Do you recommend the Harry Potter movies?

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liquiddragon

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Poll Do you recommend the Harry Potter movies? (244 votes)

Yeah, watch 'em all 70%
Watch these, skip these (comment below) 7%
Na, skip 'em 23%

Maybe cause I never read the books but the Harry Potter series never managed to cast it's spell on me and it's phenomenon has puzzled me most of my life.

I went to the library today and saw the 8 disc blu ray set on top of one of the movie shelves and I took it out on a whim but it actually is a decent amount of time investment.

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SpaghettiBox

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#1  Edited By SpaghettiBox

The movies are fine. Fun to watch at the very least, so I think it's worth the time. I think the third movie is my favorite. That being said, I think you should really read the books. They are phenomenal. I read Harry Potter for the first time this past summer and blew through the whole series in 30 days (thanks Kindle Unlimited trial!). Honestly, before I read the series I was just like you: never saw the movies, didn't understand the phenomenon, and had a general distaste every time it came up ("surely it's not as special as these people make it out to be"). No, those books are pure gold.

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ArtisanBreads

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#2  Edited By ArtisanBreads

They miss all the fun and soul of the books entirely and are bad movies I think. But to be fair you just can't do these long books as movies and do them justice. For me my favorite parts are the magical mundanity of buying candies and going to a cafe and day to day school life and kids stuff that goes on and makes the characters human. It also makes the real climaxes feel big and like these are kids going on these grand adventures.

They could do a great Harry Potter TV show. Even still though, I think the movies are weak in many ways beyond just "they didn't have time".

I also should add I think the last book is bad.

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Bribbins

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The movies are okay. The books are great.

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OMGFather

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#4  Edited By OMGFather

Sure, they're fun movies to go through.

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effache

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#5  Edited By effache

The movies are fun but the books are classic. The Jim Dale narrations are a particularly great way to enjoy them, especially if you are brand new to the series.

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BisonHero

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It's hard for me to evaluate, because I read the books first and saw the movies as they came out. Not a Harry Potter superfan in either case (seen each movie once, only read some of the books twice), but it's an entertaining series that I think highly of. I have heard anecdotally from people who didn't read the books that they were less impressed by some of the movies.

I think you may occasionally lose track of some small plot details in the movies because sometimes the movies have a lot of stuff to rush through without necessarily spending as much time as the book does setting everything up. For the life of me, in the books and the movies, I could never keep track of some of the prophecy stuff later in the series, and who knows what about the prophecy, and what so-and-so thinks the prophecy is, and then what it actually is.

Just start watching them I guess? The first 3-4 movies are probably the best ones (also the best books) where it's just some good solid adventuring while at wizard school. Books 5-7 (movies 5-8) get a little heavier on plot and continuity from entry to entry, and also kinda expect you to know and care about a bunch of the characters by that point.

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BaconHound

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I say go ahead and start watching them. If you like them, keep going. If not, stop. Pretty easy, really.

They actually did a pretty good job of capturing the characters and plot lines in the movies, but like any series, there are weaker and stronger entries. I've never been terribly fond of the 5th book/movie (I think Rowling did a tremendous job of capturing just how obnoxious young teenagers are) and I remember one of the later movies (the 6th, maybe?) adding in an extra "action" scene that wasn't in the books.

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liquiddragon

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@baconhound: Oh god...I'm cursed with that thing where I have to finish everything I start...

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BaconHound

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@liquiddragon: I think I'd still say go for it. I guess I understand your concern a little better now though - they are long movies. Maybe watch a few trailers first?

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nophilip

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Having watched them all except for the very last one, here's a brief summary:

1 & 2: Very, very bad. But the principal actors are mostly very young, so it's hard to be mad about it.

3: I legitimately enjoyed this movie.

4-6: Pretty uninteresting, if largely inoffensive.

7: Genuinely one of the most boring movies I've ever seen. It's basically 140 minutes of Harry, Ron, and Hermione camping in the woods.

This is coming from someone who saw all the movies before reading any of the books. Saw the movies when I was 21-22ish, so I missed the boat on growing up with Harry Potter. I read the first three books a couple of years ago (at age 25) and did not enjoy them at all. Azkaban is a miserable experience if you already know the ending.

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BojackHorseman

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If you enjoy not enjoying yourself, watch them. If you value life, maybe steer clear.

