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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A red-blooded adventure movie, dripping with atmosphere, filled with the gruesome and the sublime, and surprisingly faithful to the novel.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    What's on screen, though, is a cautious approach to cinema wizardry -- broad, colorful strokes and flash-bang effects that turn J.K. Rowling's words into a long, cheerful spectacle with a Muggle soul.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though the film will undoubtedly please the young viewers who flock to it, ultimately many of the book's readers may wish for a more magical incarnation.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    That sense of déjà vu is at once this Harry Potter's balm and its limitation: many charms, but few surprises.

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  • See all Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this first movie in the Harry Potter series has some intense and scary moments. Harry Potter and friends -- who are only 11 years old here -- are in peril and get hurt, but not seriously, and most of the scares come from fantasy creatures. There's a flashback to the (bloodless) death of Harry's parents and discussion about how they died and the one who killed them.

  • Families can talk about the Harry Potter series. Do you like the books or movies better?
  • What themes from the first in the series pop up again in later installments?
  • What do you think about Harry and his friends going away to school? Would you ever want to do something like that?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Plenty examples of bravery and loyalty throughout this book. Harry is not afraid to stand up for those who have been compassionate towards him as well as those who he feels deserve better treatment. His generous tendencies encourage readers to use their experiences with adversity in a positive manner and the reward will be greater than they can imagine. In Harry's case, having been the underdog since his early childhood, he uses his past experiences and turns them into the desire to treat others with respect and loyalty.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Harry's relationship with Ron and Hermione is one that demonstrates the idea behind strength in numbers when it comes to friendship. The trio is able to work together despite their respective flaws, forgive each other for their mistakes, and overcome great challenges. Harry, Ron, and Hermione also complement each other when dealing with the most normal activities in comparison to their hectic and adventurous lives. Hermione keeps Harry on track in terms of academics amidst all the other extracurricular activities they take part in.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Kids are in peril often, but at the hand of fantasy creatures most of the time. A three-headed dog chases Harry and friends. Harry and Draco see a dead and bloody unicorn and are chased by a hooded figure in the Forbidden Forest. Harry and friends fight a troll and knock it unconscious, are nearly crushed by a constricting plant, are chased by flying keys, and pummeled by a life-sized chess board. One character dies by turning to dust. Mostly friendly ghosts roam the halls; the ghost Nearly Headless Nick shows how he got the name. Flashback to the (bloodless) death of Harry's parents and much discussion about how they died and the one who killed them.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false0

    Language: Use of a term specific to this fictional universe. "Mudblood" is a derogatory term used by the pure-blood witches and wizards to describe a person born and raised by a non-magical family. The slur is derived from the idea that these people are incompetent, especially in terms of their magic skills, and possess "dirty blood" not fit for the world of pure-blood witches and wizards.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: While the candy mentioned wasn't originally real, it is now: Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Jelly Slugs, and more. And then there are the action figures, Lego playsets, wands, Band Aids... you name it.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable