Parents' Guide to

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Fantastic, but kids are older, themes are darker.

Movie PG 2004 141 minutes
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 61 parent reviews

age 12+

We love the Harry Potter movies! But the appropriate AGE bracket can be tricky...

I was pretty upset when within the first 6 minutes of the movie, and Aunt describes Harry Potter like he's a dog, and his mother as the "bitch" (female dog). Most children know this word as a curse or swear word. Luckily I only allowed my 11 year old to watch this, but she paused the movie in complete shock and came to tell me what was said in the film. I was very disappointed, because this should be included in the LANGUAGE section of the rating!! I could've had the discussion with my child prior to her viewing the film.
age 8+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (61 ):
Kids say (271 ):

Harry Potter is 13 in this third movie based on the globally popular book series, and the movie itself seems to be entering adolescence, with its darker themes, darker images, and darker emotions. For Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chris Columbus, who directed the first two movies, stayed on as a producer. The brilliant production design and meticulous attention to detail established by Columbus ensured that the books' passionate fans were happy -- but played it safe.

The new director, Alfonso Cuarón, has previously demonstrated ferocious visual flair (Great Expectations) and great sensitivity in working with and portraying children (A Little Princess) and teens (Y Tu Mamá También). He's kept the best of the first Potter films and enriched it with his own splendid vision, meshing perfectly with the tone of the story and the increasing complexity of the themes and characters. The third in the series is darker than the first two, but it has the same magical qualities that Potter fans will love.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate