Harry Potter Movies, Ranked: Which One is the Best? (2023)

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Harry Potter Movies, Ranked: Which One is the Best? (1)

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Harry Potter Movies, Ranked: Which One is the Best? (2)

By: Akaash Sharma

Updated Apr 21, 2023

4:14pm

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Potterheads worldwide rejoiced at the recent release of Hogwarts Legacy, with it being the game that many had been waiting for for years. Recently we got the news that the story of the seven Harry Potter books and the eight Harry Potter movies will soon be turned into a Max series, with a single season representing a book in chronological order. You can read more about the series here. In celebration of the occasion, we’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane and comprise a list of all of the Harry Potter movies, ranked—including the Fantastic Beasts films that take place within the same universe.

These kinds of lists are highly debated so let us know what you think! For each movie, we’ve also highlighted a character who we feel can be argued to be the MVP, which is a tough one. Also, if you hadn’t already guessed, there are spoilers ahead.

RELATED: The 8 Best 'Harry Potter' Games of All Time

11. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Newt Scamander

This movie is almost unanimously considered the worst Harry Potter movie out there. It’s really just misses the mark on almost everything, leaving you with a mediocre and underwhelming entry in the series.

The movie feels like an unwanted comeback tour where all of the hits are played but they sound nothing like you remember. A lot of the features of the Harry Potter films are here on paper, but they’re thrown together in a way that just makes it hard to care.

Anyone who’s not a hardcore Potterhead usually struggles to see the good in this effort.

Stream now on HBO Max

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Albus Dumbledore

The completion of the Fantastic Beasts trilogy ends on a slightly higher note than its immediate predecessor, but that’s also not saying much. It fixes some of the problems people had with the previous movie, namely Jude Law’s Dumbledore not getting enough screentime. It also has a more focused narrative, knowing what it wants to be a little bit more – but only a little bit more.

In general, Secrets of Dumbledore still lacks the lustre that made the first Fantastic Beasts movie worth watching at all, let alone the bar set by any of the initial eight Harry Potter movies. There’s also some unignorable controversy hovering over this film in various forms, which doesn’t help at all.

stream now on Hulu

9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Jacob Kowalski

The first Fantastic Beasts movie was still admittedly not quite up to par with the films it chronologically comes before, but it’s worth noting that its source material is a guidebook, so it does a good job considering.

The world-building that happens here outside of our usual setting of Hogwarts is commendable and the characters are likeable, but the makers went with a plot that was a little lighter-hearted as opposed to something heavy, like the fascism that exists in the 1920s wizarding world. The result is a decent movie suffering from an identity crisis because it feels like it has a great movie hidden somewhere inside of it.

stream now on HBO Max

8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Sirius Black

David Yates ended up closing out the entire second half of this series of movies, making Order of the Phoenix his first project. As a result, the movies take a darker turn here, one that fans either really appreciate as a fresh perspective on the world or one that makes fans long for the old days.

The main issue with this movie for us is how thrown together the plot with the prophecy feels. It’s the furthest thing from insignificant, but it’s never explained in great deal which takes away from some of the weight of the final third.

Another common criticism of this movie is that it deviates from the overall direction of the book too much by leaving out key details and shifting that focus too side plots that weren’t so significant in the first place.


One of the high points of this movie is Imelda Staunton’s portrayal of Dolores Umbridge, a character that is essentially universally detested because of how strong the acting was. The death of Sirius Black also stands out as one of the better moments of the entire series and another career highlight from the talented Gary Oldman.

stream now on HBO Max

7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

  • Directed by: Chris Columbus
  • The MVP: Hermione Granger

Chamber of Secrets is far from a bad movie – in fact, there isn’t much close to a bad movie from this point in the list onwards – it’s just an excruciatingly long one for what’s going on. At 161 minutes, it’s the longest film in the series and that runtime comes as a result of Chris Columbus trying to cram in as much from the book as possible. Many like it because of that fact, feeling it’s the best adaptation specifically, but what you’re left with is a charming film that would have been much better off with the fat trimmed.

Perhaps some of the issues with this film over the years lie more with the fact that it’s aimed almost solely at children. In terms of archetypes, Gilderoy Lockhart is the annoying, cowardly hero who’s not really a hero and Ginny the innocent girl steered in the wrong direction. These things can make for a frustrating watch, especially with a runtime close to 3 hours.

Overall though, it’s a fun film with genuine high points.

stream now on HBO Max

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Dobby

Perhaps the decision to split the adaptation of the final book into two parts always meant that the first part wasn’t going to be received so well. It was one of the criticisms of the first book that too much time was spent idle, so turning that into an entire feature-length movie was a bold choice.

Again, the movie isn’t bad at all, but it certainly suffers from being almost entirely setup for the real conclusion to the movies. It brings up a lot of loose threads without ever tying them together but of course that doesn’t mean it has no redeeming qualities.

The severity of the situation at hand is conveyed fully in how turbulent the relationship between our three main characters gets. The animated portion about the three brothers is another highpoint. Plus, anything to do with Polyjuice potion is usually a thumbs up.

stream now on HBO Max

5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Albus Dumbledore

Half-Blood Prince is David Yates’ second effort in the franchise and takes another step outside the world that these beloved characters lived in previously. This film actually has far more comedy elements, which mostly come as a result of the complicated romantic emotions that the teenagers are feeling in their 6th year at Hogwarts.

Despite that though, the film continues on with the darker shift (even literally with its grading), blending that with all of its other elements quite well. The film focuses on character growth moments like Dumbledore’s final moments and Harry’s attempt to gain Slughorn’s trust as opposed to Quidditch battles and petty arguments that we’d had enough of by this point.

Of course, this movie ends with Dumbledore’s tragic death and the realization that Snape is indeed the Half-Blood Prince. The former of those brings about a main criticism of the film – that it’s unbelievable that Harry would stand and do nothing as Snape killed Dumbledore. In the books, Harry’s put under a spell that makes it impossible for him to do anything. Luckily, it’s not a plot point that makes or breaks the moment entirely for most.

stream now on HBO Max

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

  • Directed by: Chris Columbus
  • The MVP: Ron Weasley

Going back and watching the first movie after the series has already finished, it’s clear that the franchise was still finding its footing with Philosopher’s Stone. It’s a little rougher around the edges and feels like it half wants to be a fun kids Christmas movie more than anything else (whether you think that’s what it is or not). But regardless of that, Chris Columbus’ first movie laid the groundwork for the series and does an incredible job of capturing the magic of the world and the magic of the relationship between our characters, which is all you ever really need.

It does a lot more right than it does wrong and for that simple fact, it more than holds up.

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3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

  • Directed by: David Yates
  • The MVP: Neville Longbottom

The second part of the Deathly Hallows was a fitting conclusion to a massive story. It takes place mostly in Hogwarts, and a Hogwarts that’s largely unrecognizable from its earliest appearances. The energy is bleak and students are traumatized, making for the perfect scene to close out the series.

Where Part 1 sort of suffers from being mostly setup, Part 2 thrives due to all the payoff you get – whether that’s the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, Ron and Hermione's relationship arc or that touching scene where Snape’s true alliance is revealed.

While some are critical about how beloved characters are killed offscreen here, it only adds to the sense of how great the scale of the battle was.

stream now on HBO Max

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

  • Directed by: Mike Newell
  • The MVP: Harry Potter

Goblet of Fire was the movie that truly expanded our knowledge of the wizarding world, bringing in other schools to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. The way the games play out here really boost this movie up on this list. Stakes are high at multiple points throughout the film, with Harry’s fierce battle with the Hungarian Horntail, the suspense of the underwater task and of course the final maze and the emotion that comes with the graveyard scene.

Of course, all of the action is backed by the first real taste of adulthood for the characters here, driven by the Yule Ball. It marked a transitional period where fans could start to look at these characters as real people as opposed to children on the other side of a screen.

Harry’s encounter with Voldemort in the graveyard followed by the gut-wrenching scene where he uses the portkey to take Cedric’s body back to the crowd is one of the more emotional scenes in the entire franchise. We’ll never forget the elation from the onlookers turning to despair when they realize what has happened.

stream now on Peacock TV

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

  • Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
  • The MVP: Hermione Granger

Prisoner of Azkaban is the perfect balance between the fantastical atmosphere of the earlier films and the adult-themes and gloom of the later films.

