Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
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Fantasy violence

Director: David Yates
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Bonnie Wright, Robbie Coltrane, Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter

Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts is tempered by the fact there is a war going on all around him - a war in which he must eventually either win or die. Dumbledore takes it upon himself to show Harry a partial history of Tom Riddle and in doing so discloses the secret to the Dark Lord's immortality. Meanwhile, Harry has discovered a battered potions textbook, filled with the notes of a wizard calling himself the 'Half-blood Prince'. Against Hermione's warnings, he begins to rely on the book, and the spells on the pages within... The war goes on, though, and explodes onto the home front in the worst way imaginable. The beginning of the end has come.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 153mins
Origin: UNITED KINGDOM
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Wanderlust
by Simon Miraudo,

Ah, to be young, in love and a wizard again. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth, hormone-injected installment of the zillion-dollar-grossing franchise, and the series shows no sagging signs of age. Instead, it manages to recreate all those wonderful, gut-churning feelings of unrequited teenage love that are sure to inflame your acne all over again. Yes, the Potter films are growing up. Gone are the goofy puzzles and silly monsters intended for 10-year-olds; we’re in legitimate (albeit fairly innocent) romantic comedy territory this time around. However, director David Yates understands the darkness that comes with growing up and still manages to balance the film’s growing despair and darkening clouds with Potter’s burgeoning sexploits. Welcome to puberty, kid. Based on th...

Ah, to be young, in love and a wizard again. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth, hormone-injected installment of the zillion-dollar-grossing franchise, and the series shows no sagging signs of age. Instead, it manages to recreate all those wonderful, gut-churning feelings of unrequited teenage love that are sure to inflame your acne all over again. Yes, the Potter films are growing up. Gone are the goofy puzzles and silly monsters intended for 10-year-olds; we’re in legitimate (albeit fairly innocent) romantic comedy territory this time around. However, director David Yates understands the darkness that comes with growing up and still manages to balance the film’s growing despair and darkening clouds with Potter’s burgeoning sexploits. Welcome to puberty, kid.

Based on the gargantuan J.K. Rowling book, Harry Potter Six begins with the ominous knowledge that Voldemort is back in town, sending his Death Eaters to terrorise modern London, as well as the inhabitants of its parallel wizard universe. Hogwarts Principal Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) sends our hero Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) on an important mission to discover exactly what black magic Voldemort is using to consolidate his power. His task will involve befriending new Potions teacher Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), an eccentric old coot with a penchant for making famous friends. But how can Harry concentrate on saving the world when his crush on the sweet Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) won’t go away? Why did she have to be his best friend’s younger sister?! Not that his besties Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are any luckier in love; they continue their awkward courtship by dating other classmates and continually upsetting and ignoring one another. Love stinks.

Of course, any HP fan will tell you there is far more to this story than I’m letting on. For instance, why does Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) look so mysterious and tormented? Where does Dumbledore keep running off to? And just what is Snape’s (Alan Rickman) problem? These are the darker elements of the picture and discussing them would spoil the really juicy surprises. And before you laugh, some people may not know what these surprises are! A good friend of mine is a rabid fan of the films, but refuses to read any of the books. Therefore, he’s been waiting almost a full decade to find out how this story ends. I for one respect his perseverance (although at this point he might just be trying to make some kind of weird point).

So let’s focus on the lighter side of The Half Blood Prince. The film is a funnier affair than its immediate predecessor Order of the Phoenix, in which Yates tried to downplay the magic and wonder and bring his State of Play-esque political intrigue to the forefront. Now that the actors have come of age he can feature some good old fashioned teenage ribaldry: luscious kisses in darkened hallways; drunken butter beer binges; experimentation with mind-altering ‘potions'. Relax parents, the film isn’t that raunchy. I mean, considering this a co-ed boarding school with invisibility cloaks and hidden rooms aplenty, they could have made a fairly decent Carry On film within the walls of Hogwarts.

