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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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In the outstanding sixth adaptation of JK Rowling's fantasy series, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) lures potions professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent, in an entertainingly eccentric performance) back to Hogwarts. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is then charged with trying to dislodge a key clue regarding Slughorn's former pupil, the future Lord Voldemort, from the retired teacher's resistant mind. This is a difficult book to adapt because it is mostly concerned with setting up the two-part finale, but screenwriter Steve Kloves does an admirable job of condensing the plot without losing the emotional depth of the surprisingly adult narrative. The dark tone of the film, as the forces of evil grow ever stronger, is leavened by the romantic entanglements and rampaging hormonal comic relief. Director David Yates (returning after
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
) dazzles with an evocatively brooding style and conjures impressive magical atmospheres. Seamlessly and vigorously conveyed, this satisfying segment raises the storytelling and visual-effects bar for the entire series.
Cast & Crew
Helena Bonham Carter
DVD and Blu-ray
10 Jul 2009
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