Films in this genre and of course Harry Potter films specifically get a criticism for not being considered highbrow enough for them to be considered great movies. Without a doubt, Prisoner of Azkaban is the best shot at that, with a genuinely surprising twist about Sirius Black at the end, if you haven’t already read the books anyway. The movie also boasts some of the better time travel sequences done in any movie ever, with many experts praising it for how on point and to the science it actually is, as much as something that’s only theoretically possible can be anyway.

The third Harry Potter film does an excellent job of creating a new atmosphere around Hogwarts and a great final third that feels unique in the series because it’s one that doesn’t feature Voldemort. All of that makes for a stellar showing and one that the upcoming Harry Potter series will try to live up to.

stream now on HBO Max

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FAQs

Harry Potter Movies, Ranked: Which One is the Best? ›

1 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2' (2011)

What Harry Potter movie is the best one? ›

Here is every Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movie, ranked.
  1. 1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  2. 2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. ...
  3. 3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. ...
  4. 4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. ...
  5. 5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. ...
  6. 6 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. ...
Mar 19, 2023

What is the most rewatched Harry Potter movie? ›

1 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2' (2011)

Which Harry Potter is most important? ›

Harry Potter: Every Movie Ranked by Importance To The Story
  1. 1 Deathly Hallows Part 2.
  2. 2 Order of the Phoenix. ...
  3. 3 Goblet of Fire. ...
  4. 4 Half-Blood Prince. ...
  5. 5 Sorcerer's Stone. ...
  6. 6 Chamber of Secrets. Warner Brothers Pictures. ...
  7. 7 Deathly Hallows Part 1. Warner Brothers Pictures. ...
  8. 8 Prisoner of Azkaban. Warner Brothers Pictures. ...
Dec 8, 2022

What was the least successful Harry Potter? ›

The third movie in the series and the only one not to feature Voldemort, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is (undeservedly) the lowest-earning movie out of the series.

What is the most common favorite Harry Potter movie? ›

popularity is the % of people who have a positive opinion of a Harry Potter movie. Find out more
  • 1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone59%
  • 2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix57%
  • 3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince55%
  • 4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban54%
  • 5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire54%

Which Harry Potter book is JK Rowling's favorite? ›

JK Rowling reveals her favourite Harry Potter chapter is from the Deathly Hallows | The Independent | The Independent.

What is the darkest Harry Potter book? ›

#3 Book 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

It is by far the darkest book, with Harry dealing with some very not child-book aimed demons.

What is the least scariest Harry Potter movie? ›

Not only is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald the worst reviewed Harry Potter movie, it also happens to be one of the least scary. In theory, Grindelwald is an intimidating villain.

When did Hermione kiss Harry? ›

But do you remember Hermione's kiss with Harry (Daniel)? Well, in case it skipped your mind, Harry and Hermione shared a kiss – not cause they were in love or dating each other but a manifestation of a Horcrux, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Who is the most Powerfulest in Harry Potter? ›

Formerly known as Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort was the most formidable evil wizard in the entire universe. Until Harry Potter, Voldemort's magical prowess was practically unmatched, and no one could stand a chance against him. His fascination with the Dark Arts is very famous.

Who is better Harry or Malfoy? ›

Draco Malfoy: He's More Skilled

When it comes to actual ability as a wizard, a case can certainly be made that Draco Malfoy is more talented than Harry. The only thing that Potter beats Draco at is his flying ability on a broomstick, but even then Draco pushes him all the way.

Is Hermione better than Voldemort? ›

28 More Powerful: Hermione Granger

She was not only extremely talented, but she was also very smart, and in the end, her wits would have given her the upper hand against Voldemort.

Why Harry Potter is the best? ›

The visual effects of the Harry Potter movies are so good that they hold their own against the movies made today, over two decades later. Dragons, magic spells, trolls, and mermaids are just some of the CGI effects used throughout the franchise, and they look great.

