Part 1 is the most cinematically rewarding chapter yet.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Even though it ends in the middle, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 finds notes of anxious suspense and grave emotion to send its characters, and its fans, into the last round.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Menacing and meditative, Hallows is arguably the best installment of the planned eight-film franchise, though audiences who haven't kept up with previous chapters will be hopelessly lost.
Scott Bowles - USA Today
It's half of a really good movie, full of the enchantment, emotion and incident for which the Potter series has become so fanatically cherished.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Like Alfonso Cuaron, who made Azkaban, Yates and his crew are as visually descriptive as Rowling was with language.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Watson's brainy, practical Hermione drives the film's narrative; Grint's fiery, jealous Ron provides its relatable (that is, non-magical) conflict.
Dan Kois - Village Voice
Equal parts action thriller, political parable, and multidimensional love story, Hallows feels sad and strong and true.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Every two minutes the action whooshes sideways to someone somewhere else.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
This one is a long, archetypal journey that screeches to a halt a few stops short of its destination.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
David Yates' fluid, fast-paced direction sends up the crackling tension of a thriller.
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
By any measure, Deathly Hallows is a ripping thriller.
Claire Martin - Denver Post
The filmmakers...adapt Rowling's tale with as much fidelity as their budget, effects crew, production designers, actors, and common sense will allow.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
The trouble with Harry, as becomes clear from this seventh and penultimate installment, is not that we have lost the plot -- the film is as tangled and as corkscrewed as Bonham Carter's hair -- but that we are in danger of losing everything else.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
The film depends more on mood and character than many of the others, and key actions seem to be alarmingly taking place off-screen.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The story-within-the-story regarding the deathly hallows is visualized by way of shadow-puppet style animation, and the effect is quite beautiful.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The seventh and penultimate entry in the franchise jettisons the humor and fizz of the earlier movies for a much bleaker adult tone.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
When Warner Brothers announced that it planned to split the seventh, and final, installment of J.K. Rowling's wizarding septology into two separate films, I figured it was all about the money. Turns out it was all about the story.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Radcliffe, Watson and Grint, having literally grown up in their characters, are ready for their close-up. They earned it, they deserve it and they nailed it.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
There's plenty of humor, plenty of magic and even a bit of romantic stress, although there's also quite a bit of mulling and standing about.
Tom Long - Detroit News
It's not a bad movie, but it is very much a transitional one, with Warner Bros. splitting J.K. Rowling's last installment in the "Potter" series into two films.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Lumbering and gripping by turns, and suffused with a profound sense of solitude and loss.
Justin Chang - Variety
Beautifully shot but a soulless cash machine, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" delivers no dramatic payoff, no resolution and not much fun.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
The high quality of the series remains. Returning director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves remain attentive as ever to Rowlings' holy text, and the mood is as magic as always.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
There is much to love in the latest offering from the Potter franchise.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
Alas, as directed by the returning David Yates, these big chase sequences are the usual compendium of ear-splitting noise and eye-glazing edits -- again, no magic required and none delivered.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves have done a fine job of building up a big, black foreboding cloud in this next-to-last installment.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
The three young leads -- especially Emma Watson, who can do more with a still face than any actress her age -- are all terrific.
Dana Stevens - Slate
The movie builds erratically to the moment when the end credits start rolling. After sacrificing nearly 2 1/2 hours to this movie, there's a sense that more is deserved.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
This grim beginning-of-the-end odyssey has a very different feel from any of its predecessors -- a development slightly more disconcerting than it is welcome.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
By the time Part 1 ends, you'll be anxious to see what tricks Harry has up his sleeve once he's forced to face the ultimate evil.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Instead of scooting like a Golden Snitch during a Quidditch championship, DH1 is struck with a long spell of aimlessness, and the viewer with the curse of ennui.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Like a virgin's padded bra, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I is all tease, zero payoff.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Drags a bit in the second act, but it's a solid buildup to the final chapter in this legendary franchise.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
To be fair to Deathly Hallows, the filmmakers have tried hard to fill the proceedings with battles and chases and debilitating curses. Genuine filmmaking excitement, however, is harder to provide.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Half a movie at full price, it exists only to supply laborious setup for next summer's final installment.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 isn't close to being a bad movie, but it is arguably the weakest among the seven films in the series.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
It feels like the longest, deathliest panto ever made -- and still it isn't over.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Maybe Harry Potter could cast a magic spell over us before we see his new movie.
