There's an argument to be made that this is the best Harry Potter film - it is more pacy and grown up than the first two slower more child friendly Christopher Columbus films, and has a distinctive slightly gothic directorial style, but without the grey, dull colour palette and gloomy content of the later films in the series.
The character of Professor Lupin is pitched sympathetically and gets the most screen time here - sadly he doesn't get much more development at any point in the rest of the series.
I like the way they dress the 3 main kids too - keeping it to classic and simple styles with no branding and a look which won't date badly, like jeans and jumpers.
The plot does get a bit messy in the final third, but the time turner is still a fun plot device for creating a unique story. Obviously if they can give it to Hermione to get to more classes they could have used it to save some lives at other points in the series! But that aside, this is a fun instalment.
Continuity mistake: When Malfoy and his friends bother Ron and Hermione, Harry shows up and messes with the three boys. He grabs hold of Malfoy's feet, lifts them in the air and pulls him across the snow. In the first close-up of the soles of Malfoy's boots, not a speck of snow is on them, though he was just walking in it. Then in the next close-up, his feet still in the air, the soles are now covered in snow. (01:02:45)Super Grover
Trivia: In order to acquaint himself with his three lead actors, director Alfonso Cuaron had each of them write an essay about their characters, from a first-person point of view. Emma Watson, in true Hermione fashion, went a little overboard and wrote an 16-page essay, Daniel Radcliffe wrote a simple one page paper, and Rupert Grint never even turned his in, as he said that is what Ron would have done.
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