Like its predecessors, this sixth installment in the behemoth fantasy franchise outstays its welcome by a bum-numbing half hour; unlike them, it devotes about half its screen time to chaste, multisided romantic intrigues, the boy wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) and his coed cohorts having attained exquisite young adulthood. As usual, the residuum of plot involves Harry's meandering pursuit of various supernatural MacGuffins, without which the forces of darkness are bound to triumph. Director David Yates presides over some gorgeous CGI set pieces, but all the real magic comes from the scrum of ace British character actors (Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Timothy Spall, and the always brilliant Jim Broadbent, who steals the show as a dithering Hogwarts don come out of retirement). For what it is, it's fine. PG, 153 min.
Director: David Yates
Writer: Steve Kloves and J.K. Rowling
Producer: David Heyman and David Barron
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince