The Radio Times logo

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

  • Drama
  • Children's
  • 2001
  • Chris Columbus
  • 146 mins
  • PG


Fantasy adventure starring Daniel Radcliffe. Harry Potter lives a miserable existence with his loathsome aunt and uncle. That is until he learns from a giant named Hagrid that he is the orphaned son of powerful wizards. Harry is offered a place at the prestigious Hogwarts boarding school for wizards and soon embarks on a new life filled with magic and mystery.



A star rating of 4 out of 5.

With millions of Harry Potter books sold around the world, this CGI-packed fantasy adventure is more than just a big-budget movie adaptation - it's a cultural phenomenon. Eleven-year-old Daniel Radcliffe makes a likeable Harry, the boy wizard who's whisked off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and is charged with finding the blood red stone of the film's title. A scene-stealing Robbie Coltrane is among a host of familiar adult faces who breathe life into JK Rowling's charming characters - though some such as John Hurt and John Cleese only make cameo appearances. To criticise at all feels like an act of isolationism and yet there is a lack of emotional core - Harry's orphan status fails to move - and, at over two-and-a-half hours in length, the movie is surely too long for the younger fidgets. However, this faithful rendition of the inaugural Potter book demonstrated that the franchise was in safe, sensible hands - writer Steve Kloves (The Fabulous Baker Boys) and director Chris Columbus (Home Alone) were both on board for the first sequel The Chamber of Secrets the following year.

How to watch





Harry PotterDaniel Radcliffe
Ron WeasleyRupert Grint
Hermione GrangerEmma Watson
Rubeus HagridRobbie Coltrane
Prof Minerva McGonagallMaggie Smith
Prof Severus SnapeAlan Rickman
Prof Albus DumbledoreRichard Harris
Prof Quirrell Ian Hart
Uncle Vernon DursleyRichard Griffiths
Aunt Petunia DursleyFiona Shaw
Nearly Headless NickJohn Cleese
Madame HoochZoë Wanamaker
Mr OllivanderJohn Hurt
Mrs Molly WeasleyJulie Walters
Goblin bank teller / Professor FlitwickWarwick Davis
Mr Angus FilchDavid Bradley (2)
Draco MalfoyTom Felton
Dudley DursleyHarry Melling
The sorting hat (voice)Leslie Phillips
Lily Evans PotterGeraldine Somerville
The fat ladyElizabeth Spriggs
GriphookVerne Troyer


DirectorChris Columbus


Theatrical distributor
Warner Bros
Released on
May be edited for violence.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray

News & features about Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Advertisement is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…


Sponsored content