Many charms, but few surprises.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
This film is capable of a certain brand of magic: it may turn the faithful into Muggles.
Elvis Mitchell - New York Times
The quickest, zappiest two and a half hours of entertainment you'll ever see.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Though the film will undoubtedly please the young viewers who flock to it, ultimately many of the book's readers may wish for a more magical incarnation.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
You can't expect perfection from muggles.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
Retains (and in many cases, boosts) as much of the spirit [of the book] as you could reasonably expect.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
For every flight, the film serves up equal amounts of flattened-out shortfall.
Jay Carr - Boston Globe
Solid but uninspired, Harry lacks brio.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
Lovers of the book will find most of their favorite moments beautifully realized, perhaps even bigger and more wondrous than they imagined them.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
The values and lessons from the novels have translated to the film, as well as the magic.
Al Brumley - Dallas Morning News
The movie needs to be stronger dramatically, with a much more appealing central performance, to be the great family-oriented screen fantasy so many wanted.
Steven Rosen - Denver Post
The filmmakers want to show us a magical world that is, at the same time, wholly believable. They want to create matter-of-fact miracles, but what they end up with is mostly just plain matter-of-fact.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
During Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I was pretty sure I was watching a classic, one that will be around for a long time, and make many generations of fans.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
If the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone were released in a parallel universe in which J.K. Rowling's book didn't exist, its richly envisioned world and inventive, engaging story could be appreciated in their own rights.
Mark Caro - Chicago Tribune
I hear the J.K. Rowling books are great, and on the basis of this 2001 movie I'm ready to believe it.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
At its best, the film's visual dazzle equals the tasty wordplay of the novel. But it is overlong, overscored, and curiously misshapen.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Two and a half hours of pure, uninterrupted enchantment.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
A near-perfect commercial and cultural commodity.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Remarkably faithful, consistently entertaining if overlong adapatation.
Jonathan Foreman - New York Post
The new, much-anticipated movie is a faithful, literal, only mildly imaginative rendering of that book. While no disgrace, it is certainly no classic, like, say, the movie of The Wizard of Oz.
Jay Boyar - Orlando Sentinel
I doubt that most Harry Potter fans will mind a film that attends to their wishes so splendidly.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Despite the movie's pedestrian direction, our cranky old critic finds he can't deny kids the right to be enthralled.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Professional entertainment with just enough human moments to squeak by.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
As a movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has no inner life -- no pulse -- of its own: It's secondhand.
David Edelstein - Slate
Just as the Harry Potter books have reached a wide audience, so too does the movie appeal to audience members of all ages.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The young actors in the major roles all but pop out of Rowling's pages.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
The picture isn't inept, just inert.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Hiring nonhack screenwriter Steve Kloves (Wonder Boys) pays dividends.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
An imaginative and remarkably faithful adaptation.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Slow, but it establishes the myth, the cast and the look. And it's holding up surprisingly well.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
Although it suffers nominally from being over-stuffed and under-paced, it's grand and involving, with magnificent production design and special effects, and some fabulous thesps present and correct.
Dean Essner - Film4
First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
a fantastic beginning
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Zoe Wanamaker and Maggie Smith, to name but a few, all put in an appearance and it is these old hands who are the best aspect of the film.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
Suffering from too much fantasy over too little reality, Sorcerer's Stone sets Harry Potter up for a longer and fruitful career as a screen legend.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Because the film is so glossy, so flippant in its presentation of the world that author J.K. Rowling has spent her sizable novels dissecting, that I still don't have a good idea what all the fuss is about.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Even though a few of the book's scenes have been cut, fans probably couldn't hope for a better adaptation. It bodes well for the rest of the series, when strong stories start taking precedence over set-up.
Alan Morrison - Empire Magazine
What a feast for children! Long, and engrossing. Kids will love it! Wizard!
Derek Adams - Time Out
A spectacular franchise takes flight.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
I couldn't find one mis-step, one wrong move, or one disappointment in the transition from print to celluloid.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Columbus' rendition of the first Harry Potter is a slavish adapation of the book, lacking imagination or vision, though not as bad as to be insufferable to watch
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
The special effects aren't overwhelming and the ideas aren't too far-fetched, but the story will reel in just about anybody.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Even though this movie impresses and delights on it's own, it is more exciting to view it as a teaser for the films to come
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Unfortunately, many fine performances are nearly wasted by Columbus's predictable direction and an overbearing, relentless soundtrack.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
Even without a whit of singing, it is the 'Wizard of Oz' of our time. (Published 12-22-01)
Steve Crum - Kansas City Kansan
A sense of loss accompanied my appreciation of the movie. The images created by my own imagination...will now be changed forever.