Rowling’s seemingly infinite imagination has been brought to life time and time again in such satisfying fashion, that surely this is one of the few book-to-film adaptations to challenge its source material for artistic supremacy. Half-Blood-Prince is anchored by three solid performances from its young stars as well as the always reliable pros Gambon and Rickman. Even Felton steps up for Draco’s big descent. However, while the first four films are able to stand alone as entertaining flicks within a larger narrative, parts five and six feel like links in a chain – entertaining throughout but not wholly satisfying. Also, with much of the exposition excised to allow more time for action, newcomers will find it near on impossible to comprehend the events of this film.

Before the Harry Potter series came along, seemingly gone were the days of frightening kids' films. Movies made for kids which feature characters in legitimate peril; movies for kids where characters might actually die. HP is now the lone beacon of despair for children in an increasingly pandering and brainless cinematic landscape; a Grimm tale that should satisfy the darker whims of imaginative children in the same way that J.K. Rowling’s books satiated the inner children of adults around the world. This franchise now carries the torch once held by movies like The Witches, The Goonies and Raiders of the Lost Ark. When was the last time you saw a movie and though “Bring on number seven!”

4/5

P.S. Considering the film is called Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, it was surprising to see how virtually the entire section regarding ‘The Half Blood Prince’ had been cut out. No wonder all those posters obscure the films subtitle.

Check out Simon's other reviews!

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Member Reviews (54)

