Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 
(i)

 

Riveting fifth movie finds Harry angry, brooding.
  • Review Date: December 9, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

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. 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.

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.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even kids who can't read know about Harry Potter, and some kids who are too young for the content will want to see this fifth Potter movie. As has been the case with each succeeding movie, as the central characters have gotten older and taken on bigger challenges, the themes darken, the danger becomes more intense, and 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.

What's the story?

From the opening scene in which Harry Potter (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?

QUALITY
 

There's no longer a doubt that, with the advent of THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, 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 -- 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movies' 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 were best depicted in the film? What got left out that you would have included? What scenes included heavy foreshadowing of things to come?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 10, 2007
DVD release date:December 11, 2007
Cast:Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Director:David Yates
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.

This review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was written by

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Quality

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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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Parent 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 them that has frightened him or caused him to be upset--he had a really hard time with "Marley and Me" when they put her to sleep at the end, but magical fiction doesn't scare him at all. I think it really depends on your child and what kind of things upset or frighten them. My son doesn't have any negative reaction to magical battles or fictional characters in jeopardy; many little boys really dig that kind of stuff, and he find it imaginative rather than threatening. I think if you know your child and what kinds of things scare them (if any--so far my kid is fearless!) and if your child has read or listened to the books and is prepared for the events that play out, there is no reason not to let them watch.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Written byAnonymous June 2, 2013
 

Outstanding!

One of the best! Intense battles and will shock you until the end.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old January 16, 2012
 

12? Ummm thats just.. idiotic.

Seriously? I read this book in 3rd grade, and watched the movie in 4th grade, I'm not even 12 yet. My friends not twelve, and her room is COVERED with pictures from all the movies. Did you know that in 6th grade, kids learn about ancient history torture, and in 3rd you learn about pilgrims getting hung, lay off parents.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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