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m2thek

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The first three are good (3 is the best of the whole series), but the rest are pretty inconsistent. I think there are genuinely good moments in almost all of the later movies, but they wiggle on tone way too often for me to actually get emotionally invested.

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cornbredx

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#13  Edited By cornbredx

Most of them are alright, but a couple of them are almost unwatchably bad.

The second movie is the worst. It's real bad.

Although, if you watch them you have to watch all of them to see the whole story so I can't really recommend skipping any of them.

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Xdeser2

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#14  Edited By Xdeser2

Yeah theyre alright, I'd say read the books though.

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circlenine

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They're both okay if you remember that they're books and movies for children. If you start to get too critical of them, remember that they're meant to be read by like 7-13 year olds.

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Onemanarmyy

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I fell off after book 4, but the movies up to that point seemed good to me.

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alistercat

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The first 2 are the worst but after that they get a lot better. Some of the best casting in any movie.

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FrostyRyan

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Yes but understand the first two films are meant to be like 80s kind of magical children's films. They set up the world and characters but aren't too effective or interesting for adults. After that, the series gets darker and darker. Remember, this is a series about growing up. Really. That's what makes it so special. It's one long coming of age story made even more powerful due to the fact that you watch these actors physically grow up in front of your eyes over the course of 8 films.

Geez what's up with all these old grumpy men in this thread? Most of the movies are great, dude. 3 and 8 are straight up fantastic. Just get lost in the magical world of Harry Potter. Then check out Fantastic Beasts when it comes out on blu-ray as well.

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Justin258

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#19  Edited By Justin258

Basically? Which medium do you prefer? The books are more detailed and have more characters and side events - the later books get pretty damn close to a thousand pages long and the movies rearrange or skip almost everything in the books. Also, as someone who read the books long before watching the movies, there are some things in the later details that have to have been a little murky for people who didn't read the books.

I grew up reading the books. I haven't actually read anything from the series in a long time but I do have the major events of those books pretty burned into my head by now. They're pretty good books! Their target audience isn't adults - at least, not at first, those later books definitely aren't targeting the same age group that the earlier ones were, though they still don't get terribly dark. I got the seventh book when it released and read the entire thing in less than 24 hours.

The movies are fine. I'll never watch them again. See, while I liked the books, my mom really liked the movies and she marathoned those fuckers at least once a month for years and I got so fucking sick of Harry Potter that I don't think I can give you an actual, well thought-out opinion of the movies. The best I can say is that the first two are serviceable, though you'll have to endure some rather unimpressive acting chops for quite a few characters (Alan Rickman is in it, though!). The third one takes a major leap in quality in basically every way - somebody paid for an acting class or two for these kids - and the later ones are actually well made with a good budget and a style of their own.

Also I remember being almost unable to enjoy the fourth movie because I kept trying to figure out why the fuck they skipped the Quidditch match. Huge buildup, a good portion of the early third dedicated to it, lots of celebration and mirth for the event, then... we skip to right after the match. What the fuck?

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liquiddragon

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#20  Edited By liquiddragon

Well, I'm glad that everyone seems to at least agree the one Alfonso Cuaron directed is good. lol And funny enough, made the least money.

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GuitarGod

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I actually prefer the movies to the books, just an easier experience to digest.

I think all of the movies are fantastic and very well directed. I'm a huge harry potter fan, and I kinda grew up with the films, so the 7-8 yearly films were an amazing time to be a fan, and the hype was huge. I don't think you can get into harry potter now as much as you could back in the day, there was just so much conversation to be had talking about that universe to friends.

I highly recommend reading the books first, and I don't think you should skip anything, it's all very linear and weight of story and characters develop more and more through the series.

I think the chamber of secrets is my favorite harry potter film, because it depicts everything about the wizard world and characters, though I think the prisoner of azkaban was the real turning point for the films direction wise.

If you were to skip a film it would probably 6, i thought it was kinda boring, wasn't a real big fan of the last 2 books either.

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ColossalGhost

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You should definitely watch them if you have the time. There series overall is good. It goes to some dark and interesting places but, it doesn't get good until the third film.

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JayPB08

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#23  Edited By JayPB08

Absolutely; you obviously don't get the added benefit of growing up alongside the series, but I think they're solid films. The first two may seem a little too "kiddie" at times, but all of them are very entertaining for me (particularly 3 and 6)....well, except for the scene in 4 with the dancing introductions.

@liquiddragon "it's phenomenon has puzzled me most of my life."

