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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

5 more points for Gryffindor. Read full review

4.0

Jen Yamato Profile

Wizarding ain't easy. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    65

    out of 100

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

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    What's worse, some mysterious movie curse has turned the three once-lively adventurers into wood.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    More than even the most faithful of the earlier episodes, this film feels devoted above all to reproducing the novel onscreen as closely as possible, an impulse that drags it toward ponderousness at times and rather sorely tests the abilities of the young actors to hold the screen entirely on their own, without being propped up by the ever-fabulous array of character actors the series offers.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Menacing and meditative, Hallows is arguably the best installment of the planned eight-film franchise, though audiences who haven't kept up with previous chapters will be hopelessly lost.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 also bravely faces the future, slipping with expert ease among the thrilling mass of complications (and complicated set pieces) that Rowling throws fans in the final sprint, then guiding the faithful to the fate that awaits everyone in this world, the moment called The End.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Excellent, epic saga continues to get darker, more intense.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the second-to-last installment in the epic Harry Potter movie saga is the darkest, most intense yet. It has the highest body count of any Potter film, including the deaths of several recurring characters -- some of which are particularly emotional and upsetting. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and their friends are bloodied, injured, and cursed. In one startling "jump" scene, Voldemort's giant killer snake bursts out of an old woman's body; there's also a particularly disturbing torture scene in which a major character is branded with an insult. Expect a bit of sensuality, including lots of longing looks and protective embraces between Ron and Hermione, a passionate snog between Harry and Ginny, and a scene of "ghost" versions of Harry and Hermione tormenting Ron with a sensual kiss (they appear to be nude, and you can see their torsos, but it's quite blurry/misty). Despite the amped-up angst and violence, the characters prove again and again that unconditional friendship, loyalty, and love can survive even the most harrowing of threats.

  • Families can talk about whether this is an appropriate movie for younger kids, even if they've seen or read the books. Discuss whether your child is truly ready for this movie, which is very dark and disturbing at times. (And for more, check out our age-by-age guide to Harry Potter.)
  • Why does Harry need help on his journey? What do Hermione and Ron offer him that no one else can? Can you think of other movie/literary heroes who require a lot of help on their life-or-death journeys?
  • How does Ron's departure affect Harry and Hermione? How did the locket horcrux torment Ron, and what did it confirm about his self-esteem? Did he redeem himself by his return?
  • If you've read the book, what parts of the novel were left out? Which were faithfully adapted? How did you feel about the characters who died in the movie?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: Positive messages include the idea that every hero needs help to defeat evil; that "blood status" (the magical equivalent of racial purity) isn't important; that all kinds of people -- magical and non-magical -- should be able to co-exist peacefully; and that some things, some battles are greater than one person. By defying his former masters, Dobby shows the importance of free will, loyalty, and friendship. Hermione's choice to stay with Harry even though she loves Ron is a good lesson in staying true to your word, while Ron's choice to come back is a great lesson in redemption.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Harry, Hermione, Ron, and all the members of the Order of the Phoenix are positive role models -- they work together against the scariest villains and toughest of odds. Even though Voldemort's cronies have taken over the Ministry, the actions of the Order, the central trio, and Dobby are strong examples of how even the humblest creatures can do amazing things.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The body count in this movie is the highest of all the adaptations to date. Several characters -- mostly recurring supporting players, but also a couple of newly introduced ones -- are killed, mostly via the Killing Curse. One beloved character dies after suffering a bloody knife wound. While on the run, the central trio is each injured -- Hermione is tortured, Ron's shoulder is severely hurt, and Harry nearly drowns while being choked by a cursed locket. A character loses his ear to a Death Eater (bloody wound visible). Muggle-born characters are shown being whisked away against their will -- toruture/mistreatment is implied. The good guys face down Death Eaters, Dementors, Snatchers, and, in one gruesome scene, a man-eating snake that bursts out of a dead body. Weapons include wands and fists in most of those fights.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Ginny asks Harry to zip up her dress, and then turns around and exposes a strip of bare back (all the way down to her waist) to him. They then kiss. Lots of flirting and longing looks, as well as embraces between Ron and Hermione. An evil, ghostly version of Harry and Hermione torment Ron by embracing and kissing passionately while appearing nearly nude (their torsos are visible, but it's all very blurry/misty).

  • language false2

    Language: Frequent use of British slang like "bloody," "bleeding," and "git," plus "damn," "piss," "ass," "hell," and "oh my God" said once or twice. The insults "Mudblood" and "blood traitor" -- which are the wizarding world's equivalent of nasty racist terms -- are said several times as well.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Champagne glasses are magically filled at a wedding reception, and people eating at a large dinner table are shown with goblets in front of them, but no one is really drinking.

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