November 15, 2002
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Chris Columbus
MPAA Rating: PG (for scary moments, some creature violence and mild language)
Screenwriter: Steven Kloves
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Kenneth Branagh, Robbie Coltrane, Tom Felton, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, John Cleese, Richard Harris, Devon Murray, Julie Walters, Shirley Henderson, Hugh Mitchell, Julian Glover, Alfred Burke, Jason Isaacs, Gemma Padley, Mark Williams, Miriam Margolyes, Gemma Jones, Sally Mortemore, Ed Tudor-Pole, Bonnie Wright
Official website: HarryPotter.WarnerBros.com
Harry Potter (Radcliffe) has not had a good summer. Not only has he had to put up with his overbearing Aunt Petunia (Shaw) and Uncle Vernon Dursley (Griffiths) and their dread of his magical abilities, but it seems as if Harry’s best friends Ron Weasley (Grint) and Hermione Granger (Watson) have forgotten him – as they haven’t replied to a single one of his letters. Then, suddenly and mysteriously, house-elf Dobby appears in Harry’s bedroom and warns of great danger if the aspiring wizard should attempt to return to Hogwarts. Dobby is so keen to prevent the young Gryffindor from returning to the school for witches and wizards, he has blocked all of Ron and Hermione’s correspondence from reaching Harry. But despite the elf’s mischievous efforts, the ever-determined Harry is rescued from the Dursleys’ dreary clutches by Ron and his brothers – with the aid of a flying car! – and welcomed into the warmth of the Weasley household. But when Harry and Ron are suspiciously prevented from entering Platform 9 3/4 and boarding the Hogwarts Express back to school, the boys take emergency action to avoid being late for the new term – only to incur the wrath of Professor Snape (Rickman), who calls for their expulsion. Meanwhile, news of Harry’s first year heroism has spread throughout Hogwarts and he finds himself the center of much unwanted attention. His new fans include Ron’s little sister Ginny (Wright); first year would-be photographer Colin Creevey (Mitchell); and most irritatingly, the new Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Gilderoy Lockhart (Branagh). Outshone only by his own vanity, Lockhart craves the attention that Harry shuns and is only too keen to associate himself with Hogwarts’ young hero. But not even Lockhart can offer an explanation or solution to the slippery and sinister new terror that is gripping the school. Now all eyes are on Harry, and his so-called friends are beginning to doubt him. Everyone, that is, except Ron and Hermione and fragile young Ginny, who has shifted her focus to her mysterious new diary. But Harry is not about to let his friends down and, with or without the support of Gilderoy Lockhart, he will confront the dark force lurking in his beloved school.