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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 216
Fresh: 178 | Rotten: 38

Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.

73

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 12

Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,141,829

My Rating

Movie Info

Youthful wizard Harry Potter returns to the screen in this, the second film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's wildly popular series of novels for young people. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) return for a second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Headmaster Dumbledore (Richard Harris), Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), and Hagrid the Giant (Robbie Coltrane) are

PG,

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Kids & Family

Steve Kloves

Apr 11, 2003

$261.8M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (216) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (178) | Rotten (38) | DVD (38)

This new Harry Potter has its flaws, but it's better, as well as darker, than the first.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Two down, presumably five to go, and already the franchise is entering dangerous territory: if you aren't one of the many who know their Harry Potter chapter and verse, prepare for a nap.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Radcliffe, 3 inches taller and an octave lower than last year, is growing comfortably into his character, as is Watson, the fetching and confident Hermione.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like many children I've met, director Chris Columbus seems never to have heard the word no.

June 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The franchise is safe! Columbus' second alchemical movie ups the thrill quotient to satisfy the faithful. There's more action, and it's scarier.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Represents a lost opportunity to give children, not to mention adults, a movie experience that would widen their eyes as the justly beloved Rowling books did.

January 16, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Magazine | Comment (1)
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Columbus carefully avoids overly replaying the visual wonders of his first episode, and heedfully edits and amplifies Rowling's story for the screen, preserving its spooky darkness.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Better story, better acting, better characters and better effects. All they need is to sort out the dialogue next time, and everyone's a winner.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

[Chamber of Secrets] is more tightly plotted than the original film and boasts a welcome, lighter touch in its early scenes. But it devolves, during its wearying 161-min. running time, into a been-there-fought-that action hero yarn.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Director Chris Columbus (again working from a screenplay by Steve Kloves) has allowed some mechanical repetition to creep in, but overall this manages to be ingenious as well as faithful to its source.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The three main child actors, including Emma Watson as Hermione, have gained in confidence and grown nicely into their roles and all of the regular ensemble from the first film return.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

It doesn't help that Chamber is pretty much all business from the opening shot, trading in Stone's sometimes-clunky exposition for full-steam-ahead action.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

A good entertaining film with a lot of imagination...

June 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It's not all bad. But there are wasted, senseless scenes of characters about to head to the Quidditch pitch for a game that doesn't happen and time-eating speeches about how "This could mean the end of Hogwarts" (Crikey, again?)

January 13, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Possibly second only to Goblet of Fire of all the Potter films to date, Chamber of Secrets should please fans and muggles alike.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Those who adore the books may bemoan the flat emotional landscape of the films, which are less easy to engage with. Fans of the first film will be suitably entertained.

June 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Scary spiders, impressive effects and a barnstorming Branagh add pizzazz to Potter.

June 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Action- and creature-packed Potter sequel.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Everything about The Sorcerer's Stone pretty much applies to the adaptation of the second novel in the series.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Allow yourself the luxury of discovering this enchanted world for yourself.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The exciting second chapter in the Harry Potter chronicle that in many ways surpasses the original.

July 24, 2007
Cinema Sight

Though these films are trifles, they are at least high quality trifles.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Audience Reviews for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Though it may be a similar formula of detective mystery + magic + quidditch to the previous installment, the second in the series does well to introduce more of the vast range of characters and pick away at the mystery underneath. Full review later.
March 3, 2013
TomBowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

Here's round two of the adventures of young wizard Harry Potter and friends. While not a terrible movie, this one is probably my least favorite and the most forgettable. It's more faithful than the previous film, but that's not entirely a good thing, as this one really drags, and, at this point, it's not quite necessary yet since the books didn't start getting really detailed, ambitious, and overblown until part 4.

Columbus returns as director, and this time we follow 12 year-old Harry going through his second year of schooling. As if rival students, menacing teachers, and loads of schoolwork weren't enough, things start getting dire at school when people are found petrified like statues, threats are written on walls in blood, and a monster is on the loose. Even a gifted wizard like Harry may have some serious trouble coping.

I can appreciate that they were trying to be more faithful to the book, but they might have been too faithful. It's my least favorite entry, and, while it's not boring, it's just not gripping enough, I feel, to warrant a film of such length. At least the film is good about balancing the tone fairly well.

All the actors are fine, and they are only getting better and more comfortable with the characters with each new entry. Harris made his swan song here as Dumbledore, but his replacement in part 3 takes up the mantle with ease.

All in all, a decent movie, but like I said, probably my least favorite.
January 18, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Chamber of Secrets is an improvement on its predecessor with a stronger story, stronger special effects, and livelier direction from Christopher Columbus. This was the film that started my love of the series, and looking back it is still one of my favorites. The acting from the younger cast is a little better and the tone is darker than Sorcerer's Stone. This is where the series hints at the great story to come and shows that the series will mature with each entry. Like Sorcerer's Stone however, Columbus is still just a little too slavish on the details and the film suffers just slightly from it. I fully appreciate everything he brought to the table undertaking a massive franchise for the first two entries, but I'm glad they went with a new director after this one. That being said, the series would not be the same and would not have evolved without him helming the first two to see what minor flaws needed to be ironed out.
December 19, 2012
jlewis07

Super Reviewer

'Chamber of Secrets' takes its young flamboyant cast into darker territories and possesses an edgier feel than the first installment. The entertaining visual effects and story illustrates the films fantastic direction that keeps audiences wanting more. 4/5
August 11, 2012
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

    1. Neville Longbottom: Why is it always me?
    – Submitted by Chocolate F (3 months ago)
    1. Ron Weasley: Bloody bird's a menace!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (8 months ago)
    1. Madam Pomfrey: What d'you expect? Pumpkin juice?
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Hermione Granger: It's got to be a Gryffindor. No one else knows our password.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Tom Riddle: It was Ginny that opened the Chamber Of Secrets.
    2. Harry Potter: No.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Madam Pomfrey: Who is ti that the monster's taken?
    2. Minerva McGonagall: Ginny Weasley.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
View all quotes (52)

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Foreign Titles

  • Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens (DE)
  • Harry Potter et la chambre des secrets (FR)
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