Parents' Guide to

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.

Movie PG 2001 152 minutes
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 145 parent reviews

age 15+

inappropriate for most

While many fantasy movies contain magic elements this one is nowhere close to the clear morality or dominion established in the works of Tolkien. The harry potter series is inappropriate for minors who are not already WELL formed morally. The harry potter series presents a host of logical contradictions, and most troubling endorses subjective morality. While I found the movies entertaining they were also irksome on too many points to allow my children to watch them or read the books.
age 8+

Some scary scenes that could be a bit much for Littles. But a great introduction to the Harry Potter franchise.

I'm a big harry potter fan, and I as a mother became extremely impatient with waiting to show her it. But I will say and suggest to wait till your child is 1. Mature enough to handle it Or 2. If you have the capability to skip over mute or cover eyes on scary scenes that may be a bit upsetting for younger kiddos. For example the troll in the bathroom, my kiddo was super scared of it and asked me to skip that part. Another scary scene is the dark forest. When Harry gets detention and voldermort is eating the unicorn. This was a scene I skipped also because my daughter is obsessed with unicorns and all things mystical as such, and for anyone or anything to kill it and to literally see it dead, is heartbreaking and traumatizing. Hence the skipping over it part. The ending was also really scary for my little. She did Not watch that scene. The concept of being attacked by a teacher who has two faces is a bit much. We skipped past that also, Another scene that may be a bit much is when Neville breaks his arm. My daughter remembered that scene too much and it upset her a little. Mind you she is five almost six. So for an age recommendation, I would probably say the youngest six (if you can skip over) or if not then probably wait until 8 or 9. Some kiddos also may not Even be ready at that age, so please just know your child and wait till you believe they are ready. I'm a huge potter fan, so I strongly suggest introducing your kids to the potter world (the first two at least) when ready. Past chamber of secrets becomes a little much and the rating for me for that would change drastically. This one and the second though, not too bad with limits of course. (Also the dursleys are awful and the treatment they give harry we skipped over too simply because no adult should treat a child in that mannerism) Yes I know it's a major plot line for the story but when you have a little you have to create limits and again do what is best for you and your family- don't want to cause nightmares or trauma for anyone. )

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (145 ):
Kids say (538 ):

This first film in the Harry Potter series is filled with visual splendor, valiant heroes, spectacular special effects, and irresistible characters. It's only fair to say that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is truly magical. The settings manage to be sensationally imaginative and yet at the same time so clearly believable and lived-in that you'll think you could find them yourself, if you could just get to Platform 9 3/4. The adult actors are simply and completely perfect. Richard Harris turns in an excellent performance as headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Maggie Smith (whose on-screen teaching roles extend from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to Sister Act) brings just the right dry asperity to Professor McGonagall, and Coltrane is a half-giant with a heart to match as Hagrid. Alan Rickman provides shivers as potions master Professor Snape, and the brief glimpse of Julie Walters (an Oscar nominee for Billy Elliott) will make you glad you'll be seeing more of her in future movies. And the kids are all just fine, though here they're mostly called upon to look either astonished or resolute.

Movie Details

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