Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

2004

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Critics Consensus

Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 257

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,167,714
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Movie Info

After directing the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus opted to serve as producer for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and passed the baton to Y Tu Mamá También director Alfonso Cuarón. Though "immensely popular" is an understatement when it comes to Harry Potter, Azkaban is somewhat of a departure from its predecessors, and particularly beloved among fans for its surprise ending. Prisoner of Azkaban also marks the introduction of Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), who has escaped from the title prison after 12 years of incarceration. Believed to have been the right-hand-man of the dark wizard Voldemort, whom Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) mysteriously rendered powerless during his infancy, some of those closest to Harry suspect Black has returned to exact revenge on the boy who defeated his master. Upon his return to school, however, Harry is relatively unconcerned with Black. Run by Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) -- who is widely regarded as the most powerful wizard of the age -- Hogwarts is renowned for its safety. Harry's nonchalance eventually turns to blind rage after accidentally learning the first of Black's many secrets during a field trip to a neighboring village. Of course, a loose serial killer is only one of the problems plaguing the bespectacled wizard's third year back at school -- the soul-sucking guards of Azkaban prison have been employed at Hogwarts to protect the students, but their mere presence sends Harry into crippling fainting spells. With the help of his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), and Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin (David Thewlis), Harry struggles to thwart the Dementors, find Sirius Black, and uncover the mysteries of the night that left him orphaned. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi

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Cast

Daniel Radcliffe
as Harry Potter
Emma Watson
as Hermione Granger
Rupert Grint
as Ron Weasley
David Thewlis
as Prof. Remus Lupin
Gary Oldman
as Sirius Black
Alan Rickman
as Severus Snape
Maggie Smith
as Minerva McGonagall
Michael Gambon
as Albus Dumbledore
Pam Ferris
as Aunt Marge Dursley
Tom Felton
as Draco Malfoy
Emma Thompson
as Professor Sybil Trelawney
Julie Walters
as Mrs. Molly Weasley
David Bradley
as Argus Filch
Robbie Coltrane
as Rubeus Hagrid
Timothy Spall
as Peter Pettigrew
Julie Christie
as Madame Rosmerta
Paul Whitehouse
as Sir Cadogan
Richard Griffiths
as Uncle Vernon Dursley
Robert Hardy
as Cornelius Fudge
John Cleese
as Nearly Headless Nick
Fiona Shaw
as Petunia Dursley
Alfie Enoch
as Dean Thomas
Mark Williams
as Mr. Arthur Weasley
Harry Melling
as Dudley Dursley
Adrian Rawlins
as James Potter
Lee Ingleby
as Stan Shunpike
Lenny Henry
as Shrunken Head
Jimmy Gardner
as Ernie the Bus Driver
Jim Tavare
as Tom the Innkeeper
Kathrin Nicholson
as Pansy Parkinson
Abby Ford
as Young Witch Maid
Oliver Phelps
as George Weasley
James Phelps
as Fred Weasley
Chris Rankin
as Percy Weasley
Bonnie Wright
as Ginny Weasley
Devon Murray
as Seamus Finnegan
Warwick Davis
as Filius Flitwick
Matthew Lewis
as Neville Longbottom
Sitara Shah
as Parvati Patel
Jennifer Smith
as Lavender Brown
Joshua Herdman
as Gregory Goyle
Genevieve Gaunt
as Pansy Parkinson
Alfred Enoch
as Dean Thomas
Dawn French
as Fat Lady in Painting
Annalisa Bugliani
as Mother in Portrait
Tess Bu Cuaron
as Baby in Portrait
Ekow Quartey
as Boy No. 1
Kandice Morris
as Girl No. 1
Rick Sahota
as Boy No. 2
Jamie Waylett
as Vincent Crabbe
Bronson Webb
as Slytherin Boy
Sharon Sandhu
as Girl No. 2
Danielle Tabor
as Angelina Johnson
Violet Columbus
as Girl With Flowers
Freddie Davis
as Old Man in Portrait
Peter Best
as The Executioner
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Critic Reviews for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

All Critics (257) | Top Critics (55)

Audience Reviews for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  • Nov 06, 2016
    As the trio gets older the films become a little darker and more mature. Watching the Harry Potter series within days of each other can be a tough adjustment. Especially considering how family friendly the first two installments are, but no matter the subtitle, Harry Potter films always maintain that fun atmosphere. Harry and his buddies have turned 13, his first year of his teens, and this film subtly tackles some common issues that an early teen has. Not only is Harry dealing with the angst of trying to be independent from his muggle family, but he then is forced with coming to terms with an estranged family member returning to find Harry, Sirius Black. All the films have relatively the same setting, characters, and tone, but Prisoner of Azkaban is clearly a part of a maturation process for Harry. There's something to be said for a film that takes its franchise in a totally new direction (i.e. Fast Five), but I also can't help but think this film was missing a few familiar plot points. Alfonso Cuarón took the reigns from Chris Columbus and he brought a refreshing take on the Potterverse. Just by simply looking at the advancement of technology in CGI and in the unique camera movements/shots, this was going to be a different Potter film. Cuarón brought along Michael Gambon as the new Dumbledore, after the unfortunate passing of Richard Harris. As great as Harris is, his calming presence may not have worked as Dumbledore here. Gambon fits in well as a more demanding and mysterious headmaster than in the previous two films. With that said, Voldemort's lack of presence is definitely felt. I enjoy the late-game twist in the film's villain and I understand we don't necessarily need him every film, but there was barely any mention of him. Yes, that's the way it is in the book, but for me, it degrades the score a bit. The focus here is more on Sirius Black and Professor Lupin. Both of which have unexpected twists and turns that make the third act quite the whirlwind. To me, this film plays more as a part 1 of 2 to the Goblet of Fire, because we only get a glimpse into Pettigrew and his relation to the dark lord and Harry's parents. Either way, Prisoner of Azkaban is a welcomed changeup in the film's franchise and one that, on repeat viewings, only gets better. I mean, who doesn't love time travel, Hippogriff's, a long awaited punch, a little quality time with Harry & Hermione, and one big twist right? It's a slower pace and a darker tone, but Prisoner of Azkaban is no slouch of a film. + Cuarón's different style +Gary Oldman enters the picture +Fantastic visuals/cinematography +Hermione & Harry team-up -No Voldemort presence 8.7/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2016
    This was kind of weirdly filmed.
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2016
    It's always hard to take a beloved childrens franchise and make it more adult, but it worked for Warner Bros. when they gave Alfonso Cuáron the job of directing the third installment of the Harry Potter franchise. Cuáron does a magnificent job with this movie and you couldn't have thought of any director better than him to do this kind of transition into the more dark and gritty, but yet still funny world of Harry Potter. The acting is also way better this time around, but that doesn't come as a surprise when you add really experienced actors like David Thewlis and Gary Oldman to the mix, but also the performances of the our three main guys are pretty good. The direction has changed into something very exciting for me.
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2016
    Thanks to the amazing direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban makes up for it's many storytelling faults with a fantastic visual style, a maturing tone and unique elements that only he could have invented.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer

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