I was in the prime demographic when Harry Potter was at its peak, and I can say with certainty that there's really never been any kind of entertainment like it. By that, I mean with respect to the way I grew up alongside those characters. When Harry started liking girls, I did too; when Harry had to start taking up more responsibilities, I did too. It was just a series I could consistently relate to over its 10 or so year stretch, and it was all backed up by some solid stories and well made adaptations. My parents loved it simply because it got my siblings and I to all read at younger ages (I remember brining my 700+ page copy of Goblet of Fire to 2nd grade class...). I think that's the reason why it truly was a phenomenon, and while I still standby the notion that it's still worth going through it all, just know that you did kind of miss out on its biggest draw.

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FrostyRyan

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@jaypb08 said:

I was in the prime demographic when Harry Potter was at its peak, and I can say with certainty that there's really never been any kind of entertainment like it. By that, I mean with respect to the way I grew up alongside those characters. When Harry started liking girls, I did too; when Harry had to start taking up more responsibilities, I did too.

Exactly.

The year the last movie came out was the year I graduated high school.

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csl316

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3, 4, 6, and the last one are pretty darn good. The others are well-made, as well, but those were generally my favorite stories in the series.

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wchigo

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Never read the books (tried to read the first one quite a while back but never got through it for reasons) but watched all the movies. I felt they were serviceable and I will say that I enjoyed them. I've re-watched most of them again at some point and while it's not something like Star Wars, which I will re-watch whenever I have the chance, I'd still say they're worth going through.

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clagnaught

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In my opinion, 6 out of 8 of the films are good to really good, 1 is pretty middling, and 1 is bad. There are some great production values, a lot of really good actors, some decent action scenes, and they capture the intrigue and more imaginative aspects of the world pretty well.

If you want a breakdown:

  • 1 and 2 are solid kids movies. Harry is only...10(?) or so at this point, so it makes sense.
  • 3 is where the movies start to get legit good, and it has more of a craft to it than the first two movies, which mainly captured the whimsy and imagination aspects of the films. 4 is a solid movie. It has some good adventure aspects to it.
  • 5...it not great. 6 is the only movie I flat out didn't like.,
  • Deathly Hallows Part 1 is probably my favorite film of the bunch, and Part 2 is good as well.
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liquiddragon

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@jaypb08: Ok, that's kinda the sense I got. I think I was actually at the perfect age. The 2nd book came out when I was in the 4th grade. Unfortunately, that was my 1st year in the States and couldn't read a word of English.

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Dragon_Puncher

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Having just watched all of them again recently they are actually quite good. Some are of course better than others (Chamber of Secrets is a real low point), but the overall quality is solid and there is something real special about seeing these actors litterally grow into their roles.

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deactivated-5a0917a2494ce

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At the time they were released, they were ok but they've aged poorly. Harry Potter 1 and 2 are especially bad.

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slax

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1 and 2 besides trending towards the younger audience also look real dated. While some of the later ones do as well, they have story telling chops, in some cases, that make up for it.

3 is a great movie, and going forward there is a lot of good stuff to see.

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Barrock

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They start okay, and get progressively better.

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Milijango

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#34  Edited By Milijango

3 is great and I really like 6 as well. I'd say those two have the best sense of humour on top of being decent stories. The rest are fine but felt a tiny bit too straight-laced; I don't enjoy 4 or 5 very much, but they're not skippable (nor are they terrible).

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APDLS

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I will join the general feeling here and say that you should watch the movies but the books are better. With that said, give me the film version of 5 any day.

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deactivated-5a48350594a61

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1-4 and both parts of 7

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SamanthaK

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Yes Watch all of them, they start off kind of childish but they get darker with every sequel.

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TheHT

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Yeah! They're fun. The later movies have a more consistent style that's good but never quite as magical as some of the earlier stuff, but it's all good.

I'm partial to the first one, Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Order of the Phoenix, but they're all quite enjoyable. Though I'll admit, I don't remember much of the Goblet of Fire save the ending. It's a good ending, but I couldn't really tell you anything else that happens in that movie.

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BrainScratch

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I'm not a big Harry Potter fan and not a big reader, but I enjoyed the books. I can't say the same about the movies. As a fan of cinema in general, there's something about the movies that I don't like, can't explain it, just feel like they're average to below average movies. From the ones I've seen, I would say Prisoner of Azkaban was probably the best movie of the series.

