Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Poster Image

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Spectacularly epic, poignant end to a magical series.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 130 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As with all of the Potter movies, there are many positive messages, including the idea that every hero needs help to defeat evil; that everyone has a choice to do what's right, even if it's not easy; that some battles are greater than one person; that friends stand by each other until the end; and so much more. Different characters' choices illustrate selflessness, unexpected conscience, finding the courage to express love, and that people aren't always what they seem. And the Forbidden Forest sequence demonstrates how those we love always live on in our hearts, even after they're dead.

Positive role models

Harry, Hermione, Ron, their Hogwarts friends, the Order of the Phoenix, and most of Hogwarts' professors are all positive role models -- they work together to fight Voldemort and his army, demonstrating teamwork, perseverance, and courage. As the titular hero, Harry is willing to sacrifice his life to save the wizarding world, but so is everyone who fights on his side, including some characters who surprise us with their bravery. Dumbledore's spirit returns to remind us once more that it's the choices we make that make all the difference.

Violence

This is by far the deadliest of the eight Potter films, with the highest body count and many upsetting deaths. Because the movie depicts the Battle of Hogwarts, the death toll is in the hundreds, including some favorite supporting characters. Their bodies are shown (eyes open, unmoving). The Gringotts break-in not only destroys the bank but also sparks bloody retribution from Voldemort (dead goblins are shown sprawled out). The Killing Curse is used, an evil snake kills an important character in a pretty gory scene with multiple bites and body slams, and a bully is enveloped in fire. Some bodies seem to disintegrate or burst. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and their friends face Death Eaters, Dementors, giants, huge spiders -- the whole of You Know Who's army. In one ethereal scene, the remains of a body are depicted as a gruesome newborn-like creature. Harry willingly faces death at one point in the movie.

Sex

After seven movies, Ron and Hermione finally kiss -- as well as hold hands, embrace, and protect/comfort each other in a romantic manner. A married couple holds hands before a battle. Harry and Ginny share a brief kiss, and one character proclaims his intent to tell a girl he fancies her, since they might be dead in a few hours.

Language

Molly Weasley's famous line: "Not my daughter, you bitch!" is included verbatim, and a few characters (mostly Ron) say British slang like "bloody hell," "prat," and "numpty."

Consumerism

There's no product placement in the movie, but obviously Harry Potter-related merchandise is a huge money maker for Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the epic finale of the Harry Potter movie saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, is the deadliest, most intense, and most touching installment of the lot. Because the majority of the movie is an all-out battle between Voldemort and his army against Harry and his allies at Hogwarts, there's an extremely high body count -- including the deaths of several beloved supporting characters. Most happen off camera, but several bodies are shown. In a few scenes, everyone is bloodied and injured or dead, and it's brutal to watch (a shot of dead goblins is particularly gruesome, and one character's death at the fangs of an evil snake gets pretty gory). Despite the raging battle, Ron and Hermione at last find a moment to snog and spend most of the movie holding on to each other; Harry and Ginny also share a quick kiss. And in the end, it's not the violence that viewers will take away, but the idea that every hero, no matter how brave, needs loyal friends to defeat evil and that love lives on even in the face of death. Note: For the first time, a Harry Potter movie is being shown in 3-D in some theaters, making some of the action sequences even more intense.

What's the story?

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2 begins when we last saw Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson), convalescing at Shell Cottage after Dobby died rescuing them from certain death at Malfoy Manor. Harry enlists injured goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis) to help them break into Bellatrix Lestrange's (Helena Bonham Carter) vault at Gringotts in search of more missing horcruxes. But after a death-defying escape, Harry realizes that they must return to Hogwarts to find the final items they seek. With aid from Abeforth Dumbledore (Ciarán Hinds) and Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), who's assembled all of their friends, the central trio goes back to a Death Eater-run Hogwarts, now led by Headmaster Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) declares all-out war on Harry, whom he's desperate to kill before Harry can destroy all of the remaining horcruxes and render him mortal again. Thus begins the climactic Battle of Hogwarts, in which Harry makes life-changing discoveries, while his friends take up wands to help him save the wizarding world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Director David Yates has been at the helm of the Harry Potter series since Order of the Phoenix, and he sends it off with a spectacular finish. He switches from Part 1's sparse, atmospheric tone to a relentlessly intense war film. Grint and Watson add some much-needed levity with their sweet romantic overtures, but while they're off fighting Death Eaters hand-in-hand, it's Radcliffe's big moment to propel the action to Harry's final confrontation with Voldemort. Shining brightly are Lewis' Neville, who, after years of being the class wallflower, proves just how brave a Gryffindor he is, and Kelly Macdonald, who plays a ghost with fiery intensity. Rickman gets his best scenes ever in a series of flashbacks that explore his true nature, and Maggie Smith is surprisingly gleeful as Professor McGonagall in warrior mode.

For once, Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves' adaptation could have been even longer to properly represent crucial moments like Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) taking on Bellatrix Lestrange, or Ron and Hermione finally admitting their feelings through a kiss (neither scene is quite as heart-stopping in the film as on the page). Other sequences, like Harry's momentous walk in the Forbidden Forest, the Weasley family convening in grief, a look through Snape's memories, and even the controversial-to-readers epilogue, are all handled quite beautifully -- poignant moments of the heart to punctuate the nonstop action of the battle. Much of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is either a tearjerker or an epic battle scene -- sparks flying, wizards dueling, creatures crushing each other. It all builds up to a last indelible shot ... one that reminds us while all may be well, it's sad to know that the Harry Potter series has ended.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is age-appropriate for young kids, even if they've already read the books or are familiar with the characters. How does the tone and subject matter of the series change over time?

  • Which characters reveal different parts of themselves in this movie? Why did they make the choices they made? How do those decisions affect Harry?

  • How does the development of Ron and Hermione's relationship contrast to most other teen love stories? Is a slow-burning romance as believable or exciting to watch as love at first sight?

  • Did the final movie live up to your expectations? Are there any other book sagas you'd be as excited to see turned into movies, or do you think it's unlikely another franchise would hold as much magical appeal?

  • How do the characters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 demonstrate perseverance, teamwork, and courage? Why are those important character strengths?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 15, 2011
DVD/Streaming release date:November 11, 2011
Cast:Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Director:David Yates
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Character strengths:Courage, Perseverance, Teamwork
Run time:130 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images

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Teen, 13 years old Written byocie14 July 15, 2011

epic

God, this movie is great. It is violent and heavy, but there are less creepy moments than Part 1. I loved it. Recommended to all Harry Potter fans 12+.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old April 11, 2011

Good movie, though violent

I think it's a good movie though it has a lot of violence and bloodshed. It sums up all the previous stories pretty well and puts all the pieces together.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Parent of a 7, 10, and 12 year old Written byoakhillsdrive July 15, 2011

HP7pt2 =LOTR2=Darkness

I was among the fortunate to get to see an advanced preview. Everything that is mentioned above is true. If you would let your kids watch Lord of the Rings 2 with the Battle of Helms Deep or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, then this is okay for them. It is bloody, it is violent and it is dark. I was not expecting a main character's death to be as violent as it was. It was not shown, but it was implied by the wall moving and the noises accompanying it. It was definitely the darkest of the movies, but also the saddest and heart aching. I'll take my 12, 10, 7yos to it someday, but for now I think they would just see the violence and not really understand the message.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence