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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
The latest Harry Potter film: Your views
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third film about the boy wizard's adventures, is out in the US on Friday.

It sees Harry and his friends battle against the evils of Sirius Black, who allegedly betrayed the boy wizard's parents to their murderer, Lord Voldemort.

The film, directed by Mexican film maker Alfonso Cuaron, is said to be the darkest and most frightening yet.

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Artistic licence can be forgiven if the end result is as good as this
James, Germany
This film struck a much different chord. The tone that script and atmosphere was much darker. I thought it was a remarkable transition from Harry's innocent years to his teens. I liked this movie better than the first two becuse it was much more grown-up in the way it portrayed the theme and purposes. I felt that this movie will be the most difficult becuase this book starts off the darker happenings yet to come in the next 4. With the 3rd consistently good movie, I feel we can all rest knowing that the potter books will be a success as movies also.
Alexa, California

I like the new film. I think it was way better then the previous two. I don't think Daniel is very good though,I hope they change him. I like that the director made it a bit different because he was true to the story and the characters but he made it his own. He had to leave bits out because it would be too long. The Dementors were brilliant and it was really well done. I can't wait to see the Irish Quidditch team!
Bairbre Meade, Ireland

Brilliant! I saw it on the first day of the previews and was blown away! The new director has done an amazing job at creating the darker and more sinister side of the book, less cute and warm like the first two. Hermione hitting Malfoy was classic and Ron's dream about the spider was a good touch! Bravo to Alfonso Cuaron for creating the film in such an accurate way. I also think that David Thewlis was excellently cast as Professor Lupin. The younger actors also came through well; Daniel Radcliffe really shows Harry's angst and anger and Hermione and Ron begin to discover that they are becoming teenager with hormones! I can't wait to get this on DVD and see a few more times at the cinema!
Hannah, Bristol, UK

The first two movies fit into our imaginations a little too well, to the point that it left them a bit boring. People react to change and by stretching our imagination in the third movie it took our love of the books and expanded them further into a new world that wasn't quite expected. My only complaint is that the relationships between Sirius, Lupin and James weren't quite fully explained.
Chad , Indiana, USA

I was totally disappointed in this movie. Harry, Ron & Hermione were great. Watching them grow and mature as actors was the only thing I enjoyed. What's with the uniforms? They looked like slobs. No school would allow there students to be that sloppy. Why was the school changed so drastically? Hagrid did not seem at all upset that Buckbeak was to be executed. In the book, you felt his pain. Who was the other kid with Malfoy? It certainly was not Goyle. Bring Chris Columbus back for the next films, please!
JoAnn Walker, Baltimore, Maryland USA

I thought it was beautiful compared to the other two films... it didn't feel as ditzy as the other two. True that there was a lot of stuff missing in the plot, but you can't make a 7 hour film for kids! The changes in location where much better, and closer to what I always pictured while reading the books; I just feel bad that the previous two don't look more like this one. Also, finally music that didn't annoy me the whole way through. A much better job by Williams. I think Cuaron did a great job.
Alejandro Venguer, New York, USA

I'm a Harry Potter dad. That is, my son is a huge fan of the books and I get brought along for the ride. I thought the first two films were okay, but very pale. Most of the life had been drained out of the characters in order to cram in as many scenes from the books as possible. The lines that established character, like Dumbledore's musings, ended up on the cutting room floor. The third book was my favorite, so I wasn't looking forward to the film. I thought I'd see another great story drained dry and presented as little more than a cinematic book report. Instead, I saw a film that really felt like a Harry Potter story to me. Sure, it drifted from the plot a good deal and left a lot out - no way to avoid that as JKR continues to publish ever expanding novels! So, as the Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons would say: Best Potter Film Ever.
William W. Connors, Genoa City, WI USA

I went excepting to see a great movie based on a great book but sadly that¿s not what I got! Everyone is saying that the movie is kind of dark, that may be true but there was a lot of good things that happened also that wasn¿t put into the movie. Even the whole Hermione thing - if I hadn¿t read the book I would have been absolutely lost, and wondering what was going on. I really hope they use the old set for the next movies and go back to the way they were originally filmed. I really hope the whole cast stay with it I really enjoy watching them I like Snape¿s character, he is perfect for that role. I have always enjoyed Alan Rickman in his other roles. He plays a good bad guy. The movies wouldn¿t feel right if they changed any of them. I must say that the movies and the books are not just for kids.
Rochelle, Melba, ID, U.S.A.

Alfonso Cuaron is the best thing to have happened to this movie. Yes, he changed the set around, and left some of the book out, but they are two different media, and things have to be changed. I thought it was absolutely wonderful, and I wish he was doing the next one as well. As for the comments about the new Dumbledore not being as good, he was very different, but they didn't have a choice about getting a new one. This one far succeded my expections based on the last two.
Kimberly, Indianapolis, USA

New Harry Potter film? what new Harry Potter film? After a long wait for the 3rd film in the series, it has frustrated me no end to find that Hong Kong has yet to even start posting 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' as a 'coming soon' feature. I am appalled how far behind a so-called high-tech society is. No wonder pirating across the internet is on the rise.
Paul Hitchcock, Tai Po, Hong Kong

There is much to admire about the movie - the gritty colouration, excellent acting (especially from the three leads) and less self-congratulatory visuals. The one thing that was truly lacking was a bit more time to develop each scene so that things could be understood and put in context. Most Potterphiles are of the opinion that this is the best of the books, especially in terms of storyline, but many aspects of the plot were just a little too compressed to be understandable. Surely the first two movies and the LOTR trilogy have shown that three hour run-times are no longer box office poison. One final thing is that the movie was about as scary as it could have been. The dementor and werewolf scenes near the end had my youngest daughter demanding to go home - certainly stretching the PG-rating to its limit.
Andy, Annandale, USA