Yates does a pretty good job with the heavy lifting, but there's not much poetry to this exercise that brings the story of the boy wizard one step closer to its conclusion.
Katherine Monk - Canada.com
Deathly Hallows is the first Harry Potter film that fully delivers on the promise of J.K. Rowling's works, expertly balancing a tricky and expansive narrative, along with quiet character moments and some rollicking action sequences.
Kirk Baird - Toledo Blade
The entire cast does the subtlest work we've seen in a Potter film, right down to the supporting and single-scene players.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Part 1, like its predecessors, has been made with great care, craft and attention to detail. It is also darker and more foreboding.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
As J.K. Rowling wove a conclusion as ominous as it was elegant in the final installment of the Potter series, so too has director David Yates in Part 1 of Deathly Hallows.
Tracie Cooper - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Sure, there are some rearranging and compressing of scenes and facts, but the two-and-a-half hour runtime for half a book allows screenwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates the space to faithfully retell a really good story.
Josh Jackson - Paste Magazine
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is beautifully shot with wonderful atmosphere and an appropriately dark tone, making it a very enjoyable experience.
Will Chadwick - We Got This Covered
The biggest plus of this film is that the story is brought out of Hogwarts and into a greater world.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
It's just a lot of smoke - literally and figuratively - that evaporates into thin air without meaning or context.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
Alternately funny and touching, it's the best film in the series, an "Empire Strikes Back" for these wizards and their wizarding world. And those effects? They're so special you don't notice them.
This penultimate entry in the series lacks the life and the imagination of its worthy predecessors.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
It seems unfair to chide the entire film for one sagging act, so in the end, this first part gets a slight recommendation for its characters, art direction, and some thrills.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Fans may think 2 1/2 hours is just right. Some of us would have preferred a little pruning.
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
... Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have grown into their roles so well.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
A terrific set-up to the final chapter of our favorite boy wizard's saga.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Far more emotionally complex and scary than any previous entry - Potter 7.1 is the franchise's best chapter yet.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
Fortunately, the good outweighs the mediocre, so in the end this is one of the better installments in the series.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
No more professors, no more books; no more Potter's defiant looks.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
The domineering final stretch of a story that has become as much popcorn distraction as old, reliable friend is shaping up to be part family reunion, part merciless slugfest.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Noted critics have used the words 'unintelligible' and 'impenetrable' to describe the script. Here's a couple more: Boring and meandering.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
The magic is lost on the very young because of the films' even darker tone.
Michael Black - ReviewExpress.com
The saga of Harry Potter definitely heats up before it winds down.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
Probablemente la mejor de la serie desde El Prisionero de Azkaban (2004), HP7 es una pelicula de clima denso, oscuro y ominoso, excelentemente filmada.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is the first entry of the franchise to really capture the essence of J.K. Rowling's masterworks.
Gabe Leibowitz - Film and Felt
Although it feels far too long, Yates and Kloves thankfully mix the dark drama with lighter comedy, allowing the characters to grow organically
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Potter stumbles at the finish line with tepid Hallows.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
The trio has clearly advanced beyond the pure buddy stages of childhood.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Judging by this first half, this touchstone series is well on its way to getting the sendoff it deserves.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
as an outsider to the works of J.K. Rowling, it's nevertheless a well-constructed, competently-told and generally engaging tale that suffers only from being but part of the whole story.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
Yates has been building his version of this world for two movies now, and he rightfully doesn't let up.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Fulfills the promise of Brit TV director David Yates as the perfect Harry Potter director -- and quite possibly as a filmmaker to reckon with in general.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
This stagnating set-up for a finale wallows in self-seriousness. There's so much glumness and lethargy here, a new character--call him Excelsior Lugubrious--emerges from the mega-budget, moody mist, threatening to slay Death himself with Sleep.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"Deathly Hallows" is a significant improvement over the slow and talky previous film
Stephen Silver - The Trend
Pretty artful, complex, compelling work for a film that technically doesn't have a beginning or end.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
Part 1 concludes with good and evil evenly balanced, both sides having suffered losses in pursuit of ultimate victory.
