Jaap Buitendijk
Chris Nashawaty
June 16, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
Wide Release Date
07/15/09
performer
Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
director
David Yates
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
Steven Kloves
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Drama

We gave it an A-

Think of the excellent sixth entry in the hit boy-wizard saga as the Potter equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is darker than expected and full of portentous backstory, and it serves as the critical bridge to the grand finale where all will be revealed. The key developments this time out are the explanation of Voldemort’s ominous origins and the introduction of new Potions prof Horace Slughorn (played by a delightfully daffy Jim Broadbent). Lest things get too grim, however, director David Yates injects the stirrings of young love into what might as well now be called Hormones Academy instead of Hogwarts. The two-disc set is packed with EXTRAS, including additional scenes, a candid doc chronicling a year in the life of J.K. Rowling, and an exclusive teaser for 2010’s Return of the Jedi…I mean, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A-

See all of this week’s reviews

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