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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, USA, Germany

2002

Rated PG • 2h 41m

Director Chris Columbus

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh

Genre Adventure, Fantasy

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Ignoring threats to his life, Harry returns to Hogwarts to investigate – aided by Ron and Hermione – a mysterious series of attacks.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

50

Newsweek by David Ansen

Before it degenerates into Indiana Potter and the Chamber of Doom, the movie holds promise -- it hints at why the Harry Potter movies aren’t half as wonderful as they ought to be, why they feel created from the outside in. Magic isn’t made by committee.
75

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

A fun, fantastic adventure, but, watching it, I had the sense that it could have been even better than it is. I was diverted and entertained, but never truly absorbed.
60

Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

The film's scary moments are too monstrous and its happy times have too much idiotic beaming, making the film feel like the illegitimate offspring of "Alien" and "The Absent-Minded Professor."
67

Austin Chronicle by Kimberley Jones

Columbus never quite captures the depth, the rich complexities of Rowling's novels. She's written four Harry Potter books for kids that adults swoon for, too. Columbus has made two Harry Potter movies for kids … and we'll leave it at that. That isn't bad. But I suspect there's something better just around the bend.
63

New York Post by Lou Lumenick

Screenwriter Steve Kloves still seems overly dedicated to cramming in every detail of J.K. Rowling's novel - while tacking on a schmaltzy Hollywood ending.
58

Portland Oregonian by Shawn Levy

Not much in the way of captivating magic, but all the expected notes are duly played. Hope springs eternal for the next film in the series, though: Columbus is handing the reins over to Alfonso Cuaron, an actual movie director.
80

Variety by Todd McCarthy

Darker and more dramatic, this account of Harry's troubled second year at Hogwarts may be a bit overlong and unmodulated in pacing, but it possesses a confidence and intermittent flair that begin to give it a life of its own apart of the literary franchise, something the initial picture never achieved.

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