- Liverpool Echo
'With a name like 'Lovegood' I'm the luckiest woman with a profile on Match.com,' said Luna. 'The second-luckiest,' said Moonraker's Holly Goodhead.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
The actors possess their best chemistry yet (as well they should--they've practically shared each other's Pablum), and the chemistry shows. You now can fully feel just how high the stakes have become.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
The decision to split it into two movies couldn't have paid off more. Yates finally has the time to spend with Harry, Ron, and Hermione that's he hasn't had lately, and the movie is 100 percent better for it.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the tone has completed its change. The initial innocence, playfulness, and fresh discovery of magic is long gone. Horror now prevails.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
A stop gap, not a movie.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Deathly Hallows Part 1 is a damn fine piece of film - if I had the faintest idea what was going on in it, I might have enjoyed it even more.
Tim Martain - The Mercury
Has too many plot threads to follow in its willy-nilly efforts to set the stage for the real ending.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
The plot is one long, boring slog to nowhere. Yes, that reflects what is in this section of the book, but that is absolutely no excuse for this.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
It may be the scariest, but it's also one of the strongest in the series.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
Do your homework before walking in; you'll be better off for it.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
Not wild about this "Harry". Half the book equals half the entertainment.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
It's not without its faults, but those glitches are largely irrelevant because it ticks all the boxes Potter-heads want to see ticked.
Matt Neal - The Standard
David Yates's third crack at the franchise goes to a dark, interesting place, even if the whole enterprise feels rather played-out, so last decade.
Robert Levin - Critic's Notebook
On its own, it's the worst film in the series since the first two... I suspect it will wear well. It was never meant to be a stand-alone movie, after all.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
A water-treading sequel with no emotional momentum ostensibly serving as a setup for next summer's grand finale
Kam Williams - TheLoop21.com
It's essentially a horror movie, set in the belly of the beast, almost literally: The film's not 10 minutes old before a giant constrictor opens its fanged jaws and swallows the camera lens -- and us -- whole, plunging the screen into darkness.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
If its total success can only be properly measured upon arrival of the conclusion in July, the fact that Part 1 makes that worth waiting for should be taken as some kind of victory.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
While this Harry Potter is the most murky and forlorn so far, its most grave battle is the internal question between the corporate and creative types. We know why the seventh film was extricated into two, but should it really have been?
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
Saved by a riveting first hour, excellent cast and beautiful production, a multitude of flaws in pacing, exposition and the strange point at which the film ends puts this chapter far from the best in the franchise.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
The best-looking and best-acted film in the series so far. Drags a bit in the middle act. Otherwise, a solid wind-up for the grand finale.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
...the elements of scene and sound combine to reveal a maturity to the Potter franchise that surprises, scares and entertains in all the ways the lifeless Twilight films failed to accomplish.
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
the cleaving of Rowling's 759-page finale into two separate films ultimately benefits the material, allowing the filmmakers to take their time and keep as much of the story as possible while also maintaining a taut narrative pace
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
The three main leads' deficient acting ability causes the movie to falter in the middle. The absence of the colorful supporting players to bolster enthusiasm is a crucial missing ingredient. The computer-generated special visual effects are...
