Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Reviews
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: This time the plot itself is actually weaker than in the previous film, and whilst it takes itself on fewer annoying tangents, it fails to draw a suspenseful narrative overall. I found the whole story rather stagnant actually, and even if the source material is partly to blame for that, the filmmakers should realise that straight adaptation isn't always the best way.
VERDICT: The execution is vastly improved here. It's just a shame the original foundations have less merit overall.
Too boring and almost uncomprehensible for all those who haven't read the book.
In his third year in Hogwarts, Potter and his friends face a new menace, but this time it comes from outside the walls of Hogwarts: A highly dangerous criminal has escaped Azkaban, the most secure prison of the magical world, and is on the hunt of Potter.
Changing the person that sits in the director's chair is a more than wise decision for a franchise as it injects new blood as each chapter goes on and Cuarón manages to take this child friendly franchise and give it a mature style. "Prisoner of Azkaban" suffers from an improvement in the acting department (the trio fells more confident in their respective roles), the cinematography is gorgeous (even if it's palette is mostly grays or grayish blues) and the best of the franchise, the script is more condense and less faithful to the source material (which is something this franchise desperately needed), Williams' score is the best of the franchise (it may not be as iconic as the one he made for "Philosopher's Stone" but is more powerful and overall more involving), the story is the more subtle of the 8 films as it is 100% focused on character development unlike its predecessor, Cuarón's directing manages to create a perfect balance of whimsical and spooky tone and his attention to detail gives more personality to the world plus his camera work is as remarkable, to say the least, as always; the new characters are welcome additions (Gary Oldman is just freaking perfect in his role and is the most fun presence of the film), the special effects are seamless, and the pacing issues of Columbus films are mostly gone. But needless to say, this film has problems. The ending is a little frustrating as it just introduces a huge problem solver (downright Deus Ex Machina) that eliminates any tension (which is why it is never used again) and this is the chapter that starts with the plot holes (from now on every Potter film will break/bend the rules stablished for this world or start to include convenient artifacts just to be forgotten on the next film).
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is hands down the best Harry Potter film as it is the one film of the franchise that focuses on character development rather than world building or mindless action intertwined by a generic plot. It is as captivating and charming as the first film but it's more mature and it has a far superior crew behind cameras that managed to inject new blood to the saga (this film is so well made that it manages to hold its own regardless of its two predecessors).