s story and I remember not believing a word of it, given the film’s dark nature…but now I understand. These are kid actors, and they’re not the best at acting…they’re about what you’d expect from a bunch of 11 year olds trying to be serious for a role. It’s cute. At the same time, the film has plenty of plot for adults to love as well, which makes this film iconic. Too many kids films have stuff that only kids can enjoy, Harry Potter, on the other hand is a perfect example of a film that offers material for everyone.

The movie is lengthy, but that’s okay, given how much details the film has to introduce. There are so many characters, and so many things to learn at the school that the first half of the film is purely devoted to just that. Lots of character development, story development, introductions to the school and how they operate, the teachers and students, legends and so forth. The second half of the film is when the movie dives into what we all will learn to love about Harry Potter, and that’s the adventurous streak.

The first movie is the one associated with the big dog, big chess set, and of course, the Philosopher’s Stone, which all occur primarily in the last half of the film. The chess part was a little tacky, but it was fun nonetheless, and kids would love it. What I like about that, is that the film offers kids to grow up with the actors, and let the film’s tone mature with the audience. You don’t get that for a lot of films, and I commend them on doing a fine job in that department.

I don’t really understand why they changed the title of the film, especially because the movie itself mentions “The Philosopher’s Stone”, not “Sorcerer’s”, so the title itself might be a little odd to some. Other negative things I’d have to say is of course, the kids aren’t the best actors yet and that some of the CGI work was poor (not all). Overall, I’d easily say that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone did a fine job at introducing us to not only Harry, but every other key player in the rest of the series and gave us a solid reason to keep watching.

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