Which is the best film in the 'Harry Potter' series?
The talk this weekend in moviedom is how "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" measures up to previous installments in the fantasy franchise. Which got us thinking -- which of the movies is the best of the bunch? At a midnight showing Thursday night, moviegoers had opinions: The first two should top the list because the kids were so innocent, the latter ones were better because the story was so dark, etc.
We decided to take a walk down memory lane and see which movie was most affecting. Then we came up with our own (admittedly subjective) list. Click on the jump to see what we ranked as the best and worst of the series (hint: neither are what you'd think), where the new film sits in the Potter pantheon (hint: it's in the top half) and share your own opinions, affirmations or stinging jinxes.
7. "Half-Blood Prince"
The worst of the lot. How much did the history of Voldemort advance the story? And Harry was way too quick to adopt strange magic from some random book.
6. "Order of the Phoenix"
Not far behind. With Voldemort exerting his influence over Harry, the boy wizard spent too much of the movie as a one-dimensional jerk kid.
5. "Prisoner of Azkaban"
The film helped lay the foundation for explaining Harry's familial history but seemed to stray, unfortunately, from the central Harry vs. Voldemort theme.
A sense of mystery and discovery is palpable, and Harry and Voldemort's relationship begins to hit its stride
3. "Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
The mental and physical challenges keep coming as Harry, Ron and Hermione go on the run, away from the protective embrace of Hogwarts. The magic seems stronger. And the existence of the Deathly Hallows is finally revealed. (This, and "Sorcerer's Stone," also happened to be our favorite books.)
2. "Sorcerer's Stone"
J.K. Rowling draws us muggles in to a new magical world, seamlessly integrating strange creatures, abilities and places -- and showing young Harry Potter's sense of wonder.
1. "Goblet of Fire"
Filled with action and quick-thinking, the "Goblet of Fire" brought the majesty of the wizarding world to the fore. And the heroics were on full display.
-- Jevon Phillips
Photos: Top, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Hermione (Emma Watson) ponder their next move in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Bottom, a young Harry in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Credit: Warner Bros.