Alfonso Cuaron clearly emphasizes style, dialogue, and ambience over accuracy; his omissions of other key parts of the novel is highly questionable. The realization of the Dementors and the hippogriff Buckbeak, and the trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, though, make up for what is a good, not great movie.
Daniel J. Hamlow, Farmington, USA

When I saw The Chamber of Secrets, I felt it was the worst chop job I had ever seen in a movie. That was before I saw the Prisoner of Azkaban. If they are chopping this one, what is The Goblet of Fire going to look like? I don't think I want to know. I spent most of the time watching Prisoner trying to figure out what was going on. They chopped the book in half and stuck the ending on halfway through. Jo, how could you let them do this to your masterpiece? I want my money back.
Judy Wood, Raleigh,NC,USA

I thought it was great. The visuals were superb - in particular, the scene with Harry riding the hippogriff was beautiful. I was a little bit bothered by what was left out (such as the origin of the map, for instance), but they had to leave out something; and artistic licence can be forgiven if the end result is as good as this.
James, Würzburg, Germany

Although the movie has great special effects, the tone through out of the movie is inconsistent. It does not provide a smooth and mysterious flow into the story as the last two movies. For those audience who did not read the book, it can be trough to follow.
Jessie Lin, Rockaway, New Jersey, US

People keep saying things like "How does JK Rowling feel about her masterpiece being slaughtered"? Well, I'm not even a big fan, but I've been told by several people that Rowling has final approval of pretty much everything about these films. (Incidentally, how big of a Potter fan can you be, if you haven't heard that before?) Therefore, JK Rowling apparently doesn't think that her masterpiece was slaughtered, or she wouldn't have let it be made this way.
Amanda Reno, Minneapolis, USA

I thought this was far and away the best movie yet!! It was a movie made for adults, not for kids. Those people who hold onto the "fairytale" imagery of the first two films need to realise that imagery has no longevity, it will get very trite very quickly. Therefore things needed to move forward and Cuaron did this brilliantly.
Matt, Miami, USA
I give credit to the director for capturing the darker side of the book, but that is about it.
Rakhee, New York

Cuaron's film is lean and focused on the emotional core of the book, rather than putting every page on screen. I'm reminded of the similarly excellent job Ridley Scott did when adapting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to make the film Blade Runner.
M. S. Dow, Northampton, MA, USA

Christopher Columbus, come back please!! The film completely ruined the book. Hogwarts looked awful, Hagrid's cabin moved, the new Dumbledore looking like an old hippy, the Knight Bus scene completely trashed, the Weasleys relegated to one or two lines, and to miss out the Quidditch cup completely, the new director is just bad! He had no respect for the characters or the books, he just made it the way he wanted. I hated the film so much, I will not buy the DVD's as I did the other two. Warner Bros, what were you thinking?! Don't you realise that although people will watch it the first time out of eagerness, they will not get the video, nor the DVD, and will not recommend it to their friends!
Harry fan, Oxford, UK

I really enjoyed the film but at the same time i also share some of the other sentiments expressed by viewers of this third installment. I felt the magic of Hogwarts was missing and the film had an overall LOTR feel with the landscape being so mountainous. Professor Snape lost his edge and the scenes with Draco Malfoy were not as hostile and comical as i remembered and indeed enjoyed. I believe a return to the original director can clean up some of these missing elements and bring to the fourth book the magic and wonder that is integral to Harry Potter's world
S. Alex, Toronto, Canada

A good film, and not one that is damaged by not slavishly following the book. Not better or worse than the preceding two films, just different. I get the feeling (increased by comments from the detractors) that many of the passing references in the film have more background detail in the book - this is a good, not bad thing - otherwise there would be no point in reading the book and seeing the film. While having a five-hour film might be some people's idea of a good situation I wouldn't want to be trapped in a cinema for that long without a break. This is a film adaptation, not the book itself - deal with it, please. As for the film being confusing (an accusation leveled by people who have read the book) - it wasn't, I followed what was going on, so did the person with me, and others I've talked to. To the person who 'had' to explain what was going on - perhaps if you weren't so noisy they'd have found out for themselves? This has happened to me during some films, the explanation has obfuscated the actual film itself...
Sheridan, London, UK

Why exactly do people want a perfect translation of the book onto the big screen? The best adaptations are just that - if anything, Rowling should allow the filmmakers to stray even further from the original text. And for those purists who don't like it - go and re-read the book and give your imaginations some exercise.
Natalie, London, UK

It was a good movie but as one already stated: this time I was not transported to the HP magical word. May that be due to the new settings and scenario or the lost of vital information to the history. Let's expect the DVD come with lots of extra material and the next film with Chris Columbus behind the scenes.
Csar, Rio - Brazil

The visuals are stunning, the acting of the younger cast much improved and the older cast members superb. Emma Thompson is wonderful as Trewlany, and I can't imagine a better Sirius or Lupin. At first I did have a problem with the liberties taken with the story time line and the cutting of key scenes, but taken as a whole, the movie does convey the essence of the book. And as an aside I have always found books to be more richly detailed than the movies made from them. This movie has enhanced and added to the magic of JK Rowling's Harry Potter.
Laura Glasz, Connecticut USA

We weren't able to see the first two Potter films in theatres. We had to wait till they came out on DVD. We took our 3 and a half year-old daughter to see Prisoner of Azkaban, and for a hyperactive child she sat through the whole movie. She wouldnt even go with me to the snack bar. I have to say this one was very very captivating. Keep them coming!!
LisaMarie Blue, S. Carolina, USA

