Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is Certified Fresh
Plus, 500 Days of Summer is sweet and poignant.
This week at the movies marks the return of the young wizards of Hogwarts with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. How does the latest installment stack up with the critics?
The Harry Potter franchise has maintained a level of quality nearly unmatched in recent times. And critics say the latest, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is no exception. This time out, Hogwarts has become a gloomy place, with suspicions running high and hormones running wild; in addition, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is steeling himself for a big showdown against the forces of evil. If Half-Blood Prince has a failing, pundits say, it's one that's common to franchises: it's a transitional installment. That said, the production design is moody and impeccable, the tension is palpable, and there's a welcome strain of humor to the proceedings. In addition, the three principal actors -- Radcliffe, Rupert Grint , and Emma Watson -- have grown into their roles, and the supporting players are outstanding. Half-Blood Prince isn't the best reviewed in the series -- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban holds that honor - but it's still Certified Fresh. (Check out RT's interviews with Radcliffe and director David Yates, as well as this week's Total Recall, in which we count down the best movie wizards.)
Also opening this week in limited release:
- Somers Town, a comedy about two teens who overcome their differences to become close friends, is at 94 percent.
- 500 Days of Summer, starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a dramedy about the rise an fall of a young couple's relationship, is at 89 percent.
- The Way We Get By, a documentary about a group of seniors who gather at an airport to greet soldiers returning from Iraq, is at 89 percent.
- Death in Love, starring Adam Brody and Joshua Lucas in a dark drama about a pair of brothers' dealings with their mother's actions during the Holocaust, is at 60 percent.
- Off Jackson Avenue, a crime thriller about a New York woman attempting to escape sex slavery, is at 57 percent.
- Homecoming, starring Mischa Barton in a thriller about a young woman who will do anything to win back her high school sweetheart, is at zero percent.