Judith Egerton - Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
There's nothing more appropriate, more scary, more mysterious, more thought-provoking, more chilling, more exciting, more dynamic and more fun for the whole family than this.
Michael Szymanski - Zap2it.com
Though generally overrated, it's a good start to what will undoubtedly become an epic film franchise.
Andrew Manning - Radio Free Entertainment
A Xerox copy of the book, and a copy is never as good as the original.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
Full of well-designed atmospheric charm, full of wondrous, expensive effects and mediocre-at-best acting, full of media hype and holiday-season merchandising opportunities.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
The two biggest elements that keep the film from attaining a "classic" level of moviemaking have to do with its lack of sustained momentum and wit.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Surefire crowd-pleaser, with a terrific, note-perfect cast and impressive use of special effects.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The story is not only faithfully but wonderfully translated to film.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Faithful to book, film conjures up magical moments for fans to savor.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
Like the Ewok TV movies of the mid 80s, Harry Potter meaninglessly shoestrings a new fantastical event with every scene.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
A superior, well crafted blockbuster for the whole family, but it's nowhere near as extraordinary as the hype surrounding it.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Sorcerer's Stone is that rare effort that successfully breathes cinematic life into a children's classic.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
Harry Potter manages to avoid sloppy sentimentality, but weaves the perfect balance, allowing us to not only enjoy this fabulous fantasy on a visual level, but also on a satisfying emotional one.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
It offers more delights than disappointments -- and that qualifies as one of the year's great reliefs.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
An admirable spectacle, a real thriller for the kids and the kid in all of us, but ... straightforward and workmanlike.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
What director Chris Columbus hasn't brought to it is any kind of inherent wonder or more palpable reason for being
Jason Clark - Matinee Magazine
As directed by Chris Columbus and written by Steve Kloves, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is a film with no personality of its own, despite being filled with many unforgettable personalities.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Emotionally, this Harry Potter is just as inert as the popcorn-munching masses watching him.
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
good enough to please those who already love the books (there's a few million happy faces right there) while giving those who've resisted the Potter craze a tantalizing taste of what they've been missing out on.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
There is such a thing as being too faithful to a novel. Many things that were amusing on the page are laborious and redundant in the film... but they're there anyway.
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
The film comes off uncannily like the book; the scenes are exactly as you would imagine them. This, however, probably says more about the writing abilities of Rowling as an author than Columbus as a director.
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
This whimsical film offers compelling proof that magic and movies go together like ABRA and CADABRA.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A parte tecnica de Harry Potter e a Pedra Filosofal e impecavel.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
...certainly an entertaining and recommendable film, but it never soars to the heights of filmmaking or imagination.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
So reverentially faithful to the first book that however you feel about the book is a pretty reliable indicator of how you'll feel about the movie.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Great fun, even if it's not a particularly good movie.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
The relatively hands-off treatment of any pathos is an unfortunate side effect of the film's travelogue feel.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
If you enjoyed the book (or at least can take some kids with you who did), go watch it played out on screen -- just don't expect magic to happen.
Stacie Hougland - Hollywood.com
My suggestion: Sit down and read the book again.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
A wondrous achievement whose life, wit and vision made me grin
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
Quiza la cinta no es perfecta, pero es un claro ejemplo de entretenimiento familiar y de que la imaginacion es algo de lo mas preciado que tiene el ser humano.
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
The blame for this is a too heavy directorial hand. Originality might have flowered under a lighter touch and the original literary work better served.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
'Harry' does indeed fly--just don't expect the movie soar into the higher altitudes of imagination.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
It's a good sign that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone feels rushed at two-and-a-half hours. I would easily have sat twice as long.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
The tone is right, the pacing is right, and most significantly, the look is right
Shane Burridge - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Columbus ... has assembled a wizardly cast and crew.
Ed Kelleher - Film Journal International
By not screwing up, Columbus has fulfilled his most important job requirement.
Carlo Cavagna - AboutFilm.com
And yet, all things considered, the team behind this film seems to have done the best job possible.
Shay Casey - Daily-Reviews
Successfully imposes its imagery of the highly fictionalized reality of Harry Potter, and capitalizes on the charming qualities of its popularized protagonist.
Yazmin Ghonaim - Cinephiles
No se saca un 10, pero si una buena nota.... un 9 3/4 :)
Alex Ramirez - Cinenganos
Watson is witty, wise, and irresistible to watch, while Grint plays the comic relief to the many edge-of-your-seat situations that the kids find themselves in.
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
It's a great movie for kids and pre-teens, as well as being an enjoyable diversion for adults.
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
For a movie about magic, there's not much magical about it.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
[A] complete triumph...