Going on earlier comments I think that people had very unrealistic expectations of the film. I thought it would be obvious that the many fantastic details of the book would have to be abridged when tranferred to the screen. What's interesting is that those pedants who complain about alterations and bits left out already know the importance of such details from reading the books, those who havn't read the book aren't bothered by the lack of such details. All it requires for the unitiated to follow the most dramatic principles of the plot is a bit of concentration. All in all this is a fantastic film version of a fantastic book and many of the comments here, concentrating on details rather than spirit, really don't do it justice.
J-P Jones, Oxford

When a movie is bad, any length is too long. When a movie is wonderful, any length is too short. This movie should have been at least 2.5 hours, or longer!
lmnolte, Greensboro, NC USA

I thought the film was great! I really liked the way Cuaron had added his own touch to the film and how he has re-dressed Harry and Co. It was also a lot darker and is the best so far. You have to be a true Harry Potter fan to enjoy every moment of it but go see it!
Luke Read, Leicester, UK

I was disappointed with the film, even though I did not expect it to be word-for-word, I did expect more details. In each segment of the film the director kept fading out to black I personally did not like that style of filming. There are a lot of little details left out that would better explain the movie to people who have not read the book. The scene with the stag could have been better and Dumbledore could have been better he is not that convincing. I give credit to the director for capturing the darker side of the book, but that is about it. I left the movie theatre and I felt like I missed out on the movie.
Rakhee, New York, USA

Gutsy! Much better acting, much better setting and yes, variation from the minutia of the book. All the work of a gutsy new director. Columbus was fine for the frivolity and youthful heros of the first two books but the third was grown up, dark and serious and much more real. As a result it required and got a more real director! As a huge fan of the books and the other two films, I would have been happy to watch 4 hours with each of my favourite scenes, but to be honest, this was such a better movie than that would have been. Harry Potter has grown up! - Bravo!
Chris, NY, USA (Ex-Pat)

I didn't think the third film was as good as the first two, as it seemed to be rushed. The whole of the castle and grounds have all been changed around. I really hate what Cuaron has done with this film. It seems based on Harry, Hermione and Ron with hardly any other imput from the rest of the cast. They've cut too much out, and they say film 4 has been talked down to 1 movie! thanks for nothing, Cuaron!!
Charlie, Birmingham

If you expect to see a page-by-page rendering of the book, you will be disappointed. The best place for that sort of adaptation is in your head whilst you read the book. As a film, this worked for me and I thought it the best so far. However I do worry that Goblet of Fire will be much more difficult to adapt into a single 2hr film without substantial changes/omissions. Given the broadly negative response this time, would this elicit an even worse response from fans?
Jon Gyngell, Ashford, Middx. UK

I thought it was the best film yet, but obviously was further from the book than the first two. So what! It would have to be about 4 hours long to cover everything in the book, and we'll be watching the Goblet of Fire from dawn to dusk if they follow everything faithfully in that! The acting of the 3 main characters has improved dramatically; the scenery was fantastic and a great improvement on the first two; the darker mood was entirely appropriate (the book is darker than the first two); quidditch buffs will be disappointed but its not a great TV sport in any case! All in all, a treat.
Charles Dods, Basking Ridge, NJ, USA

I haven't heard such "they left out this bit..." rants since The Fellowship of the Ring opened. It's miles better than the too reverent Chris Columbus movies, the plot is stripped to the bone and all the better for it, the set design and photography are gorgeous, the acting adequate (Grint) to brilliant (Thewlis) and Buckbeak is the best feathered-flight animation ever. Sometimes things are changed for the better, folks.
Lil Shepherd, London, England

Disappointing change of style and tedious storyline. As a parent who hasn¿t read the books I nevertheless enjoyed the first two films with my kids.But I felt that this one was trying hard to match Pirates Of The Caribbean for pointless special effects and Lord Of The Rings for scenery (hills and valleys especially). KIDS AREN'T INTERESTED IN SCENERY! Well, not much scenery anyway. The quirky but unique effects in the first films, such as the owls & the letters scene, were missing and were replaced by boring, jerky transitions into other creatures that will look dated within a couple of years. Some of the special effects scenes were gripping, but only because they were louder / bigger / faster than in other films, not because they were more original. The plot was strained and the cameo roles looked like bolt-ons taken from a checklist.
John Morris, Burwell, Cambs UK

Very disappointed. Scenes were very rushed often with vital information missing. Scene changes were either too quick or too slow, in fact the film felt like a rough cut and very amateurish. Music was largely absent leaving emotional or dramatic scenes without any musical support. Humour was minimal although the Ron/Hermione scene outside the Shrieking Shack was funny but needed face close-ups to really bring it off. It felt like a 'cult' film badly done, directed by someone inexperienced with blockbuster movies. Let's hope Mike Newell can make up the difference and bring an award or to to the Harry Potter franchise.
Tim, Boston, UK

I was very impressed by the director's artistic interpretation of the book. I loved the knight bus and enjoyed the sound track immensely. I am really looking forward to the next film!
Lucy, Cambridge, UK

I think that this film is quite alright although I'm a bit disappointed with the parts where Cuaron changed. He added a few of his own lines and missed out quite some bits. As my family members have not read the book yet, they find the storyline quite hard to grasp and a little confusing. I sincerely hope that if Cuaron is going to direct the next film, he will stick to the storyline and not mix it up too much. Anyway, the three main characters have really grown a lot compared to the first two movies, and it was really wonderful to see all of them again. Altogether, I feel that it was quite a good film. Hope Daniel, Emma and Rupert will continue being Harry, Hermione and Ron for future films!
Chrisanda, Singapore

