The Harry Potter movies took the world by storm in 2001, and they continued to capture the imagination of the public through the last movie, which was released in 2012. Through the movies, viewers discovered a whole new universe of magic and wizardry known as the Potterverse.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Released in 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was the introduction to the Potterverse. In the movie, young Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe), who is a ward of his Aunt and Uncle, the Dursleys, lives a small, unhappy life in his room under the stairs. On his 11th birthday, Harry is visited by the giant Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) from Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry learns he is a wizard and goes to study at Hogwarts, where he meets friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Gint) and Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson), gets sorted into the Gryffindor house, begins playing Quidditch, and starts his magical training under the tutelage of professors such as Snape (Alan Rickman), Dumbledore (Richard Harris) and McGonagall (Maggie Smith). He also learns of his parents' murder by the evil Lord Voldemort.
You can view Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on Amazon; if you have an HBO subscription through Amazon, it is included in the cost of your subscription. Otherwise, you can rent the movie to stream for about $3 to $4 depending on whether you choose high-def or regular definition.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Released in 2002, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets covers Harry's, Ron's, and Hermoine's second year at Hogwarts. In the break between first and second year, Harry has returned to his room under the stairs with his muggle family, the Dursleys. During the summer, he gets a surprise visit from Dobby the House Elf, who warns Harry he must not return to Hogwarts. After escaping from the Dursleys, Harry returns to Hogwarts with Ron in a flying car. During the year, Harry begins to have strange experiences, including hearing voices talking about how the Chamber of Secrets has been opened, and students in the school begin experiencing attacks that leave them frozen. Seeking to determine the cause of the attacks and discover the Chamber of Secrets, Harry and his friends learn Ron's younger sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright), has been under the control of Tom Riddle, the young man who became Lord Voldemort, and she opened the Chamber. Harry and friends once again save the day, and Hogwarts returns to business as usual.
You can view Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on YouTube for about $3.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban hit theaters in 2004, and it covers Harry's and friends' third year at Hogwarts. On their return to the school, Harry, Hermoine, and Ron learn killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped Azkaban, and his mission is to murder Harry. While on the train to Hogwarts and at the school, Azkaban prison guards, called Dementors, loom, looking for Black. Throughout the school year as the Dementors protect the school ostensibly from Sirius Black, Harry discovers that a large dog who protects him is, in fact, Black. It turns out Black was wrongly convicted of murder and is Harry's godfather and a good friend to Harry's deceased parents. Harry and friends rescue Black from the Dementors using a patronus spell, and Black is cleared of charges by the Ministry of Magic.
You can stream Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban on Vudu for about $4.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released in 2005. In his fourth year at Hogwarts, Harry finds himself representing his school in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, a dangerous magical tournament among wizarding schools from around the world. During the tournament, Harry comes face to face with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Feinnes), who has been reanimated by his faithful Death Eaters. Potter escapes, and Voldemort begins plans to regain power in the wizarding world.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is available as a streaming rental on Google Play for about $4.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
It's year five at Hogwarts, and Harry and his friends have returned in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, released in 2007. Dark forces have taken over Hogwarts, however, in the form of Delores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton). To fight the growing evil, Harry and his friends join forces with the secret Order of the Phoenix led by Professor Dumbledore. This ultimately leads to a confrontation between Voldemort and Dumbledore, and Dumbledore vanquishes Voldemort for now, as dark forces continue to gather.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is available to rent on iTunes for about $4.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Depicting Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released in 2009. Under the ever present threat of the Death Eaters, who have been empowered by the return of Lord Voldemort, Harry and his friends begin to prepare in earnest for the coming battle of light versus dark under the tutelage of Professor Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix.
Watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price as a streaming rental on Amazon for about $4.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Based on the book of the same name, the final two installments in the Harry Potter series were split into two movies based on one book. In Part 1, released in 2010, Harry and his friends enter their final year at Hogwarts as darkness continues to rise in the wizarding world. Following Dumbledore's death, Harry and his friends seek to complete a Dumbledore-assigned mission of finding and destroying horcruxes, which are objects each storing part of Voldemort's soul. Harry and friends journey into the wilderness and around the country seeking and destroying horcruxes as the threat of Voldemort and the Death Eaters continue to loom larger.
Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on Vudu for about $3.
Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows, Part 2
Released in 2011, Part 2 picks up where Part 1 left off. Harry and his friends prepare for the final battle against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. After an epic showdown at Hogwarts, good defeats evil, and Voldemort is once again vanquished and the Death Eaters imprisoned or disbanded.
Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 on YouTube for about $3.
Movies in the Potterverse
There are two other movies in the Potterverse that don't feature Harry Potter:
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2016 movie about magical creatures. You can watch it on Google Play for about $3.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in November 2018 and is the follow up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
A World of Wizards
The Harry Potter movie world is a magical and fantastic place that is often dark but always entertaining. Muggles, immerse yourself in the wizarding world and schedule a Harry Potter movie marathon.