Subscribe for 99¢
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Review was originally published Nov. 19, 2010.

Harry Potter has gone rogue.

The first six movies of the boy-wizard series have capped a cauldron of explosive energy, whether it’s Voldemort’s evil or Harry’s hormones. And since the politicized “Order of the Phoenix” in 2007, the creative juices of director David Yates have bubbled to the surface. For this penultimate episode, both Yates and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) have abandoned the comforts of the homey Hogwarts School for a bumpy road movie.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is slower and stranger than any of the previous films, simultaneously raising hopes for a haunting finale while dimming hopes for a magical one.

As you’re required to know by now, sinister overlord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his minions at the Ministry of Magic are gunning for Harry, the orphaned teen who is fated to save both the muggle and wizard worlds.

As the movie opens, several friends arrive at Harry’s hideaway to fly him to a wedding at the Weasley estate. To confuse the dive-bombing Death Eaters, the escorts transform into bespectacled replicas of Harry — which entails Radcliffe doffing both male and female undergarments.

The weirdness continues as Harry and his comrades Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) escape assassins in a London coffee shop, steal the identities of some middle-age passers-by and literally flush themselves into the Ministry. The fascistic fortress under the city, which resembles something out of Orwell’s “1984,” is where they retrieve one of the horcruxes, little tokens of Voldemort’s soul that must be destroyed.

Harry is now a wanted fugitive, and most of the movie entails the trio camping in the gloomy countryside. Granted there’s some action, including torture at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), the melodramatic death of an elf and a naked embrace between two of the major characters. But the latter scene is not real, as the emotional complications between Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) are left simmering. And it doesn’t bode well for the romantic subplots that the diminutive Radcliffe has little chemistry with either girl — and is out-acted by the increasingly substantial Grint.

Yet there’s enough inventive moodiness here — including a surreal, sepia-toned animation to explain the dangerous nature of the title locale — to suggest that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” could be beguiling.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Three stars (out of four) 

See "Harry Potter" stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson morph from grade-schoolers to adults. Also find out how their characters evolved throughout the series. Press the play button to watch the characters morph. Select a year or drag the sliding handle to read about a particular year.


Get Adobe Flash player

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)
The Sorcerer's Stone: Harry Potter is raised by his aunt and uncle. On his 11th birthday he learns that he is a wizard when Hagrid arrives and informs him that he can attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He learns about magic, the death of his parents and Lord Voldemort. In his first year he befriends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Together they help stop Voldemort from stealing the Sorcerer's Stone.
The Chamber of Secrets: Harry discovers the secret diary of a former Hogwarts student Tom Riddle. The diary is the enchanted memory of Voldemort as a child. Students blame Harry for attacks on muggle-born students. When Ginny Weasley disappears, Harry faces off against Tom Riddle and the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
The Prisoner of Azkaban: The joy-sucking Dementors, the guardians of Azkaban, seek escaped criminal Sirius Black. Harry has a bad reaction to Dementors; new Defense Against Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin teaches him the Patronus Charm to protect himself. A device called a Time-Turner allows Harry and his friends to save two innocent victims.
The Goblet of Fire: Hogwarts hosts the Triwizard Tournament. The Goblet spits out the name of a student from each of three schools to compete, but this time there's a fourth: Harry. He gets through with a lot of help from his friends but shares the victory with the official Hogwarts champion, Cedric Diggory. Cedric is killed when the two are transported to a graveyard and find themselves facing Voldemort. Harry doesn't defeat him but escapes with Cedric's body.
The Order of the Phoenix: Harry is still trying to recover from the death of Cedric Diggory. Harry is inducted into the anti-Voldemort Order of the Phoenix, a secret group that Dumbledore has reinstated to prepare for the showdown with Voldemort. Harry is also dealing with Dolores Umbridge, the cruel new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who eventually takes over Hogwarts and turns it into a virtual prison. The Order fights the Death Eaters in the Ministry itself, and Sirius is killed.
The Half-Blood Prince: Harry, never good at potions, gets a leg up when the new potions master gives him a textbook annotated by someone signing himself the Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore is still hunting Voldemort, but the Death Eaters infiltrate Hogwarts, and Dumbledore is killed. With wizardly war breaking out, Harry, Hermione and Ron drop out of school to search for the rest of the horcruxes so they can destroy Voldemort.
The Deathly Hallows: Harry, Hermione and Ron leave Hogwarts to search for and destroy the remaining horcruxes and then kill Lord Voldemort. Harry learns that Snape did not murder Dumbledore and that after Voldemort killed Harry's parents, Snape had vowed to protect Harry. Voldemort casts two Killing Curses on Harry with the Elder Wand. The first curse stuns Harry but the second curse backfires and kills Voldemort.

