- The “Harry Potter” story has given rise to 10 films.
- Using Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score, INSIDER ranked the films from worst to best.
- Fans seem to love “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” the best and the new “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” the least.
It’s been 17 years since “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” first landed in movie theatres and in that time we’ve gotten eight “Potter” films and two spin-offs “Fantastic Beasts” movies. While Potter fans can argue all day over J.K Rowling’s work and which of her film adaptations is the best, there is a definitive hierarchy in the Wizarding World.
Using data from Rotten Tomatoes, we ranked the “Harry Potter” movies based on their “audience” score. Unlike the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer – which is culled from critics’ reviews – the audience score is a separate percentage based exclusively on fan ratings.
Below, the “Harry Potter” movies ranked, according to fans.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (2018) is the least favourite.
The sequel to 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts” left a lot to be desired.
The major complaint amongst fans (who gave the movie a 64% rating) was that – unlike the “Harry Potter” films – they just didn’t care about the new characters introduced in the “Fantastic Beasts” universe.
Anna r wrote: “I had my hopes up for ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ thinking it would actually expand the Potterverse in a new and intriguing way but like it’s predecessor, is full of plot fluff. A lot of this new information isn’t all that important or engaging. I find myself bored by most of these new characters and their stories.”
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005) didn’t blow fans away.
“Goblet of Fire” is the fourth instalment in the series and although some complained that it felt “episodic” or like a long “teaser” for the fifth film, others thought it did a fine job ushering in the final chapters of the series.
“A very solid movie in the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise. While it may not have been as good as the third, this is the first movie where you get the sense that these characters have matured, and are no longer the same as when we first met them,” reviewer Aiden S wrote.
Fans gave this one a collective 74% rating.
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009) was called “decent.”
Sadly, “Half-Blood Prince” is the lowest rated of all the “Harry Potter” films with a 77% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Franchise fatigue began to set in with this sixth instalment in the series, with one reviewer writing: “Decent addition to the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise but beginning to get a bit long in the tooth. Good thing this will be wrapping up soon.”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016) had mixed reviews.
Five years after the “Harry Potter” series came to an end, the Potterverse reared its delightful head yet again and gave us the spin-off series “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Audiences gave this new film a 79% rating though it came with a ton of mixed reviews.
Some fans called it a “a fanciful stroll through a dreamlike world” while others thought long-time “Potter” fans would be “underwhelmed by this extension of the wizarding world.”
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) was met with average responses.
The initial glee began to rub off in the second instalment of the series. By the time the film came out in 2002, fans were already reading “The Goblet of Fire” and the cheerful and PG-antics of the “Chamber of Secrets” bored the ageing audience.
Fans generally felt like “Chamber of Secrets” was more of the same and rated this one an 80%.
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007) impressed fans.
Fans praised director David Yates for miraculously condensing the longest book in the series into a 2 hour and 18-minute film, though “Order of the Phoenix” felt a bit like a transitional moment in the series.
Super Reviewer Chris Weber wrote on Rotten Tomatoes: “This is a bit of a tough one for the series … this film is the second shortest, and it’s based on the longest book. Unfortunately that means that the film is an extremely streamlined adaptation, with few of the subplots, and a fair amount of condensing of the main story.”
Fans gave this one an 81% rating.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001) was a great start to a series.
The first film debuted to rave reviews, mostly due to its faithful retelling of J.K. Rowling’s source material. Though some reviewers blasted the film for being “overtly child-oriented” it was the story of a then-11-year-old boy wizard.
Audiences gave the film an 82% score overall and “Sorcerer’s Stone” will always be warmly remembered as the beginning of an unforgettable series.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010) kept viewers entertained.
“Deathly Hallows – Part 1” is basically just the set-up for the triumphant finale in “Part 2,” and yet, director David Yates managed to keep audiences entertained in a movie that could have been pure exposition.
Reviewer David A wrote: “The performances were spectacular and the direction was superb. It’s the best ‘the beginning of the end’ instalment you could ever want.” Audiences gave this film an 85% overall.
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) was a fan favourite.
Widely lauded as the “darkest” of all the “Potter” films, the Alfonso Cuarón-directed adaption of the third book resonated with fans and garnered an 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Super Reviewer Daniel Mumby wrote that “[‘Prisoner of Azkaban’] is far superior to anything that came before in the series and set the bar very high for all that came after.” Others raved about new character introductions – like Sirius Black – and said the film “finally transcends the child-like nature of the first two films.”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011) was the perfect final film.
It makes perfect sense that the long-awaited finale would be the most beloved of all the films, so naturally, audiences gave the final film an 89% on the movie review aggregation site.
“Ten years comes to a close in grand fashion,” wrote super reviewer John Manard. “Two hours of stand up and cheer, break out the kleenex cries, and closure on a series of movies that captured a generation.”
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