Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Reviews
A fun setup to the franchise. CG was a bit dodgy sometimes, but it is 2001 so I didn't expect much. Dialogue was also a bit dodgy.
Weaknesses: Though a few things look great, some of the effects weren't up to expectations for a movie with this kind of budget. The scene with the keys near the end looks particularly rough. As was some of Harry's time in the Quidditch game. The stakes also probably weren't high enough in the trials the kids faced. They beat the devil's snare and key room with relative ease. Some of that is on JK Rowling, but more tension could've been added to the film version. Instead, it all felt too easy. Though I appreciated the look at the magical world, some of it could've been cut to make it so the movie didn't last as long as it did. Towards the end, there was a sense of it dragging on.
Overall: Better than Chamber of Secrets to me, though behind the rest of the films in the series. It works as a way to setup this massive universe and does well in aiming towards children. There are issues with effects, the length and some of the conflict near the end, but this was a satisfying first installment. It's wonderfully faithful to the source material and has a heart of gold.
The designs are great, the effects (mostly) hold up and the cast is charming. John Williams' score is fantastic as usual, and there are some great moral lessons for kids.
It's a film that has to spend a lot of time on exposition, so it's actual plot is a little thin, but it's a really good time, and it's hard to not get nostalgic if you grew up with these films and books.