By on February 6th, 2015

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). Dir Alfonso Cuaron – QFT 8th Feb

Who’s in it? Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Thompson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman

What’s it about? Arguably the only one of the Harry Potter adaptations to live up to and exceed the expectations of the books, which undoubtedly made the films inevitable and a guaranteed success. Oscar Winning Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron faithfully brings to life the spirit of the beloved boy wizard’s adventures, as he gradually becomes a man and learns to choose what’s right over what’s easy. Harry’s third year at Hogwarts finds him under threat from infamous alleged murderer Sirius Black, the man who apparently betrayed his parent’s trust and handed them over to Lord Voldemort, and now seems to be after Harry to finish the job. Outstanding central performances from Gary Oldman as the charmingly unpredictable Sirius Black and a wonderfully wicked Helena Bonham Carter as unhinged psycho Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange – not to mention the scene stealing CGI addition of the Dementors of Azakaban – add a tangibly more mature dimension to the third installment of the madly successful franchise.

Memorable Moments? Beside a few moments from Emma Thompson’s Hermione Granger, most notably landing a haymaker of a right hook on Malfoy and, elsewhere, remarking “Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?”, the stand out sequence of the film is the genuinely frightening moment the Dementors board the Hogwarts Express, reminiscent of LOTR’s hooded Ringwraiths.

Look Who’s talking: ‘Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.’ – Rotten Tomatoes

Like that? Try this: The other standout film from the Potter series is the decidedly darker The Half Blood Prince (2009), offering a more introspective and revealing character-centric approach.

Trivia Pursuit: The three young leads were asked to write a first person perspective essay on their characters.


  1. 1 le0pard13
    February 6th, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Still my favorite Harry Potter film.

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