Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ★★★★

A fun movie with a fantastic set-up for a coming-of-age story. The non-child actors are great, the music is iconic, and visual effects (and scenery/sets) are good. I've watched this more than once.

There are a lot of problems, however. Most people begin by pointing out the sometimes cheesy acting, stilted lines, or questionable pacing. The biggest problems, I think, are related to plot events.

For example: when Quirrell runs into the great hall yammering about a troll in the dungeons, why do all the students panic and run? They're literally running away from the school professors. Some of the most powerful witches and wizards in the UK. And if they know where the troll is, why run away from a clearly safe place? It's stupid. "The troll isn't here, better leave the area, hurr durr." Then coincidences on top of coincidences: the troll goes into the only bathroom in the school where a main character is. Then a group of adults zooms in, seconds after the main characters' victory. How did the professors know where to go? They couldn't have possibly checked the dungeons so quickly.

Then the quidditch game right after -- it's a mess. Iffy greenscreening, blatant cheating goes unpunished, and Harry is watching the game instead of looking for the Snitch. It has to literally fly in front of Harry's face before he realizes "oh yeah, I have one job, better do it."

The movie also says "the forest is forbidden to all students" early on, but later says "let's send students into the forest for detention. At night, even though they got into trouble by being out at night."

Most ridiculous of all, an 11-year-old murders a man with his bare hands. Because... the power of love. I know, right?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone isn't the best in the series. I still give this movie 4 stars because of its overall charm and importance.