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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
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The franchise holders took a real risk by handing this third Harry Potter film to a Mexican director who was then best known for the smart, sexy but low-budget road movie
Y Tu Mamá También
. (He's since gone on to win an Oscar for sci-fi epic
in 2014.) But the decision has paid dividends. Alfonso Cuarón brings a darker, edgier, scarier feel to this instalment, which has boy wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) contending not only with Gary Oldman's escaped convict, but also with the difficulties of becoming a teenager. But there's still plenty of fun to be had, with ghosts, ghouls and gadgets galore, the most striking gizmo being a shape-shifting triple-decker bus that, were it real, would solve London's traffic congestion at a stroke. David Thewlis, Emma Thompson and Timothy Spall join the list of cameoing celebrities, while the young leads are all growing into their roles. The film has the odd dull patch, and there are scenes weighed down by too much plot, but, by and large, this adventure is on a par with its predecessors, and, in many respects, is even better. Potter fans will not be disappointed.
The teenage wizard is alarmed to learn a dangerous fugitive sorcerer is searching for him. Meanwhile, a new teacher at Hogwarts helps the bespectacled youngster to protect himself from the school's soul-sucking security guards. The third in the fantasy adventure series, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane and Alan Rickman.
Cast & Crew
Prof Albus Dumbledore
Prof Minerva McGonagall
Prof Severus Snape
Prof Sybill Trelawney
Mrs Molly Weasley
Mr Arthur Weasley
David Bradley (2)
Fat lady in painting
May be edited for violence.
video, DVD and Blu-ray
28 May 2004
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