Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I think this may be the best Harry Potter film so far. The only reason I say "may" is because despite the fact that I loved it, I have to wonder whether a person who hasn't read the book would be able to follow it. At 142 minutes, Prisoner of Azkaban is a long movie, but it doesn't feel like it when you're watching it. On the contrary, there is so much to cover that the film feels rushed. With Goblet of Fire weighing in at over 700 pages (as compared to about 430 pages for the third book and 340 for the second) I have to wonder how they're going to maintain the plotline and still keep the movie to a reasonable length. But back to the film at hand. As I'm sure most people know, this installment of the series featured a different director, Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón is a much more artistic director than Chris Columbus was, and I think that really helped this film, especially given the darker nature of the story. As far as the acting goes, Gary Oldman was, as usual, great, but the ones I find myself really thinking about are the three leads: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. They really are perfect for the roles, and they seem to have more than ample skill for portraying their maturing characters.
Viewed: 6/3/2004 | Released: 6/3/2004 | Score: A