Critics divided over latest Harry Potter movie

Image caption,
Radcliffe, Watson and Grint (l to r) are known to millions for their roles as Harry, Hermione and Ron

Hundreds of people waited for hours on Thursday ahead of the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the penultimate instalment in the fantasy film franchise.

Their patience was rewarded when stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint arrived on the red carpet.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling says David Yates' film - the seventh in the series - is her favourite so far.

Although some UK critics share her view, not all are convinced.

Allan Hunter, Daily Express

The expectation on the shoulders of director David Yates and the Potter team is extraordinary, but the film delivers everything you could want - from dazzling special effects and spellbinding storytelling to breathtaking excitement and heart-in-the-mouth emotion.

The tension never fades amid desperate chases, frantic escapes, titanic battles, noble deaths, electrifying encounters and enough humour to break the tension every now and again.

The only real flaw is that we have to wait until July for the conclusion.

Xan Brooks, Guardian

It's hard to mourn the demise of a franchise that was never more than half-alive to begin with.

So farewell Harry Potter, the literary marvel who became a closed book at the movies.

You endured and you prospered. You took up space and leave no trace. After all this time and all these films, it is as though we never really knew you at all.

Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail

The movie runs for 146 minutes - not the longest in the series, but I'm sure there must be a spell that could have made at least 20 minutes of it disappear.

Perhaps the film-makers are preparing us for Part 2, which I hear could end up being the longest in the series.

As always, it's a real treat to watch some of the best British thespians parade onto the big screen.

Anita Singh, Daily Telegraph

Without doubt, this is the scariest Potter film so far. There are moments when even adult film-goers will be watching through their fingers.

But this is also the instalment that takes us deepest into the emotions of the central trio.

The set-pieces are terrific, from the sight of seven Harry Potters in the same shot to a mid-air chase sequence in a motorcycle and sidecar.

Can Part II be better than this? You'll have to wait until July to find out.

James Mottram, Independent

If Part I struggles, it's because it sags when it should soar - not least in the protracted scenes where Harry and co hit the road to seek out a series of artefacts ("Horcruxes") to bring down Voldemort.

As the trio squabble their way across remote countryside, the film loses traction - with the scenes doing as much rambling as the characters.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is out in the UK on 19 November.

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