Even though the books remain better, this is the best of the Potter films, without question! Gary Oldman and David Thewlis are great, and portrayed the characters as they should be (and not as numerous fans wish them to be!). Buck the Hippogriff was wonderfully animated and the direction is first class. It feels less like a long video game, and more like a proper movie, at last... As for those who haven't read the book, and complain that the movie is hard to understand... How come you haven't read the book?!!?
Gene, Brussels, Belgium

For people who expected the movie to be a straightforward adaptation of the book, I understand why some felt disappointed. Fortunately, I had no such expectations, so it was a big and pleasant surprise that I found it actually enjoyable, and not boring! They did a good (and daring!) job in breaking the monotony by bringing in Cuaron - he is a master at creating stunning visuals and poignant moments. It felt like a total re-creation of a world we all know and love, but strangely enough, it did not destroy my idea of Harry Potter's world, but instead enhanced it. Such a refreshing outlook! It was as if I was discovering the story all over again, with a fresh perspective.
Durah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What a great movie! The best so far. I'm sure The Goblet of Fire director has quite big shoes to fill. Alfonso Cuaron did an absolutely great job! Overall, the movie was awesome. But there were some things that were left out...
Nicole, Simi Valley, California

Half way through Harry Potter 3 I wanted to walk out! I was and still am very upset! JK. Rowling wrote these magnificant books and here this director messes up her masterpiece! He was so fixated on making great special effects that he left out the entire story! I say Harry Potter Fans unite and DEMAND them to re-make Harry Potter 3 Prizoner of Azkaban with a new Director! I say everyone write as many letters as you can to anyone who had anything to do with the movie (i.e. director, producer,cast, ect...). And, of course write as many letters as you can to JK. Rowling writing how upset/disappointed you are as a Harry Potter fan. If enough people are mad they have to do something about it ! JK. Rowling has a duty to her fans to not let them down and even though she did not make the movie, she allowed for someone else to make it this terrible! So unite, stand up, DO SOMETHING!
Priscilla Vasquez, Hilo, USA

I thought the movie was very interesting. Cuaron took on a very different aspect of Harry and Hogwarts than Columbus did. Even though the movie did not follow the book as well as I would have liked, I still saw the movie as a very good piece of work. I believe Cuaron could have incorporated the old sets of Hogwarts into the new. There were too many differences to go along with the last two movies. Cuaron did an excellent job on portraying Harry, Ron and Hermione as growing teenagers. He set the mood of the movie and the characters to match the book and that was a very good move on his directing part. The growing-up of the characters are very important for the plots and events of the books and movies and I believe Cuaron caught the changes of the characters very well in this installment of the movie series.
Jennifer, Frankford, WV, USA

I walked out wondering if I even saw the real movie.
Jessica, USA
I went to go see the movie the first day it came out. I must say I was disappointed in it. I was expecting a great movie, just like the book. Unfortunatly, that's not what I got. It left out so much, how are they going to do the next movie? I rushed through it, as if they had one week to make it. The book was so descriptive, and so well written, why change it? Like the set. Did Hogwarts magically change itself, and did it magically transport itself to the mountain? I walked out wondering if I even saw the real movie. The cast was great. I would hate anyone on the cast to leave. I love hating Snape, and I love to hate Draco. But in that movie I just couldn't. I hope the fourth movie is much better, like for starters, get the old set back, and don't change anything about the book.
Jessica, Kuna, U.S.A.

I've seen the film twice now, and the first time I was a little disappointed in the seemingly rushed plotline in the last few scenes. The second time I saw it, it was brilliant. I had a huge amount of respect for the film-makers and the actors are incredible. It is a great film for Hollywood.
Emma, Amarillo, United States

I was quite disappointed. I started reading the books after seeing the first 2 movies, so having the books almost memorized now it was hard to watch because I kept telling myself, that's not how it happened. I wonder why they felt they had to meddle with the story so much? Have they read the rest of the books? Do they know how important this one is to the developing storyline? I wonder how JK Rowling feels. At any rate it will keep me wanting more! Can't wait for more Harry Potter!!!
Jill, Eastlake, Ohio, USA

Can we PLEASE have the original Hogwarts back? The new one didn't seem quite right. On the whole I enjoyed the film but I feel some important details were missed out that perhaps shouldn't have been for those who haven't read the books to understand the story properly.
Lesley Woodcock, Deal, Kent, UK

I for one did not think too highly of the third film. The acting was good though I think Cuaron could have made them convey a little more emotion -for instance the scene where Harry runs away or Hermoine runs out of Divination - and the scenery was done well but much of it, I felt, he tried to re-create to fit his own visions though it had already been created before. For example the Fat Lady was no longer in a corridor and not wearing her trademark pink dress and Hagrid's hut had been moved as well along with the Whomping Willow. I also think they left out a few things that were essential to the plot and would leave many movie-goers who had not yet read the books quite confused. Overall it was an ok movie but I prefer the way the others were done.
Lindsay, Louisiana, USA

I was very disappointed about everything. They missed loads of things out, and what was going on with the senery? The Dumbledore was not well recieved, Harry was portrayed as a moody teenager. I am a big Harry Potter fan but they have strayed to far from the book. My advice - get rid of the new director and get the old one back.
Amy Ceaple, hants

Horrible!! What happened to the former director? This story has nothing to do with the first or second: the school is different, Hagrid's house in the middle of nowhere. Their clothes are horrible. I left the movie feeling like I had seen nothing.
Luciana Prodoscimo, São José dos Campos, Brazil

As an adult, I truly enjoyed reading the five books and was completely mesmerized by the first two films. This third installment was pretty good but I was a bit disappointed in how the movie condensed or changed the sequences of the storyline. It was a let down of not seeing Oliver or being introduced to Cho during the Quidditch match. The ending was quite abrupt and not at all like the book's ending. The three main actors are growing up and into their characters. I can only hope that former director, Chris Columbus can take the directorial reins again for the fourth film. Book 4 is much more emotional and filled with many important characters and scenes that need to flow visually on screen as it did for all those who have read the book.
Geri, Hawaii, USA

