Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is based on the popular young adult novel from J.K. Rowling and the fifth film of the series. The story follows a perplexed Harry, as his warnings about Lord Voldemort’s return have been ignored, and the bureaucratic takeover of Hogwarts. Let’s consider the pros and cons of the fifth film…
Pros: The Ministry of Magic, once viewed as a symbol of integrity and fairness in the wizarding world, emerges as an unlikely yet devastating enemy in this film. Harry and his friends are forced to adapt to this new hostile atmosphere at Hogwarts, while simultaneously training themselves for the even greater looming threat. And for the first time in the series, we get a sense that these students are actually capable wizards that aren’t waiting for luck to save them. The Order of the Phoenix also gives us the most exciting and visually stunning scene of the series: Dumbledore vs. Voldemort.
Cons: A lengthy film is an inevitable side effect of adapting a large novel, but that’s no excuse for a general lack of plot development. The fact is that not very much happens in this movie besides the introduction of the unsavory Ministry representative, Dolores Umbridge. Although the plot moves slow, this is another chapter in Harry’s story and it does serve a purpose.
I give Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix an A-. While the ending is open ended, this movie still gives us the highest high of the series with the duel between Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort. That scene alone raises this movie a full letter grade. Happy Watching!