Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire



Excellent, but magical adventures getting edgier, darker.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: March 22, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 156 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

It's a good and evil story ... no surprises here. Friendship, love, bravery, and loyalty are always major themes in the series. So is the idea of making good choices.

Positive role models

Diverse cast and strong female characters.


Two deaths, including one very stirring death of a teen. No blood is shown, but lifeless bodies are. Children are in peril, often at the hands of magical creatures: dragons burn, chase, and cut Triwizard competitors; mermaids brandish spears as students are held captive underwater. A spider is tortured in a class demonstration. A hand is severed and sacrificed, and Harry is tortured by a curse, writhing in pain.


Some references to 14-year-olds' sexual interest; Harry is accosted in the bathtub by a ghostly girl; some couples kiss in the shadows after the Yule Ball.


"Bloody hell," "piss off," and similar words.


While the candy mentioned wasn't originally real, it is now: Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Jelly Slugs, and more. And then there are the action figures, Lego playsets, wands, Band Aids... you name it.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Madame Maxime's horses only drink single-malt whiskey. Students drink butterbeer -- a magical-world drink with a pinch of alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has two deaths (including a really sad one), scary creatures, some romantic yearnings, and edge-of-the-seat scenes. With each film the scariness quotient increases. This movie features fighting dragons, tortured bugs, a scary huge maze, and an underwater horror show. Young kids who don't understand the difference between fantasy and reality should stay clear. So should kids going through an anxious time about unnamed terrors or unwanted separations, as one of the death scenes is upsetting. The action is sometimes rowdy, and camera movements/edits are aggressive, all of which increase the scary effects. One of the deleted scenes featured on the DVD shows teen couples after the Yule Ball getting caught kissing, etc., in carriages -- it's a little more sexual content than you get in the feature film.

What's the story?

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is the first PG-13 movie in the Harry Potter series, and not for nothing. Harry and friends are 14 now and growing up fast, noticing the opposite sex, and realizing what huge expectations the wizarding world has for them during dangerous times. This year, Hogwarts hosts stars from two other schools -- Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute -- for the Triwizard Tournament. The Tournament contestants are selected by the magical Goblet of Fire; they must fight dragons, spend an hour underwater with merpeople, and find their way out of a maze. In the end Harry faces fear and pain not sanctioned by the Triwizard committee. He's on his own against his true enemy, and his uneasy transition to adult hero figure is palpable.

Is it any good?


When Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) attend the Quidditch World Cup, they witness the full-on effects of sports celebrity: fans cheer and stomp their feet, magical images of the star shimmer over the crowd. The fact that the tournament site is destroyed by Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters hardly brings pause, as the film tends to move from plot point to plot point, ensuring that each beloved character from the novel gets at least a brief moment on screen.

The Tournament extends the movie's thematic interest in celebrity. In due course, H arry is exposed to cheating (by adult coaches who mean for their charges to win) and not a little bit of emotional and physical abuse (he's a wizard and quite ingenious, so perhaps the awful stuff is not so awful to him). That such disturbance makes sense is almost as vexing as the violence per se: whether 14 or 17, the kids are expected to be warriors and survivors, able to undergo pain and work through fear, and especially, to fight back, to inflict pain. A difficult transition on screen or off, it makes the whole growing up thing look pretty unpleasant.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's more mature content and who this movie is targeted to. Young kids are going to want to see this -- should the movie have been toned down or is the violent content appropriate given the age of the characters?

  • For kids who read the book, which plot points got left out that you missed? Why do you think they left out the house elves? What role did they serve in the books?

  • Cheating is rampant among the teachers and judges involved in the Triwizard competition, but not among the competitors. Why do you think this is?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 18, 2005
DVD release date:March 7, 2006
Cast:Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Director:Mike Newell
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:156 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.

This review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byswimgirl April 9, 2008

Good...except for dragons and Voldemort!

This was a pretty good movie. I am not really a Harry Potter fan but I went with my friends. The only part that might be frightening for younger kids are the dragons and under water creatures, and when Voldemort comes... My friend's 7 year old sister came and got scared at this part.
Kid, 12 years old November 20, 2010

not PG-13

okay yeah there's dark magic blah blah blah who cares. This is a good movie nut it shouldnt really be PG-13. If you have seen the third movie, then you could definately see this one. A little bit of fantasy violence, a couple of scary scenes, and brief mild language. The language only includes one use of d-mn and one use of p*ss off, but that's all. Still, pretty good movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 February 19, 2010

Outstanding, but not for young children.

This is a great movie, but a lot of stuff from the book that I would have liked to see in a movie was left out. In terms of inappropriate content, there is some language: d***, bloody h***, p*** off; some violent and frightening scenes; some s*xual content including some images of a topless mermaid who's hair barely covered the breasts, a ghost girl who gets up close to Harry in the bathtub; a mild reference to h***s*xual relationships, and other mild romantic content.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great role models


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