What was Harry better at than Hermione? ›

8 HARRY CAN BEAT: Hermione Granger Isn't Primarily A Fighter

But while Hermione can ace any test, she can't quite keep up with Harry on the battlefield. To her credit, Hermione is capable of advanced spells beyond her years, and she knows when and where to cast them.

What Harry Potter movies do better than the books? ›

Harry Potter: 10 Scenes The Movies Did Better Than The Books, According To Reddit
  • Harry and Dumbledore Apparating. ...
  • Bellatrix LeShattered. ...
  • The Price of Being Ron. ...
  • Harry Encouraging Dumbledore's Army. ...
  • Not-So-Humble Harry. ...
  • Francis the Fish. ...
  • Freeing Dobby. ...
  • Harry and Hermione's Dance.
Jul 8, 2022

Is Harry Potter losing popularity? ›

Teenagers are no longer reading Harry Potter books in their legions, it emerged this week, as J.K. Rowling's series dropped out of the top ten favourite books for secondary school pupils. Instead, teens are reading books aimed at primary school children.

Who is the weakest in Harry Potter? ›

Peter Pettigrew

Though he is accomplished in some ways, he is arguably one of the weakest wizards. Through his time in school he is described as latching on to Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and James Potter as stronger wizards he believed could protect him.

Which Harry Potter house is the weakest? ›

Although there are strengths to every house, Hufflepuff house in particular often comes up short. While the other houses seem cool and invite a certain allure, Hufflepuff is a little different. Often considered the least desirable of all the sorting options, here are some reasons why Hufflepuff house is the worst.

Who was the most liked character in Harry Potter? ›

'Harry Potter': The 10 Most Likable Characters in the Movies, Ranked
  • 8 Neville Longbottom.
  • 7 Fred & George Weasley.
  • 6 Molly Weasley.
  • 5 Remus Lupin.
  • 4 Harry Potter.
  • 3 Hermione Granger.
  • 2 Luna Lovegood.
  • 1 Dobby.
Feb 14, 2023

Which Harry Potter movie has made the most money? ›

The highest grossing Harry Potter movie is 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2', which generated over 1.34 billion dollars in global box office revenue.

Who is everyone's favorite character in Harry Potter? ›

Dumbledore is the favorite in 18 states, including Illinois making him the most popular character in the nation. J.K. Rowling herself chose Alan Rickman to play Professor Snape. She gave him exclusive details of Snape's background that weren't known until the last book so that he could properly play the character.

Who is J.K. Rowling's favorite character? ›

And before you take a guess, we're afraid it's not Professor Snape. Yes, J.K. Rowling's favourite character in the Harry Potter universe is none other than Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore - a solid choice.

Does J.K. Rowling like Draco Malfoy? ›

Rowling is careful to emphasise that she does not hate Draco but pities him for the “damaging experience” of being raised by the Malfoys.

What Harry Potter book is number 1? ›

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1)

What is the rarest book in Harry Potter? ›

"The rarest and most valuable Potter book to own is generally regarded as being one of the original 500 hardback copies of Philosopher's Stone from the first-ever print run in 1997.

What is the hardest Harry Potter class? ›

Arithmancy. Arithmancy was a subject that Hermione enjoyed: 'it's probably the toughest subject there is!

What Harry Potter book has the least words? ›

The book with the least total number of words is Sorcerer's Stones, while the book with the most words is Order of the Phoenix. Only 2 of the 7 Harry Potter books came in at under 100,000 words (Sorcerer's Stones and Chamber of Secrets) which happened to be the first two books in the series.

Who is the least loved character in Harry Potter? ›

Without a doubt, Dolores Umbridge is the most hated character in the Harry Potter universe. Her unnaturally calm and polite demeanor paired with her cruelty makes her incredibly irritating. She gets a kick out of hurting people and controlling those around her, like a true psychopath.

What Harry Potter movies miss? ›

31 Genius Harry Potter Details You Totally Missed If You Only Watched The Movies
  • Ginny actually has a personality. ...
  • Harry was the one who funded Fred and George's joke business. ...
  • The Marauders' Map was created by Harry's dad, along with his friends Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew.
Jun 19, 2022

What percentage of people don't like Harry Potter? ›

While many credit the Potter books with encouraging children to read, there are critics who object to the books' occasional depiction of violence and their focus on wizardry. However, only 7% of those who are aware of the books disapprove of them, while 52% approve and the remaining 41% express no opinion.

What scares Hermione the most? ›

The Inability To Stop Mistreatment Of The Defenseless

Hermione's fear mainly came from her inability to do anything about it because she knew the law wasn't on her side.

Who is the scariest villain in Harry Potter? ›

According to the writer, the Ministry of Magic's Hogwarts plant, Dolores Umbridge, was the scariest villain of the series.

What is the scariest monster in Harry Potter? ›

1 Basilisks

Also known as the King of Serpents, the Basilisk is a giant snake that is usually bred by Dark wizards. To breed a basilisk, one can accomplish this by hatching a chicken egg beneath a toad. It's an odd ritual but results in the most dangerous creature being born.

When did Ron start crushing on Hermione? ›

Ron first began showing signs of romantic interest in Hermione in their second year; he was irritated by her crush on Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, became so angry that Draco Malfoy called her a "Mudblood" that he tried to hex him, and was even more upset than Harry when she became one of the victims of the basilisk.

Who sleeps with Hermione? ›

So Hermione didn't have literal 'bunk' mates, but shared the sleeping space with Lavender and Parvati.

Who did Harry Potter kiss first? ›

It doesn't really feel any different, because you are still acting." In "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the latest in the megahit series based on J.K. Rowling's books, Harry comes of age and has his first on-screen kiss with longtime crush Cho Chang, played by Katie Leung.

Which Harry Potter house is the best to be in? ›

Gryffindor. Known for their courage under fire, unwavering bravery, and stout-hearted chivalry, students of Gryffindor are the most likely to engage in heroics, and may be a safe bet for those wizard and witches willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.

What's the first Harry Potter I should watch? ›

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone/Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Which Harry Potter movie is the shortest? ›

Shortest film in the series: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” 130 minutes. Longest book in the series: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” 870 pages.

Which Harry Potter house is the least popular? ›

Americans overall agreed with the Hogwarts House Google Trends sorted their state into. Even Hufflepuff—all five states (Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Vermont, and Wyoming)—concurred that their people belonged in arguably the least popular house in Harry Potter lore.

What is the 2nd best Hogwarts house? ›

1. Gryffindor – Brave and competitive. 2. Ravenclaw – Smart and clever.

Why was Hermione not in Ravenclaw? ›

And this is why Hermione does not fit into Ravenclaw, since she lacks their creativity of thought. When you also add in her fearlessness and her strong convictions about right and wrong, which are inherently Gryffindor traits, then there was even less of a chance she'd end up wearing blue and bronze.

Why did HBO remove Harry Potter? ›

(Image credit: Warner Bros.) HBO Max is no longer be the home of the Harry Potter movies. The eight-film series based on J.K. Rowling's books will leave the platform after it lost the streaming rights for the third time.

What time of year is best to watch Harry Potter? ›

There isn't necessarily a wrong time to binge-watch a favorite series, but there is arguably a best time for such an occasion. The Harry Potter series is best enjoyed at either Christmas or Halloween.

Does Netflix have Harry Potter? ›

In this post, we'll show you how to use a VPN to stream Harry Potter from anywhere in the world. Good news for Potterheads: the Harry Potter films are on Netflix, you just need to know how to access them! Since Netflix uses geo-location filters, its content libraries are different depending on your location.

What is the rare Harry Potter book? ›

Prisoner of Azkaban is especially rare and is usually priced between $1,500 and $2,000. There were only 7,000 copies printed. There were 12,000 copies of the 1/1 Philosopher's Stone and 17,000 of the 1/1 Chamber of Secrets printed.

What does ISBN 13 978 0590353403 represent? ›

Hardcover; New York: Scholastic, 1998; ISBN-13: 978-0590353403. What did Harry Potter know about magic? He was stuck living with the decidedly un-magical Dursleys, who hated him. He slept in a closet and ate their leftovers.

Which was the best selling Harry Potter book? ›

The highest-selling book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, sold 120 million copies alone. 1 Even more impressive than the series' sales dominance is the relatively few number of novels in the series—there are only seven Harry Potter books.

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