Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Reviews

Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
May 6, 2011
I think it's the best of the series, fairly easily, and a testament to why occasionally throwing a massive budget at an endeavor of this scope can be considered a reasonable decision.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
July 20, 2009
All in all, despite the verve that drives the grander set pieces, it's hard to avoid the sensation of a film toiling overtime to convince itself of its own solemnity.
Top Critic
Cliff Doerksen
Chicago Reader
July 17, 2009
Director David Yates presides over some gorgeous CGI set pieces, but all the real magic comes from the scrum of ace British character actors.
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 17, 2009
With its deft handling of teen yearning and affection, Half-Blood Prince maneuvers mysteries of heart and hankering that resound in worlds magic and Muggle.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
July 17, 2009
It's a more mature magic. ... Now subject to the same raging hormones as any other 16-year-olds, our spell-casting heroes are learning to brew love potions this year, with results mostly played for laughs.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
July 16, 2009
"After all these years, I just sort of go with it," shrugs Harry Potter. Six films in, so do we.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 16, 2009
Potions play a pivotal part in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I wish I'd been able to find one for patience.
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 15, 2009
The Half-Blood Prince is a beautifully paced feat of filmmaking, one that navigates potentially choppy shifts in scale with grace and ease.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
July 15, 2009
Despite the preponderance of (PG-rated) snogging, there are pleasures to be found along this movie's meandering path.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 15, 2009
Steve Kloves has written five of the Harry Potter screenplays, and The Half-Blood Prince reeks of formula.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
July 15, 2009
Radcliffe, in particular, comes off bored and distant, more hitting the marks than baring the soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
July 15, 2009
I'd be lying if I didn't say this movie gave me as much innocent pleasure as any I've seen this year.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 15, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth and worst installment yet, is two and a half hours of paralyzing tedium, featuring another colossal waste of British talent and a plot a real witch couldn't find with a crystal ball.
Top Critic
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
July 14, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn't great family entertainment -- it's great entertainment, period, a blockbuster with true heart and real humanity alongside the high-stakes struggles and brilliant effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 14, 2009
While the romantic sweetness that it's peddling is a guilty pleasure, it's also a distraction from the gathering storm that the series had been charting so well.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
July 14, 2009
This is the darkest, saddest, most sophisticated Harry Potter film yet.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 14, 2009
It really helps in these situations to have first-rate actors.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 14, 2009
Harry is better than ever, a triumph of visual wonder and emotional storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 14, 2009
The lag time between the final books and the movies has drained much of the urgency from this screen adaptation, which, far more than any of the previous films, feels like an afterthought.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 14, 2009
There is still magic, but it all has dramatic purpose -- and much of it points to the final two films.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 14, 2009
The filmmakers have found a way to refresh our eyes and enhance our appreciation for this rich, amazing creation.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 14, 2009
Unlike most film series, the Potter movies haven't weakened along the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
July 14, 2009
As for the ever-impressive supporting cast, neither a delightfully befuddled Jim Broadbent nor a wild-eyed Helena Bonham Carter can upstage Alan Rickman, who again proves invaluable as the slithery Prof. Snape.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 14, 2009
Suspenseful and artfully realized.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 14, 2009
The movie franchise based on J.K. Rowlings' novels gets its The Empire Strikes Back moment. It's a downbeat cliffhanger that suggests its central characters are exiting their age of innocence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 14, 2009
The sixth Harry Potter movie has its share of flaws but nevertheless represents solid entertainment, and it extends a remarkable streak for a franchise that has gone six deep without one failure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 14, 2009
As beautifully made as it is -- and this may be the best-looking, best-directed Potter film yet -- there's an undeniable level of frustration built into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
July 14, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the franchise's best so far, blending rich drama and easy camaraderie among the actors with the visual spectacle that until now has been the real star of the series.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 14, 2009
As its 2- 1/2 hours came to a close, I was happy to be reminded that we aren't yet done with Hogwarts, and that there's much pleasure in a story slowly told.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 14, 2009
The Potter pictures have become the modern exemplars of establishment moviemaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 14, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is spellbinding, even though it is more grounded in reality and less fanciful than previous installments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Dan Kois
Washington Post
July 14, 2009
[Half-Blood Prince] might be the most enjoyable Harry Potter movie yet for people who don't particularly care about Harry Potter movies.
Top Critic
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
July 14, 2009
Readers may decry the way the script deletes some scenes and adds others. But this film offers its own unique contribution to J.K. Rowling's beloved series.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 14, 2009
Half-Blood Prince is plenty good in its own right as a stand-alone piece of entertainment. But it also serves the series well, delivering on perhaps its most-important requirement: It makes you really want to see the next one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 13, 2009
Visually, yes, this is another solid Harry Potter entry, with the same impressive sets and effects. But it also badly misses the presence of a new or at least formidable villain.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
July 13, 2009
Half-Blood Prince shows the Potter film franchise and Rowling's story are in very good hands indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 13, 2009
The experienced team behind the Harry Potter movie series is comfortably in the groove with the sixth film, which plays down the fantastic elements and introduces contrasting playful teenaged romance and a new tone of adult gloominess.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 13, 2009
With Half-Blood Prince, again we have a stalwart, satisfying visualization of the Rowling cosmos.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 13, 2009
The Harry Potter films will be regarded as one of the most remarkable series in film history, and Half-Blood Prince is the franchise's Empire Strikes Back.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 13, 2009
Half-Blood Prince is a bubbling cauldron of hormonal angst, rife with romance and heartbreak, jealousy and longing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 13, 2009
As the concerns of novelist Rowling's characters gravitate increasingly toward matters of the heart and the hormones, the Potter films are leaving childhood behind. Yet the friendship of the central trio remains the key to the magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 13, 2009
An emotional and involving installment in the hit-or-miss Harry movie series.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 13, 2009
So many actors shine in so many ways: Carter hisses deliciously, Broadbent sucks up beautifully. Watson shudders with frustration and heartbreak, Felton shudders with anger and fear.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 13, 2009
I admired this Harry Potter. It opens and closes well, and has wondrous art design and cinematography as always, only more so.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 13, 2009
No, it's not a larky kid-pic. We're firmly in the realm of English horror, as one set of sallow Brits battles another even sallower.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
July 13, 2009
I think the film really sets up the next two installments of the franchise nicely.
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
July 13, 2009
This is a big summer movie that meets expectations.
Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
July 10, 2009
Longer than the last, the sixth episode of the adventures of the increasingly burdened magic warrior of Privet Drive is a more human affair than its predecessors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 6, 2009
A jerky start of exposition and backstory gives way to vigorous storytelling in the latest chapter of Harry Potter.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 6, 2009
Dazzlingly well made and perhaps deliberately less fanciful than the previous entries, this one is played in a mode closer to palpable life-or-death drama than any of the others and is quite effective as such.