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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… dark and murderous … Read full 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.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    Director David Yates, who is new to the Potter franchise, moves the story along briskly, at the expense of texture and nuance.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    "Phoenix" might go down as the problematic film, full of plot but little fun.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The flourishes don't answer the question most on Potterites' minds -- who lives, who dies? -- but they briefly stupefy.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The special effects continue to be masterful, but villains are given a new twist, and Order of the Phoenix is all the more fun because of it.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    For those who have gotten their Harry Potter fix entirely through the cinematic incarnation, the script is lucid and fast-moving.

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  • See all Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Riveting fifth movie finds Harry angry, brooding.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even kids who can't read know about Harry Potter, and some kids who are too young for the content will want to see this fifth Potter movie. As has been the case with each succeeding movie, as the central characters have gotten older and taken on bigger challenges, the themes darken, the danger becomes more intense, and the climatic battle scenes with "You Know Who" and his minions are downright frightening. Spoiler alert: There's a very upsetting (but bloodless) death of someone near and dear to Harry. As a result, he grows even more introspective and angry. At the very least, he does enjoy his first kiss (no spoiler to Potterheads), and Ron and Hermione continue their flirtatious bickering.

  • Families can talk about the movies' increasingly mature themes as Harry grows into a full-blown adolescent. Why is Harry so angry? Do you think Harry and his friends act and feel like real teenagers?
  • Even though this movie and the last one are rated PG-13, they're heavily marketed to younger kids -- do you think that's OK, or are the later movies too scary for little kids?
  • Potterheads: What parts of the book were best depicted in the film? What got left out that you would have included? What scenes included heavy foreshadowing of things to come?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Harry's friends bravely agree to practice defensive spells to help him ward off Voldemort and his evil cohorts. In particular, Ron and Hermione refuse to let Harry go up against 'You Know Who' alone. Harry, his friends, and the Order of the Phoenix members act in a courageous, selfless manner. The movie's key lessons are that it's your choices and the actions you take that define you and that friends, family, and love make you more powerful than even the strongest evil.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Scary images of Dementors, Death Eaters, and Lord Voldemort. Angry centaurs drag a character away. Professor Umbridge severely punishes Hogwarts students using a method that feels a lot like torture. A character is attacked by a large snake, with somewhat bloody results. The depiction of the battle at the Department of Mysteries is intense, and one key character is killed (though not in a gory way). Harry is painfully inhabited by the Dark Lord; he is also very angry during much of the movie.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Harry and Cho kiss; Ron and Hermione continue their thinly veiled flirtation through bickering and glancing at each other.

  • language false0

    Language: The word "bloody."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: No product placements, but the film franchise includes a ton of merchandising deals, toys, and other tie-ins.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Harry and his friends meet in a run-down pub in Hogsmeade, but they don't drink anything.