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November 14, 2018

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) --- “Dissent Will Not Be Tolerated, But Rebellion Is The Only Way. Evil Must Be Confronted.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     First, I would like to state that I have yet to read the series, with the exception of The Deathly Hallows, but I am an avid fan of the films. One day I hope to be given the chance to read the series but until then my review here is solely based on the film with no comparison from the book, except what I have heard or read from other sources.
     This time, not only does the director change but so does the writer. British director David Yates (The Legend of Tarzan; Fantastic Beasts 1) and American writer Michael Goldenberg (Artemis Fowl, 2019) take on this film and they do an excellent job. It has been a few months since his encounter with the newly resurrected Lord Voldemort during the final task at the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Now entering his 5th year, Harry and co. quickly learn that the majority of the wizarding population do not know or believe in his encounter with Lord Voldemort. Believing that it is a power-play by Dumbledore for his job, Minster of Magic Cornelius Fudge appoints Ministry employee, Delores Umbridge as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. However her teaching is deficient and her methods are cruel, as she up a directorial regime and forbid students to from practicing defenses spells. In an act of rebellion and out of necessity, Harry agrees to start a secret club called Dumbledore's Army, where he will teach the students how to defend themselves and the school against the rising tide of evil. Based on the bestselling series by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) is the perfect mixture of action, suspense, adventure, and mystery we have been building up to since the first film.

    Now there are two ways you can look at this film. You can either look at from the perspective of a die-hard Harry Potter fan who has all the books memorized and would get upset that the film does not follow the book word for word. Or you can look at this film from the perspective that it is a film based on a book and thus not everything is going to be included or followed to a T. The second perspective allows for an open-minded opinion that will appreciate the film for what its worth, not compare it to what it’s based on, and that is exactly what this review is about.
    The story was brilliantly written. The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) was noticeably dark and The Goblet of Fire (2005) carries a bit of that darkness but it is substantially lighter than its predecessor (like a younger version of The Half-Blooded Prince). The Order of the Phoenix is substantially darker than POA and GOF, mostly because there's nothing left that the Death Eaters need to go after Harry. Another reason why this film is so dark is that of the Ministry. The Ministry does not want to believe that Voldemort and his followers have returned, so their fear causes them to live in a state of denial. They silence anyone who believes or promotes the idea that Voldemort is back because in accepting this truth it forces the Ministry to have to face their fears. This means that the people who have the power to help Harry become strong enough to defeat Voldemort are disappearing one by one, so its no wonder why he feels alone. Although it feels like the Ministry is the enemy of this story, instead they are but a side-story because the presence of the true enemy is still felt throughout the film.
The special effects are phenomenal, especially during the Department of Mysteries, and the music (Nicholas HooperHP and the Half-Blood Prince) flowed perfectly with every scene. The new additions to the cast were incredible. Helena Bonham Carter (Ocean’s 8) was superb as the crazy Bellatrix Lestrange with unmistakable evil cackling that just adds to her character. Imelda Staunton (Maleficent; Paddington) was perfect as Dolores Jane Umbridge, she once said in an interview that she hates her character just as much as the fans. Evanny Lynch (My Name is Emily) was wonderful as the quirky and sometimes loony Luna Lovegood, I really enjoyed watching her friendship with Harry grow throughout the rest of the series. The returning cast, as always, continue to give excellent performances, especially Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) who is finally given the chance to shine as Sirius Black and Alan Rickman (A Little Chaos; Alice Through the Looking Glass) who showcases a new side to Prof. Snape.

     Overall, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) is the perfect mixture of action, suspense, adventure, and mystery we have been building up to since the first film. The story is great and goes to a whole new level as it adds to the series’ build-up to the Deathly Hallows. The special effects are phenomenal, the music flows perfectly, and the cast is superb. I highly recommend this film to those who are looking for adventure, suspense, and mystery.

"Sorry, Professor, but I must not tell lies."
- Harry Potter

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8.4 of 10 star
Worth Buying: 8.4 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
Adventures of Tintin (2011)
Chronicles of Narnia 1: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Chronicles of Narnia 2: Prince Caspian (2008)
Chronicles of Narnia 3: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Eragon (2006)
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 2 (2018)
Golden Compass (2007)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Oz The Great and Powerful (2013)
Pan (2015)
Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

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