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)
The Sorcerer's Stone: Harry Potter and Ron Weasley initially dismiss Hermione as being arrogant and bossy. But after the boys rescue her from a troll and she lies to protect them from punishment, the three quickly become friends.
The Chamber of Secrets: Hermione creates the Polyjuice Potion to disguise the trio as Malfoy's friends and find out more about the Heir of Slytherin. She is petrified after researching and identifying the basilisk.
The Prisoner of Azkaban: Professor McGonagall secretly gives Hermione a Time-Turner, a device to help her go back in time and manage her impossible class load. Her cat Crookshanks helps expose Ron's pet rat, Scabbers, as Peter Pettigrew who betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort and implicated Sirius Black in their deaths. Hermione, Ron and Harry use the Time-Turner to rescue Sirius and the hippogriff Buckbeak.
The Goblet of Fire: Hermione founds the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.) after witnessing the cruel treatment of house-elves. She attends the Yule Ball with Bulgarian Quidditch superstar Viktor Krum. Tensions grow between Hermione and Ron.
The Order of the Phoenix: Hermione becomes a Gryffindor prefect. She convinces Harry to secretly teach defensive magic to a small group of students. The small group becomes the basis for Dumbledore's Army.
The Half-Blood Prince: Advanced Potions professor Horace Slughorn invites Hermione to join his Slug Club, a group of select students with potential for greatness. She invites Ron to Slughorn's Christmas Party, but he rejects her because of his jealousy over Hermione and Krum. The two friends reconcile after Ron becomes sick from poisoned mead.
The Deathly Hallows: Hermione joins Harry on his quest to destroy the remaining horcruxes. She is captured under a ministry-ordered hunt for wizards of muggle descent. Bellatrix Lestrange tortures her with the Cruciatus Curse. After escaping, Hermione impersonates Bellatrix while trying to attempt steal Hufflepuff's Cup from Gringotts. Hermione destroys the Cup with a basilisk fang during the Battle of Hogwarts. She and Ron kiss for the first time.

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
The Sorcerer's Stone: Ron befriends Harry when they share a compartment on the Hogwarts Express. He and Harry share the same classes. During the quest to save the Sorcerer's Stone, Ron sacrifices his chess piece in wizard chess to allow Harry and Hermione to proceed to the next challenge.
The Chamber of Secrets: Harry spends the last month of summer with Ron's family. When Ron and Harry are unable to enter the platform for the Hogwarts Express, Ron suggests flying his father's enchanted car to Hogwarts. They disguise themselves as Draco Malfoy's friends in order to find out more about the Chamber of Secrets. They find the entrance to the Chamber and search for Ron's sister Ginny who was kidnapped and held in the Chamber.
The Prisoner of Azkaban: Ron and Hermione have a falling out after he suspects that her cat Crookshanks has attacked his rat Scabbers. Ron eventually finds Scabbers at Hagrid's hut and chases him to the Whomping Willow where he is grabbed and dragged into a tunnel by the dog form of Harry's uncle Sirius Black. He learns that Scabbers is actually Peter Pettigrew who betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort.
The Goblet of Fire: Ron feels betrayed after Harry is mysteriously selected as one of the Triwizard Tournament Champions. He and Harry reconcile after Harry survives a challenge against a fire-breathing dragon. At the Yule Ball, Ron is overcome by jealousy at the sight of Hermione with Viktor Krum. During the second task of the tournament, Ron is selected as the person that Harry must rescue from Hogwarts Lake.
The Order of the Phoenix: Ron and Hermione are appointed Gryffindor prefects. Ron joins Hermione in suggesting that Harry should teach the students practical Defense Against the Dark Arts techniques. Ron joins the Gryffindor Quidditch team and helps the team capture the Quidditch Cup. Ron joins in the battle against the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries.
The Half-Blood Prince: Ron's low self-esteem continues to fall until Harry pretends to give Ron Felix Felicis potion to help him win the Quidditch match and kiss Lavender Brown. Ron accidentally consumes a love potion. After being cured by Prof. Slughorn he consumes poisoned mead intended for Dumbledore. He and Hermione reconcile while he is recovering at the hospital. Ron and Hermione vow to help Harry destroy the remaining horcruxes.
The Deathly Hallows: Ron joins Harry and Hermione on the quest to destroy the remaining horcruxes. Ron saves Harry from drowning when he tries to retrieve Godric Gryffindor's sword. Ron uses the sword to destroy Slytherin's locket. He decides that they need to find more basilisk fangs and return the Chamber of Secrets. After professing concern for the fate of Hogwarts' elves, Hermione kisses him for the first time. He fights in the Battle of Hogwarts.

The quiz is loading
What is the counterspell for Lumos?
Wrong.Right. Lumos gives light to a wand; Nox extinguishes the light.
What is Harry Potter's famous disarming spell?
Wrong.Right. Harry uses it to fight Voldemort and escape the Death Eaters in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."
Which is not a forbidden spell?
Wrong.Right. Sectumsempra slashes a target. Forbidden spells land you in Azkaban.
What spell does Harry use to fight the Hungarian Horntail Dragon in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"?
Wrong.Right. He used the summoning charm to bring him his broom.
What spell did Harry accidentally use to cause Ron to be lifted in the air in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"?
Wrong.Right. Severus Snape invented it.
What charm wards off dementors?
Wrong.Right. It first appears in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."
What potion was used to question Bartie Crouch Jr.?
Wrong.Right. Three drops of the potion forces a person to answer any question truthfully.
Who has never been a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?
Wrong.Right. He filled in for Snape as potions master.
What spell did Gilderoy Lockhart successfully use in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"?
Wrong.Right. He accidentally used the spell on himself, resulting in an extreme case of amnesia.
What skill is used to defend against legilimency, which extracts memories for someone's mind?
Wrong.Right. Severus Snape is especially skilled at Occlumency.
Check out the ultimate Harry Potter Timeline
CREDITS: Quiz created by Hallie Roll and Jody Mitori