With the all-new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arriving in theaters in November this year, I felt it was time to rank all eight of the Harry Potter films on this episode of my new Ranking series. Seven books, eight films and ten years of adventure, suspense, romance, action and humor all around, the Harry Potter movies have all been one of my all-time favorite movie franchises ever. They all follow their books pretty well enough to tell the complete story of Harry Potter and his adventures throughout the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his quest to overcome the diabolical Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. So without further ado, I give you my ranking of all eight films in the series. And since I love all of these movies, I had to rank all of them from worst to first. But they still are all a lot of fun to watch.
8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Kicking off the list is the fifth entry of the franchise: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Set almost a few months after the events of Goblet of Fire, Harry finds himself the target of the overly corrupt Ministry of Magic since they do not believe him when he tells them of his most recent confrontation with the returning Lord Voldemort. And Harry must also deal with the appointment of new Dark Arts teacher Professor Umbridge, who plans on taking over the school. This entry was so much fun to watch and it took the franchise in a new darker tone which carries on throughout the next three films. With the inclusion of Helena Bonham Carter and Imelda Staunton, this film was an all around great time. But the only downside to this entry is that the tone of the film was a bit darker than I would have pictured it and it had too much political interference with Hogwarts itself. But it was still so much fun to watch.
7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Taking spot #7 is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The third entry in the franchise and the first film to switch directors from Chris Columbus (who directed the first two entries). This installment finds Harry in his third year at Hogwarts. Only this time, he must deal with some ghoulish Dementor guards and the Azkaban escapee Sirius Black, who is said to be a murderer and working for Lord Voldemort. While this entry follows the book almost as well as its predecessor, this film sees one major change in casting: the casting of Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore who has replaced the late Richard Harris (who played Dumbledore in the first two movies). Also we find that there is a very interesting time-traveling sequence, which I thought was done extremely well enough to take spot #7. Also the casting of Gary Oldman, David Thewlis and Emma Thompson made this entry of the Potter movies to being as well as the first two and the next five films in the franchise.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Taking spot #6 on the list is the one that started it all: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This entry introduces readers and movie viewers to the wizard world and begins the adventures of a young boy who lived a good majority of his life in a cupboard under the stairs under the watchful eyes of his neglectful aunt and uncle. He is introduced into his family's world by a friendly giant and told that he is famous for his defeating of the fiendish Lord Voldemort. He also accepts his role as a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While this film introduced us to so many great characters and elements for the series to follow, Sorcerer's Stone gave viewers a glimpse of a world within our own and it was so much fun to get introduced to Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and so many other great actors who would go down in history as some of today's best.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Coming through to spot #5 is the beginning of the end: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. After the shocking death of Prof. Dumbledore, Harry, Ron and Hermione begin an epic quest to track down and destroy the last few Horcruxes, which are the key to the villainous Lord Voldemort's soul. Unknown to them, Voldemort sends out his Death Eater henchmen to take over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. With no one to turn to for help, the trio must rely on each other whilst Dark forces threaten to destroy them. With this entry being the first to last film, it follows the first half of the book pretty well. It even took some twists and turns for certain scenes from the book. But the most emotional part for me especially was although Toby Jones returned to the franchise as fan favorite Dobby the House-elf, it was his death that caught me in the heart (sniff sniff).
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
At spot #4 is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. With the series getting darker and more intense, this entry is also probably the funniest and had the most romance. As Lord Voldemort continues to ravage the world (both Wizard and Muggles), Harry and Dumbledore must work together to uncover the mystery behind Voldemort's power by retrieving a special memory from Prof. Horace Slughorn. Unknown to them, Draco Malfoy has been tasked by Voldemort for a special mission of his own with help from Prof. Snape. Since this one gives us an interesting backstory of Voldemort, it also gives us a bit of an emotional turn due to the climax with the death of Dumbledore. But the funniest thing in this entry is the addition of Jim Broadbent as Prof Slughorn, who delivers the most comic relief even better than what George and Fred Weasley did.
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Taking spot #3 in the Potter ranking is the competition of the series: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. After a devastating attack on the Quidditch World Cup, Harry finds himself mysteriously enrolled as a champion in the dangerous Triwizard Tournament, which is a competition between three wizarding schools. Faced with dragons, water demons and a dangerous maze, he also must confront Lord Voldemort once again as he makes his comeback. Being the competition entry of the franchise, we get introduced to other foreign schools Beauxbatons (French) and Durmstrang (Bulgarian) with the addition of some Irish folk despite the dangerous competition (Hunger Games similarity). But the best thing here is the addition of Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye Moody and Ralph Fiennes as the series main villain Lord Voldemort himself. And a very intense death scene which nearly had me in tears gave this entry it's emotional touch.
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Taking spot #2 is the second entry: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Completely ignoring the warnings of a mischievous house elf named Dobby, Harry returns to Hogwarts for his second year. But once there, he finds that the school is being cursed by a series of mysterious attacks on students. Now Harry must secretly uncover the truth behind the attacks before all lives are lost. What is the best thing about this entry is that it follows the book extremely well (almost as well as Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2). Also there are various interesting creatures such as creepy spiders and snakes and crazy little blue pixies. But another great thing is the mischief created by a certain house elf Dobby as well as a climatic confrontation with a massively dangerous Basilisk.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
And yes, you guys all probably guessed which Potter film is my #1. If you guessed Deathly Hallows Part 2, then you are correct!!! Out of all the films in the series, this one is my absolute favorite. The final battle of the franchise brings everything about the series to the best ending it can give. Continuing their quest to destroy the Horcruxes, Harry, Ron and Hermione's quest takes them back to Hogwarts, where they find that they must fight back against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. But it is Harry who must obtain the ultimate sacrifice to fighting the ultimate final showdown with Voldemort himself. Being the final battle of the series, this is sort of the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King of the series. Nonstop action and some intense moments, the best moment is the final showdown with Voldemort that carries throughout Hogwarts!!! It all ends with the best.