How do the Harry Potter Movies Compare?


Emily Macbeth, Student Journalist

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has grabbed the attention of countless amounts of people for years on end. First the books were the culprits of this mass captivation, but eventually the movies were created to bring the stories and lives of the Harry Potter world to life. Fans who know the books by heart were quick to notice that not every detail translated perfectly to the movies, and that there were some noticeable differences in each one. This list ranks the movies from worst to best based on how well they match their respective books. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

This action-packed book makes it easy for mistakes to be made and details to be overlooked. Major Harry Potter fan Meghan Kennedy says, “I remember thinking the Goblet of Fire was the worst book to movie adaptation.” While this movie does not necessarily have the most mistakes, it absolutely has the most influential. Leaving the audience wondering what the directors were thinking when they changed major characters and left huge plot holes in the movie. With all the events that happen in the book, the movie falls short, leaving the book fans wanting more. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

This movie has a mix of wrong details and missing explanations. One thing that made this book so good was the backstory that answered so many questions and continued to make the story much deeper. However, in the movie many of those details and backstories were unfortunately disregarded. As one of the last books and movies in the series, its job was to start rounding things up in the story to allow for the last to explode with action and then easily end the series. While the book managed this, the movie was unable to. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Part 1 and 2

Together these two movies make it possible to cover most of the last book, but they still left out some important details and backstory information. These movies also created some new plot line events, which might have added to the movie but made them a worse adaptation of the beloved book. While the adaptations are not awful, they are a little strange and not the perfect ending to the series that many fans wanted. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

This movie also has some major missing plot line points and interesting character switches from the book, dismissing little details for the sake of using less actors. While that in itself is unfortunate, it also has some major backstory that was excluded from the movie. While the book had less backstory compared to others, the movie’s lack of it was concerning, moving it to the middle of the list. It is not the worst adaptation by far, but it still falls a little short from the book. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

This movie also has minimal mistakes when it comes to the plot of the book, but the main focus of the story and background is left out from the movie. The book majorly focuses on the Marauder’s Map, but the movie completely leaves out the background of who the Marauders were and why they had the map in the first place. Since there are almost no major plot holes in this movie, and most of the backstory is there, it ranks high, but the exclusion of the Marauders places it at third. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

As these are the first book and movie, it can be understood that there would be some mistakes. Most of these are based on the characters and their actors not looking exactly the same. These are a little off putting but don’t do much damage to the reputation of the movie. What makes this worse than the Chamber of Secrets is that Quirrell’s death is completely different in the book and the movie. 

  1. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

As a whole, this book and movie seemed slightly more uneventful, making it harder to mess things up. While it still has mistakes, it has significantly less than the other movies, and most of the differences are minimal. When looking to watch a strong movie adaptation of the Harry Potter series, this is the movie to watch.