Quarantine Diary 1: Harry Potter Movie Rankings

Graduate Assistant (noun): Master’s student with multiple jobs such as supervising the UGL, teaching, and helping people with research. Relies heavily on coffee and occasional social interactions. 

Hi everyone! It may come as a shock to learn that our Graduate Assistants (GAs) don’t live at the UGL. If this is as jarring as figuring out that your teachers have lives outside of school, we apologize. While they would probably be having more fun quarantined together, each of our GAs is finding their own way to keep healthy and sane during these crazy times. This blog is the beginning of a series called The Quarantine Diaries, in which each GA will share a piece of their current experience. We’re kicking it off with Ryan, who chose a topic so divisive that the rest of the GAs might not even want to see him when this quarantine is over.


Hi all! With quarantine in full swing, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to revisit the Harry Potter series (for scientific purposes). The Harry Potter franchise is ubiquitous at this point, with longevity that is uncommon in popular culture. With this newfound time on my hands, I decided to binge watch the series and give you my rankings of the Harry Potter movies from worst to best. I entirely expect this to be a controversial list, so let me know your thoughts if you disagree!

Obvious spoilers ahead!

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Goblet of Fire is a great spectacle, with wondrous wizard battles, and the introduction of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in full. While the film checks all of the boxes in regards to effects and spectacle, it unfortunately lacks a bit in the story department. Outside of the Dark Lord returning near the end of the film, the rest of the movie feels almost superfluous.

“Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire, Harry? he asked calmly.

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (P1) is a good movie, great in fact. Unfortunately it serves as a prelude to an even better movie. The final book has a plethora of subplots and story-lines that are unfortunately left by the wayside in this movie. The movie has some amazingly memorable scenes that still give off the quintessential “Harry Potter” vibe. And lastly, I cannot forget Hedwig.

6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets holds a special place in my heart, with the introduction of Dobby the house elf, Harry’s iconic battle against the Basilisk, and the destruction of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s first horcrux. The film is extremely nostalgic, but unfortunately comes up a bit dated. With a darker tone, and a lot of tween sass, the film was a great stepping stone for the rest of the story to unfold.

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Sorcerer’ Stone is iconic, blasting the (already wildly popular) franchise into a global phenomenon. Extremely nostalgic, the movie has a way of hitting old Harry Potter fans right in the feels. That being said, it’s a story about a young 11 year-old and his first wizarding experiences. Fun, but at the end of the day it feels like a children’s movie.

4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

The Half Blood Prince is where stuff starts to get real. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is rising to power, and Harry, Dumbledore, and the Order are doing their best to battle him and his followers back. The movie has some of the best Hogwarts scenes in the franchise, and it’s nice to finally see Harry actually kick some butt. Draco’s fall to the “dark side” is moving, and you notice yourself actually feeling sorry for him. The movie ends with a beautiful scene of the Hogwarts’ teachers and students mourning Dumbledore’s death.

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Order of the Phoenix is where the viewer gets to see all of Harry’s (and the gang!) work come to fruition. Dumbledore’s Army is one of my favorite story-lines throughout the series, and I loved seeing Harry and his peers prepare for the war to come. I also can’t forget to mention one of the most unlikable villains to ever be on the big screen….Umbridge! The film has a bit of everything, with wonderful magic, intense wizard duels, and a lot of emotion!

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

This movie is the culmination of 7 books and movies before it. There are so many memorable scenes…The Battle of Hogwarts, Ron and Hermione’s kiss, the death of Lord Voldemort, and many more. Outside of the action, it also has meaningful character moments as well, with Harry coming to terms with his own death, Neville’s courageous rise, and the many sacrifices that people made along the way to stop the dark forces of the wizarding world.




1: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Prisoner of Azkaban is regarded by many as the best Harry Potter movie, and for good reason. Dementors, Patronuses, the introduction of Sirius, and a few great twists towards the end have my heart pumping every time I sit down to watch it. Really, this movie has everything I want out of a Harry Potter movie!


If, like me, you enjoy watching and reviewing films, feel free to check out our Library Guide on Film Reviews. All of these resources are available online, so it’s perfect for the would-be-reviewer to get some practice in while we are all stuck at home. My favorite resource is the FIAF International Film Archive Database. Look up your favorite movie and see what other people are saying about it! Rob White, from Sight and Sound, called the first Harry Potter movie “oddly anticlimactic”, and while I couldn’t disagree further, his review is an interesting one!



Written and Edited by: Ryan



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