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
Ever the girl in this threesome, that is, at least a step ahead of the boys in grappling with hormones and fears, Hermione is in this film, engaging, complex, and less mysterious than wonderful.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Of all characters, Dobby (at one point the Jar Jar Binks of the Harry Potter World) steals the show.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
The coasting comes in the middle of the movie, which is fortunate since it leaves the production with a vibrant opening act and a powerhouse final hour.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
David Yates hoodwinked us. He created a really strong, dark, road movie set against the backdrop of a holocaust, but fails to deliver a real Harry Potter movie. He completely sucked the magic out of this franchise.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
A meandering, downbeat steppingstone to the Potter series' grand finale.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
We get to see the characters raw and frayed - almost junkie-like - without the saccharine pill coating that usually helps us swallow the bad stuff happening in Harry Potter Land.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
A very satisfying blend of mood and spectacle, action and character, wonder and fear.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
The genius of why this film, like the book, resonates so deeply is that Rowling has found the perfect junction of pure fantasy and real politics gone horribly wrong
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Strip away the fantasy elements and you could almost be watching a story set during WW2 - with Harry and co cast as members of the Resistance forced to go underground.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
This latest installment is almost Bressonian in its setup and execution. If nothing else, it's audacious.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Childhood things ...[are] set aside as our three heroes, now young adults, set off on their own like resistance fighters in a World War II movie.
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
Get ready for a long eight months, Potterites.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
The first part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is everything fans should expect: It is brooding, a bit scary, action-packed, sentimental, dangerous and grand.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Spectacular and increasingly brooding as ever...the most foreboding and shocking of them all.
Steve Crum - Video-Reviewmaster.com
Who needs Hogwarts?
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
The most disappointing of the series, but better than most movies out there.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Although it represents a natural progression in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 will be a slog for those new to the Potter universe.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Not surprisingly, "Part 1" feels like only half a film, but as this beloved series prepares to draw to a close, it is a mighty good start.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The cast is spot on and a constant delight. But it's a shame that Bonham Carter and Rickman, who are such delicious fun, are barely given any screen time.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
A tender moment between Harry and Hermione lends a sweet gravity that adds as much urgency to our anticipation for the next chapter as the prospect of the final battle.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
We might sometimes take the skills of Radcliffe, Grint and Watson for granted ... they deserve acclaim for keeping the continuity of their performances intact for a decade.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
I thought last year's Half-Blood Prince was the least interesting of the films to that point. However, this new Potter, with its clotted talkiness and abundant longueurs, now takes pride of place in that department.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
'Part II' won't come until next summer so for now, if you have been a faithful follower, you won't bored at all with this installment, just a bit anxious for the next one.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
To the muggles among the critics who carp about this or that, this isn't for you. It's for those of us invested in this saga, and for whom July 2011 cannot come soon enough.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Go. Don't go. Nothing I write will make a difference.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Readers expecting everything plus the kitchen sink - or, in this case, seven magical Horcruxes - should not be disappointed.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Hallows: Part 1 isn't a film at all. It's a placeholder. And its makers are making fans pay for the privilege of remaining caught up.
Eric Henderson - WCCO.com
The worst of all the Harry Potter movies. This is the most bored I've been watching one.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is slower and stranger than any of the previous films, simultaneously raising hopes for a haunting finale while dimming hopes for a magical one.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
...what should have been great is merely good, a solid prequel to the proposed chaos to come.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Yates, Radcliffe and the rest of the Potter posse are giving fans exactly what they deserve -- a powerful denouement worthy of a boy wizard who has charmed the world for more than a dozen years.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
'When I say that HP7 is amazing, please understand that if it violated my love for the book, I'd be ripping it to shreds with my bare hands.'
Jenna Busch - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Frustrating as a standalone movie, DEATHLY HALLOWS nicely breaks the POTTER mold and gets us ready for the finale. But it feels like there should be an intermission, not a seven month wait.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
The dark tone, the real sense of sacrifice, the strained relationships, and an ending that suggests that the good guys are utterly outmatched, combine to give this film stakes that feel like they matter.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
Somewhat unevenly paced and lacks exposition, but there's no denying its stylish, exquisite production values. Avid Harry Potter fans will be captivated, thrilled and left drooling for Part 2.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Penultimate installment mostly for lovers of the books
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
All Yates has to do is coax decent performances out of his young charges and make sure the fantastical is a fair representaion of what happens in the books.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
Harry Potter fans, your bittersweet moment is here. Fortunately, the sweet far outweighs the bitter.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
Excellent, epic saga continues to get darker, more intense.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 1 is bad on an epic scale. The worst film in the series. Period.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
For the first time, their coming-of-age journey outshines the special effects.
