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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
Jim Broadbent
Rupert Grint
Tom Felton
Helen McCrory
Alan Rickman
Maggie Smith
Michael Gambon
David Thewlis
Helena Bonham Carter
Julie Walters
Evanna Lynch.
Directors
David Yates.
Screenwriters
Running Time
153 minutes

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Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
The one with sex, potions and rock ‘n’ roll


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Plot
Death Eaters are on the rampage, Dumbledore (Gambon) has a task for Harry (Radcliffe), Draco Malfoy (Felton) has a secret mission for Voldemort, adolescent hormones are raging and Harry inherits an old school text with notes in the margins from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.


Review
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
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Where the devil is Basil Exposition when you need him? It seems so long ago – exactly two years in fact – since we left Harry Potter and friends, and anyone not of Mastermind standard on all things Pottery can be forgiven for not being sure where we got to. The decision of Warner Bros to forego its pre-Christmas release makes financial sense for their 2009 accounting, and the millions of Potterites are without doubt good to go. But even a protracted introductory bit of back-story chitchat between Daniel Radcliffe’s boy wizard and his mentor, Michael Gambon’s Professor Dumbledore, doesn’t refresh the memory for mere Muggles.

So, for those not quite up to speed, Previously on Harry Potter: Sirius died, Lucius Malfoy was packed off to Azkaban and a revitalized Voldemort continues lurking (but not in this picture). Now Dumbledore is intent on extra private life-lessons for Harry, whose assistance is required to sleuth out a key secret from Voldemort’s youth as Tom Riddle. As befits the Hogwarts tradition of dodgy instructors, another new eccentric professor is engaged: Jim Broadbent’s Horace Slughorn. His area of expertise is Potions, which creates opportunities for several fiascos – fun to potentially fatal – involving concoctions for love, luck and painful death. Ominously, the master for Defense Against the Dark Arts (a position that bodes ill each and every school year) is now Alan Rickman’s inscrutable don Severus Snape, whose withering way with one-liners and inexhaustible creepiness continue to be a highlight of the whole shebang.

The artistic challenge has always been telling a story that stands up whether or not one is au fait with the J. K. Rowling canon. It’s only just about met this time. The earliest films sprawled though every chapter of the source novels, fearful of leaving anything out and enthusiastic in realizing every bit of whimsy in the wizardy world of Hogwarts. The middle films picked up the pace with freer adaptation as developments grew darker. The Half-Blood Prince reverts to overlength (screenwriter Steve Kloves has returned to duty), but still wrestles with blending the impending doom side of things (manifestations of which were a tad distressing to our smaller audience consultants) with the humour, heartache and angst of adolescent amours essential to what is, after all, a coming of age chronicle. But major plot points slip by (we’re still wondering what a horcrux is exactly!), big doings seem rushed and more everyday goings on extended. Do we really need another game of Quidditch to lighten the mood, when a destiny of doom and gloom is supposed to be closing in? Given the much-trailered destruction in London that opens the film, it seems odd that the consequences of that or anything else in the outside world don’t rate a mention.

The acting is once again wildly variable. The renowned elder thespians, apart from Gambon, Broadbent and Rickman, barely feature, with the emphasis on the youngsters – and while the leads have grown with their characters some of the teens are, frankly, dull and graceless. Two new additons, however, in Hero Fiennes Tiffin (Ralph’s nephew) and Frank Dillane (Stephen’s son) prove apples don’t fall far from the tree by being appropriately unnerving as Tom Riddle (who will, of course, grow up to become Voldemort) at age 11 and 16 respectively in key flashbacks.

The standout achievement in the film is knockout spectacle, courtesy of cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel and production designer Stuart Craig, with one climactic sequence amid flames giving Dumbledore his Moses parting the Red Sea moment. That’s the image we’ll remember best until HP7 Part One arrives, ETA November, 2010.


Verdict
We’re marking time before the final battle between Good and Evil, with the promised darkness sitting somewhat clumsily with teen romance and humour.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo


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Average user rating for Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
Empire Star Rating

Another Triumph For The Franchise

Personally, I have always found the Harry Potter films enjoyable and exciting affairs. The acting (on the part of the young leads) has always been a little questionable, as have some of the creative decisions to omit certain parts of the books and insert newly-envisioned ones. Half-Blood Prince manages to be a smart adaptation without taking any brash artistic liberties. Of course, there are changes, but they are all well implemented, and work in scenarios where a certain part of the book would ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 17:14, 02 April 2012 | Report This Post


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review

Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 21:42, 13 December 2011 | Report This Post


This is not Harry Potter

This is American Pie for Wizards. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shady_88 at 12:25, 15 July 2011 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417741/]Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Princeee, now this is much better compared to part 5: more thrilling, darker and finally a story that really works towards something and that shows. Except for some plotholes this is a really strong film. /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:28, 11 July 2011 | Report This Post


Disapointing.

