The Harry Potter series is arguably the most well-known book-to-film adaptation of all time. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first “grown-up” chapter book I read. My mom used to give me time limits for how long I could read each night because I just couldn’t put the book down! What made me fall in love with the series more than I already had were the films that followed. The first film hit theaters a year before I was even born, and yet, the films were an essential part of my childhood. I think I speak for most Potterheads when I say some of the films are not as accurate to the books as they should be. But accuracy aside, the films are still enjoyable, and I never fail to find time to rewatch each one. Here is my ranking of all eight films from least favorite to most favorite.
8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
If I’m being brutally honest, this film just bores me. Not to say this film isn’t incredibly important for setting up the Deathly Hallows films, but it is just hard for me to get through. The majority of the film focuses on potions, which just isn’t my thing, and the rise of the Death Eaters as Voldemort prepares his return. As pivotal as this film is for the rest of the franchise, it is not one of my favorites. The book is much more engaging. Also, having to watch Dumbledore die is a no from me.
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
Does anyone really like the final film in any franchise? I think this film executed the events in the book almost perfectly. It is just so immensely sad, there’s so much death in this film and you’re forced to say goodbye to your favorite characters all over again (if you read the books). The death of Fred Weasley and seeing his family mourn him never fails to make me cry. The scene in the boathouse where Harry sees Snape’s memories of James and Lily Potter is so powerful that it almost makes you feel bad for seeing Snape as such an awful person. The final duel between Harry and Voldemort is beautifully done, not to mention the symbolism of Harry destroying the Elder Wand at the very end of the film. I love the flash forward that they do to let the audience see the trio and their children. It’s just as well done as in the book.
6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
If Sirius Black wasn’t killed in this film, I’d have it ranked in my top three.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Don’t get me started on Dobby’s death, I’m still not over it to this day. The fight scene in the Ministry of Magic is one of my favorites in the whole series. Harry and Hermione’s dance to “O Children” in the tent is such a beautiful, calm moment in the midst of a literal war.
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Gilderoy Lockhart is the true star of this film. You just can’t deny it.
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
This is my second favorite book and definitely one of the best films. The Triwizard Tournament is executed perfectly. The list of incredible actors and characters that make their appearances in this film is lengthy. I’m talking about you, Robert Pattinson. I’ve got a soft spot for Viktor Krum and Hermione. In fact, the entire Yule Ball scene is my absolute favorite.
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
It’s the film that started it all, so of course, it had to be in the top two. The nostalgia is unbeatable. The introduction of the characters we had only read about on paper was nearly perfect. Not to mention the overarching theme of innocence is fully present here, then diminishes throughout the next seven films as the trio grows older. I absolutely love the fight with the troll in the bathroom on Halloween. It is hands down one of the best scenes in the film. Another one of my favorite scenes has to be the real-life game of Wizard’s Chess that has been so famously memed on TikTok (y’all know exactly what I’m talking about).
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This film is iconic: the introduction of the Marauder’s Map, Sirius Black and Hermione being a time-traveling bad*ss. What more could you want in a film? It’s also my favorite book in the whole series. There’s just something about it that never gets old. I love the elements of humor in this film, too. The cinematography is amazing, as is the plot in general. It does a fantastic job of setting up the rest of the series, especially Harry and Sirius’ relationship. I’ll never forget the shock I felt when reading that he was Harry’s godfather.
This is your sign to take a break from studying for finals! Have a Harry Potter movie marathon with your roomies and make your own ranking!