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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger face new challenges during their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as they try to uncover a dark force that is...  View more >

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Nov 16, 2002
Harry Potter disappoints -- not because of actors, special effects, or story line but because of film editing: Small things left in too long or simple things left out.

In an attempt to capture every scene from the book, the movie fails to capture its spirit -- discovery of a new and complex world, growing up and growing independent, and a sense that behind each character are plausable reasons and a hidden history. Characters and circumstances that seemed real in the books and first movie, are forced to fit a formula too often -- You can almost hear a tired director's helper talk from the side -- "applaud the hero now -- supporting character #3 walk thru the door now and get a hug -- character #2 repeatably look comically in terror -- young bad guy just act mean don't ask me why"

Harry Potter, though watchable and with great sets and special effects, becomes irritating for it seems only a problem of editing -- chosing what scene to leave in or out -- when to cut a scene shorter -- when to stop explaining the punchline before it happens. The movie would be great with slight changes made by someone who understood and liked the books more than blindless commiting to a checklist of things to do. This is definitely a 2 and a half star.
Nov 17, 2002
Although you may not be able to tell it from the previews, this movie is very different from the first. Sure, it has the same actors, characters, and general look, but "Chamber" is much darker than its predecessor.

I'm sure if you've seen anything about this movie, then you've been told this already, but allow me to elaborate a little. Giant spiders (that look quite real) chase two characters through a dark forest and try to eat them (and get very very close). A giant serpent that looks vaguely like Godzilla from that godawful American version is dealt with in a spectacular, and surprisingly gory manner. There's some very violent stuff going on here, so much so that at times I thought the movie was edging into PG-13 territory.

That said, the new dark tone worked very well for me. It was more exciting, and the characters were much funnier this time around. Also, it didn't quite feel like we were watching individual chapters of a book fold out onscreen. In the last movie, the scenes were more like individual adventures that lead toward one conclusion where everything is sort of brought together. In this movie, the disjointed feeling is still there, but each chapter is connected to the others better and has more relevance, making it seem like this sort of stuff should happen, rather than just happening because that's what happened in the book.

All in all, this movie has some moments that may scare any child much younger than 10, but most good kids' movies have some scary parts. The wicked witch and flying monkeys scared me when I was a kid, so maybe the giant spiders and Godzilla-snake aren't too bad. Still, it's a must-see for Potter fans and anyone looking for a carefree time at the theater.
Nov 17, 2002
I've just gotten home from the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Please do not wait to see this at home. You must see this on the big screen, it is phenomenal.

Much better than the first movie, more cohesive. Everyone is more comfortable.

I loved it. Hope you love it too.
Nov 19, 2002
Harry Potter is back for his sophmore year in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." Watching this film is a total joy for me. This franchaise which was launched by Warner Brothers keeps surprising me with first-rate special effects and smart writing.

I was overwhemed by the music score by John Williams. So the second film is darker, it is an indication that the series continues to reinvent itself, and dosen't repeat itself like it did with "Men in Black 2." In the second film, the chamber of secrets is reopen, theatening the students at Hogwart school.

I like this sequel a lot. It's just as good as the first film. To me and especially to the kids who are reading the Harry Potter books, he's a hero. And by today's standard, we need as many heroes we can get. Gee, I wish I was a kid again so I can go to Hogwart school. What a wonderful school to go to.
Dec 10, 2002
Great Movie! I can't wait for the next installment. My only disappointment was the material cut from the book. Granted the movie was 2:40, and if less was cut it could have tipped the clock at 4:00.

Fun for the entire family! A bit scarier than the first movie, but still a family film

4 out of 5 stars!
Dec 14, 2002
im only 10 and my dad lets me write these. i love harry potter books and so far the first movie stunk on ice and the second movie actually put me to sleep until the fat basiculus hissed at harry and harry ran like a chicken the movie stunk i hated it my rating 0 out of 4
Jan 7, 2003
Dobby the house elf warns Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) not to return to Hogwarts for his second year of magical lessons soon after the audience receives a taste of Harry's miserable existence with the Dursley family in the opening sequence of director Chris Columbus' Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Dobby, a computer generated character and one of the special effects that keeps this film moderately entertaining from start to finish, remains ambiguous in his warning but stresses that `terrible things are about to happen!' Many audience members exit the theater wondering if Dobby spoke of the dangers awaiting Harry at Hogwarts or the trite and threadbare story awaiting theatergoers for nearly three hours of the film's duration.

Screeching mandrakes, the howler Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) receives from his mother (Bonnie Wright), a conversational diary, the phoenix, the ghostly Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson), and other special effects including a cinematically superior game of Quidditch make the second Harry Potter film better than the first installment and superficially enjoyable, but spectacle alone cannot sustain a film even in this magical world. Kenneth Branagh wins the hearts of his female students and audience members in the role of Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Jason Isaacs is notably cold and cruel as Lucius Malfoy, and the late Richard Harris as Headmaster Albus Dumbledore creates depth for his character amidst the other one-dimensional characters of the film, but these three veterans along with Maggie Smith as Professor Minerva McGonagall cannot tap their wands and make magic out of Steve Kloves' lackluster script that includes the most exciting events from J.K. Rowling's novel but fails to support these events with other necessary plot points making much of the film random and nonsensical.

The young actors including Radcliffe, Grint, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, and Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy generally showcase improved performances from their first attempts in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but they all lack the versatility and subtlety of accomplished actors. None of these amateurish actors attempt to find believable persons within their characters, and consequently each character emerges as a dull caricature. Harry is the unsuspecting hero. Ron is the pathetically helpless and bewildered sidekick. Hermione is the brain of the operation. Draco is the representation of evil. The script provides only one-dimensional characters, and none of these actors has the ability to create something out of nothing as more skilled performers can do, which adds to the banality of the film.

Columbus' first priority for the next film in this series should be to find a screenwriter with a vivid imagination and the creative ability to bring Rowling's world to life. The cast will miss Harris as Dumbledore and the young actors need a few more lessons in their craft before shooting begins, but with a decent blueprint this cast has the potential to rival anything the imagination could possibly create. Improvement is a step in the right direction and the film is almost worthy of some acclaim, but as Ron discovered in Professor McGonagall's class, almost is far from perfect and never quite good enough.
Feb 24, 2003
Jul 21, 2003
Dec 27, 2007
Absolutely fantastic, rivals any film I've seen! The book and the movie should be on the top of any list!
Oct 13, 2012

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