The plot here kinda rambles along fairly meaninglessly instead of capturing the relationship between Harry and Dumbledore. This should have been the real focus and would have given the emotional response and intensity needed. Plus that ending could have been alot more interesting. I accept the removal of the fight in hogwarts but the fight at the lake, as great as it was, was too short. However, besides, its entertaining enough and on a more positive note it looks the most stunning and bea... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trainedasninja at 19:42, 06 June 2011 | Report This Post


Still awesome

This was altogether a Great Potter film it got the balance between light & Dark and its also the funniest one by far. It was a Massive improvement on the Disappointing Fifth movie ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by S1lent B0b at 17:46, 12 October 2010 | Report This Post


4 stars

Empire gave 4 stars one issue later, so they gonna refresh this site. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bereski at 19:20, 10 October 2010 | Report This Post


RE: What Has Happened To Harry Potter?

I don’t read the books so this is purely a view as a fan of the films. IMO this was the worst since the first two films, and unlike those films there is no childlike sense of fun. First of all, for a film series that has been full of great cinematography, the picture was dark and dull. I purchased this in Blu Ray, but I needn’t have bothered, the contrast with films like Goblet of fire is very marked. Secondly the film is very disjointed the main plot jumps from point to point ve... More

Posted by JagLover at 11:30, 19 July 2010 | Report This Post


What Has Happened To Harry Potter?

I've read all the books and have seen the movies up until this one. Looking forward to see how they will adapt the sixth novel, I was really disappointed throughout. Instead of the magic and the pure charm with the preious films, Half Blood Prince is way too dark to properly see what's going on and is more intrested on who's getting with whom instead what's really happening. Even the shocking outcome of a character was emotionless. The adults were badly pushed aside, only saying a few lines and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:51, 23 May 2010 | Report This Post


What Has Happened To Harry Potter?

I've read all the books and have seen the movies up until this one. Looking forward to see how they will adapt the sixth novel, I was really disappointed throughout. Instead of the magic and the pure charm with the preious films, Half Blood Prince is way too dark to properly see what's going on and is more intrested on who's getting with whom instead what's really happening. Even the shocking outcome of a character was emotionless. The adults were badly pushed aside, only saying a few lines and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:51, 23 May 2010 | Report This Post


Half Blood Prince is awesome!

You don't know what a Horcrux is exactly? Did you take a toilet break during that scene? They told you what it was plain and simple and gave you two examples at the same time. I'm a big Potter fan and read all the books, whilst none of the films have as much magic and colourful charm as the first film, HBP is an absolute joy to watch as it capitalises on all the characters and uses them to great effect. I found myself wishing this film would never end. There are mistakes of course; more of the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DrachirFilm at 01:09, 21 April 2010 | Report This Post


Harry Potter and the half Blood Prince

Ive not read the books but have slowly and surely gotten into the harry potter films over the years. This by far is my favorite. Darker than previous films but also funnier. It strikes a good balance with the Dark and light parts. I agree with a point made in one of the previous reviews in that i think you need to take the Films as a separate entity to the books. Fanboys will disagree i'm sure but i wouldn't of changed the LOTR films after reading the book afterwards (my fave films and book of ... More

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Posted by LastSamurai at 20:18, 19 April 2010 | Report This Post


Wonderful Balance of Comedy and Darkness!

First off- if you love the book, you probably won't enjoy it as much as everyone else. People are WAY too hard on this film. You need to look at the Harry Potter film franchise as a different universe to the books, not a straightforward adaption, because they aren't, simple as. Half Blood Prince is an interesting blend of light-hearted humor and the dark, inevitable prospect of war with Voldy and co. The actors are at their best (applauds Jim Broadbent and Tom Felton). Dan Radcliffe and Rup... More

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Posted by FilmGirl27 at 16:52, 04 April 2010 | Report This Post


Harry potter is dead to me now !

Hated it this one. They should get peter jackson to direct the last one ! ... More

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Posted by spartan24 at 11:46, 14 March 2010 | Report This Post


A good balance of humor,romance and action.