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
A very good movie, and a faithful adaption of the book.
David Forsmark - Credo
the film adaptation is too faithful to the book, which may be a turnoff to the less-than-hard-core fans.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
a beautifully mounted adventure movie that adheres almost fetishistically to its source material
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Suzanne Ellis - Canada.com
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
Its efforts to set itself above the bar are rather admirable, if not quite charming or endearing in their eventual failures.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
While Chris Columbus has done what Warner Brothers, Rowling and most of her readership wanted...he's ironically lost some of the magic
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The good news is that the film is about as careful an adaptation as can be imagined, one that takes next to no liberties with the original text.
Catharine Tunnacliffe - eye WEEKLY
Will not disappoint Rowling's legions of fans.
KJ Doughton - Nitrate Online
Has scattered, enthralling, entertaining individual moments.
Mark Halverson - Sacramento News & Review
The grandfather and grandson sitting next to me in the third row loved this film. That says it all.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
Fans of the novel will have great fun reliving its adventures, and newcomers will receive a rollicking welcome to its magic-touched realm.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Your appreciation of the film is likely to be colored by whether or not you've read the book(s).
David N. Butterworth - Movie Boeuf
Visually the film is just about all you could hope for.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
I almost wish I hadn't read the novel first. In an effort to please the Potter-philes, the filmmakers end up offering very few surprises.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Rarely has a movie seemed more beholden to its roots, or required so much outside help to give it its spark.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
I am now officially a Harry Potter fan. And that, I think, is the highest compliment a movie can get.
Matt Easterbrook - Matt's Movie Reviews
It delivers exactly what you would expect from a popular fairy tale in this age of digital animation.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
"Harry Potter" stands on its own as an accomplished cinematic achievement.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
The narrative is a scattershot sprint through the book's events with little regard for character motivation.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
It's the smaller touches, transposed in whole from the book, that make the film as good as it is.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
I can safely say, with nary a qualm, that if you read this book, you will, at worst, really like this movie. Non-readers might find it slow.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
The Sorcerer's Stone is the first of what will almost certainly be the most popular series of fantasy films since Star Wars.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Poorly paced and frequently dull.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Visually stunning Harry Potter stays true to the book but falls short of classic status.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Nothing short of amazing from a visual standpoint -- what with all of the fun, amusing and imaginative details -- but isn't quite there from a storytelling perspective.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
I can't really say that this film taught me anything about why this character is so loved by so many around the world.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
As it is, Harry's gotten a ride. But at a much lower altitude than his fans might have wished.
John Anderson - Newsday
In a perpetual state of Petrificus Totalus, Columbus contributes a pedestrian direction as if he was looking for his own place in Hufflepuff "where they are just & loyal."
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Rowling's exceptional world ... transfers to the screen with a general creativity and charm in the hands of director Chris Columbus.
Norm Schrager - Filmcritic.com
The trickiest magic of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was performed by the casting directors.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is grand, joyous, beguiling entertainment.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
An imaginative spiritual tale about the huge antagonisms of good versus evil that challenges us to hallow the sacred energies of friendship, fearlessness, and love.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Fans will welcome the mostly reverent translation, but the uninitiated will find the movie cramped and static.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
It's absolutely possible to have nothing but fun at Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, particularly if you're a fan of the books and you're not looking for cinematic revelations.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Everything else is present and accounted for, which explains the two-hour, 25-minute running time.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It may be long, but it's not boring.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Rowling's glorious contribution to the world with the 'Harry Potter' series was in exciting a young generation to the pleasures of reading. What Columbus has managed is to get that same generation to accept blandly workmanlike, outsize Hollywood product.
David Kronke - Los Angeles Daily News
There's no denying that the much-hyped, big-budget adaptation will appeal to those who are already converted.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Turns out to be delightful entertainment.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
They got it right.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is, as the Brits might put it, quite good.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The magic mostly works.
Bob Graham - San Francisco Chronicle
A lavish and proficient adaptation that nevertheless falls short of the first rank of children's fantasies.
Scott Von Doviak - culturevulture.net
Eye-poppingly gorgeous sets and spectacular special effects make Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone a magical experience.
Claire Bickley - Jam! Movies
It is good enough to satisfy the frenzy and hype of the moment.
Jim Chastain - Norman Transcript
Like Jake Lloyd starring in a Willy Wonka remake.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Yet for all its faithfulness to the concrete details of the book, the film is missing something when it comes to capturing the most important detail of all: its sense of magic.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Hogwarts and all, it's difficult to not fall under Harry Potter's spell.
Dean Essner - E! Online
It is nothing if not a stunning achievement in set design, costumes, make-up, special effects and a well-chosen cast rendering perfectly and vividly an iconic and universally renowned fantasy world.
