Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

release year: 2007
genre: fantasy
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/18/09 and theater, 8/15/07

synopsis: In the fifth of seven (eventual) installments, students and staff alike are drawn into both the return of the evil Voldemort and certain peoples' denial of that danger.

impressions: Well, these are definitely getting darker. Among other things, this movie features murder (and people getting away with it) and adults' torture of children to achieve supposedly greater ends. In fact, the character of Dolores Umbridge is one of the most unlikeable "not-technically-evil" villains I've ever seen in a movie. Other notable aspects include the headmaster's power (he doesn't even take his attackers seriously) and the students' initiative (they begin training to defend themselves for when the time comes.) Many of the adult characters in this one are just plain ignorant - they pretend things aren't happening either because they seek power/prestige or they really are that stupid.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A pen that cuts the writer's hand as the words are written.

acting: These kids are definitely getting older and this movie had some of the biggest changes i their appearance. The standout performance here goes to Imelda Staunton as the thoroughly despicable Umbridge, who just grates on the audience a well as the characters in the movie.

final word: Must-see viewing for fans of the series, and #5 out of 7.

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