Kent Turner - School Library Journal
It's the closest the HP movies will get to a reserved character drama. My favorite parts are the tiny, dialogue-less character moments packed with emotional undercurrents.
Todd Hertz - Christianity Today
If my biggest complaint about a film is that I would have happily sat through the next two-and-a-half hours of story immediately, I'd say David Yates should take as high praise.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Possibly the best fantasy film since Return of the King.
Brian Salisbury - Film School Rejects
If you're a fan, it's everything you've wanted. If not, be aware that this isn't the movie to get started with.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Potter devotees will find much to admire in the movie directed by David Yates, although its sensibility is much closer to that of a horror movie than a traditional fantasy/adventure.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
Reclamar da "lentidao" da narrativa seria apenas um atestado da mais absoluta incapacidade de compreender as necessidades do projeto, exigindo acao inconsequente de uma obra mais preocupada em retratar o desgaste de seus protagonistas.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Rowling's flaws as a storyteller are much more evident in this film than in previous installments.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
The three young wizards on a quest that will test their loyalties, courage, and magical abilities to the max.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
With so many devotees wishing the series could go on forever, a delaying of the inevitable will disappoint very few indeed.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
I'm certainly ready to see the final entry in the series just to see how it all ends - not that years of spoilers haven't already ruined that for me - but HP7.1 hardly packs in a finale to send you home salivating for 7.2.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
For those who have felt their emotional investment flourish over the course of six films, indulging extra attention to details is a pleasure.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Deathly Hallows I actually manages to be involving and kind of artful about the boredom and loneliness of heroism.
Bob Mondello - NPR
Gone are the sweet hijinks at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as well as any "hey, look at me!" magical inventions; Deathly Hallows is all business -- taut, fraught, and fearsome.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
The truth is that this film is mostly plain work, done by rote, like any introductory potions class. The real fun -- and thrills and tears -- come next year.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Half the audience won't know a Horcrux from a House Elf, while the other half will know what size shoe every character in the film wears. Obliviate, my friends. You've been warned.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
There's nothing inherently wrong with his initial adaptation of J.K. Rowling's seventh and final novel except for the fact that it ends with the best parts of the story yet to be told.
Sean O'Connell - Reelrave
Yates accomplishes more in the quiet scenes here than the big flashy ones. That's a little disconcerting thinking ahead to "Pt. 2" but the director certainly knows how to pile on a sense of dread.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Considering the new route and the spectacular introduction to the title place, it does have me interested in how things will play out in "Part II," something I haven't felt about a Potter film in quite a while. (Parental Content Review also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Though not the best installment of the series...it's far from the worst. For committed fans...[it] certainly won't disappoint.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
At 146 minutes, "Part 1" is like a director's cut or a DVD filled with bonus materials that expands to fill the available space through dilution.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ominous and downbeat but a compelling, visual treat, this certainly whets our appetite for next year's big finale.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
The goal of the movies, now, is to make the franchise as faithful to Rowling as it can be, as visually rich, digitally well-appointed as possible. Here, director David Yates succeeds.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The seventh "Harry Potter" movie asks the most of its audience thus far, and returns the least. If you're not a fan and know nothing of the characters, the film will be a difficult slog. Those bought into the franchise will be appropriately enthralled.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
... dreary, murky and cheap ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The film plays more like an extended prologue than a story in its own right. But some stunning set pieces and a beautiful animated segment redeem things considerably.
- Radio Times
An awkward mating of action-fantasy and a self-reflective indie movie.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Basically, you'll love it if you love Potter and you'll hate if you hate Potter, but if you're just looking for some fun in the theaters you can do far, far, far, far, far worse than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Matthew Razak - Examiner.com
A beautifully executed movie that's about a whole lot of stuff that's not very interesting.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Warner Bros. had no choice but to split the final installment in the Harry Potter series into two parts, but doing so leaves an unsatisfying feeling when the credits roll.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
For roughly 40 minutes in the middle, this trio sits in a tent and quibbles. We watch them wait for something to happen. Isn't that the part that's left out of the movie?
