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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 244
Fresh: 221 | Rotten: 23

Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.


Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 49
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 4

Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,160,667

My Rating

Movie Info

After directing the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus opted to serve as producer for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and passed the baton to Y Tu Mamá También director Alfonso Cuarón. Though "immensely popular" is an understatement when it comes to Harry Potter, Azkaban is somewhat of a departure from its predecessors, and particularly beloved among fans for its surprise ending. Prisoner of Azkaban also marks the introduction of Sirius Black (Gary Oldman),


Science Fiction & Fantasy, Kids & Family

Steve Kloves

Nov 22, 2004


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All Critics (244) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (221) | Rotten (23) | DVD (46)

The right word for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is wondersful -- as in full of wonders, great and small.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the first time, the non-converted may actually see what all the fuss is about.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just like the books that the films are based on, this franchise gets better with each installment.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like the first two movies, this is loaded with computer-generated imagery, but for the first time there's a sense of dramatic proportion balancing the spectacle and the story line.

September 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Compared to its predecessors, this is a more wintry, thoughtful and rewarding movie.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a luminous movie -- luminous, imaginative and affecting. For Harry Potter, at least, the third time is the charm.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Comments (2)
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's arguably the most fun Harry Potter film to watch: inventive, quick-moving, playful, beautiful.

September 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

What makes Prisoner of Azkaban so successful is that, like the earlier films in the franchise, it actually adapts the book from which it takes its name.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Willamette Week
Willamette Week

Prisoner of Azkaban lacks the depth that those of us old enough to drive may have enjoyed in the earlier Potter installments.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Cuaron delivers a genuinely spooky and emotionally involving adventure which gives the world of Potter much-needed character and atmosphere.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Alfonso Cuarón brings a darker, edgier, scarier feel to this installment.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Given arguably the best book of the series to work from, new director Alfonso Cuarón has turned out the best film to date, too.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This is easily the best Harry Potter film yet, though a few qualifiers need to be added to that endorsement.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The best of the franchise so far...

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

Fantastic, but kids are older, themes are darker.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

Cuarón filigrees his film with brilliantly outsized projections of Harry's fears and underlying realities. [Blu-ray]

November 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Potter's third year is his most inventive yet.

November 4, 2010 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

Ultimately the success of the film lies in the characters, and the emotions that they trigger in us.

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

Regardless of its cinematic shortcomings, the Harry Potter film series still has a ton of life in it.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound | Comments (2)
Big Picture Big Sound

Rather than a brand new sense of adventure, there's a sense in this sequel of a rerun, a tendency that even Harry's extreme magic can't seem to overcome.

May 30, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

A menagerie of menacing and morphing computer-generated special effects make the movie worthwhile.

May 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

Cuarón has produced the most terrifying and darkly humorous movie adaptation of Rowling's stories to date, giving it a visual flair sorely missing in the previous installments.

September 25, 2006
Christianity Today

Audience Reviews for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The best one in my opinion.
January 23, 2014

Super Reviewer

Adds depth to the story-line but can't help but feel as if it diverges from the story a bit. Although the least impacting of the Potter films, its the best acting the three have done to date. Fun filled, faster paced then the other two, a brilliant movie over all
August 7, 2013
Nikhil N.
Nikhil Nandu

Super Reviewer

Brilliant sense of style, depth and breadth, and the successive transition of Harry Potter to the wrings of teenage angst makes this movie one of the best, if not the best of the series through wizardlike pacing that was lacking from its predecessors.
March 11, 2013
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

A great change in direction for the look of the series and culminating in a fantastic ending. Full review later.
March 10, 2013
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

    1. Remus Lupin: Everybody, Riddkulus! [class] Riddikulus!
    2. Draco Malfoy: This class is ridiculous!
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (20 months ago)
    1. Harry Potter: Excuse me sir, where's Professor Lupin?
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (20 months ago)
    1. Draco Malfoy: Is it true that you fainted?
    2. Ron Weasley: Shut up Malfoy.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (20 months ago)
    1. Ron Weasley: We thought you were having a fit or something.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (20 months ago)
    1. Harry Potter: Who's he?
    2. Stan Updike: Who is he? WHO IS HE? He's a murderer!
    3. Harry Potter: How did he escape?
    4. Stan Updike: That's the question. How did he escape?
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (20 months ago)
    1. Professor Trelawney: You may be young in years, but the heart that beats beneath your bosom is as shriveled as an old maid's! Your soul as dry as the pages of the books to which you so desperately cleave.
    2. Hermione Granger: [Storms out]
    3. Professor Trelawney: Have I said something?
    – Submitted by Sean G (21 months ago)
View all quotes (48)

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  • Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban (DE)
  • Harry Potter et le prisonnier d'Azkaban (FR)
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