Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Movie Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Year Released: 2007

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2h 22min

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure

Director: David Yates

Writer: Michael Goldenberg

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Natalia Tena, Robert Hardy, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, Katie Leung, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch

Review: Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that many in the wizarding community do not know the truth of his encounter with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy), minister of Magic, appoints his toady, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, for he fears that Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) will take his job. But her teaching is deficient and her methods, cruel, so Harry prepares a group of students to defend the school against a rising tide of evil.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth film in the famed Harry Potter franchise. While its predecessor Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire marked the transition of Harry, Ron, and Hermione coming of age into young adulthood, this film embraces a much darker tone for the franchise.

Voldemort is back! And outside of his loyal followers, Harry is the only one who's seen him alive. Some believe him, but the majority of the Wizarding World doesn't. This becomes a point of contention for the entire movie as Harry and his friends try to uncover the truth behind his undeniable bond to the Dark Lord. Life at Hogwarts has changed, too. The tyrannical Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, arrives at Hogwarts. Umbridge isn't just there to teach a class, but also to maintain order and suppress the notion that Voldemort is alive and well. With seemingly everyone working against him, Harry establishes Dumbledore's Army, a secret society of students that he trains for the impending fight against Voldemort and the institutions that seek to conceal the truth.

In many ways this film is a setup for the remainder of Harry Potter's story. We get to learn more about Voldemort and Harry's connection. We dive deeper into many of the subplots that are of great importance. And we are treated to a visually stunning film that further foreshadows the ominous times to come. While not my favorite Potter film, I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and I think it did a fantastic job of driving the story along and setting the tone for a spectacular end to the franchise.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: During filming, Alan Rickman banned Matthew Lewis and Rupert Grint from being within 5 meters of his BMW, because during the making of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), they spilled a milkshake in his car.


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