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
The build-up to part two is a fine tease to the end of a franchise that has quickly started to feel like a chore.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Easily the best Potter film since 'Azkaban.' The cinematography is beautiful, the magic is fun and the characters are deep. Did Peter Jackson direct the middle section?
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
For those caught up in the "Potter" world -- and surely anyone who isn't dropped out of this franchise long ago -- "Deathly Hallows" is immensely satisfying.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
[D]amn nigh impenetrable without the background of the novel, and all the previous novels in the series. It was almost impenetrable to me, who has read all the books, at least on an emotional level.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The upside of this, one supposes, is that when Part 2 comes out next year it will be nonstop excitement. We've already endured the iffy parts.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows lacks warmth, whimsy, playfulness and hope. And that is precisely what makes it great.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
The best of the franchise to date, a satisfying, appetite-whetting setup for the series finale.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
This really is a more grown-up affair, and very scary, whether with the Dark Lord's manipulation of his minions in Malfoy Manor, or in Bathilda Bagshot's reptilian stare.
Andrew Hedley - Flicks.co.nz
Someone coined the term "mythology-bound" for franchise films that get so wrapped up in their own histories that they forget to tell an engaging story about likable characters. I think it was me.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
It's a film of great courage and artistry, a movie ostensibly for children that's also worthy of them.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
This is a three-jumps-out-of-your-seat thriller -- a road movie minus Bob and Bing, a gray-hued travelogue through the shoddy side England, Scotland and Wales -- bog, moor and power plants.
Roger Showley - San Diego Union-Tribune
There's a potent, dreamy allure throughout much of this that will affect even those outside the core audience.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
If in past Potters -- especially the early ones -- Radcliffe, Watson and Grint were wisely surrounded by one acting legend after another, here they're called on to shoulder the story on their own.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
There are way too many shots of the trio gazing into the distance from spectacular landscape peaks. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 engages. But only just.
Julie Rigg - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
It's grim, funny in one sequence about shapeshifters, vivid in moments of violent action, nearly devoid of plot twists and marked by long patches where Harry, Ron and Hermione camp in the woods.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
There are a number of touches that aren't just magical but also deeply moving.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
It illogically breezes by, even if much of the story shows our heroes doing little but hiding, fighting, and strategizing.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
This is a Harry Potter film that functions as a dark, emotional character study more than a fun adventure, which will be disconcerting for some. But if you love these characters, as many of us do, you'll find a lot to admire.
Eric Goldman - IGN Movies
A poignant paean to longing, loss and love, drenched in shadow and glistening with magic.
Gregory Weinkauf - Huffington Post
Despite its enormous popularity and commercial success, the Harry Potter saga seems destined to be remembered as never quite adding up to the sum of its parts.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
There's a good, solid, workmanlike integrity to what director David Yates does here.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
If the film's main job was to whet the appetite for the next one, it does that well.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
The Harry Potter series draws to a close with the action-packed but dramatically clunky first half of the two-part finale.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
If you haven't read the book, do so. This is the first 150 minutes of the final novel adaptation (part two next spring) and to me it was virtual gobbledegook.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
146 minutes of minutely, magnificently detailed, precisely paced, decidedly dark fare - and the fans wouldn't have it any other way.
Alice Tynan - Concrete Playground
Deathly Hallows: Part 1 begins in eerie, chilling darkness and things don't let up from there, as director Yates crafts a truly terrifying spell over the Potter-verse.
Matt Risley - Sky Movies
Much of the heavy lifting falls to Watson, and, in such moments as the one where she must wipe out her family's memories of her to protect them, she is more than up to the task.
