New York Magazine (Vulture)
For all its portentousness, this is the best Harry Potter picture yet. In some ways, it improves on J.K. Rowling’s novel, which is punishingly protracted and builds to a climactic wand-off better seen than read.
New York Daily News
It's action-packed, darker, more epic and thankfully schmaltz-free. And it's the best "Harry Potter" film yet.
Not just a ripping yarn but a powerful, poignant coming-of-age story.
It will hook you good and keep you riveted.
Yet, as good as it is in so many ways, there's no getting around the fact that this briefest Harry and first directed by an unknown filmmaker (David Yates) is the least substantial of the bunch.
It won't win new fans, but as Potter movies go, this is the most filmic of the lot, suspenseful and action-packed.
Considerably grimmer and grittier than the previous pictures.
The Hollywood Reporter
"Phoenix" might go down as the problematic film, full of plot but little fun.
The storytelling seems occasionally disjointed, but more important, for all the special-effects wizardry, that touch of film magic never surfaces.
San Francisco Chronicle
Taken as a motion picture, the new "Harry" comes up short. But taken as a visual aid to the experience of reading a book, the new "Harry" does its job.