Hey, I loved the movie! I thought Gary Oldman did a fantastic job as Sirius Black and even though it reshaped the book it remained the best so far. With the darker atmosphere, the Prisoner of Azkaban outranks them all. Great fun for everyone!!! Go see it!
Fran, Eastbourne, UK

I have read the books and even though the film didn't quite follow the books this time, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. They can't fit everything into a two-hour movie, cuts have to be made. Just watch it as a movie and compare it less to the books. Lord of the Rings couldn't even fit everything in to the movies but they were still awsome. (not that these movies are as good, its just an example). Settle down, people!
Kayla, San Jose, US

I was very disappointed. It missed important parts. Didn't explain things that needed to be explained. I waited over a year for this. The second film was better.
Nyurka, USA

I really believed that this movie was excellent. Dan, Rupert, and Emma have finally shown their great acting abilities. Gary Oldman was superb and adapted beautifully to his part, as did David Thewlis. It was a bit rushed in the beginning, yet you could tell they wanted to get to the really important parts. The school grounds layout was changed, but masterfully and it was breath-taking. I only wish the Marauder's Map was explained more and that Crookshanks would have had more screen time. Also, running time extended wouldn't have hurt. Dark, and as always but in a more hilarious way, Rupert provided comic relief. Definitely worth the wait and the money!
Krista Coffey, Placentia, Canada

I was very impressed. This film was allowed to develop creatively in it's own right. The freedom that Alfonso Cuaron was given gave the film a new look and a darker feel, something it needed. Professor Snape is excellent, and the new Dumbledore was more correct than Richard Harris' interpretation, although Lupin's appearance is completely wrong and not at all convincing. The acting had improved superbly from the three main characters, Radcliffe's acting improving dramatically, but he is not quite at the level of the others. The story has been adapted quite a bit, understandably to fill a film format, and in most cases this was acceptable. Although, the Shrieking Shack scene was well filmed, the story was not clearly explained, with the missing information about Lupin and Black's relationship with James and Pettigrew, the Maurader's Map and The Patronus.The Winning of the Quidditch Cup was also omitted, and I did not appreciate the ending.
Rachel, London, UK

This is by far the best movie out of the three. Alfonso Cuaron transported the veiwers to a dark, forsaken, magical world that, before now, was just our imagination. Chris Columbus did a remarkable job in the first two...that's a main reason PoA is so great! The world was built in the first two. Also, the humour is so frequent that the movie doesn't run dull. I feel that Michael Gambon did a superb job on a role that was hard to fill. I applaud his remarkable work - though some of the scenes he acted in were a little...er...rough, or maybe as far as raw or fake. I did see this at midnight here in the US and me being a girl who is 14, I was eager to see Rupert, Daniel, Matthew (Neville) , and Tom! They all did a fantastic job!
Katy, TX

I loved it! It needed to be darker for the subject matter. The acting was great especially David Thewlis and Emma Thompson. It's unrealistic to expect it to top the book. Go see for yourselves!
Cigi, expat residing in California, USA

Well, it was good, but I have to say, it was very different. You can definitely tell a difference in directing. It seemed to move rather quickly, jumping from one thing to another. I would have liked to have seen more of the Leaky Cauldron and more Quidditch, like the game where Malfoy pretends to be a dementor. It also didn't seem as warm and fuzzy as the first two. I was also a bit disappointed they didn't explain Sirius Black's situation in more detail. Seeing this movie without reading the book, I think, it would be a bit confusing. It would be very hard to understand what is exactly trying to be explained in the Shreaking Shack. Dumbledore was also a bit disappointing. He was not as 'grandfatherly' as he was in the first two. I would think they would have liked to have kept him as the same character, using the same mannerism, his soft spoken-ness, which made him seem older but corresponded very well with his wisdom. He was a different Dumbledore. I do have to say, the actor cast for Professor Lupin was great! I really loved his character. All in all it was a good film. The camera work was awesome! The fourth film should be very interesting...
Jennifer, USA

I adored it, though I felt that it was lacking in exposition, particularly towards the end. Unlike most, I didn't enjoy the performances of the trio; Emma Watson in particular was appalling at the beginning - complete lack of believable emotion - and looked nothing like the way Hermione is described. By contrast however, the new blood was a welcome treat - Oldman and Thewlis were electric and Michael Gambon was Dumbledore as I always imagined him. I feel that the thing that is disappointing so many people is the screenplay - Steve Kloves needs to pull his act together, and quickly.
Rachael, Durham, UK

Harry potter 3 was the best film yet. Harry really shows his anger and powers. The effects were really good the animals looked real. What can I say - you have to see it. It is excellent!!!!
Kaylee, London, England

Watched and enjoyed it for what it was. It;s all about finding the essence of a complex story and turning it into a film. We all interpret books differently, what I find to be the most important aspect of a book may not be the next man's. Its a damn good film. My kids enjoyed it too!
Tracey, Durham, UK

This film is both an improvement on and a disappointment when compared to the previous two. Granted, the subject matter is darker, but does this have to mean that everything has to look like it's been filmed on a late afternoon in winter? The special effects are much more consistent than in the prevous films, but the storyline, sadly, wasn't. I realise that there's way too much in the book for it all to be in the film, but I think the story would have been done more justice if more had been left out, and all loose ends had been tied up.
Anna Whitfield, Oxford, UK

I have heard many give a wise piece of advice saying spend your money on the fabulous book rather than the awful movie. I came out of the theatre with my mouth gaping wide with horror of what i just witnessed.
Cassie, NY, USA

