Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ★★★½

Looking back, the CGI in HP1 is so variable—the animated wizard chess pieces, for instance, still look great, but other scenes like the quidditch match really show their age. Parts of the quidditch match even looked choppy, almost like stop-motion, and had a low-budget-green-screen quality to them.

I am pleased, however, that 20 years later the effects don’t really take away from enjoying this film. While some of the more dated CGI can be distracting (especially because of how rapidly they improved during the 2000s), Chris Columbus gets a lot of credit for setting the tone, settings and bringing the characters to life in what was already evolving into a massively beloved franchise. HP1 is decidedly lighthearted and supposed to be fun.