The saying goes, no movie is ever as good as the book. In this instance, I have to agree. The movie was good and stuck close to J.K Rowling's book in many ways as far as plot. The problem with a much hyped and waited for movie is that the hype and the anticipation sometimes outweigh the movie's quality itself. That is the case here. The movie was good and the special effects were excellent. The story telling however lacked time. It was as if they tried to "fit it all in." All the actors are back and all have aged. Ron has grown up and hormones are running rampant throughout Hogwarts in Harry's sixth year. There are surprisingly many laughs in this installment and the casting and acting couldn't have been better especially from Daniel Radcliffe himself. His comic timing and varying expressions are better, it's not all brooding and whining this time. The problem is that J.K. Rowling paints pictures with her words that put an image in your head that as much as you try you never really let go of. The worry and overwhelming feeling of impending doom with the return of Voldemort is not conveyed. The secrets are attained and we learn about the Horcruxes and how many there are, which of course sets up the next two installments of the 800 page Deathly Hallows. A key character dies and when this person died in the book as I was reading the pages were bent with tears streaming from my eyes. Maybe, it was because I knew what was coming, or maybe it just wasn't as poignant as the way Rowling wrote it. I don't know which of the two it was or if it was a little of both combined, but I found myself almost having to force myself to cry because it was what felt "appropriate." It was not actually sadness that gripped me but tears that came as a result of the events and what the appropriate emotion should be, not real heartfelt sorrow. That heartfelt sorrow was abundant when reading the book and caused me to be so mad that the book and the wall met for the first time. The romance that blossoms between Harry and Ginny is not well developed, in fact in the first place he sets a date with a beautiful Muggle girl until Dumbledore shows up to remind Harry of the world he truly lives in. I'm having a problem reviewing this movie because I have so recently reread the book. Some of the scenes had me asking, wait did that happen in the book? I don't remember that. The big cave scene is pretty much how Rowling wrote it. The school grounds, setting is even more amazing than ever and you ask yourself are these sets built or are they shooting in a real place and if it is a real place where is it and when can I visit? The acting was excellent, the special effects superb, and as with all the Harry Potter movies it was entertaining and surprisingly scary at times. This is a must see. If you have read the book really recently you might notice some scenes they added and some they completely left out. Where is Bill and Fleur? I'm confused? Guess, we will find out. If you are just watching the movies and not reading the books, then you are missing a huge part of the story, so get reading after you see the movie.
*** Three stars because it was entertaining and I'm just a Harry Potter fan, but not the best movie of the franchise, we will have to see if Deathly Hallows lives up to the excellent writing of the book. Go see it, worth the 10 bucks and like I said before, it's Harry Potter!