I loved it. I know that the Quidditch final was left out but I didn't even realize it until the end because I was so interested in the movie. I know alot of people miss Richard Harris(including me) but Sir Micheal Gambon did and excellent job. The movie was humourous and a little frightening. Excellent cast. Everyone looked how I imagined except for Peter Pettigrew but he was great also. Overall, in my opinion in a scale of 1-10 this was a definite 10!
Salina, Michigan, USA

I kept waiting for the magic of the first two movies and it never appeared. The film was nearly devoid of the wonderful relatinships of the first two films with McGonnagal, Snape and the Weasely families relegated to one or two lines each! The complete rearrangement of Hogwarts was disruptive. So many of the important overall storyline details were ommitted that I spent a good amount of time explaining what was going on to another person who had not read the books. Teenage angst is fine and part of the story but the theme of the septology is tolerance, love and friendship, which are woefully missing in this installment. Where are you now, Chris Columbus?
Bob Helton, Boca Raton, USA

This movie had a lot missing. I hate to say that if they don't change directors I may not go to see the next one. The change in locations and prop setup was horrible. I wish that they had be able to get an actor like Peter O'Toole to fill in the role of Dumbledore. Mr Cuaron needs to stop while he is behind.
Ron, Mobile, AL USA

Though the first two Potter movies were more faithful to the books, I felt they plodded along rather slowly and unartfully. Here in Azkaban we finally have a Potter film that feels fresh and lush and swift, a page turner if you will, in which the actors are not shackled to a clunky script. Unfortunately Azkaban also takes too many liberties with the plot. Many parts are left unexplained--particularly the dialogue between Lupin, Sirius, and Snape in the screaming shack - which make the second half of the film seem forced and fake. And sadly, Dumbledore seemed little more than an accessory.
Kristopher, Sacramento, CA, USA

While The Prisoner of Azkaban was a terrific novel, the movie was a complete flop. I bought tickets a week in advance and promptly after the movie I called all of my friends who are also avid Harry Potter fans and warned them not to see the movie unless they felt like wasting money. I think we all miss Chris Columbus and the magic he instituted into the movies. The acting was bad, the settings were bad, the costumes were bad, and the storyline...what storyline? If this is the direction Warner Brothers is taking the movies in, they shouldn't bother making any more. I wonder how J.K. Rowling feels about having her masterpiece slaughtered?
Shalese Fitzgerald, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Usa

I think this was the best of the Potter movies. It wasn't overly sugar-coated, and althought there was little explanation of relationships, they were well portrayed. The new set was more how I had imagined it, especailly the portraits and grounds. Gary Oldman rocked as Sirius (who is my favorite character). My biggest issues with it was the lack of tension, which is prominent in the book and that the werewolf wasn't quite, well, wolf-like. But the good of this movie outweighs the bad.
Sara, Ohio USA

The best! Harry Potter The Prisoner Of Azkaban is the best film in the world! The book was my favorite and film not disappointed. The actors were excellent. Visual effects are amazing... I loved the film. The best of the three.
H.P. Fox, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

I thought this movie was going to be a little better. It wasn't true to the book at all and the set was different from the first two movies. Although most of it was good, they don't wear muggle clothes or hold frogs while singing! Plus Harry get his broom at christmas. Where was Pidwegen! Maybe I read the 3rd book to many times.
Sarah, New York

I am so disappointed in this movie. I just love the Harry Potter series. Why was this director allowed to take such liberties with the way things really happened in the book? Did JK Rowling approve of this? If so, why? We fans don't care how long the movie runs as long as it stays true to the story. I really hope the next movies are made by someone who reads the book and presents things in the order and manner in which they occurred!
Cindy, Citrus Heights, California, USA

With poor characterisation, lack of plot and canon errors as basic as the spelling of characters¿ names on the map (Moony has no E), It was simply glorified, mediocre fan-fiction. Ron¿s character was ruined. Hermione¿s attitude problem was out of character. Even Snape wasn¿t creepy! Hostility between him and the three marauders lacked, and he seemed too caring about Harry. The muggle clothes rather than school robes detracted from the magical feel. The long bus ride and hippogriff flight were not worth the loss of plot points such as the Wolfbane potion, Marauders¿ history and ¿The Prank. The movie was confusing without recently reading the book. A quality film should stand on its own and entice viewers who have not read the book to do so. This movie does neither. Read the book (again, if you have already) and wait for the DVD - then you can forward through pointless scenes and pause for the beautiful scenic shots that redeem the film.
Alchemia, Chicago, USA

I saw the film today and i was really disappointed.I have been looking forward to this movie for ages, ever since the book came out, and it was a real let-down. Dumbledore was awful! He was no where near as good as Richard Harris was. The story has been changed around completely. There were no explanations at all. If you hadn't read the book, you would have no idea who Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot or Prongs were. Emma, Daniel and Rupert were as brilliant as ever though. I hope they will still be there for the last film.
Evie Taylor, London, England

For the first time, a director has chosen to capture the spirit of Harry Potter rather than the adherence to the text. Alfonso Cuaron made a wonderful decision in focusing on the feeling, emotion and suspense of Prizoner of Askaban instead of the literal course of events. The kids were fantastic in their roles and acted much better than in the first two movies. And for the record, they could not have looked more age-appropriate--after all, that is what 13 year olds actually look like!
Sangeetha Kolluri, Chicago, United States

It's cause for joy to reflect that the movies will just get better and better in the coming years. This one can only be described as magnificent - and Gary Oldman stole the show!
Robert del Valle, Detroit, USA

