So, after watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for a third time this week, I think I've finally decided where the new film ranks compared to the previous entries.
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Oddly enough one of my least favorite books in the series has become the best movie to date. OotP is by far the most grown-up movie so far, not just in terms of theme and story, but it terms of how the film is shot. David Yates really made the Harry Potter Universe his own and has created the most visually appealing film. Sure, it's not a perfect adaptation because there were elements that had to sacrificed, but overall this latest installment is by far the best, and I don't understand why so many people dislike this one.
2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - The PoA movie will always be my all-time favorite HP flick mostly because it was the movie that got me hooked on Harry Potter. Up until Prisoner of Azkaban I had only watched the movies. I did try reading the book prior to this movie, but I couldn't get in to it. This story had some great themes and plot twists that just drew me in. I read the book after watching this movie (at least 5 times in the theaters) and I was a goner.
3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - HBP is one of my favorite books in the series, and it is one of the better movies of the bunch even though I still feel that it is somewhat uneven. Too much time was spent on the angsty teenage lovey dovey stuff, and not enough time spent on Tom Riddle or the Half-Blood Prince. Despite the unevenness of the film, this installment had a great combination of well-timed light comedy and dark elements. HBP is far from a perfect translation, but it was still an enjoyable film, and a great addition to the franchise.
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - GoF is by far my least favorite book in the series. I was not intrigued by the Tri-Wizard Tournament stuff and don't get me started on the whole SPEW subplot. I just felt the book strayed too far away from the whole basis of the series, Voldemort. Sure he's there at the start and the end, but very little is said about him throughout the book. So why is the GoF movie so highly ranked? First, the visuals were fantastic. While the book was a bit boring, I always knew the movie would be action packed, and I wasn't disappointed. I also applauded the graveyard scene because I feel that's where the series really takes off. Also, the scene where Harry brings Cedric's body back still gives me chills. Sure, I would have kept the whole Impostor Moody twist closer to the book, but that's just me being nit-picky. Plus, it's the HP movie with the most humor.
5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - It was Chamber of Secrets that convinced me that the Harry Potter stories were not just for kids. This film shows how dark the world of Harry Potter can be. The ending of CoS will always be one of my favorites. There is just something uber creepy about Tom Riddle and how he uses the diary to posses Ginny.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - The movie did a decent job at translating the book on to the screen. Chris Columbus did a good job at setting up the foundation with a fairly spot-on adaptation of the book. Overall, it was a decent film but nothing too spectacular in my opinion.
I can't wait to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows even if that means it's the end of such a wonderful film franchise.