Everyone knows that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is the very end of the Harry Potter story. Everyone also knows that there is so much to tell in "Deathly Hallows" that the story was divided into two parts with Part One being the setup for the final 2+ hour journey. The problem with this setup film is that it doesn't do a great job of standing on its own. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is on the run both from Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and the Ministry of Magic. With only a few select friends to trust, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger chief among them, Harry embarks on a quest to find the remaining Horcruxes, keys to destroying Voldemort himself. Along the way he also learns that Voldemort is after the Deathly Hallows, three magical items that when combined will give the owner the ability to cheat Death. Harry and friends are hunted at every turn and it becomes clear that not all of them will escape.
As the Harry Potter saga comes to a close it becomes obvious that this final chapter is unlike the others. There is no upbeat ending and there are no fun school lessons or classes. In fact, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry doesn't even appear in the film further underscoring the grown-up danger in which these teenagers now find themselves. This film puts Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson front and center and they carry the film as best as they can. The supporting cast (Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, etc) that makes the other movies so delightful or noticeably absent through much of the movie. Part One doesn't stand on its own as well as the other films but I'm sure that when both Parts One and Two are viewed together you will experience the very best that J.K. Rowling has to offer.