I was thoroughly disappointed in this film. It just didn't follow the book! They missed out huge sections, added lines that weren't in the book and generally messed around with the time scale. Also, why were they not wearing robes all of the time?! They don't wear muggle clothes! I didn't like the director's new concepts, and thought he was trying to hard to take the film in a new direction. Lupin was badly cast, and they missed out on all the essential information about sirius and lupin's relationship. I also disliked the new scenery. On top of all of that, each house admits 10 new students a year, and eah class therefore has 20 students in... so how come in Lupin's class there were 40+ students?! Maybe I've read the books too much, but I found it infuritatingly inaccurate.
Katie Fletcher, Manchester, UK

Well, a good film which could have been a good story if it was originally written for a 2 hour film, but it wasn't. Such a large book that has so many sub-stories and details simply can't be made into a single 2 hour and a bit film. I hope the next film is either 3 hours plus or split into 2 films. And what was with the camcorder home movie style intro at the Dursleys? The quality and camera tracking seemed really poor and they kept cutting the tops off the actors heads! The rest of the film had great FX though by ILM. More realistic than the previous films.
Jon, Chichester, UK

As an expat I enjoy truly British movies like Snatch, Lock Stock etc, but when a British movie is turned into some Mexican artfest it disappoints. Chris Columbus did a fantastic job of bringing Harry's magical world to life, With Cuaron it feels like I had been watching a warts-and-all semi-documentary. I like to be dazzled by the great hall, I like to be entertained by funny dialogue and fantastic scenery but when all you see is fantastic scenery it feels like a commercial for a weekend getaway in Bonny Scotland. Very, very poor film, deeply disapointing direction - no magic!
Rob, Tampa Fl USA

The new Harry Potter film is, according to me, the best of the three. Visual effects are amazing, actors are exellent (Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton are so cute...). I read the book and the film respects it, I'm not at all disappointed. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is darker, better and more for teenagers, which are very good things. I loved the film, I love Harry Potter!
Cristel, Neuilly, France

The third Potter book is much longer and much more complicated than the first two. As a result there are many things in the movie that are unclear, unexplained or at least insufficiently explained. Still I enjoyed the movie.
Ignacio, Manila, Philippines

My younger sister who has never read the Potter books was very confused throughout the entire movie. It did not seem very self explanatory. And why all the scene changes and mixing up all of the scene order? It seems simple with all the things the crew and cast are doing just to make the movie more like the actual book. Is J.K Rowling really allowing all of these changes to occur? Does she not care how the movies are portraying her amazing books? Why add all this fancy schmancy stuff when you can just make the movies like the real story, then add the fun stuff later! All in all, it was a pretty good movie.
Madison schwartz, Sarasota, FL

The third book Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite. it wasn't like the first two books at all. I was seriously depressed when I found out Richard Harris died. No-one could take the place of Dumbledore. he is definitely a great loss to this movie). I think the movie was fine, but I didn't appreciate the new director's own personal ending. J.K. Rowling did an excellent job, and it should not have been changed.

I was pleased with the cast. Daniel, Rupert and Emma did awesome. I will definitely go see the fourth movie as soon as it comes out Next November.(It's already on the calendar). I was really only upset with the movie because Oliver Wood wasn't in it, or Cho or Cedric or... well anyways i think you understand that he left a lot out. It would be difficult to follow the amazing director Chris Columbus. I hope Mr Cauron decides to stop with the Potter films, in fear he will destroy the Goblet of Fire. Hannah Richardson
Hannah Richardson, Gilbert, Arizona, United States

Richard Harris is sadly missed
Rob, England
Saw it with by 12 year old on 2nd day of opening (and there were empty seats!). To be honest I was disappointed with it. Much of the book missed out and scenes didn't flow together well. Was expecting scary Dementors but all you saw was a black flying cloak. My rating 4/10. ... and why has Dumbledore got his beard tied up with an elastic band ?
Paul, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, UK

The film missed so much out and did not explain anything. If you have not read the books, would you even know what Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and prongs stands for !! I understand that it should be a darker film due to the story line, but the grounds of Hogwarts look totally different from the other two. Since when has Hagrid lived down amongst the trees - never. The ending was terrible. Also where was the Quidditch? Why on earth the director cut out and changed so much I don't know - he has spoilt a good book. Though well done to Daniel, Rupert and Emma. Lets hope they can last until the seventh film. I will be intrigued to see what the Goblet of Fire is like.
Lucy, Essex

I left the cinema wondering whether the film had started. Very disappointing, really no storyline. It just seemed like a quick link to what I hope will be an excellent 4th movie... please don't take too long with that one.
Martin, UK

I was a little disappointed at the beginning because it differed from the book so much, but by the end I wouldn't even leave the cinema to go to the toilet. The film was very well put across to the audience, the acting skills where brilliant and everyone who performed seemed to really enjoy making their characters come to life.
Beca, Portsmouth, UK

The movie is wonderful, although it is a fantasy story for grown-ups and no longer for children. But please, please change Dumbledore ... He looks like and feels more as an overgrown hippy than a magic school master and mentor. He is just not it.
Rossella Spadini, Zaandam, The Netherlands

I took a group of 8 kids age 7-12 to see this movie. They loved it. For me, it was the best of the three movies. The pace was excellent, the direction assured, the delivery much improved. It somehow felt less stilted and more real. The way the director/scriptwriter chose to tell the Azkaban story was different from the book, but excellent in hitting all the key scenes and points. Particular credit to David Thewlis as Lupin and Emma Watson as Hermione, the star of this movie. Big laughs were there too - the Knight Bus, the Boggart (especially Snape in granny's clothes), and Hagrid skimming huge stones right across the Loch.
Thom, Edinburgh, UK