Charlie McCollum - San Jose Mercury News
More like Harry Potter and the Torturous Moping.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
David Yates better captures both the playful and solemn tones of J.K. Rowling's writing, making Harry's wildest and most dangerous journey also one of great adventure and growth.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
This series is really getting tired. The films of J.K. Rowling's mega-popular books were always handled with grim seriousness by the various directors assigned to them, but at least in the early films there was a sense of magic and originality.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
The pervasive dark tone, the heavy-handed dialogue and the sloth-like pace of Deathly Hallows reflects the self-importance that has now overwhelmed the obligation to entertain.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
It's easy to get lost in the rich, two-and-a-half hour installment, but it wraps up too abruptly.
Thelma Adams - Us Weekly
The self-perpetuating mythology continues, and darn if it isn't resembling the Twilight saga. That is, if Edward ate once in a while and wore glasses, and Jacob was a ginger-haired mouth breather. Hermione and Bella are pretty much interchangeable.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
While intriguing and action-packed, it's far more perilous, intense and realistic than previous installments.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
A grim landscape for our heroes...So grim, in fact, that you may feel as if Harry, Ron and Hermione are the last survivors of an apocalyptic aftermath and Part II may be all the better for it.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Fans will enjoy the dark, brooding, gorgeous penultimate film of one of the most solid genre series ever. Casual observers will likely be confused as hell or bored silly.
Brian Juergens - CampBlood.org
First half of this final battle is a tonally unstoppable creature, blessed with a startling sense of stamina and grandeur to support the epic tale of a boy wizard facing a dire journey towards manhood.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The first part of Deathly Hallows has plenty of invigorating imagery alongside the pro forma narrative elements.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Part 1 has paved the way for what's likely to be the best film of the series
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 features some of the strongest, most beautifully realized moments in all of the series. In other respects, it is one of the most fundamentally problematic entries.
Kloves brings Rowling's world to life, engrossing you in the story and making your truly care about these characters.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
As setup for the long-awaited climax, Part 1 does its job, and manages to take time for some meaningful emotional moments along the way.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Warner Bros.' generally excellent adaptation of J.K. Rowling's hugely successful series of novels continues in fine form.
Andy Klein - Brand X
The final book ... has been cleft in twain ... a move that is both cruel and absolutely necessary. Some will argue that the resulting product is merely half a film, and they'd be right. It's also one-eighth of the full story, so why start complaining now?
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
If you think of 'Half-Blood Prince' and the two 'Deathly Hallows' entries as a trilogy that concludes the Potter saga, 'Part 1' is a terrific middle, a quietly thrilling and artful chapter.
Eric D. Snider - Cinematical
Half of the final story, yes, but a beautifully paced film that lingers in the dark magical world as Harry, Ron & Hermoine find themselves in a self imposed exile in search of the fragments of Voldemort's soul.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
I'd be lying if I said I'm not eager to see how everything turns out.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Good enough, even for those of us who have no idea what's going on once the plot resorts to Potterbabble.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
I could watch this stuff all night, and practically did since the movie is so needlessly long.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
Dreadful. Horrible acting. Only for Potter fanatics.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Deathly Hallows Part 1 makes for a fascinating meditation of a young person's emotional frailty under a microscope.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
I knew magic could be dark - there is plenty of that in Part 1 - but who knew it could also be so sad?
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Potter's a plodder. This magician's either out of tricks or frustratingly saving them for next time.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
There is suspense and action in this film, but there is also lots of room for emotion, and for the audience, a satisfying build up to next summer's grand finale.
Pam Grady - Boxoffice Magazine
This isn't a great movie viewed in isolation but it is near on the perfect adaptation of the prelude to this beloved story's conclusion.
Giles Hardie - Sydney Morning Herald
I'm anxiously awaiting the next Harry Potter, and this is probably the only film series I can think of where each film is better than the last.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
When a movie begins with the Warner Bros. logo crumbling in decay and ends with a defiled grave, you know you've experienced an evening of magic.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Often just seems to be going round in very decreasing circles, chasing its own fairytale.
Dave Golder - SFX Magazine
If nothing else, this penultimate film does leave you anticipating how it will all turn out in the final film, which is a lot more than can be said about other comparative film franchises.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
The darker atmosphere and real-world locales makes this the most mature and humanistic entry to date, but it's hard not to miss the warmth and whimsy that has been left behind.
