A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In the ongoing story about good and evil, Harry learns important life lessons in the wake of tragedy. Honesty and integrity are repeatedly at stake. Friendship, love, bravery, and loyalty are always major themes in the series, as is the idea of making good choices.
Positive Role Models
Harry and his friends demonstrate courage, perseverance, and teamwork. Harry, in particular, learns the value of integrity and playing fairly. He remains humble, even in the face of his newfound celebrity.
Hermione's independence and complexity as a strong female character continue to grow with age. Cho Chang, a British Asian character, is introduced as Harry's love interest. In minor roles, two girls of South Asian descent, sisters Parvati and Padma Patil, are invited by Harry and Ron to the Yule Ball; Angelina Johnson, a Black female student, accepts Fred Weasley's invitation; and Dean Thomas, another Black student, appears without lines. Early in the film, the Quidditch World Cup introduces audiences to the concept of a global wizarding world that includes a delegation of Black wizards dressed in African robes, but the background characters don't speak.
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Violence & Scariness
Two deaths, including one very stirring death of a teen. No blood is shown, but lifeless bodies are. Children are in peril, often at the hands of magical creatures: dragons burn, chase, and cut Triwizard competitors; mermaids brandish spears as students are held captive underwater. A spider is tortured in a class demonstration. A hand is severed and sacrificed, and Harry is tortured by a curse, writhing in pain.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some references to 14-year-olds' sexual interest; Harry is accosted in the bathtub by a ghostly girl; some couples kiss in the shadows after the Yule Ball.
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"Bloody hell," "piss off," and similar words.
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Products & Purchases
While Harry Potter merchandise proliferates in the real world, the film only shows characters occasionally spending money. The importance of fashion briefly comes into play as the students get ready for the Yule Ball.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Madame Maxime's horses only drink single-malt whiskey. Students drink butterbeer -- a magical-world drink with a pinch of alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the first PG-13 movie in the Harry Potter series (all based on the books by J.K. Rowling), and not for nothing. The fourth installment has two deaths (including a really sad one), scary creatures, some romantic yearnings, and edge-of-the-seat scenes. With each film, the scariness quotient increases. This movie features fighting dragons, tortured bugs, a huge booby-trapped maze, and an underwater horror show. Young kids who don't understand the difference between fantasy and reality should stay clear. So should kids going through an anxious time about unnamed terrors or unwanted separations, as one of the death scenes may be extra upsetting. The action is sometimes rowdy, and camera movements/edits are aggressive, all of which increase the scary effects. Romantic tensions ramp up in this installment. Characters demonstrate courage, perseverance, and teamwork, as well as humility and integrity. In addition, friendship, love, bravery, and loyalty are always major themes in the series, as is the idea of making good choices. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The fourth film in the Harry Potter series tends to move steadily from plot point to plot point, ensuring that each beloved character from the novel gets at least a brief moment on screen. When Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) attend the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they witness the full-on effects of sports celebrity: Fans cheer and stomp their feet, and magical images of the players shimmer over the crowd. The fact that the World Cup site is destroyed by Lord Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) Death Eaters hardly brings pause.
The Triwizard Tournament extends the movie's thematic interest in celebrity. In due course, Harry is exposed to cheating (by adult coaches who mean for their charges to win) and not a little bit of emotional and physical abuse. The movie makes us ask whether 14- or 17-year-old kids should have to be warriors and survivors. Harry and his friends must undergo pain, work through fear, and even decide whether to fight back or inflict pain. Growing up is a difficult transition on-screen or off, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire makes being a teen look pretty unpleasant. That being said, this film is as good as the others in the series, and kids old enough to handle the scary elements will surely enjoy it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.