The third film was not as good as I expected. I can't say I agree with Alfonso's directing. The actors were great but the settings had all changed, like the random rickety bridge leading to Hagrid's hut and the huge clock which appeared on the front of the castle, and the courtyard below with the tumbled down fountain. If I hadn't read the third book I wouldn't have understood the story at all. The film was still good because of the acting and because I could fill in the gaps with my own knowledge. I just wish it had been left the way Chris Columbus had designed it. It made so much more sense then.
Laura Dixon, Leyland, Lancashire, UK

I enjoyed the film and thought the acting from the main three main characters Harry, Ron and Hermione was much improved since the last film and the tone reflects that of the book, but I don't think that any of the films capture the heart of the books. I thought the plot seemed to jump about a lot and skipped vital parts of the story. Can't wait til the next book comes out.
Kirsteen Martin, Glasgow, UK

I'm sorry to say that I thought this film was a total let-down, boring and dull. I don't remember the book being this bad. A film I won't be seeing again.
L Maby, Bristol UK

Well it had far less of the 'This will make a great free toy with a Happy Meal' about it but felt very padded in parts. Oldman puts in a fine performance and the film would have benefited from making more of him and less of Radcliffe's increasingly strained performances. The weakest of the three movies so far, but to be fair this probably reflects that the book was also not one of JK's strongest.
Jay, Staffs, UK

Good point: acting of the boys was far better than before. Bad points: 1) Too dark - as if all had been filmed in dusk which makes for an unrealistic dark atmosphere, not the story of wizards living in our real (colourful) world. 2) Change of setting - e.g. Hagrid's house, Womping Willow - what on earth for?? 3) Obvious faults such as: Dudley's head is leaning forward in one shot, backwards the next. 4) The appearance of the stag has not been explained - major mistake. In short: enjoyable as the acting of some was much better but the first two films have far more charm.
Eve, Herts

Just watched the film and enjoyed it, although I felt it was a bit scrappy. Also the change of location of Hogwart's jarred, although I felt the new one was more true to the original book. The old and new characters blended well and I'm looking forward to seeing the next episode.
Mary, Scotland

The worst Harry Potter film yet.
Martyn, Scotland

Sadly this film didn't meet expectations. It had a lot to live up to following the first two which were brilliant. There was a lot of story missed out, the scenery had changed and the ending was too abrupt - what happened to the explanations and summing up? I had to refer back to the book when I got home. However it was entertaining, the special effects were excellent and it was nice to see the characters growing up (even though they didn't wear their cloaks much). Worth seeing but frustrating for Potterphiles.
Kathy, Stockport

It was better than the first two. I also read the book and it was different from the film but was very interesting.
Kamal Salah, Egypt

If you have not read the book then I'm sure that you will truly enjoy this film, it is very entertaining and the special effects are great. If you have read the books be prepared to be disappointed, lots of the story is missed out, ignored or moved, the ending was a head long sprint for the door losing much of the closure we have seen in the previous two films. Richard Harris is sadly missed and this is clear by the lack of screen time given to Dumbledore, Dawn French brings some refreshing fun, Rarely does a film do justice to a brilliant book (Daniel Colton) and in this case it missed the mark by a mile.
Rob, England

Easily the best of the three. This film would have been worth seeing just for David Thewlis and Gary Oldman. Their scenes - especially the ones together - are amazing.
Christy, Newcastle

I think that Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is the best of the books, and movies. It is absolutely fantastic, although some members of my family who had not read the book, found the plot line harder to grasp.
Carla, Birmingham, England

As a stand alone film, viewed without any Potter knowledge, this film would be difficult to get to grips with. It's a filler and is to the first Potter films what the 'Empire Strikes Back' was to Star Wars. But for Potterphiles, it is an excellent adventure In short, the third Potter film is a very entertaining romp that exposes the dark underbelly of the wizarding world.
Barry, London, UK

I watched the new Harry Potter film on Monday and was really disappointed. It never grabbed my like the first two instalments and I was actually bored for the opening hour. There were also things not explained to those who have not read the book that are very important e.g. the reason for the different animals such as the stag that Harry sees when he's rescued. I appreciate it was a difficult adaptation but I believe the change in director has had an adverse affect on the series and the new Dumbledore is not at all convincing I'm afraid.
Jumbo, Wallasey, England

Everything about this film is better than the previous two
Daniel Colton, Richmond, UK
Such a difference. Everything about this film is better than the previous two. The new director has really captured the sinister side of the books to a far greater extent. The actors have matured along with their roles, they do JK Rowling proud, something which I don't believe they did in the past. Rarely does a film do justice to a brilliant book. This is one of the exceptions.
Daniel Colton, Richmond, UK

A much darker film than the first two. Harry is starting to grow up. The cinematography is outstanding with just a hint of comedy...just keep an eye on the whomping willow!
Clayton and Kerry McCranor, Worthing, Sussex

By far the best Harry Potter film to date. David Thewlis played an excellent Professor Lupin and the special effects are superb. Well worth going to see.
Malcolm Garnett, Morecambe, Lancashire

Wasn't really impressed with this film as much as the previous two. It seemed very rushed, and missed quite a bit of the story out. Why did they film it in a different location to the previous films? For example; Hagrid now lives at the bottom of a hill!
Anonymous, Leeds

Absolutely fab!!! We really liked the bus and buckbeak. The dementors were quite scary though. Harry, Ron and Hermione were brilliant and we like the new Dumbledore too. You really must go and see it!!!
Charlotte, Jacob and Mitcham, Felixstowe

I thought that the film had a few loose ends. For example, one scene showed Sirius and Lupin wanting to kill Harry and the following scene had Sirius asking Harry to live with him. Other than that, an excellent film.
Robert Sleight, Marske

After all the hype this movie failed to deliver
Janks, Staffs, UK


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