Ginu
says
good one, but the DVD was getting stuck many times, still the story was good. My daughter enjoyed it watching.
Posted Thursday, 25 April 2013 See my other reviews
Josh
says
Excellent Potter film. More character exploration, more story and more balanced amount of action to maintain the interest of its younger and less mature fans. Gotta love the fantastic ending and the bleak cinematography. One of the best.
Posted Wednesday, 21 March 2012 See my other reviews
Kaye
says
Another great story.
Posted Tuesday, 29 November 2011 See my other reviews
Ruth
says
The most vague and confusing of the movies, this left more questions than answers unlike the book
Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 See my other reviews
Lynne K
says
Big fan of the books, but not so much of the films as they tend to change too much and leave bits out. This is probably the worst film. Too long and far too dull. I was hoping that the big fight scene at the end would make up for it...only to find that thye didn't even bother with it! Missing out the only exciting bit - very disappointing!!
Posted Friday, 26 August 2011 See my other reviews
karen
says
Good Harry Potter but probbaly a bit dark towards the end
Posted Monday, 22 August 2011 See my other reviews
Pat Campbell
says
unfortunately the disc did not plat
Posted Saturday, 23 July 2011 See my other reviews
Voodoo
says
Great movie, dark, fun, entertaining, i'd watch it again for sure.
Posted Tuesday, 12 April 2011 See my other reviews
Tristan
says
Awesome Movie
Posted Sunday, 27 February 2011 See my other reviews
Rebecca
says
Pretty good film overall, couldn't compare to the book as I haven't read it.
Posted Sunday, 20 February 2011 See my other reviews
Sam B.
says
As much as I loved the book of this one, the movie just wasn't quiet the same. At some points that is a great thing - seeing stuff that you didn't already know about happen. But there was something that was missing from the movie that the book had. Still a great movie, I'm glad I saw it, just don't compare it to the book.
Posted Monday, 17 January 2011 See my other reviews
Lissa
says
No HP fan. It's good enough but not exceptional. I appreciate that the books have the young ones reading again, which is a good thing.
Posted Thursday, 6 January 2011 See my other reviews
Carolyn
says
My favourite of all the HP movies. Wicked storyline, fab character development and Ron is looking rather hunky (watch out Harry)..
Posted Tuesday, 23 November 2010 See my other reviews
Andre D
says
The Harry Potter movies are always enjoyable, primarily got this for my son but I enjoye it too
Posted Wednesday, 17 November 2010 See my other reviews
Pam McNabb
says
I think that each one of Harry Potter movies get bettr and better to see all the young children growing up and changing is good and how they deal with the dark side it is fantastic to watch.
Posted Saturday, 28 August 2010 See my other reviews
Tina
says
this is a great movie recommender to the whole family i would watch it again A
Posted Wednesday, 18 August 2010 See my other reviews
Tanya
says
By far the worst so far. Boring , too much romance. This book is The Half Blood Prince who stars magnificently in the book, but was appallingly absent in the movie. Why on earth they let David Yates direct these movies is beyond me. Bring back Alfredo Cueron, Prisoner of Azkaban was a great movie, he should have directed this one as well. One can have no high expectations for Deathly Hallows at the hands of Yates, it's boring enough to read, let alone watch.
Posted Friday, 13 August 2010 See my other reviews
Melissa
says
This movie was very odd.. The only part of the movie which showed how the magic world had affected the real world was the first 10 mins of the movie. It was very here and there and just didn't make sense at times.
Posted Tuesday, 10 August 2010 See my other reviews
c.hill
says
I like the Harry Potter series so this was just as enjoyable as the rest
Posted Saturday, 24 July 2010 See my other reviews
5
says
As always JK Rowlings movies of Harry Potter are terrific. thoroughly enjoyrf it
Posted Monday, 5 July 2010 See my other reviews
Michael
says
Enjoyed it. But I am getting a bit over the Potter thing, it's gone on long enough, just end it already I'll be 80 by the time it ends
Posted Wednesday, 30 June 2010 See my other reviews
Rob
says
Ok, nice imagery but what an anticlimax. I was left with a sense of " was that it - has it actually finished?" Just another episode in the saga and certainly not one of the best.
Posted Friday, 18 June 2010 See my other reviews
sarah
says
Very Good, as all the harry Potters are!
Posted Sunday, 13 June 2010 See my other reviews
K
says
slow to start, then I couldn't take my eyes off screen.
Posted Wednesday, 2 June 2010 See my other reviews
Doyle61
says
Most boring of the Harry Potter films and dragged on too long.
Posted Monday, 3 May 2010 See my other reviews
Joseph
says
These movies are a lot of fun to watch and I find them to be some of the best "murder" mysteries out there. Cool to see the cast getting older.
Posted Monday, 26 April 2010 See my other reviews
Liz C.
says
Apart from Azekeban all the Harry Potter's have left me a bit cold. The Half Blood Prince finally rewards. It's all getting very dark in wizard land and our kids are growing up. Daniel Radcliffe at last appears to be showing his mettle as an actor instead of walking around with a surprised look on his face. This, however, is Alan Rickman's film and naturally he excels. The film is also fantastically shot, lots of shadows and depth of focus. A pleasure to watch all round.
Posted Sunday, 18 April 2010 See my other reviews
Emily J
says
saw this at imax too and never as good as the book but parts were identical to the book. some great acting and special effects even though some looks like they were copied from Lord of the Rings CGI. Love Harry Potter and always will : )
