Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Reviews
The lag time between the final books and the movies has drained much of the urgency from this screen adaptation, which, far more than any of the previous films, feels like an afterthought.
As for the ever-impressive supporting cast, neither a delightfully befuddled Jim Broadbent nor a wild-eyed Helena Bonham Carter can upstage Alan Rickman, who again proves invaluable as the slithery Prof. Snape.
So many actors shine in so many ways: Carter hisses deliciously, Broadbent sucks up beautifully. Watson shudders with frustration and heartbreak, Felton shudders with anger and fear.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn't great family entertainment -- it's great entertainment, period, a blockbuster with true heart and real humanity alongside the high-stakes struggles and brilliant effects.
As the concerns of novelist Rowling's characters gravitate increasingly toward matters of the heart and the hormones, the Potter films are leaving childhood behind. Yet the friendship of the central trio remains the key to the magic.