Andy Summers’s review published on Letterboxd:
The first thing you get when you revisit the first Harry Potter film is just how bad the kid's acting was. Emma Watson, oh dear. She has got better over the course of the films, but boy was she irritating here.
J K Rowling did have some artistic input into the film versions of her best selling books, and it shows. Recreating exactly what was written on paper and bringing it to life has been a filmmakers biggest challenge over the years and fair play to Chris Columbus here who seems to get almost everything right. It's magical, it's fresh and is a stunning adaptation of Rowling's imagination. A franchise borne to make money, it didn't disappoint Warner Bros. either who made a mint from the box office and the merchandise.
As an opening salvo in the Harry Potter arsenal, it's pretty good. The story is simple yet has that ability to appeal to both young and old, a perfect combination. Another spellbinding good versus evil fantasy film, this made me feel like a kid when I first watched it. It may have lost a little something for me over the years as as the story-line has progressed the more I've enjoyed the movies. Despite the kid's obvious challenges there was plenty of real pros here to lead the way. Richard Harris as Dumbledore (although I much preferred Gambon), John Hurt, Maggie Smith and of course the star of the show Mr Alan Rickman all added that touch of class to proceedings. The films would definitely become more interesting the further into the franchise you got, but this was still a decent start to a game-changing series of movies.