Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | Chicago Reader

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The fifth movie adapted from J.K. Rowling's best-selling novels introduces the wizard prodigy (Daniel Radcliffe) to another formidable adversary: the new instructor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, played by Imelda Staunton as a cross between Elizabeth II and Nurse Ratched. A zealous apparatchik of the Ministry of Magic (superbly realized by production designer Stuart Craig), she bans the practice of spells, leaving her frustrated students more vulnerable than ever to the sorcerer Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Less magic also means less fun and discovery, as Harry battles depression and a hostile press; this is the bleakest Potter installment to date, and under David Yates's choppy direction, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson, and David Thewlis have little more than walk-ons.

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