Parents' Guide to

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Excellent, but magical adventures getting edgier, darker.

Movie PG-13 2005 156 minutes
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 52 parent reviews

age 11+

Really good movie for kids who can handle it

Much like the 4th Potter book of the same name, Goblet of Fire lets you know from the very beginning that the Potter films aren't for younguns anymore. The film is full of teen drama and romance that wasn't nearly as prevalent in previous Potter films. Lots of focus on relationships and jealousy, and suggestive comments are made about/between students. One female character (a ghost) shows blatant sexual interest in Harry and attempts to watch him nude while bathing. A bitter jealousy-fueled feud between Harry and Ron leads to some bickering and the occasional (mild) swear word. The film is also darker, grittier, and bloodier than previous Potter films with dark and foreboding themes as Voldemort's evil forces make their resurgence and cause destruction in their wake. A sporting event is razed to the ground by a group of Voldemort's soldiers with widespread destruction and implied civilian casualties. In each of the TriWizard Tournament tasks, characters are injured, kidnapped, and have their lives threatened by magical beasts and dangerous locations. Harry is injured and tortured by enemies as he is restrained and hopelessly surrounded by bad guys. Three characters are killed by bad guys (2 of them on-screen). The deaths are caused by magic and are therefore bloodless for the most part, but one of the scenes is particularly jarring: A boy is killed on-screen by an adult in the last act of the movie in a very visible manner and close-ups of the boy's body are shown multiple times, complete with an overwhelmingly grief-stricken father sobbing over the body near the end. The scene is relatively quite disturbing and might stick in your little ones' minds. All of that being said, the movie is good! Another entertaining installment in the Potter franchise. The film's pacing can be pretty slow in the middle with lots of focus on teen drama and the TriWizard Tournament. These parts feel like they don't have much bearing on the overarching story with Voldemort and the bad guys which becomes the main focus towards the end. The action scenes look good with lots of convincing special effects and choreography that help bring them to life. As always with Potter films, the soundtrack is stellar and fits the scenes quite well. Same goes for the locations/setting choices. After 3 previous Potter films, all of the teen actors/actresses are seasoned performers and they all give great performances, although some of them still retain a bit of youthful awkwardness but it doesn't interfere too much. All in all, it's a really good film if you think your child can handle it. I remember watching this as a 9-year-old child in 2005 and being pretty emotionally jarred from the last act of the film. Quite similar to the way my 8-year-old nephew reacted when he got to the end very recently. At the end of the day, always consider what you think your kid can handle and use your judgement, but generally speaking, I wouldn't show this to kids under 11.
age 9+

Good summary of the book, starts the transition to more tween topics

If you've read the book, you know it is a long one. The movie does a good job of summarizing - aka going quickly through the main storylines of the book. If you're a purist, you would likely prefer to have two movies instead of one. For younger kids, there are some sections that will likely go over their heads. Specially around romantic relationships. For those same kids, the scary scenes might need to be fast forwarded or muted with your voice over (thinking about the senes with Voldemort). Our kids are younger (6,7) and it was okay. However, not alone.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (52 ):
Kids say (338 ):

​​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.

Movie Details

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