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
Deathly Hallows Part 1 is warm without being cloying; frightening without outstaying it's welcome, and it manages to prey on deep-seeded fears with remarkable proficiency.
Paul Verhoeven - The Vine
Deathly Hallows: Part 1 will appeal to those who have followed the books and the films, but we'll have to wait until July 2011 for the big firework display.
Glenn Dunks - Trespass
While The Deathly Hallows is not the best film in the series, it hardly matters. Too many people have invested too much in Harry Potter, they will not bear to miss the finale, or even his bleak and inconclusive prelude to the dark.
Michael Bodey - The Australian
It's about people -- specifically Harry, Hermione and Ron. If you've gone the distance with this franchise, you already care about them. But here, you'll care that much more.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
Yates has developed a distinctive visual style and there are some striking locations in this film, landscapes that have an almost dreamlike power. And the action has an abrupt kinetic impact.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
The first part of the last part is dark, dismal, and frankly, disappointing.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
On the evidence of this, his penultimate film, the teenage wizard is getting the send-off he deserves.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
(VIDEO) A flawed decision to split the final installment of the Harry Potter books into two films results in a formless narrative that overstays its welcome.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
An unfamiliar new setting does little to diminish the humour, heart and excitement of the Harry Potter franchise on form.
Charlie Lyne - Film4
A film with no beginning and no end but a whole lot of expository middle, this is the least satisfying instalment in the series since Chris Columbus folded up his director's chair.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
Deathly Hallows: Part 1 definitely whets appetites for the final outing as it builds to a stunning climax tinged with sadness and anticipation about the inevitable battle between Harry and Voldemort which will conclude next year...
Lara Martin - Digital Spy
Darker and scarier than its predecessors, this is a fitting and enjoyable run-up to the action packed finale, though it might be a bit baffling if for some reason you haven't read the books or seen the previous films.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Exposition heavy, Potter 7: Part One is an entertaining but flawed prelude to the real finale.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
Hallows's first hour is deadly, all right.
High production values don't quite make up for the elongation, which tends to water down the impact of the story. Nor does the complexity of the storytelling help ... Luckily there are a few giggles
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
In many ways, the strength of this final chapter is also its weakness, in that the story almost drowns in the texture of its tapestry.. Shrouded by its amazing special effects however, the film looks wonderful
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Well mounted in terms of technical and production values, the next-to-last segment is a satisfying if not great episode, raising expectations and providing a set-up for the final chapter and the ultimate battle between Potter and Voldemort.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
For the most part the action romps along, spurred by some impressive special effects.
Marc Lee - Daily Telegraph
This is a superb beginning to the end of a great British success story. You rejoice that they decided to forgo 3D. The Potter films don't need gimmicks to get our attention.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
The most memorable sequences in the film are not, for once, the action scenes but the acting ones.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
It's gripping alright, but ends all too abruptly.
Melanie McDonagh - This is London
The first and third acts are over-busy; the middle one moves like an arthritic house-elf. Still, a decent smattering of magic moments and tension's pumped up sky-high. Bring on Part 2.
Nick De Semlyen - Empire Magazine
Your appetite will be whetted for what promises to be an almighty showdown before the curtain comes down on Harry Potter for good.
James Mottram - Independent
We have watched these three growing up and their performances have never been better -- particularly Grint, who gets the opportunity to do more than just play for laughs.
Anita Singh - Daily Telegraph
It's hard to mourn the demise of a franchise that was never more than half-alive to begin with.
A towering achievement. Or rather, half of a towering achievement.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
The final story may well be colourful and complex, but, on this evidence, there's absolutely no artistic justification for a two-movie split.
Dan Goodswen - Total Film
While it's by no means a bad Harry Potter movie, the overriding feeling is that it's an incomplete one. Here's hoping that Yates and his team put that right next summer.
Chris Tilly - IGN Movies UK
It is elegantly directed by David Yates, with luminous cinematography from Eduardo Serra and impressive production design by Stuart Craig.
Mark Adams - Screen International