Each Harry Potter movie seems to be darker than the last so by Harry Porter and the Order Of The Phoenix, the fifth instalment in the wizarding saga, things have become pretty gloomy indeed.
The movie kicks off with Harry and his irritating cousin Dudley being attacked by those scary Dementors, causing our favourite wizard-in-waiting to use a spell to chase them away. Unfortunately, he’s not supposed to use magic in public just yet, so the Ministry Of Magic threaten to expel Harry from Hogwarts for playing with his wand while underage. After a trial, he’s allowed to return to his school, only to discover a new Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), sent from the Ministry of Magic to punish anyone who dares to say they think bad guy Voldemort (Fiennes) is back. With nightmare dreams of the Dark Lord, and bonkers Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and numerous Death Eaters on the loose, will Harry ever find time to smooch his new love, Cho, or will he be too busy saving the magical world again?
While less happens here than in some of the other episodes, Order Of The Phoenix marks the movie in which Daniel Radcliffe really grows up as an actor, expertly portraying Harry’s frustration, anger and sadness, especially when a beloved character dies before the end. Grint and Watson have grown more into their roles, too, and once again the cream of British acting talent – Fiennes, Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman among them – deliver terrific performances.
Director David Yates – making his Potter debut – is perfectly cast, too, adding just the right amount of doom and darkness, adventure and drama to the beloved saga (he did such a good job here, he returned to direct the final three movies, too).
Is Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note this was a 12A certificate when it was released in cinemas and is probably not suitable for the under-10s.
The Dementors are scary and younger viewers may also find Bellatrix frightening.
Younger viewers will be frightened by Voldemort, and his snake Nagini, who attacks in one of Harry’s dreams.
Harry’s visions are quite intense and the scene in which Voldemort seems to possess Harry is pretty scary for younger viewers.
There are upsetting flashbacks to a murder from Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.
If you like this, why not try: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, I Am Number Four,