I am a HUGE harry potter fan,so i had of course i red the book before i saw the movie.it was totally different from order of the phoenix, it had a more easy going feel,but at the same there where many points where the seriousness of the film came out.This is not(none of the harry potter movies are)the kind of movie that a person who knows nothing about harry potter can go and see and expect to totally understand.if you follow the the books and movies this really shows how much all the younger ac... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hpmoviefan777 at 20:37, 15 January 2010 | Report This Post


i was disappointed, the best book of the series and they cut EVERYTHING PLOT SIGNIFICANT, instead it heaped on teen romance which im sure was in no way an answer to recruit people from Twilight. There wasnt any emotion when Dumbledore died and still they dont give an actor of Alan Rickman's calibre enough dialogue It wasnt bad i just thought this would be better than order of the phoenix which was much much better than the book Still the 7th one's im sure will be the one that people will remem... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ivanahump at 09:11, 25 November 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

I didnt read the Potter books and im not a massive fan. However i went to see this with my nephew (of the same age) who has read the whole collection and has an interest in these films. After viewing 'The Half-Blood Prince' we both walked out rather dissapointed. The warm, humourous part of the film was for me a welcome part to the series and provided a nostalgic feeling of the first two films (my personal favourites). However, when the mood suddenly turns to a darker part of the film everythin... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwillphill at 19:45, 04 November 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Worthwhile set-up for HP7 Part 1

L: jobloffski L: bozo What a horrible, horrible adaptation. I'm usually not against adding stuff that isn't in the original source novel, but only when it's done by people who understand, appreciate and enjoy reading that source novel. Not by unimaginative hacks with only their paychecks in mind. The direction was pedestrian to the extereme, once again Yates manages to disintegrate the great atmosphere of the books and to turn a rich, complex novel into a flashy yet soulless a... More

Posted by bozo at 19:10, 19 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Worthwhile set-up for HP7 Part 1

L: bozo What a horrible, horrible adaptation. I'm usually not against adding stuff that isn't in the original source novel, but only when it's done by people who understand, appreciate and enjoy reading that source novel. Not by unimaginative hacks with only their paychecks in mind. The direction was pedestrian to the extereme, once again Yates manages to disintegrate the great atmosphere of the books and to turn a rich, complex novel into a flashy yet soulless advertisement. He didn't... More

Posted by jobloffski at 13:09, 19 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood-Prince

L: jobloffski Therein lies the problem.g its coming means the film would have to match exactly how a reader envisaged itso achieve the impossible task of being a shock all over again. The film did well, I thought, and imagine anyone who likes the films and hasn't read the books would have been focusing on Harry's reaction which I thought Radcliffe did well at portraying. sp;   Not at all. I don't expect the film to be exactly like what was in my mind while I was reading the b... More

Posted by bozo at 17:38, 18 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood-Prince

Therein lies the problem. Knowing its coming means the film would have to match exactly how a reader envisaged it and also achieve the impossible task of being a shock all over again. The film did well, I thought, and imagine anyone who likes the films and hasn't read the books would have been focusing on Harry's reaction which I thought Radcliffe did well at portraying. There was so much build up that could never have fitted into the film, as well as more time spent on the general reactio... More

Posted by jobloffski at 17:03, 18 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood-Prince

I think the main thing wrong with Harry Potter 6 for people who have read the book is that time and again you're expecting to see scenes from the book carrying enormous emotional weight and filled to the brim with dark significance and what you inevitably get is flat, bland nothing. Prime example - the ending. It's like expecting a kiss from a hottie and getting a lick from a dog.   ... More

Posted by bozo at 23:15, 16 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood-Prince

Before i start of proper i just wanted to say that i have never read the books and this is the first Potter movie i have seen. I thought the film was ok but i could have done with less of the teen romance stuff.  I much preferred the darker elements and i felt the film makers should have emphasised this rather than pay so much attention to the romance stuff.  I enjoyed Tom Felton as Malfroy and really enjoyed his fight with Harry.  I also enjoyed Alan Rickman's acting. ... More

Posted by princessa at 13:59, 12 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Worthwhile set-up for HP7 Part 1

Note the criticisms some make, but: 1) thought there was some amazing visual storytelling in this film, with shots continuing after the cute bits to create a sense of in the periphery of the still nice n cutey stuff, something is afoot. It's a film not a book and plays to the strengths of film. 2) The most important thing for this film to get across (maybe not so definitively to those who haven't read the books) was that the kids are safe from the worst of what is going on because whi... More

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Posted by jobloffski at 12:47, 12 October 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Worthwhile set-up for HP7 Part 1

I'm a Potter book geek but I still like the films regardless of how much of the source material they hack to pieces, they're just enjoyable films. I think this one was definitely one of the strongest. Ok, you can criticise the acting (Emma Watson's eyebrows shooting up and down her forehead like two little horny caterpillars is a big annoyance of mine) but the adult cast always make up for it. Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange is fukcing brilliant, I don't care how the book ends she s... More

Posted by hiptobesquare_x at 01:57, 12 October 2009 | Report This Post


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