Like many children I've met, director Chris Columbus seems never to have heard the word no: his second Harry Potter movie drags on for 161 minutes, slavishly reproducing every twist and turn of J.K. Rowling's book. The film beautifully realizes many of Rowling's fantastic conceits—the Whomping Willow, a tree that nearly kills Harry and a pal after they land their flying car in its branches; the thrilling Quidditch match, in which players zoom around on broomsticks chasing a hyperkinetic rugby ball; a nocturnal visit to the Forbidden Forest, complete with giant tarantula chase—but for the last hour I was searching for a spell to make the credits appear. With Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, a visibly ailing Richard Harris, and Kenneth Branagh, perfectly cast as the vain author Gilderoy Lockhart.
Director: Chris Columbus
Producer: David Heyman, Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, Michael Barnathan and David Barron
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Shirley Henderson, Julian Glover, Miriam Margolyes, Mark Williams, Toby Jones, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, David Bradley, Gemma Jones and Christian Coulson