Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Excellent, epic saga continues to get darker, more intense.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 150 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 90 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 430 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Positive messages include the idea that every hero needs help to defeat evil; that "blood status" (the magical equivalent of racial purity) isn't important; that all kinds of people -- magical and non-magical -- should be able to co-exist peacefully; and that some things, some battles are greater than one person. By defying his former masters, Dobby shows the importance of free will, loyalty, and friendship. Hermione's choice to stay with Harry even though she loves Ron is a good lesson in staying true to your word, while Ron's choice to come back is a great lesson in redemption.

Positive Role Models

Harry, Hermione, Ron, and all the members of the Order of the Phoenix are positive role models -- they uses teamwork, perseverance, and courage against the scariest villains and toughest of odds. Even though Voldemort's cronies have taken over the Ministry, the actions of the Order, the central trio, and Dobby are strong examples of how even the humblest creatures can do amazing things.


The body count in this movie is the highest of all the adaptations to date. Several characters -- mostly recurring supporting players, but also a couple of newly introduced ones -- are killed, mostly via the Killing Curse. One beloved character dies after suffering a bloody knife wound. While on the run, the central trio is each injured -- Hermione is tortured, Ron's shoulder is severely hurt, and Harry nearly drowns while being choked by a cursed locket. A character loses his ear to a Death Eater (bloody wound visible). Muggle-born characters are shown being whisked away against their will -- toruture/mistreatment is implied. The good guys face down Death Eaters, Dementors, Snatchers, and, in one gruesome scene, a man-eating snake that bursts out of a dead body. Weapons include wands and fists in most of those fights.


Ginny asks Harry to zip up her dress, and then turns around and exposes a strip of bare back (all the way down to her waist) to him. They then kiss. Lots of flirting and longing looks, as well as embraces between Ron and Hermione. An evil, ghostly version of Harry and Hermione torment Ron by embracing and kissing passionately while appearing nearly nude (their torsos are visible, but it's all very blurry/misty).


Frequent use of British slang like "bloody," "bleeding," and "git," plus "damn," "piss," "ass," "hell," and "oh my God" said once or twice. The insults "Mudblood" and "blood traitor" -- which are the wizarding world's equivalent of nasty racist terms -- are said several times as well.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Champagne glasses are magically filled at a wedding reception, and people eating at a large dinner table are shown with goblets in front of them, but no one is really drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the second-to-last installment in the epic Harry Potter movie saga is the darkest, most intense yet. It has the highest body count of any Potter film, including the deaths of several recurring characters -- some of which are particularly emotional and upsetting. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and their friends are bloodied, injured, and cursed. In one startling "jump" scene, Voldemort's giant killer snake bursts out of an old woman's body; there's also a particularly disturbing torture scene in which a major character is branded with an insult. Expect a bit of sensuality, including lots of longing looks and protective embraces between Ron and Hermione, a passionate snog between Harry and Ginny, and a scene of "ghost" versions of Harry and Hermione tormenting Ron with a sensual kiss (they appear to be nude, and you can see their torsos, but it's quite blurry/misty). Despite the amped-up angst and violence, the characters prove again and again that unconditional friendship, loyalty, and love can survive even the most harrowing of threats.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11, 14, and 16-year-old Written byNotAMuggle4 November 19, 2010
I am a Crazy Harry Potter fan. The movie was great. As the review above stated, it is more violent. The characters are great as usual. The only problem I have w... Continue reading
Adult Written bybaconwiggy October 8, 2020

A must watch

This is a great movie. There is a lot of violence that might scare a younger kid. There is a few kissing scenes that may not be appropriate for them yet. I thin... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 25, 2016

My Favorite Harry Potter Movie

While I have enjoyed all of the Harry Potter movies, this one is my favorite, with Deathly Hallows: Part 2 a close second. It, in my opinion, is better and more... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 22, 2011


I loved this movie there were only 2 scary things in it and 1 kiss I don't think it should b rated PG 13 but PG

What's the story?

With Professor Dumbledore dead and the Ministry of Magic under Lord Voldemort's control at the start of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) embark on a dangerous mission to search for five missing horcruxes (fragments of Voldemort's soul). Wanted and on the run, the trio -- with only Dumbledore's bequests of a children's book, a golden snitch, and a mysterious light-catcher to guide them -- go in search of their first horcrux (Slytherin's locket). Cut off from the rest of the wizarding world, their mission is complicated by stress, fear, and frustration ... which leads to friction and confrontation. But interpersonal matters fade in comparison to threats from Death Eaters, Snatchers, and the Dark Lord's other supporters -- including the Malfoy family and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). Help eventually comes in unexpected forms -- but so does tragedy. Meanwhile, Voldemort is on the hunt himself, not just for Harry, but also for something he believes will aid him in his goal to kill the Chosen One.

Is it any good?

The movie alternates between being a frenetic, nail-biting thriller and a slow-moving adolescent relationship drama set against a beautifully shot, expansive backdrop. Director David Yates, back for his third Potter film, speeds through the action sequences early in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 -- like the fantastic Seven Potters scene, in which six of Harry's friends masquerade as him so that they can help move him to safety. But the second act, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are camping, hiding, and waiting for inspiration can feel sluggish. The series' most fervent fans may feel disappointed that some scenes and characters were barely in the movie; it would have been great to see more of Remus, the Weasleys (especially the twins and Ginny), Neville (who only gets one line), Krum, Dean, and more. And an entire review could be dedicated to all of the important details in the novel that didn't make the cut.

But despite the lack of some of fans' favorite characters and book details, there are fabulous supporting performances by Bill Nighy as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimegour; Rhys Ifans as Quibbler editor Xenophilous Lovegood; Toby Jones as selfless, noble Dobby; and Evanna Lynch, who's always been pitch-perfect as delightfully loopy Luna Lovegood. There are some great moments of physical comedy, too. As always, though, the heart of the movie comes down to Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson, all of whom give touching, nuanced portrayals as they deal with complicated emotions and terrifying circumstances. Grint in particular is finally able to show some depth as he struggles to balance his love for Hermione, his jealousy of Harry, and his general sense of insecurity. These aren't three kids any more: They're a 17-year-old hero and his best friends, willing to give up everything to save the wizarding world. It's a massive undertaking to depict, so here's hoping Part 2 provides an appropriately awesome ending.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is an appropriate movie for younger kids, even if they've seen or read the books. Discuss whether your child is truly ready for this movie, which is very dark and disturbing at times. (And for more, check out our age-by-age guide to Harry Potter.)

  • Why does Harry need help on his journey? What do Hermione and Ron offer him that no one else can? Can you think of other movie/literary heroes who require a lot of help on their life-or-death journeys?

  • How does Ron's departure affect Harry and Hermione? How did the locket horcrux torment Ron, and what did it confirm about his self-esteem? Did he redeem himself by his return?

  • If you've read the book, what parts of the novel were left out? Which were faithfully adapted? How did you feel about the characters who died in the movie?

  • How do the characters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 demonstrate teamwork, perseverance, and courage? Why are those important character strengths?

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