Director: David Yates
Running Time: 2 hours, 26 minutes
After the death of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) embark on a mission to locate and destroy Voldemort's remaining horcruxes, each of which houses a portion of his soul.
"Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part 1" is the seventh installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise. It is again directed by David Yates and written by Steve Kloves, based on a portion of the final novel in the series by J.K. Rowling. Really, this film is only the first half of a much longer movie. If we look all the way back to the fun, whimsical introduction we had to the magical wizarding world in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," it's hard to imagine the series would have ended up in such a dark place. Harry, again played by Daniel Radcliffe, is unable to go back to Hogwarts for his senior year of school. Instead, he is sent on a perilous mission to locate the horcruxes that house Voldemort's soul. As Harry, along with the ever-faithful friends Ron and Hermione, again played by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, journey across the vast wizarding world, what used to be fun and full of life is now grim and lifeless, splashed with dark colors and even darker beings. There are even some sections that look straight-up apocalyptic with the bad guys now running the show. Voldemort, again played by Ralph Fiennes, and his Death Eaters have taken over much of the world, including the Ministry of Magic. Voldemort has begun a wizarding equivalent of an ethnic cleansing as the parallels between the Death Eaters and the Third Reich become even more clear. We see numerous leaflets of propaganda strewn about, which share similar imagery to ones seen in WWII Nazi Germany. Any muggle-born wizard is persecuted and tried for violating the law. At one point, we see one of these trials being adjudicated by the infamous Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton.
There is a lot of emotion in this seventh film as death and tragedy lurk around every corner. Numerous characters, muggle and wizard alike, are killed off in this installment. Some of these deaths are enough to bring tears to your eyes. Over the past decade of films, we've grown attached to these characters who are now being killed off one by one. Even though they are not at Hogwarts anymore, Toto, it's still exciting to watch Harry and co. travel across the land looking for horcruxes, even though it involves a lot of wandering, because we never know what's going to happen next. It is definitely the precursor to the better, more action-packed second part of this movie, but "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" is still a fantastic movie in its own right. With Yates back as director, it's clear that his darker vision for the series has reached its peak. This is shown in the brilliant CGI, the harrowing landscapes, the deathly creatures, and the cliffhanger ending. These exciting adventures just keep coming in the series, which never once lost steam over a decade of time. If only Harry and his friends had more of it.......
My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!