Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (David Yates – 2009) A-

This post contains SOME mild SPOILERS!!

Dark and terrible things are in play in Book 6 and the film version does a very good job of capturing them. It was only a matter of time before our friends at Hogwarts are all grown up. It sucks not being as enchanted with their school as they used to, but it sucks to grow up sometimes with all the heartache, heartbreak and responsibility that comes with it. That is especially true with a psychotic evil wizard trying to kill you and rule the wizarding and muggle worlds I suppose! This definitely feels like part 1 of a trilogy leading up to the final two movies. Harry is on the trail of magical objects called Horcruxes that, if found and destroyed, will spell the end of “He Who Must Not be Named”.

The film is very well done and the sets, CGI, look and feel are spot on. It’s dark, gloomy and sometimes very creepy (not for little ones BTW, nevermind the stupid PG rating).  The finest acting in this picture is done by Michael Gambon playing Dumbledore and Jim Broadbent who is simply fantastic as Horace Slughorn, the new potions master. Having read the novel, many things seem rushed (Voldemort’s background, identifying the HBP,..) but also many pivotal scenes are crafted very well. Most notably Slughorn’s “confession” scene in Hagrid’s cabin, Hermoine and her birds, the cursed necklace, the truncated but still touching death scene at the end to name a few.

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