Posted Wednesday, 31 March 2010 See my other reviews
Alyssa
says
Great as Harry Potter always is but leaves you wanting for more than usual, wich is a bit frustrating but worth a watch anyway
Posted Sunday, 28 March 2010 See my other reviews
Kevin D.
says
Just number 6 in the series... dark and getting darker... but thoroughly enjoyable
Posted Thursday, 11 March 2010 See my other reviews
mdtinoz
says
This was not only one of the most boring movies we ever watched (yes, we watched it to the end), but it's a descrace to the series. If this is the best the screen writers/fdirecotrs can do, then I strongly urge them to quit while they're "ahead" (whichis what they should have done before this debacle).
Posted Monday, 1 March 2010 See my other reviews
Meg G.
says
Good. Never as good as the book
Posted Wednesday, 24 February 2010 See my other reviews
Catherine T.
says
At a bladder busting 2.25 hours long approx, I found this intallment of the Harry Potter franchise dragged it's feet. The use of CGI was intrusive to my ability to lose myself in the story, and this also affected my enjoyment thereof. There were good moments, but the story was not at all engrossing to me. One for the fans IMHO, not great as a movie in it's own right.
Posted Monday, 22 February 2010 See my other reviews
Anita
says
Another great movie in the Harry Potter series. This movie is quite long (about 2.5 hours), so I watched in two parts.
Posted Thursday, 18 February 2010 See my other reviews
JCG
says
least satisfying yet.
Posted Monday, 8 February 2010 See my other reviews
Jessica
says
Quite good, not as good as the previous ones.
Posted Thursday, 4 February 2010 See my other reviews
Ahmad Redzwan
says
Not bad. The effect is superb, good for teenagers.
Posted Tuesday, 2 February 2010 See my other reviews
Georgiana
says
Good clean fun!
Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 See my other reviews
Daniel M.
says
Bad Movie i've never liked any of the harry potter films except prisoner of azkabahn
Posted Thursday, 28 January 2010 See my other reviews
Rebecca
says
dull, more about love than the magic
Posted Wednesday, 13 January 2010 See my other reviews
Sparkle
says
Brilliant as always!
Posted Tuesday, 12 January 2010 See my other reviews
mu
says
If I hadn't read the books I wouldn't have had a clue what this film was about. Not only was it too dark to see what was going on, but the young actors seemed a bit bored & unconvincing. Not one of the best in the series. Let's hope the final films are a bit better.
Posted Tuesday, 12 January 2010 See my other reviews
N
says
Loved it. Much darker than the rest but worth it. Can't wait for next one.
Posted Saturday, 9 January 2010 See my other reviews
Jenni
says
another great instalement in the Harry Potter Franchise
Posted Friday, 8 January 2010 See my other reviews
David
says
Best Harry Potter movie yet. Ending a little disappointing though.
Posted Wednesday, 6 January 2010 See my other reviews
Barry
says
Even though I am a huge fan of the books and movies, this movie drags on and on. Still a must see for people who love to see the novels translated onto the screen. But be warned: this movie seems to go on forever, and far too much time is spent developing obvious romances and hardly anything on the big events (e.g. Dumbledores... you know)
Posted Wednesday, 6 January 2010 See my other reviews
Cassie
says
Effects were very well done, enjoyed it.
Posted Wednesday, 23 December 2009 See my other reviews
Tanner1
says
After the pleasure provided by the previous films in the series, this was a major disappointment. The rationale of any HP film is its magic and the magic in this, after an opening which was impressive but I thought of obscure relevance to the story which followed, was pedestrian and unspectacular. One can see it serving as a connection between the last film and (assuming there is to be one) the next, but at two and a half hours a movie surely needs to do more than provide continuity, a link in the saga. And I'm afraid the film's seemingly major preoccupation - the attempts of its teen protagonists to come to terms with the angst of adolescent love - wasn't nearly enough.
Posted Saturday, 19 December 2009 See my other reviews
Matthew B.
says
One of the best, if not the best, of the Harry Potter films so far.
Posted Monday, 14 December 2009 See my other reviews
Katrina
says
Did not like this at all. I am glad i did not see it in cinemas. I can't understand where the heck they came up with some of their ideas. The ending was bad and so was the beginning. In the book harry certainly never chatted up any muggles in a london tube station. Too weird.
Posted Friday, 4 December 2009 See my other reviews
Carolyn H.
says
Everyone should see the harry Potter movies they are wonderfull
Posted Wednesday, 25 November 2009 See my other reviews
Billy
says
Andrew you are a right fool.
Posted Monday, 26 October 2009 See my other reviews
Jane M.
says
Being a huge fan of the books, all of the movies are part of my all time favourites list
Posted Tuesday, 13 October 2009 See my other reviews
Andrew H.
says
Saw this on the big screen and if you are a fan of the series, I don't think you will be too disappointed in this latest instalment. I am a bit of an impartial viewer of the series, and I was left a bit disappointed. Far too long and not enough action or wizadry for mine. In fact, Harry's cohorts Ron and Hermione do not feature in any of the action sequences outside of a quidditch game. Too much focus on developing romances and not enough on the stuff that matters. This is M rated too, so it really isn't suitable for kids under 9 or 10, as we found out in the cinema with the crying toddlers... Thank God we have Quickflix and don't have to put up with annoying cinema patrons at home!
Posted Monday, 20 July 2009 See my other reviews