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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 191
Fresh: 153 | Rotten: 38

Being so faithful to the book is both the movie's strength and weakness. The movie unfolds exactly as written in the book, so there is little room for surprises or discoveries. For Potter fans, what more can you ask for?

74

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 11

Being so faithful to the book is both the movie's strength and weakness. The movie unfolds exactly as written in the book, so there is little room for surprises or discoveries. For Potter fans, what more can you ask for?

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,145,545

My Rating

Movie Info

The best-selling novel by J.K. Rowling (titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in England, as was this film adaptation) becomes this hotly anticipated fantasy adventure from Chris Columbus, the winner of a high-stakes search for a director to bring the first in a hoped-for franchise of Potter films to the screen by Warner Bros. Upon his 11th birthday, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), who lives in misery with an aunt and uncle that don't want him, learns from a giant named Hagrid (Robbie

May 28, 2002

$317.6M

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All Critics (191) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (153) | Rotten (38) | DVD (46)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is, despite its trickery, that plainest and least surprising of artifacts: the work of art that is exactly the sum of its parts, neither more nor less.

November 27, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A near-perfect commercial and cultural commodity.

March 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I hear the J.K. Rowling books are great, and on the basis of this 2001 movie I'm ready to believe it.

March 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What a feast for children! Long, and engrossing. Kids will love it! Wizard!

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

It offers more delights than disappointments -- and that qualifies as one of the year's great reliefs.

August 9, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers want to show us a magical world that is, at the same time, wholly believable. They want to create matter-of-fact miracles, but what they end up with is mostly just plain matter-of-fact.

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine | Comments (4)
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Harry Potter's adventures in wizard-land are cozy and comfortable in Chris Columbus' faithful adaptation.

November 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This faithful rendition of the inaugural Potter book demonstrates that the franchise is in safe, sensible hands.

November 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

A surprisingly excellent exciting fantasy flick...

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

Slow, but it establishes the myth, the cast and the look. And it's holding up surprisingly well.

January 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

Although it suffers nominally from being over-stuffed and under-paced, it's grand and involving, with magnificent production design and special effects, and some fabulous thesps present and correct.

June 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.

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

a fantastic beginning

July 5, 2008

Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Zoe Wanamaker and Maggie Smith, to name but a few, all put in an appearance and it is these old hands who are the best aspect of the film.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Suffering from too much fantasy over too little reality, Sorcerer's Stone sets Harry Potter up for a longer and fruitful career as a screen legend.

July 24, 2007
Cinema Sight

Because the film is so glossy, so flippant in its presentation of the world that author J.K. Rowling has spent her sizable novels dissecting, that I still don't have a good idea what all the fuss is about.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound | Comments (4)
Big Picture Big Sound

The quickest, zappiest two and a half hours of entertainment you'll ever see.

July 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Even though a few of the book's scenes have been cut, fans probably couldn't hope for a better adaptation. It bodes well for the rest of the series, when strong stories start taking precedence over set-up.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

A spectacular franchise takes flight.

November 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine) | Comment (1)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

I couldn't find one mis-step, one wrong move, or one disappointment in the transition from print to celluloid.

September 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Columbus' rendition of the first Harry Potter is a slavish adapation of the book, lacking imagination or vision, though not as bad as to be insufferable to watch

September 4, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

The special effects aren't overwhelming and the ideas aren't too far-fetched, but the story will reel in just about anybody.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

Audience Reviews for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Though it may be a little overtly child-oriented for adult audiences, this is still a beautifully designed world full of wonder and a great start to a series. Full review later.
March 3, 2013
TomBowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

Ah, the first film adaptation of the beloved Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter is an 11-year-old boy who comes to find out that he is a wizard. He lives with his uncaring Muggle (non magic) aunt, uncle, and cousin since his parents died when he was a baby. They were murdered by a dark and powerful evil wizard named Lord Voldemort. Harry would be dead too, but was miraculously saved, making him something of a legend.

Upon learning of his guarded magic roots, Harry gets enrolled in Hogwarts- a British school for witches and wizards. While there he learns to come into his own, meet people that are actually good to him, and learn more of his dark past.

Looking back, I don't know if it was a good idea to have Chris Columbus direct this, as he does have a reputation for being something of a hack, albeit a decent one. I think his direction is okay here. Yeah, retrospectively it could have been better, but it could also have been much worse. At least with him at the helm we get a good amount of whimsy to go along with a bit of menace, and that's a good thing, as the book was likewise not too heavy on the darker stuff (though that sure changed as time went on).

Many liberties are taken, which is weird since the book is quite short, and the film is two and a half hours. It does get the point across decently enough though, and also works as a piece for those unfamiliar with the source material.

John Williams provides great music, there's wonderful art direction and set design, and there's some nifty set pieces too. Featuring an all-British cast, this film is impeccably cast, and the performances are good too. Finding decent child actors is hard, but they really scored here.

My enjoyment of this movie has waned over time, but it's still not a terrible piece of work by any means, so check it out.
January 18, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I'm taking a look back at the Harry Potter series with as unbiased of eyes as I possibly can being a massive fan of the books and films. Sorcerer's Stone starts the series off well with a great cast of newcomers and veterans stepping into roles that would shape some of their lives for the next decade. Christopher Columbus' direction leaves a little to be desired, but the atmosphere, set design, costumes, special effects, and music supplant themselves at almost instant classic status and would be excellent for years to come. The film itself is a little too slavish of all the details in the book and therefore the pacing gets hurt at times and it is a little long, but the magic is there and in full force and the tone is just right: not too dark and not too childish. We all know how dark the series gets by the end, so it is a little nice to get back and see how everything started. Overall, it's probably one of the least interesting in the series in terms of film making, but it is one of the most well liked entries in the series and sold the most tickets of them all, making it a pretty darn successful kick-off of the franchise.
December 19, 2012
jlewis07

Super Reviewer

Chris Columbus makes a magical bound from this first installment. 'Sorcerer's Stone' will leave its fans satisfied from the accurate direction as well as leave moviegoers a sensational feel. The film's young cast provide a charismatic charm that even modern-day stars could not possess. 4.5/5
August 11, 2012
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

    1. Dudley Dursley: I'm not Harry.
    2. Harry Potter: [appearing from behind a wall] I am.
    3. Hagrid: Well of course you are.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Neville Longbottom: You're sneaking out aren't you? You'll get Gryffindor into trouble again.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Hermione Granger: What is it?
    2. Harry Potter: He's going to sacrifice himself!
    3. Hermione Granger: No you can't, there must be another way!
    4. Ron Weasley: Do you want to stop Snape from stealing the stone or not?
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Severus Snape: Clearly Potter, fame isn't everything is it?
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Draco Malfoy: You think my name's funny do you? No need to tell me who you are. Red hair and a hand-me-down robe? You must be a Weasley.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
    1. Vernon Dursley: What happened?
    2. Harry Potter: I swear I don't know! I was just staring at the glass and then it was gone, it was like magic!
    3. Vernon Dursley: There's no such thing as magic. [shutting him in the cupboard under the stairs]
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (15 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen (DE)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (UK)
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