1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, originally known as the Philosopher’s Stone, is based on the widely popular middle grade novel from J.K. Rowling. Little did the cast know that they would be portraying these characters for the next decade, but thankfully this franchise endured and turned out to be a resounding success. Let’s consider the pros and cons of the first film…

Pros: Before the movie introduces a single character, the score, composed by John Williams, sets the tone for the magical world we are about to enter. A playful and whimsical tone that, like the main characters, matures and becomes more serious in the subsequent movies. Once the tone is set, we are immersed in this fantastical world filled with complex characters and endless possibilities. The idea that friends are the family we choose, is a prominent theme throughout this film and an important life lesson as well.

Cons: However ambitious this project was to tackle, there are some glaring flaws. The acting, while believable, never elicits an emotional response from the audience. On one hand, the world building is fantastic, but on the other, the ending feels rushed and slightly anticlimactic. The CGI can also be easily pointed to as something that hasn’t held up well over time. The broom riders in the quidditch matches are especially egregious, but luckily the movie doesn’t linger on them for long.

I give Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a B+. It’s a faithful adaptation of the book and a sweet coming of age story about friendship and family. Not to mention it also kick starts a juggernaut of a franchise. Happy Watching!




  • Score
  • Theme
  • Tone
  • Acting
  • CGI

Where to Watch

“You’re a wizard, Harry”

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