Retro Review – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Monty’s Rating: 8 out of 10
Andy’s Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Foster’s Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus:
80% Fresh

“Being so faithful to the book is both the movie’s strength and weakness. The movie unfolds exactly as written in the book, so there is little room for surprises or discoveries. For Potter fans, what more can you ask for?”

For the takes of the Reel-2-Reality crew, hit the break!

Monty’s Take

The first Harry Potter film came at the perfect time.  It was one year after the release of The Goblet of Fire and in between the longest lull between two books; as The Order of the Phoenix was released in 2005.  The film hit theaters in November, before the first Lord of the Rings film, although many knew that The Sorcerer’s Stone was going to be big.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a film that can only be described as a journey.  Knowing full well what chaos and commotion would be seen only three installments later in Goblet, The Sorcerer’s Stone does a great job of creating the world of Hogwarts.  Director Chris Columbus succeeded in making the most family-friendly of the films, electing to create a world of wonder instead of danger.  Even when the conclusion begins and the danger becomes real, it still is played off in a light manner, and never seems extremely serious.

It is entertaining to compare the acting between the first movie and the final installments, but the truth is that they are black and white.  As is the case with all the Harry Potter films, the acting was not the issue.  Everyone from Dan Ratcliffe to Alan Rickman did the job they were supposed to, and overall it worked very well for what we should expect.

The Sorcerer’s Stone does not have many shortfalls, but then again, this is the bar to which the rest of the franchise had to meet.  It was certainly incredible and entertaining when it first came out, but as time went on, this film is definitely good and fun to watch, but compared to how entertaining and engrossing the other films turned out to be, The Sorcerer’s Stone gets lost in the scrum.

Andy’s Take

I like many had fallen in love with the world of Harry Potter long before the films had been released.  So to find out they would be being made into their own films was the best news I had heard in a long time.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is pretty well done in terms of source material.  It stays very truthful to it’s novel and in its transition doesn’t seem to lose any of its fun or magic.  However, by staying as truthful to the book as it did, the film keeps the parts of the book that aren’t as exciting or interesting and this causes it to feel dragged out and be boring at parts.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a great introduction to a world filled to the brim with intriguing characters that only gets better from here.

Foster’s Take

For me, the first flick, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was my first foray into the magical world of Hogwarts and the wizarding world. I had never read any of the books or even heard about Potter until I watched the first film.

By the time I left the theater, I was hooked. I had never felt a connection with a movie like I did with the first Potter movie. The wizarding world seemed as real as the people sitting next to me and really that is the beauty of film: Being able to build and create a world that the audience could picture themselves in.

Watching the film today, the flaws of the film are more glaring, but nothing can ruin or taint my first adventure into the world of Harry Potter.


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