Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Movie Review

This post contains spoilers for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I’ll start by sharing what I like about this movie. Then I’ll share what I don’t like about this movie. I’ll end with my overall thoughts.

I love how well the actors portray the characters. This movie really brings the Knight Bus and The Monster Book of Monsters to life.

I like some of the improvements the movie made. Aunt Marge’s visit lasts a week in the book, but in the movie it’s condensed to one night. I think one night of Aunt Marge is plenty. There’s one scene where the Minister of Magic and some of the professors are in The Three Broomsticks, and they’re talking about Sirius Black. This is a public location where anyone can overhear them, which doesn’t seem like a good idea given how secretive everyone is regarding Sirius. In the movie, this conversation is moved to a private room in The Three Broomstick, fixing that problem.

My favorite scene is when Snape starts scolding the kids and then immediately has to protect them from werewolf Lupin. He literally shields them with his body. Even though he can be a jerk, his first instinct is to protect the students. Good for him.

The movie opens with Harry using magic at the Dursleys’. That violates the trace. He should be expelled for that. In the beginning of the book, Harry sees Sirius Black on the Muggle news. That’s removed from the movie. I think it’s good foreshadowing. The movie also cuts important background information about Sirius. It doesn’t explain who the Marauders are, and it cuts McGonagall’s animagus lecture. That information is important to the story too. It also cuts Snape gloating, which is fun to read about. The movie also makes it seem like Lupin was more Lily’s friend than James’s, which isn’t the case.

Hagrid must’ve magically relocated his hut because it’s definitely in a different location in this movie. There are a bunch of random added scenes that don’t add much to the story and could’ve been replaced with the aforementioned important scenes from the book that didn’t make it into the movie. The ending also feels really long because of the whole time travel thing. I feel like the movie’s almost over, and then there’s actually another hour to go.

Overall, I think this is a decent adaptation of the book. There were some significant cuts made in terms of giving important information. If that information had been included, this would be an excellent adaptation.

What do you think of this movie? Do you think it’s a good adaptation? Let me know in the comments.

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