Christine James - Boxoffice Magazine
Here's the long and short of it: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is good, but not great.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
If every movie that's greedily earmarked as a cinematic franchise could be as immaculately conceived as Chris Columbus' Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, there would be no reason to complain about the crass commercialization of films.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
A perfect introduction to the series for the ten or so kids who haven't read the actual books.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
A good, solid adventure film, no doubt one of the defining movies in the generation growing up now
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Runs over two-and-a-half hours, but is so entertaining that it feels much shorter.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
A shapely, exciting show, driven but not ruled by sets and effects.
David Elliott - MSNBC
The film is what Hollywood magic is all about.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
A series of rich CG adventures in a narrative that does not cohere.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Moves along rather herkily-jerkily, bouncing from one special effect to another, from one character or scene to another, with seemingly little connection between them.
Todd R. Ramlow - PopMatters
It's eye-filling, well-cast, often very funny and executed with great imagination and flair.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seem like Star Wars on broomsticks.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
As George Lucas did with The Phantom Menace, Columbus understood that he didn't have to make a particularly good movie. He just had to avoid making a really lousy one. And that's exactly what he's done.
Todd Anthony - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
It's pleasant, and not nearly as hollow as, say, The Phantom Menace, but it's never truly captivating.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Entertaining on almost every level.
Tor Thorsen - Reel.com
It does the obvious well enough, but ironically--considering the subject--it lacks the touch of magic....a picture that, while well crafted, is ultimately uninspired.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A thumping good adaptation of the work of a creative genius.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
The effects are special, but too often they're the only thing that is. They seem to drive the story, instead of the other way around.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
The ultimate example of a synergic multi-media construct: a familiarity with the source lends the film the depth, conflict, and resonance it fails to otherwise provide.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
A handsome, faithful, cautious film that delivers in most of the ways you'd hope it would.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The powers that be, in their zeal to include as much from the book as is humanly possible, have overstuffed the film almost to the breaking point.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
...Columbus could have cut out the entire middle hour...and if you hadn't read the book, you'd never know the difference.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Columbus and screenwriter Steve Kloves are so careful to avoid offending anyone by excising a passage from the book, the so-called narrative is more like a jamboree inside Rowling's head.
Paul Tatara - CNN.com
This is the Harry Potter you imagined while reading.
Dan Fazio - Citysearch
Even a Muggle director can't spoil the book's magic.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The sheer magic of the movie's spirit saves the day.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
This manages to keep not just the heart of the story, but the characters and the storyline intact--and make it work on the screen.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
The movie has two serious flaws ... Daniel Radcliffe, as Harry, is almost devoid of personality ... [and] the film is a full hour too long.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Definitely worth a look-see.
Dean Essner - BeatBoxBetty.com
It's tremendous fun, not simply the hollow shell that most giant movies like this turn out to be.
Dave White - IFilm
If you believe in magic, you'll love Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And if you don't, you will, and you will.
Gregory Weinkauf - UberCine
No, I didn't think (Columbus) would be able to do it this well, either, but I stand corrected.
Sean O'Connell - Eclipse Magazine
A nice film with some sparkling moments; however, I had expected an overall zappier stream of wand light and more heart.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Its success and its failure come in how literally it interprets the material -- Hogwarts and Quidditch and Hagrid and nearly Headless Nick look pretty much as you'd expect them to look, and the story goes as you'd expect it to go.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Usually, films encumbered of this much hype can never live up to the lofty expectations of eager fans, but Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is, thankfully, a rare and welcome exception.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
I suspect that Harry Potter is appropriate for any child above the age of seven or eight... Anyone older than that will be charmed.
J. Robert Parks - Phantom Tollbooth
Columbus has done a fine job casting the major characters.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
At almost two-and-a-half hours, this movie's a little flabby around the middle, but so is my kitty cat and I love her.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
I envy kids the discovery they're about to make, about the power of movies to dominate the imagination, to air our secret fears and desires, to become cornerstones of our psyches.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
It's way too long, there's no story, no logic, no villain, all the supporting characters are more interesting than Potter, and I learned nothing about being a wizard.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Gets most of the book's events in, but loses much of the lightness and charm of Rowling's vision.
David Ansen - Newsweek
Harry Potter makes a satisfactory, albeit unspectacular, celluloid debut.
Adrian Hennigan - BBC
A success by any standards.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Brilliant, but scary.
John Hiscock - Daily Telegraph
The wonderfully imaginative, fabulously eccentric world of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been brought to the screen with spectacular success.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
As far as stuffy Oxford dramas go, Harry Potter has them all beat.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine