Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie Poster Image
Riveting fifth movie finds Harry angry, brooding.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 120 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 83 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 211 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Harry's friends bravely agree to practice defensive spells to help him ward off Voldemort and his evil cohorts. In particular, Ron and Hermione refuse to let Harry go up against 'You Know Who' alone. Harry, his friends, and the Order of the Phoenix members act in a courageous, selfless manner, demonstrating perseverance and teamwork. The movie's key lessons are that it's your choices and the actions you take that define you and that friends, family, and love make you more powerful than even the strongest evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harry's friends bravely agree to practice defensive spells to help him ward off Voldemort and his evil cohorts. In particular, Ron and Hermione refuse to let Harry go up against 'You Know Who' alone. Harry, his friends, and the Order of the Phoenix members act in a courageous, selfless manner.

Violence

Scary images of Dementors, Death Eaters, and Lord Voldemort. Angry centaurs drag a character away. Professor Umbridge severely punishes Hogwarts students using a method that feels a lot like torture. A character is attacked by a large snake, with somewhat bloody results. The depiction of the battle at the Department of Mysteries is intense, and one key character is killed (though not in a gory way). Harry is painfully inhabited by the Dark Lord; he is also very angry during much of the movie.

Sex

Harry and Cho kiss; Ron and Hermione continue their thinly veiled flirtation through bickering and glancing at each other.

Language

The word "bloody."

Consumerism

No product placements, but the film franchise includes a ton of merchandising deals, toys, and other tie-ins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Harry and his friends meet in a run-down pub in Hogsmeade, but they don't drink anything.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, as has been the case with each succeeding movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has its main characters taking on bigger challenges, with darker themes and more intense danger. The climatic battle scenes with "You Know Who" and his minions are downright frightening. Spoiler alert: There's a very upsetting (but bloodless) death of someone near and dear to Harry. As a result, he grows even more introspective and angry. At the very least, he does enjoy his first kiss (no spoiler to Potterheads), and Ron and Hermione continue their flirtatious bickering.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLindaChek December 18, 2012

If you know what they like and what they will react badly to, there's no reason not to watch.

My son is nearly seven and has been asking for quite some time to see this movie. He has seen the first four and so far we have not found anything in any of the... Continue reading
Adult Written byOKC Mum April 9, 2008

Dark, but in a good way

As a mum, I must say that Harry's growing up, and the progressively darker nature of each film reflects this. My 11-year-old loved it, and the 6-year-old t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydrblue91 June 13, 2011

Harry Potter is AWESOME! Parents lay back!

I loved the movie!! I love the 5th book and movie so much! There is so much enpowernment and you feel all "ah-ha I told you so!" when the ministry fin... Continue reading
Kid, 6 years old May 1, 2015

Fifth Year

It gets really scary, and there's a death of a loved character. Harry trains some of his friends to fight, which is cool.

What's the story?

From the opening scene of HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, in which Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and portly dolt Dudley (Harry Melling) are attacked by Dementors, our courageous young hero has an ever-heightened awareness -- and acceptance -- of how his destiny is entwined with You Know Who's. In THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the fifth installment of J.K. Rowling's seven-volume phenomenon, Harry, who survived his last confrontation with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) but watched school favorite Cedric Diggory perish, is no longer a popular wizard genius. The Ministry of Magic mounts a smear attack against him and Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), he is nearly expelled, Dumbledore avoids him, and new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) tries to squash the idea that the Dark Lord is back. Sweetly odious Umbridge refuses to teach any defensive spells, so Hermione (Emma Watson) convinces Harry to hold secret classes in combat magic. Meanwhile, Umbridge, a child-hating, Ministry-approved enforcer, installs herself as dictator and launches a fascist campaign. In a climactic battle, Harry and friends face Voldemort's fearsome Death Eaters -- like Azkaban escapee Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and wicked Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs). There's a tragic (albeit expected) death and an even more tragic moment when Harry thinks he's alone and defeated. But Potter lovers know that Harry isn't ever alone: He has an entire world of devotees on his side.

Is it any good?

With this gripping film, there's no longer a doubt that Harry Potter -- the character, as well as the film series -- has grown up. In this dark (even by Potter standards) and captivating new adventure, the kids face increasing peril, and the thrills intensify right up to the explosive ending. The gravity of the situation takes a front seat, with bureaucratic intrigue and boot-camp magic lessons overshadowing the brief romantic interest between Harry and Cho (Katie Leung). Sure, Harry finally enjoys his first kiss, but the infatuation doesn't last.

And forget about Quidditch, because director David Yates doesn't include any game sequences in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- or much of the Hogwarts social scene, for that matter, outside of the clandestine magic lessons. Those who haven't read the novels might hope for a Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione hook-up, but apparently that's just not in the books ... yet, anyway.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix's increasingly mature themes as Harry grows into a full-blown adolescent. Why is Harry so angry? Do you think Harry and his friends act and feel like real teenagers?

  • Even though this movie and the last one are rated PG-13, they're heavily marketed to younger kids -- do you think that's OK, or are the later movies too scary for little kids?

  • Potterheads: What parts of the book this movie was based on were best depicted in the film? What got left out that you would have included? What scenes included heavy foreshadowing of things to come?

  • How do the characters in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, especially the members of Dumbledore's Army, demonstrate courage, perseverance, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

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