he seventh and penultimate installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise hits theaters this weekend, and mostly positive reviews are flooding in. But nearly all critics agree that newcomers to the series may have trouble following the complex plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, which is based on the seventh and final Potter book. Should the uninitiated bother buying a ticket? (Watch the Harry Potter trailer)
The movie is only for the most dedicated Muggles: If you aren't an expert on the Potter series, at least read the book first, says Nigel Andrews at the Financial Times. The film will seem like "virtual gobbledegook" otherwise and leave you "delirious with boredom." Even "addicts" might find the pace slow and dialogue stilting.
"Film releases: November 19"
Casual Potterphiles can skip this one: "If you lack at least a moderate degree of immersion in the Potter canon," says Andrew O'Hehir at Salon, "then this movie seriously isn't for you." And don't think skimming a Wikipedia entry or two ahead of time will help.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: Harry Potter goes dark"
The plot is beside the point: Even those familiar with Potter lore may not be able to keep track of what's going on, says Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times. But the film "depends more on mood and character" than plot.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"
Ignore the naysayers: Bewildered or not, says Mike Ryan at Vanity Fair, you will still enjoy the movie. Although this installment "drags a bit in the middle," there are enough action scenes and humorous moments to amuse even "Harry Potter neophyte[s]."
"Is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 the best Harry Potter film? (and 24 other urgent questions)"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- The Daily Show has some fun mocking the CPAC power players
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
Subscribe to the Week