Harry Potter: All Films RankedPublished on December 28, 2016. Updated October 28, 2020
Warner Bros. had a huge undertaking on its hands when it began the film adaptions of the massively popular Harry Potter book franchise. Fans had extremely high expectations because of the quality of the books and the love for the characters, which left little room for error for not only Warner Bros., but the directors and actors as well. Through the eight films there were different directors and screenplay writers, and while some were well received by die-hard fans, some of the movies were extremely disappointing. Here are all 8 Harry Potter movies ranked from worst to best:
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
It seems that as far as the Harry Potter movies go, the seventh installment was the most disappointing to most fans of the franchise. Most interesting about this film’s placement as the worst of them all is that it really is of no fault of its own. The final Harry Potter novel was split into two for the movies in order for the story to be told in its entirety to the best of the filmmakers’ abilities; however, this meant part one was limited in action and saw mostly the directionless and frustrating search for the Horcruxes, making it severely boring. Unsurprisingly it received one of the lowest ratings on Rotten Tomatoes with just 78%.Source: HBO
7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
While Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the most compelling of all the books, the same cannot be said for the film. It was director Mike Newell’s first film in the franchise and a much more lengthy book to break down from the previous three, and unfortunately, it seems he floundered in trying to fit in everything important while shedding other parts. It was not an easy task but it seems that because the book was so beloved it was going to be even harder to impress fans with the movie, and to make matters worse, even though huge chunks were left out, the film was still two and a half hours long, and never at any point was Dumbledore as angry as he was portrayed in the film. Despite what it lacks, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire did receive a rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.Source: Warners Bros.
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
It may be hard to believe but the series’ second installment, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is actually the longest of all eight films and sadly remains one of the worst. It was Chris Columbus’ second and final turn behind the camera of a Harry Potter film and at the same time also the last one to try to not skip over everything from the book. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work out and, for some reason or another, the funniest parts of the book just did not translate on-screen which exaggerated the lack of experience from the young cast. The movie was well received by fans though, as it received an 82% rating with Rotten Tomatoes.Source: Warner Bros.
5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
For Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, director David Yates’ made his return, and the consistency of director’s vision was obvious after the franchise had already been through three other directors. Although there were many good things to be said about the film, it was not one of the best due to many factors, one being at this point it was getting hard for fans to adjust to exactly how much was being left out of the movies from the books. Then, of course, there was disappointment with the lack of chemistry between Ginny and Harry and that cringe-worthy kiss, and finally, it is also the film where Dumbledore dies and that was never going to sit well with fans. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came in with a rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.Source: Wired
4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was arguably the most frustrating book of the group which meant David Yates had that additional obstacle when adapting the book to film. This book and film was a huge transition in the story as the actors were getting older, with Harry having some very serious mood swings, and things of course got darker as Voldemort’s power loomed closer and closer. Mostly Yates did a great job pulling it together, but at times the feeling of the tone or characters were off and that could be because it was the only film not written by Steve Kloves, and the change in the writer is noticed. Interestingly enough fans seemingly did not dislike the movie as much as critics did as it was the worst reviewed of them all with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 78%.Source: Warner Bros.
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
While many may not agree with the first film ranking so high on the list, the importance of the origin story can never be understated. Directed by Chris Columbus, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for non-U.S. fans) was the keystone to how passionate and obsessed Harry Potter fans were going to react to an on-screen adaptation, and thanks to the film, the franchise became what it is. Unsurprisingly the acting was lacking as it was many of the young stars’ first time in a major production, and the tone was the lightest, but all together it was an excellent foundation for the film series. When it comes to reviews, however, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone only got a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 80%.Everett Collection
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
With what Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 lacked, Part 2 more than made up for. Again, it had the unfair advantage of being the action-packed part of the Deathly Hallows story, not to mention the conclusion of the iconic story. Luckily, on top of all of that Yates nailed the story which brought the saga to an end and unsurprisingly it ended up being the highest grossing film out of them all. After crucial moments were left out of many of the films before because of time constraints there was a huge fear that the story and characters were not going to be given the representation they deserved, especially with Snape being revealed as a hero. As fans know, the filmmakers pulled it off beautifully and it is the highest rated film of them all at 96%.Source: Warner Bros.
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Widely regarded as one of the best books in the series, the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film ended up being everything fans wanted it to be. With the introduction of Sirius Black, things moved quickly away from the light tones of the first two films. It was Alfonso Cuaron’s first and only turn as a director in the franchise and he had fans worried right off the bat with the news that he had a different vision for the characters which included much more muggle clothing. What resulted, however, was the best Harry Potter film of all, as it solidified the tone and direction the remaining films would take going forward. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had the second highest Rotten Tomatoes rating with 91%.Source: Warner Bros.