"A child's voice, however honest and true, is meaningless to those who've forgotten how to listen."
- Rating: PG "for frightening moments, creature violence and mild language"
- Minimum Recommended Age: 9.5 (Common Sense Media: "On for ages 10 and up", Movie Mom: 4th-6th Grades)
- Quality Rating: 83.25% (Parent Previews Overall Grade: B, Common Sense Media: 5 stars, Kids Pick Flicks Grade: B, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7.8)
- Number of Lists Recommend: 3
- Sex/Violence/Profanity: 1.5.2 (Kids-In-Mind)
- Main Child Character Age: 13
- Running Time: 141 minutes
- What does it have to do with Halloween? Nothing, but Harry and his friends do use a pile of huge pumpkins to hide behind a couple of times
Approaching his third year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter has had enough of his muggle relatives. He runs away from them (finally) and enters his third term facing trouble from more than one side: for using magic outside the school and from the news that a notorious criminal, serial killer Sirius Black, has escaped the wizard's prison at Azkaban and apparently is headed for Harry. The school calls in supernatural help against Black in the form of Dementors, but unusual things continue to put Harry in peril. He is thrown into a confusing panoply of shifting alliegences and shifting shapes where nobody is who or what they seem. Who is the real criminal? What is the real crime? Who is telling or knows the truth?
Watch Out For
Common Sense Media:
For most of the school year, Harry believes he is marked for death and stalked by an escaped prisoner. He also battles a creature of kids' worst nightmares: the Dementors are black-robed floating beings that suck out happiness and feed on your worst fears, which is why Harry hears the sound of his mother's last scream when he sees them. While this can be tough for young and sensitive viewers, the bright spot is the Boggart lesson in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Boggarts can turn into what a person fears most, but the kids learn to yell "Ridiculous!" and turn it into something to laugh at.
About 3 hells, 2 damns, and 1 use of bitch but referring to a female dog. Younger viewers will most likely find the dementors frightening. The dementor scenes are intense because they cause agony to all those around them They infest are deepest, darkest moments of life.
Parents should know that the movie is close to a PG-13 for intense peril and grotesque, Halloween-ish images.
Parents should remember the filmmakers' incarnation of the monsters (especially the Dementors) may be more frightening than their child imagined while devouring J.K. Rowlings' written work.
Screencaps courtesy of Screencap Paradise
Talk About It
Common Sense Media:
•Families can talk about Dumbledore's statement that people can bring light to even the darkest moments. What can you learn from the way Harry and his friends learn to defeat the Boggarts? The Dementors?
•Older kids and teens could examine all of the Potter movies to see how different directors and cinematographers can take the same characters and settings and convey a different feeling. Notice how the colors and texture of the scenes and the movement of the camera help to create the mood and tell the story.
Families who see this movie should talk about Dumbledore's statement that people can bring light to even the darkest moments. What can you learn from the way Harry and his friends learn to defeat the Boggerts? The Dementors? Older kids and teens should examine all of the Potter movies to see how different directors and cinematographers can take the same characters and settings and convey a different feeling. Notice how the colors and texture of the scenes and the movement of the camera help to creat the mood and tell the story.
Magic, witchcraft and wizardry, alternate realities, friendship, family, revenge, werewolves, dreams, reliving bad memories, kindness, manipulation of time, happiness, reading tea leaves, dark omens, crystal balls, trust, betrayal, pride.
- Is the first film released into IMAX theatres and to be using IMAX Technology
- The film was nominated for two Academy Awards — Original Music Score and Visual Effects at the 77th Academy Awards held in 2005.