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deactivated-60dda8699e35a

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The movies are fine, nothing spectacular, but fine. The first 3 movies follow the books VERY closely, but after that, the books start to get too long and detailed, and some parts of the story have to be cut to save time. The worst offenders are definitely movies 4-6 for cutting out a lot of content, 6 in particular has a ton of stuff cut out that really bummed me out. They typically get all of the plot crucial stuff in there, but a lot of the fun side stuff gets removed, so you shouldn't be lost if you decide to watch the movies. Movie 7&8 are of the same book, and the seventh movie as a result DRAGS like you wouldn't believe. The eighth movie is pretty great though I thought.

If you have the time, I'd say read the books. The early entries are definitely aimed more at kids, but later on it gets way darker. If you want to get the basic gist of the books though, and still be entertained (depending on movie really, some of them aren't very good), then go ahead and watch the movies.

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Zelyre

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Read the books first. The first three movies do a good job of keeping up with the books, but the fourth movie up, lots of stuff gets chopped off. It's been a while since I've read the books or seen the movies, but I felt much more sympathetic towards certain characters in the book than I did in the movies.

I think that as a guy that's within arm's reach of 40, the first movie I always skip - it skews a little too much towards younger audiences and has an Star Wars Episode 1 feeling of 10 year old fumbling his way through things and defeats the big bad sort of feel and booger comedy that I don't care for. That, and it looks very dated now. I would perhaps even say skip the second movie. The first two have Richard Harris as Dumbledore and while Gambon does a great job, their takes on the character are very different.

That said, if you're not going to read the books, don't skip the first movie. It really does set the world up really well, it's goofy and whimsical while at the same time, gives hints to being pretty dark - you get a touch of the day to day school stuff in the first couple of movies that really just becomes implied later on.

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LawGamer

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I never liked the books, as I think I was too old and too spoiled by reading Lord of the Rings in 2nd grade to really get invested in that universe.

That said, I have seen every movie in the series, by dint of being dragged to them by various family members and girlfriends over the years. I think they work better as movies than they do books. However, I think the movies definitely get worse as the series goes on. The early movies work much better because being kids stories they didn't need to get quite as bogged down with the believably of that universe. They also still use some practical effects, and I'm a sucker for good practical effects. The later movies are all a bunch of fakey CG garbage.

The later movies also want to have things both ways - they want to retain the whimsy of the series while simultaneously being all serious "vive la resistance" and it just doesn't work for me. They needed to spend more time setting up the mechanics of the actual world outside of what happens with Harry Potter for it to work.

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TheWildCard

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I like the Order of the Pheonix, but most of the movies are average to mediocre. If you really want to "get it" just read the books. They're breezy reads and the first couple are pretty short.

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BRich

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Just read the books, the movies are mostly trash.

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Dayve86

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#45  Edited By Dayve86

The first two movies are somewhere between bad and okay. The third one is great and probably my favorite. The forth one is pretty good. Five and six are forgettable but still good. And the last two are great but probably not as good as three.

In any case I say the series is worth watching and there's no point skipping any as characters and events matter in later movies.

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tds418

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I would say they are definitely not worth your time if you have not read the books. They all feel rushed to me because they try to cram as many plot details as they can from the books, leaving little room for organic feeling character development or artistic flair. It's a very mechanical and utilitarian approach to filmmaking. The 3rd movie might be the only exception to this criticism, and 7 and 8 move at a slightly slower pace because the only cover half a book each. Even those I wouldn't necessarily call great films either though.

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rorie

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The third one and the last one are pretty great! Although you'll probably want to slog through 7 just to get the meat of the setup for 8. It's a shame that 7 is mostly just exposition, but 8 is worth the hassle.

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deactivated-6204297b0c601

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The first ones are really charming, fun movies. Neat sets. I started watching them on TV with my wife when we had just started dating, and they convinced me to read all the books. Around number 5 I started to lose interest - they become less whimsical, and I didn't bother watching Deathly Hallows.

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monkeyking1969

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I think as movies they are merely okay. Certainly, worth watching if they pop up, but not worth seeking out to watch as a series like LotR, Star Wars, or the Marvel movies.

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LiquidPrince

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This is fascinating timing because I literally just watched all eight movies again. This was one series where the statement "the books were better" is completely true.

But that isn't a knock on the quality of the movies. The books are just fantastic, and the movies are some of the best adaptations I have ever seen.

So yes, they're worth the watch.