It’s year six at Hogwarts for wannabe wizard Harry Potter (Radcliffe) and his pals Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) and things are really going pear-shaped: Death Eaters are wreaking havoc in the Muggle world (they even destroy the Millenium Bridge!) and it seems Snape (Alan Rickman) and Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) are up to no good, too. In the meantime, Harry stumbles upon a Potions book with helpful notes from the mysterious ‘half-blood prince’ and learns about horcruxes, devices that bad boy Voldemort was particulary interested as a student that store part of a person’s soul to allow them to live forever.
As the kids are now teenagers, there’s romance too (Harry has the hots for Ron’s sister Ginny, while Ron is romancing Lavender as a jealous Hermione looks on), but really the movie is about all the characters descending further into darkness as more mysteries appear, new allegiances are revealed and the plot thickens in the lead up to the two part finale (Deathly Hallows). The young cast, by now old hands at this wizardly world, are great, especially the brooding Radcliffe, comic relief Grint and sinister Felton, and they are ably supported by Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, Rickman, and the who’s-who of British thesps that also includes Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall and Julie Walters. With a faster pace than the previous Order Of The Phoenix and shocks and cliffhangers aplenty before the end credits, this is Harry Potter at his magical best.
Is Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This did receive a 12A certificate so is probably too dark for the under-10s.
Younger viewers will be scared by the Death Eaters.
The finale is upsetting, resulting in the death of a beloved character.
Harry and Dumbledore’s adventures in the cave where they are trying to retrieve the Horcrux is intense and frightening for younger viewers. They will also be scared by the Inferi.
If you like this, why not try: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, I Am Number Four, The Golden Compass,