mtl Movie Reviews by The Dove Foundation
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Runtime: 152 minutes
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Richard Harris
Director: Chris Columbus
Language: Mild cursing, usually in British dialect
Violence: Fantasy creatures present, including ghosts, a trolls, a three-headed dog, and dark-cloaked beings; unicorn is killed with some blood shown; character dies by turning into dust; several references to the death of Harry's parents; often spells are used in action scenes
Other: Subjects of sorcery, witchcraft, magic
Integrity: Young characters learn to become friends and make sacrifices for one another; friendship is chosen by character, not by popularity; many rescues between friends
Based on the best-selling novels by J. K. Rowling, the highly anticipated film version of Harry Potter is a visual extravaganza. As an infant, orphaned Harry is left on the doorstep of his aunt and uncle. But on his eleventh birthday, Harry receives a real surprise. Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), the giant groundskeeper at Hogwarts School of Magic, visits to tell Harry he’s a wizard and take him off to the boarding school for witchcraft with fellow students Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson). The young actors are delightful and the story moves briskly. The special effects, especially for the ‘soccer on broomsticks’ game of Quidditch, dazzle. Although some scenes may be too scary for the under-10 group, audiences will definitely be wild about this HARRY.
For the secular world, Harry has many good messages about bravery, courage and friendship. It even comments about the power of sacrificial love. And with its young cast, the film is virtually free of sexual material and bad language. Some mild and moderate violence occurs, such as sports roughness and property destruction. But along with the learning of incantations, potions, wand waving and broomstick riding, HARRY includes other elements which the Bible also takes a negative view of. More disturbing is the concept of an evil wizard’s spirit co-habiting another’s body. It will be difficult, if not impossible, in most families, Christian and secular alike, to deny their children’s desire to see the film, but witchcraft, conversing with the dead, and possession should be maturely discussed with young viewers. Despite its positive messages and honorable characters, we cannot, in good Spirit, endorse HARRY POTTER as recommendable.
Not Dove Family Approved
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