Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 26, 2013
This new Harry Potter has its flaws, but it's better, as well as darker, than the first.
Top Critic
Michael Agger
New Yorker
November 26, 2013
Two down, presumably five to go, and already the franchise is entering dangerous territory: if you aren't one of the many who know their Harry Potter chapter and verse, prepare for a nap.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 26, 2013
Radcliffe, 3 inches taller and an octave lower than last year, is growing comfortably into his character, as is Watson, the fetching and confident Hermione.
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
November 26, 2013
It doesn't help that Chamber is pretty much all business from the opening shot, trading in Stone's sometimes-clunky exposition for full-steam-ahead action.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
June 27, 2011
Like many children I've met, director Chris Columbus seems never to have heard the word no.
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
February 9, 2006
The franchise is safe! Columbus' second alchemical movie ups the thrill quotient to satisfy the faithful. There's more action, and it's scarier.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
April 23, 2003
Before it degenerates into Indiana Potter and the Chamber of Doom, the movie holds promise.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 18, 2003
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets works the kind of magic that Hollywood rarely displays: It's a sequel that's better than the original.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 16, 2003
Represents a lost opportunity to give children, not to mention adults, a movie experience that would widen their eyes as the justly beloved Rowling books did.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 22, 2002
In all fairness, I must report that the children of varying ages in my audience never coughed, fidgeted or romped up and down the aisles for bathroom breaks.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 15, 2002
Most viewers, especially the younger ones, will reap its joys.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
November 15, 2002
Big, dull and empty.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 15, 2002
Just as there is more magic conjured up in Chamber of Secrets the book, Chamber of Secrets the movie weaves a more powerful spell over its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 15, 2002
Much of what made the first film so enchanting remains firmly in place, from the strong ensemble performances through Stuart Craig's magnificent production design.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 15, 2002
No sequelitis here, kids (and grown-ups) -- this franchise is alive and well.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 15, 2002
Just as often the film is as monotonous and despair-inducing as three hours on an airplane with nothing to read but the in-flight magazine.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 15, 2002
Once again, director Chris Columbus takes a hat-in-hand approach to Rowling that stifles creativity and allows the film to drag on for nearly three hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
November 15, 2002
The whole Harry Potter thing may not be as fresh for moviegoers as it was last year, but thankfully Chamber of Secrets is well-crafted.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
November 15, 2002
While it still falls short of becoming the classic fans so badly want it to be, the film is livelier and better overall than The Sorcerer's Stone, mostly because J.K. Rowling got all that tiresome exposition over with the first time out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
November 15, 2002
This movie, like the first, is more of a translation than an adaptation. It's the visual equivalent of an audio book, slightly abridged.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
November 15, 2002
Dark, resonant, inventively detailed and packed with fleet turns of plot and a feast of visual amazement.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
November 15, 2002
Not only are the special effects and narrative flow much improved, and Daniel Radcliffe more emotionally assertive this time around as Harry, but the film conjures the magic of author J.K. Rowling's books.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 15, 2002
Entertaining and moves nimbly enough to keep your way-back seat from turning to stone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 15, 2002
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is superior to its predecessor in every way: It's more thrilling, more entertaining and, yep, more magical.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
November 15, 2002
I can't think of a movie this long that has left me so starved for a movie.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 15, 2002
Two-and-a-half hours of unadulterated fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 15, 2002
As a companion piece to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets makes for effective viewing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 15, 2002
The first movie was the setup, and this one is the payoff.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 15, 2002
Despite terrific special effects and funnier gags, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets finds a way to make J.K. Rowling's marvelous series into a deadly bore.
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 15, 2002
The Chamber of Secrets may not be a classic, but it's more eventful than its predecessor.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 15, 2002
Crammed full of labyrinthine plot twists, this second installment will delight Potter-crazy kids even as their parents grow restless at the 2-hour-and -41-minute running time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 14, 2002
A little better than Sorcerer's Stone.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 2002
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is deja vu all over again, and while that is a cliche, nothing could be more appropriate. It's likely that whatever you thought of the first production -- pro or con -- you'll likely think of this one.
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
November 14, 2002
As The Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars, so Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is to last year's freshman introduction. In short, it's bigger and better.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
November 14, 2002
It's smartly produced and slightly more streamlined than Sorcerer's Stone, its predecessor, but at almost three hours it's still too slavishly faithful to its source and will no doubt try the patience of Muggle moppets.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 14, 2002
Darker, scarier and somewhat better than Sorcerer's Stone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
November 14, 2002
Ironically enough, Chamber of Secrets has more of a narrative arc, but consequently lacks much urgency. It does retain the wonderment that made the first film fun.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 14, 2002
Chris Columbus' sequel is faster, livelier and a good deal funnier than his original.
Top Critic
November 14, 2002
Once again the production values -- the sets, costumes and props -- are pure perfection.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
November 14, 2002
It remains an expertly assembled companion piece to its source material, with charms you can't overlook. But the great Harry Potter should be casting a more powerful spell.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 14, 2002
Even though Chamber of Secrets is a vast improvement, Columbus' directorial touch remains more caring than inspired.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 13, 2002
An improvement on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 13, 2002
Chamber of Secrets is fairly fun despite its length.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ed Park
Village Voice
November 12, 2002
Chamber's charm lies in the sheer visualization of Rowling's weirder inventions.
Top Critic
Mike D'Angelo
Time Out
November 11, 2002
Once again, Chris Columbus stays out of J.K. Rowling's way, sticking to the text and hitting each narrative beat cleanly and vigorously.
| Original Score: 57/100
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 11, 2002
Chris Columbus, the director, does a real wonderful job of being faithful to the story but also taking it into a cinematic era.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 8, 2002
It is on every count a better movie than last year's first film installment.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 8, 2002
The sense of discovery, that initial encounter with the stories' vivid characters and whimsical parallel universe, is missing. In its stead comes frantic activity.