Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Reviews

Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
November 16, 2014
Cuarón brought to the Potter franchise a quality curiously missing from the two previous films: magic.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 3, 2013
The right word for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is wondersful -- as in full of wonders, great and small.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 3, 2013
For the first time, the non-converted may actually see what all the fuss is about.
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Bruce Diones
New Yorker
August 3, 2013
Just like the books that the films are based on, this franchise gets better with each installment.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
September 8, 2010
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.
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Compared to its predecessors, this is a more wintry, thoughtful and rewarding movie.
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
This is a luminous movie -- luminous, imaginative and affecting. For Harry Potter, at least, the third time is the charm.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
The most powerfully entrancing children's film in years.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 7, 2004
[E]ven if you're never read a word of the Potter books and you haven't seen the first two films, Azkaban stands alone as a creative triumph.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
June 5, 2004
The first true Harry Potter movie -- the first to capture not only the books' sense of longing, but their understanding of the way magic underlies the mundane, instead of just prancing fancifully at a far remove from it.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 5, 2004
Harry Potter is 13 now, an awkward age for anyone -- even a boy wizard armed with magical powers. But Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third film in the series, couldn't be more self-assured.
Top Critic
Nicole Arthur
Washington Post
June 4, 2004
The third installment in the Harry Potter series, is everything the first two films were not: complex, frightening, nuanced.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 4, 2004
This is one long sit, made all the more so by a turgid story, a dour visual palette and uninspiring action.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 4, 2004
Thanks to director Alfonso Cuaron, a dazzling storyteller with a keen eye for whimsical detail, the third film in the Potter franchise is a visual delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
June 4, 2004
While I confess to being almost utterly lost within the narrative within about 20 minutes, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 4, 2004
A marvelous adventure.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 4, 2004
A different kind of Harry Potter movie, a better kind.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
June 4, 2004
It's hard to imagine that any Harry Potter movie will ever top the enchanted achievement of Prisoner of Azkaban.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 4, 2004
The other films had magic brooms, but this is the first picture that flies.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 4, 2004
As good a movie as anyone will ever make out of J.K. Rowling's revered novels about the boy wizard.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 4, 2004
Artful, fast-moving and engrossing.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 4, 2004
Easily the most clever, emotionally affecting and involving of the adaptations so far.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
June 4, 2004
Cuaron has done what few sequel caretakers ever manage, refreshing the characters and stories for a long potential run.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
June 4, 2004
An utter delight.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
June 4, 2004
It's far less self-conscious about how to please an audience and isn't as slavishly interactive with its source material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
June 4, 2004
A tremendous achievement in production design.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
June 4, 2004
Prisoner may not be perfect, but when it's good, it's very good indeed.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 4, 2004
In a series that's episodic by definition, too many of these episodes lack any climax or payoff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
June 3, 2004
The film's disarming blend of freshness and darkness should please the Potter faithful and win new followers.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 3, 2004
Just about everything plays better this time.
Top Critic
June 3, 2004
In Cuaron's hands, the world of Harry Potter doesn't feel like a synthetic movie theme park anymore. It's almost real, Hogwarts and all.
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
June 3, 2004
It's much darker in mood and look than its predecessors, and it moves much faster, refusing to coddle or spoon-feed those who haven't seen the first two movies or read the books. This is both asset and detriment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 3, 2004
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban proves that a new director with a different perspective can freshen a series that could otherwise resort to stale repetition.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 3, 2004
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban offers what neither of its predecessors, for all their wand-waving and witch-brooms, had: real magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
June 3, 2004
Prisoner of Azkaban sustains the good vibe of Harry Potter's previous screen appearances, while also being blessed with a wand's worth of Cuaron's movie magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 3, 2004
Harry Potter and the Wizard of Azkaban is precisely the kind of invention the franchise needed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 3, 2004
The silliest, as well as the most contrived -- and confusing -- of them all.
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
June 3, 2004
An entrancing experience for Potter fans.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 3, 2004
Younger children might be put off by the darker tone of this movie, but the franchise's new direction holds promise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 3, 2004
For the final hour of the two-hour- and-21-minute Azkaban is the closest any of the films has gotten to capturing the enormously pleasing essence of the Potter books.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
June 3, 2004
Until now Harry Potter has been a great book character and a functional movie hero. With Cuaron leading the way, Harry has burst from the printed page to soar on-screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 3, 2004
The world of Harry Potter remains delightful, amusing and sophisticated.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 3, 2004
More magical than its cinematic predecessors.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 2, 2004
A marvel of special effects seamlessly hitched to a powerful coming-of-age story.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
June 2, 2004
The third Harry Potter movie is the first one that actually looks and feels like a movie, rather than a staged reading with special effects.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 2, 2004
The first movie in the series with fear and wonder in its bones, and genuine fun, too.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
June 1, 2004
A mild upkick in pacing and texture can be credited to director Alfonso Cuarón ... who avoids Chris Columbus's mastodon-like setups and knows a bit more about whipping up atmospherics.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 28, 2004
Not only is this dazzler by far the best and most thrilling of the three Harry Potter movies to date, it's a film that can stand on its own even if you never heard of author J.K. Rowling and her young wizard hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
Variety
May 27, 2004
Much like a child going through puberty, the maturation of the Harry Potter franchise has yielded awkward growing pains for the third film in the series.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 27, 2004
A deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon.