Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: what the critics are saying

Is Newt Scamander's New York adventure a magical hit or miss?

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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them opens in UK cinemas this week but a few lucky critics have already had a chance to take a sneaky peek at the magical movie.

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But is Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander as worthy successor to Harry Potter? And can he keep the magic alive on screen?

Here’s what the Muggles have been saying so far…


Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

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★★★★

“Fantastic Beasts is a rich, baroque, intricately detailed entertainment with some breathtaking digital fabrications of prewar New York City. This is Steampunk 2.0, taking its inspirations from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil or Howard Hawks’s His Girl Friday but the New York she creates also has the dark, traumatised look of Gotham City.”


Robbie Colin, The Telegraph

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★★★★

“Possibly by accident, but probably not, a film about a magical zookeeper has turned out to be the most unexpectedly relevant blockbuster of 2016.”


Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

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★★★★

“This is rousing filmmaking that combines astonishing special effects with plenty of humour and pathos. At times, the storytelling becomes very dark, verging on film noir, but even at its most foreboding, Fantastic Beasts never loses its charm or its winning whimsicality.”


Cath Clarke, Time Out

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★★★★

“This entertaining first spin-off from the Harry Potter movies is both inventive and familiar – and Eddie Redmayne makes an endearing new wizarding lead.”


Helen O’Hara, Empire

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★★★

“This film has a bit of the same dense exposition of the first two Potter films. But thanks to Rowling’s capacity for invention and some utterly glorious new beasts like kleptomaniac platypus the Niffler, the gamble largely succeeds — and, as you’d expect, it looks dazzling doing it.”


John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

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“Likely to draw in just about everyone who followed the Potter series and to please most of them, the picture also has things to offer for fantasy-friendly moviegoers who only casually observed that phenomenon. The latter group, however, may be less convinced that this spin-off demands the five feature-length installments Warner and Rowling have planned.”

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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them opens in UK cinemas on November 18th