Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Critics Consensus

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter's rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.



Total Count: 325


Audience Score

User Ratings: 87,510
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Movie Info

This spin-off of the Harry Potter franchise jumps back in time to explore the wizarding world of 1926 New York, which is being threatened by both mystical acts of destruction and a group of extremist No-Majs (the American term for Muggles, i.e. those unable to use magic). Author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in the city as part of a global study of fantastic beasts, but he gets caught up in this conflict when some of the magical creatures in his care are accidentally released. Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, and Johnny Depp co-star in this fantasy adventure, which was directed by David Yates (who helmed four of the Harry Potter films) and adapted for the screen by J.K. Rowling from her own book.


Eddie Redmayne
as Newt Scamander
Katherine Waterston
as Porpentina Goldstein/ Tina
Alison Sudol
as Queenie Goldstein
Dan Fogler
as Jacob Kowalski
Colin Farrell
as Percival Graves
Ezra Miller
as Credence Barebone
Jon Voight
as Shaw Senior
Carmen Ejogo
as Seraphina Picquery
Ron Perlman
as Gnarlak
Sam Redford
as Customs Official
Tim Bentinck
as Witness
Tristan Tait
as Reporter
Tom Clarke-Hill
as Photographer 2
Mathew Sim
as Photographer 1
Faith Wood-Blagrove
as Modesty Barebone
Jenn Murray
as Chastity Barebone
Corey Peterson
as Bank Employee
Lucie Pohl
as Secretary
Peter Breitmayer
as Mr. Bingley
Jake Samuels
as Bank Guard
Max Cazier
as Young Man
Christy Meyer
as Guide-Inside Macusa
Christy Meyers
as Guide-Inside Macusa
Guy Paul
as Auror 2
Kevin Guthrie
as Mr. Abernathy
Leo Heller
as Boy with Birthmark
Anne Wittman
as Housewife
Erick Hayden
as Policeman
Ronan Raftery
as Langdon Shaw
Josh Cowdery
as Henry Shaw Jr./Senator Shaw
Ellie Haddington
as Mrs. Esposito
Joseph Macnab
as Police Officer 1
Bart Edwards
as Police Officer 2
Todd Boyce
as Announcer
Martin Oelbermann
as Heinrich Eberstadt
Gemma Chan
as Madam Ya Zhou
Richard Clothier
as British Envoy
Christian Dixon
as Momolu Wotorson
Akin Gazi
as Auror 3
Elizabeth Moynihan
as Executioner 1
Miquel Brown
as Executioner 2
Cristian Solimeno
as Executioner 3
Matthew Wilson
as Sam the Obliviator
Brian Mulvey
as Watchman
Aretha Ayeh Emmi
as Singer The Blind Pig Speakeasy
Nick McGaughey
as Australian Wizard
Sean Cronin
as Nearby Criminal
Zoë Kravitz
as Lestrange
Arinzé Kene
as Auror 6
Jane Perry
as Female Customer in Bakery
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Critic Reviews for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

All Critics (325) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (242) | Rotten (83)

Audience Reviews for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • Aug 24, 2018
    This film is gorgeously looking and hilarious, has an interesting plot (though complicated at times), benefits from a talented cast, and works as a Harry Potter spin-off.
    Serge E Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2017
    Though slightly less magical than the best of the Harry Potter film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them nonetheless re-establishes audiences in J.K. Rowling's wizarding world with a spun-off tale that's at times, well, fantastical. In this PG-13-rated fantasy adventure, writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) finds a treasure trove of briefcase-dwelling beasties unleashed in 1930s New York City. So far as adapting a 90-page encyclopedic primer into a 2 and 1/4 hour fantasy full of engaging characters and dazzling spectacle, Fantastic Beasts definitely deserves high marks. Thin on dramatic material but rich in the kind of detailed minutia that often supplemented Tolkien's epic works, Rowling's guidebook certainly doesn't seem like an obvious jumping off point. Considering that the guidebook began life as a prop in a single scene from 2001's Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (she turned the prop book into an actual book while the film was in post-production), however, a feature film as the next logical step actually starts to make sense. The result mostly works and works exceedingly well. What falls in the film's favor is the fact that the author chose this project as her screenwriting debut. Rowling's rich imagination serves the project well, as she colors outside the lines of the Potter-verse while keeping one foot firmly planted in familiar (to some, beloved) territory. Set 70 years before Harry reads Scamander's book, this American-set period piece opens up a new wizarding world rife with sequel potential. Also, unlike with the mega-bestselling Potter book series, moviegoers don't necessarily know where this adventure is headed...necessarily, mind you. Therein lies one of the few actual rubs. The main plot comes to a very predictable conclusion, though the numerous sub-plots unquestionably tantalize audiences for the inevitable follow-ups. The main character also presents viewers with a bit of a rub. The supporting cast proves so rich with personality and character (Dan Fogler refuses to let the often buffoonish best friend role drift into cliche, Katherine Waterson and Alison Sudol invest two very different sisters with enough distinct verve to fill a Hogwarts class, and Colin Farrell makes for a fearful but sympathetic villain) that the reserved Scamander almost gets swept under the magic carpet. Thanks to Oscar winner Redmayne's (The Theory of Everything) masterly use of expression and tone, however, a little thankfully goes a long way. The actor slowly turns the quiet magi-zoologist into a very eccentric - but at the same time heroic - underdog. But let's not forget the titular characters. Brilliantly realized with wand-waving by some top designers and computer animators, the missing Beasts are, if not all Fantastic, pretty damn near to Fantastic (the Niffler, a platypus-like mammal who hilariously purloins shiny things, remains the stand-out). This whole exciting cauldron of story, character and SFX is never boring, swirling us into the bigger brew that's sure to follow. A ho hum twist at the end will excite some more than others but, between plotlines involving political skulduggery and a mysterious cult-leading sorcerer, moviegoers know Where to Find themselves when the sequel arrives. To Sum it Up: New Order of the Phoenix
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 27, 2017
    It's not without fun elements, but there's an almost total lack of compelling characters. Also, I don't know what Eddie Redmayne was doing performance wise but none of it works.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2017
    Crude, Americanized (and I do not mean the NYC setting,) junk driven entirely by glutinous CGI effects and populated with paper-thin characters that are memorable only when they are unbearably annoying (Redmayne is insufferably affected, slipping through fish-lips.) Some dull nonsense about repressed magical children becoming smokenadoes of doom. No explanation of why Redmayne is wandering about with a safari park in a suitcase. Just a series of dreary mayhem sequences that recall Michael Bay's Transformers more than the rich, textured world of Harry Potter. Also vaguely sexist. Plus a last minute cameo for the increasingly unnecessary Johnny Depp.
    Charles B Super Reviewer

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